Sunday, November 02, 2014

The game is up

                        4LAKids: Sunday 2•Nov•2014            Back 2 Standard Time
In This Issue:
 •  How does one make money in the charter school biz?: ANDRE AGASSI’S PIVOT TO EDUCATION CAPITALIST
 •  A $1.3 Billion Question: WHAT'S THE FUTURE OF LA'S IPAD PROGRAM? + smf's 2¢
 •  HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
 •  EVENTS: Coming up next week...
 •  What can YOU do?

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Don’t stop reading because you think you’ve heard or read this one before …It ends in a different place than you expect.

IT’S 1954 AND TRAVELING MILK SHAKE MACHINE SALESMAN from Chicago heads out to San Bernardino to see why the McDonald brothers keep ordering so many of his multihead machines: Why would anyone need to make forty shakes at the same time?

What he finds is amazing, the McDonalds are making and selling hamburgers and fries and milkshakes literally by the dozens; they have invented what they call the “Speedie Service System” - an assembly line process in the kitchen. What they have invented is the fast food hamburger business – and they’ve franchised three or four stores.

The milkshake machine salesman is Ray Kroc, against the brothers’ better judgment he purchases the rights to open a McDonalds store in Oak Park Illinois (The McDonalds never thought the fast food hamburger business could make it outside the sun belt). Kroc’s store in Oak Park is a success – but he’s not happy being a hamburger store owner, he wants to be what Tom Wolfe called a “Master of the Universe”.

Kroc believes the future is in mass franchising; the McDonalds are happy with a limited growth model and fewer stores like the other Southern California hamburger tycoons: Bob Wain of Bob’s Big Boy, Tom Koulax of Tommy’s and Harry Snyder of In and Out Burger.

Ultimately Kroc buys the brothers out for a million dollars each and a small percentage of future sales – which he screws them out of. Kroc has invented the fast food industry – and the vertically integrated unlimited growth model of expansion to saturate+ dominate the market: Control the Brand/Control the Franchises/ Control the Supply/Control the Workforce. That model has pretty much run its course in North America – today McDonalds relies upon India and China to continue growth. And the workforce part is not happy being controlled.

IN 1974 RAY BUDDE, A PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST originated the idea of charter schools: Semi autonomous public schools. In 1988 Albert Shanker, President of the American Federation of Teachers, embraced the concept when he called for the reform of the public schools by establishing "charter schools" or "schools of choice”.

“Choice” is a magical word in politics, family planning and public education; it means what you want it mean. One always needs to peel back the onion and make sure that the right folks are the choosers.

As originally conceived, the model charter school was a locally formed legally+ financially autonomous individual public school (no tuition, religious affiliation, or selective student admissions) that would operate much like an independent business—free from many state laws and district regulations, and MORE accountable for student outcomes and LESS accountable for processes. Charter schools would be self-governing grass-roots alliances of educators+ parents formed to educate the community’s children independent of bureaucracy.

Minnesota was the first state to pass a charter school law in 1991. California was second the next year.

The California Charter Law was sponsored by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Reed Hastings – and it was Hastings who first saw the potential in charter schools. Like Ray Kroc saw the potential in fast-food. Can you say ‘Revenue Engine?’ Sure you can.

Today’s charter schools relish the lack of process accountability – but balk at the expectation of increased accountability for student success. The promise was that charters that didn’t outperform traditional schools would be closed. “Just as good as” wasn’t supposed to be good enough. (See this: ) And charters were supposed to share their models of success. (Green Dot teachers sign non-disclosure agreements to protect Green Dot’s ‘trade secret’ instructional practices) Ray Budde and Albert Shanker wouldn’t recognize today’s Charter Management Organization/franchise model charters any more than Richard and Maurice McDonald would recognize what currently happens in the shadow of the golden arches.

Rupert Murdoch said public education is a fifty-billion-dollar-a-year-business opportunity.

But wait you say …California charters are non profit! How can venture capitalists make money at that?

Read the following article about tennis great and charter entrepreneur Andre Agassi. Then you will understand why the hedge fund types are licking their lips and the Wall Street wolves are circling. They – like the textbook publishers, software developers, testing companies and tennis stars – are interested in becoming Masters of the Universe.

Now you can understand why Reed Hastings and Green Dot Public Schools Founder Steve Barr – and our local ®eformistas Eli Broad and Mayor Tony are supporting their disciple Marshall Tuck for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. And why the Billionaire Boys Club of Edupreneurs + Venture Philanthropists are spending million$ to defeat Tom Torlakson.

SUBMITTED FOR YOUR APPROVAL: The Great Game of Public Education.

A game played in the shadowlands between fact and fiction where data creates truth, truth is subversive and observation is merely anecdotal; a place where curriculum becomes a conduit for cash between the crucible of the instructional classroom and the corner corporate office. Students populate the cells of spreadsheets and the datapoints make-or-break careers – where students take meaningless tests and superintendents, administrators and teachers are judged+hired+fired based on the scores. Where ROI is measured in API and AYP.

A game, gentle reader, played in three dimensions and scored on two axes.
The A-B Axis: Follow the Money
The X-Y Axis: Connect the Dots.

It’s your move on Nov. 4th

There’s a signpost up ahead. And it says VOTE FOR TOM TORLAKSON LIKE THE FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT.
Because they do.

Tell all your friends and neighbors and all the folks in the checkout line. Tell the checker.

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf

Torlakson v. Tuck: UNION POWER v. ®EFORM IN© – A sharp policy divide on California the ballot

How does one make money in the charter school biz?: ANDRE AGASSI’S PIVOT TO EDUCATION CAPITALIST

By Blake Farmer / WPLN | NPR Marketplace |

Play Radio Story - 4:04 | .

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 .:: .Former tennis star Andre Agassi has spent the last few years building schools. Recently, he has stopped doing it out of pure generosity. After years of raising money for charter schools, Agassi has had a conversion. He teamed up with investors and joined the growing ranks of education capitalists.

Agassi has been touring some of his schools this fall, including a recent one in Nashville.

The second graders in this Rocketship classroom were barely born when Agassi hung up his tennis racket. So they don’t really know much about the guy with the shaved head touring their new school, other than they should be grateful to him.

“What made you want to play tennis?” one student asks. “I never really wanted to,” Agassi says, explaining that his dad made him.

But turns out, he was pretty good.

“And then all of the sudden when I won, I had the chance to build my own school,” he says.

The irony is not lost on him, since Agassi dropped out of school himself. He has since raised $100 million to supplement public funding for a charter school in his hometown of Las Vegas.

But in the last few years, he teamed up with investors to start a hedge fund. They don’t run schools. They just buy the land, finance construction, then rent the school back to a charter, typically part of a national chain like KIPP Academy or Rocketship.

Critics of the charter movement have charged investors with lining their pockets on the backs of public education, and Agassi says he had his own hesitance before switching gears into profit-mode.

“I thought about it a thousand times going into this adventure,” Agassi says.

But given the struggle to finance his own charter school, Agassi says he’s decided charity has limitations.

“I don’t believe – personally – that philanthropy is scalable,” he says.

Agassi’s charter school real estate venture certainly satisfies a need. School founders almost universally struggle to find adequate facilities. Often school districts are reluctant to rent out vacant school buildings to charters, who are sometimes seen as competitors. They occasionally have to locate in less-than-ideal learning environments, like a renovated strip mall.

The pitch from Agassi’s investors is something like this: “Let us build you a school. You focus on teaching. And if you want to buy the building from us in a few years, great.”

Santa Monica-based investor Bobby Turner helped get Agassi on board.

“If you want to treat a problem in society, philanthropy is fine,” Turner says. “But if you want to cure – really cure – you need to harness market forces to create a sustainable solution. That means making money, because only then is it scalable. And by the way, there’s no rulebook that says you can’t make money and societal change at the same time. They’re symbiotic.”

But some parents don’t buy the sales pitch.

“It kind of makes my stomach turn,” says Brett Bymaster, a parent in San Jose where the Agassi-Turner fund has been active.

He’s taken it upon himself to dig into their business model, though one can only dig so far. While they’re building public charter schools, there’s very little disclosure, including what they charge tenants.

“We need to partner with people outside, but I don’t think the solutions to problems in my community are one-percenters getting filthy rich,” he says.

Bymaster wonders what happens to one of these buildings if the charter has to shut down, and many do. So far, all 39 schools built by the fund are still up and running. A spokesman says if one closed, the building could be rented to another charter operator.

Even among charter school advocates, there is some quiet suspicion of partnering with hedge funds. First, there’s cost. One charter founder said a deal with Agassi was 25 percent above any other option.

Jessica Johnson leads the Colorado-based Charter Schools Facilities Initiative and doesn’t take a position on for-profit investors.

“I mean, I know of many instances where it’s worked out really well. I know of others where there have been challenges,” Johnson says.

Johnson says plenty of charter schools have had trouble working with non-profits too. That’s why she cautions everyone to read the fine print, no matter who is helping build their school.

A $1.3 Billion Question: WHAT'S THE FUTURE OF LA'S IPAD PROGRAM? + smf's 2¢
By Annie Gilbertson | NPR Education: NPR Morning Edition /from SCPR |

October 31, 2014 4:57 AM ET | Radio Story:


This time last year, students in Los Angeles watched boxes of new iPads roll into their schools. Touted as the largest technology expansion in the country, the program ran into a host of problems, leading to the resignation of its biggest advocate, Superintendent John Dacey (sic). KPCC's Annie Gilbertson reports on what's next.

ANNIE GILBERTSON, BYLINE: Dacey told NPR he doesn't want Los Angeles Unified's iPad program to leave with him.

JOHN DACEY: If it's dead, we're doomed.

GILBERTSON: But its future is out of his hands. Top administrators are now rethinking classroom needs. Should they look at laptops instead of tablets? School board member Steve Zimmer says the technology expansion isn't over, but it will be different.

STEVE ZIMMER: I think that we'll get there by looking at the technology needs of each school and figuring out a personalized package, if you will, for each school site.

GILBERTSON: Zimmer says it's time for a fresh start. Dacey had canceled the iPad contract in August, under mounting scrutiny over the fairness of the bidding process. Only 15 percent of students got iPads. Just as uncertain is the future of the educational software developed for the tablets by Pearson publishing. Bernadette Lucas, head of LA Unified's initiative, says it's revolutionary.

BERNADETTE LUCAS: Pearson is a doorway to a whole other world for the kids around creativity, innovation, critical thinking, computational thinking, research.

GILBERTSON: Interactive lessons on tablets promise to engage students. And real-time feedback, if it works, should speed learning for those falling behind. But a recent survey of 15 LA schools with tablets found only one classroom used the Pearson app. Teacher Ben Way sees the software as more of a roadblock than a doorway. Way's students at Simon Tech Academy in South Los Angeles are mostly Latino, many from low income homes, and are often behind in math.

BEN WAY: So this is the grade nine math, which is what I'm currently teaching.

GILBERTSON: Way fires up the Pearson app to show me how it works. The lesson begins with a short video showing cells dividing. Soon, the whole screen is filled with moving bacteria.

One cell divides into two. And then you have to account for two cells dividing into two, which is four.

WAY: Right.

GILBERTSON: Four cells dividing into two, which is eight.

WAY: So how does it change each time?

GILBERTSON: Remember, this is a math class. Students have to represent this as a mathematical equation. But can they do it?

WAY: I get a lot of blank stares.

GILBERTSON: Way says the software should give students step-by-step examples and math problems to practice. But it doesn't.

WAY: You need to make up your own problems that are similar. And that sort of defeats the purpose of buying a curriculum.

GILBERTSON: Nevertheless, school leaders nationwide believe technology can transform classrooms. In fact, the bigger question is simply how to pay for it. Next week, voters in New York state will decide whether to buy $2 billion in bonds for school tech. School board member Monica Ratliff says LA was planning to use bond funds too.

MONICA RATLIFF: The reality is that we need a long-term plan in terms of how we're going to sustain this program. I haven't seen it yet.

GILBERTSON: The iPad for every student program would have cost more than $1.3 billion. Almost half of that, $500 million, would have gone for the tablets and the software. They've got the money now. But Ratliff wonders, what happens with the next big bill that would come in a few years, when 650,000 devices would need to be replaced? For NPR News, I'm Annie Gilbertson in Los Angeles.

●● smf’s 2¢: Out of bemused maleficence I have left the misspelling of John Deasy’s name as misspelled in the transcript. Transcribers work phonetically, the reason for the error is obvious. The Judge in the Jefferson High School [X v California] case also spelled Deasy’s name wrong - but in a different way - in his scathing criticism of the former superintendent. Maybe this will give Dr. D. some cover as he applies for his next job. “That wasn’t me, I spell my name differently.” Denial is the longest river.

And if you don’t do your due diligence you deserve Dr. Deasy. Case in point? The last three years at LAUSD.

iPADS, PEARSON+APPLE: New evidence shows 2 firms that won LAUSD contract active in seeking meetings with Bd of Ed

By Thomas Himes, Los Angeles Daily News |

Posted: 10/31/14, 1:39 PM PDT | Updated: 11/1/2014 :: The head of Los Angeles Unified’s technology division, Ron Chandler, abruptly resigned Friday, as the nation’s second-largest school district attempts to recover from crisis caused by a new computer system.

Chandler became the second highest-level official this week to abruptly depart the district over MiSiS — a new student record-keeping software that has left the school year in disarray. Bria Jones, who was hired to oversee the project, had her contract terminated Tuesday.

“I’m not interested in pointing figures (sic) I’m interested in solving the problem and getting us back on track,” Superintendent Ramon Cortines said.

LAUSD will pay Chandler two months of salary, until he is taken off the payroll Jan. 1, 2015. Chandler collects $212,274 per year in salary.

Chandler was hired by Cortines – who served two previous stints as LAUSD’s superintendent-- in 2010. As chief information officer for the past five years, Chandler oversaw 575 employees and a $475 million budget. Those dollars and workers are tasked with providing technology to 1,309 building and some 650,000 students.

Chandler, who was responsible for supervising MiSiS’s implementation and development, reported to Chief Strategist Matt Hill that the system would be ready to launch when the school year started Aug. 12.

While Hill also recommended moving forward with MiSiS, it was ultimately ex-Superintendent John Deasy’s decision to launch the computer system, despite repeated warnings from principals, teachers, administrators – and even a letter from Board Member Bennett Kayser.

The system’s premature launch was compounded by Deasy and his administration’s refusal to admit the scope of problems MiSiS created for campuses and educators struggling to enroll students and create class schedules without a functional computer system. Many of those campuses still have a host of issues caused by the problems.

“I appreciate Superintendent Cortines taking control of this situation; no more denials and deception, action,” board member Bennett Kayser said. “Mr. Chandler was a part of the problem but far from the only member of the former superintendent’s team who failed our students and schools with regard to MiSiS. For them, accountability still waits.”

Cortines has made cleaning up the MiSiS mess a top priority since he started work, replacing Deasy, two weeks ago.

This week, he had more than 300 counselors and retirees dispatch to school campuses, in an effort to help fix transcripts bungled by the system, before the faulty records could stop seniors from obtaining college admission and financial aid.

While the campaign wasn’t perfect, with a principal reporting at one San Fernando Valley high school they didn’t need the extra help and counselors at other campuses hoping for more, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Ruth Perez said this week the deployment has “evolved.”

“It was a huge effort to coordinate this,” Perez said. “And as we have been hearing from the field, for example, what happens when a school says ‘we’ve got it all done, we don’t need any more help’ we’ve been coming up with how to redeploy people.”

Other imminent threats posed by MiSiS include the systems potential to cause further disruptions when the second semester starts and faulty attendance records used by the state to allocate funding for public schools.

Paramount to those efforts, Cortines said, will be listening to campus based staff who must use the system. Months ago, those educators warnings went unheeded by staff inside district headquarters.

“We did not listen to teacher administrator and counselors. I’m making sure they’re involved,” Cortines said. “It’s not how somebody down here feels, it’s not if they say it’s fixed.”

●●smf’s 2¢: “’I’m not interested in pointing figures (¡He MUST have said ‘fingers’!), I’m interested in solving the problem and getting us back on track,’ Superintendent Ramon Cortines said.”

The superintendent is saying that heads don’t need to roll; problems need to be solved.

That said, I note that the tacticians are being fired and forced out – and while all the evidence points at a failure of strategy; the strategist is being kept on

...and even before that: LAUSD MiSiS SHAKE UP: One consultant out, another consultant in

By Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times l

Nov. 2, 2014 :: Charlie Unkeless has the smile of a man who loves what he's doing, and his sixth-grade students are having a good time too. Who wouldn't, when the teacher is using a Slinky and a pound of spaghetti to demonstrate what happens when an earthquake hits?

The math and science magnet teacher at John Burroughs Middle School holds one end of the Slinky on a table, and a student stands 15 feet away holding the other end. Unkeless gives the Slinky a shake, and a quiver spirals the length of the toy, mimicking a seismic wave.

Unkeless then has his class compute how long it would take to feel the ground shake if you're standing 100 kilometers from the epicenter. Then he's on to bending spaghetti to illustrate the elastic nature of the Earth's crust, and students are wearing goggles in case the pasta goes flying.

Charlie Unkeless, now in his early 60s, has worked as a jazz musician, animator and lighting designer, coming to teaching only 12 years ago. But this, he said, "is the most rewarding and important job I have ever had."

So why, despite his love of teaching, is he so frustrated that he might soon give it up?

That's what I went to talk to Unkeless about last week, and I'll get to that in a moment.

But first let me say that when you write about public education, it doesn't seem to matter what you say —you're guaranteed to come under fire. Discourse is so divisive and partisan, it's like covering Congress, or covering a war without end.

When I wrote about all the missteps by now-departed L.A. Unified Supt. John Deasy, critics wondered why I didn't lay more blame for his failures on the teachers union. And when I wrote that United Teachers Los Angeles is militantly inflexible on many issues, teachers screamed that I was scapegoating them and playing the stooge for billionaire "reformers" out to privatize public education.

I decided to get out of the crossfire and into the classroom.

What's it like to teach today, with so many distractions and raging philosophical battles?

I decided to visit Unkeless because he struck me as a thoughtful guy — a strong believer in his union despite a few points of disagreement.

He thinks teachers are due a bump in pay after several years without a raise, but he doesn't want to go on strike, and he'd prefer that his union focus more on the day-to-day needs of teachers than on the broad issues of social justice UTLA has become enmeshed in.

And, though he appreciates the protections of tenure, he thinks teachers who aren't cut out for the job make life harder for students and other teachers.

Is he glad Deasy is gone?

"Absolutely," said Unkeless, who believes the superintendent tried to ram through his agenda with no teacher input, and spent millions on questionable technology while arts instruction got whacked and schools fell deeper into disrepair. And don't get him started on the disastrous rollout of the balky new multimillion-dollar student-tracking system.

The new Common Core standards have their advantages, said Unkeless, and one of them is the opportunity to expand the Socratic method of talking through problems. But, if discourse is considered a virtue, then why are those driving education policy interested only in a one-way discussion?

And though he loves walking into a classroom filled with kids whose families come from all over the world, he's put off by our failure to adequately invest in their potential. Unkeless used to have 32 students per class, but now 37 are packed into his classroom, situated in a tired old bungalow, and it's harder than ever to address the individual needs of students with a broad range of skill levels.

As for supplies and materials, he keeps digging deeper into his own pockets.

The scanner and movie projector are his own, and he uses his wife's laptop to run the projector. He borrowed and restored his mother's computer for class use. He finally got a copy machine after writing a grant proposal, but he has to do the maintenance on it himself.

He buys everything from paper to soap to tissues. He built a P.A. system so that shy students with tiny voices could speak into a microphone. He rigged an old electric drill to power an earthquake simulation machine and uses it to shake up miniature buildings constructed by his students, and he recorded the demonstration for YouTube.

And how have his efforts and those of so many other dedicated teachers been rewarded? They have given up furlough days and forgone raises for years, he said, in a wealthy state that inexplicably ranks near the bottom in per-pupil funding. He said he feels "demoralized by the expectations placed on us."

Unkeless told me he doesn't mind being evaluated in part on how well his students test, but he doesn't think the tests are smart enough to be very useful. If the national goal is better teachers, he's all for it, but he'd rather be evaluated by master teachers.

He learns a lot about teaching, he said, from conversations with other instructors, but it's frustrating that he never gets a chance to watch them work. Instead, he feels as though he's being told how and what to teach by people who seldom set foot in a classroom.

In the middle of my visit with Unkeless, the parents of one of his students came in for a conference. After they left, Unkeless told me it was gratifying to see parents concerned about a bright kid who got a C in his class, and asking how they could be more helpful.

"She's a good kid," Unkeless said, and his eyes brightened as he considered the potential of that one child and all the others.

The great thing about the job, he said, is the opportunity to help them find their voices and find their way. Unkeless speaks of teaching as if it is a privilege. But having watched him in action, I'd say his students have a pretty good deal too.

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources                   

by Vanessa Romo, LA School Report |

October 30, 2014 4:48 pm :: A consultant to the committee that oversees how LA Unified spends taxpayer bond dollars today recommended a complete overhaul of the district’s Information Technology operations, suggesting the district might consider outsourcing the entire department.

Tom Rubin delivered the report to the Bond Oversight Committee, blasting the IT department and asserting that the recent bungled rollout of MiSiS, the student data computer system, exposed a track record of mismanagement and organizational problems that are prevalent in other district programs.

“We have had a history of major IT problems,” Rubin told the committee. “This is not about specific projects; this is about the the totality of the system: It is broken.”

Despite efforts by hard-working employees, he said, “The failure unfortunately is at the top,” adding that, “too many key people have little knowledge, or interest, and do not wish to change their beliefs and ways of working.”

He suggested the district re-structure the organization of departments, functions and responsibilities to change underlying attitudes and practices “that are systemic to the way that things are done at LAUSD.”

“Be prepared to consider massive changes in the LAUSD way of doing things, up to and including changing ITD to a contracted enterprise,” he warned the committee.

The root of the problem is the district’s “silo-ization,” he said, describing a regimen in which “people in one part of the department have no idea what’s happening on the other side.”

Among his recommendations for reinventing the department are to bring in outside experts, including a panel on large governmental agencies and IT systems, and to change management to oversee and advise the district.

At the district level, Rubin recommended that the school board create an IT committee, as well as a high‐level IT advisory committee made up of external experts to help structure and validate large-scale project plans. Finally, the district’s Chief Information Officer, Ron Chandler, should report directly to the Superintendent, Rubin said.

Rubin also laid into the district for grievously underfunding the IT Division in general and, specifically, MiSiS.

“We get into a situation where we have very limited budgets for doing things right the first time but we have an unlimited budget for correcting these disasters that result to get them up to a minimum level of performance,” he said.

Rubin’s ideas for improving the way LA Unified does business extended beyond the IT department to include the district’s invoicing and bill paying system

But much of his presentation rehashed many of the same criticisms about what went wrong with MiSiS: Developers didn’t listen to feedback from users; there wasn’t enough time or money spent on training; district leadership didn’t communicate-well with people experiencing problems; it took too long to provide sufficient support.

The committee chairman, Stephen English, instructed committee members to “take some time absorb” Rubin’s report before asking questions or coming to any conclusions.

“There’s a lot for us take in here … and his report will be acted by us in a thoughtful way,” English said.

While the BOC can make recommendations to the school board, it remains to be seen if it will engender a will for such massive changes.

●● Rubin’s PowerPoint is available here:

Video: Join Steve Zimmer, 4LAKids and 1000's of friends:: VOTE TOM/THANK TEACHERS/RIP TIME



A $1.3 Billion Question: WHAT'S THE FUTURE OF LAUSD's iPAD PROGRAM? | NPR ED |


iPADS, PEARSON+APPLE: Docs released under Public Records Act request shed new light on LAUSD's $1.3-B iPad program |

iPADS, PEARSON+APPLE: New evidence shows 2 firms that won LAUSD contract active in seeking meetings with Bd of Ed |

TECHNOLOGY CHIEF FOR LAUSD RESIGNS, the latest fallout from 2 troubled technology efforts: iPads-4-all + MiSiS |


LA TIMES SAYS RON CHANDLER IS OUT AS LAUSD IT HEAD @howardblume: According to well-placed sources, Ron Chandler,…

ESTE SÁBADO POR LA MAÑANA 1º DE NOVIEMBRE : Gratis evento en idioma español para los padres con la PTA y Univision |

THIS SATURDAY MORNING NOVEMBER 1st: Free Spanish-language education event for parents with PTA and Univision | (smf: It was a lovely day, probably too nice to be spent indoors! – but it was also a great event. Next year we will schedule it on a blah weather day! | ¡Gracias a todos los que asistieron !)

LAUSD MiSiS SHAKE UP: One consultant out, another consultant in |

Torlakson v. Tuck: UNION POWER v. ®EFORM IN© – A sharp policy divide on California the ballot |



0 replies 0 retweets 0 favorites

Federal Study: @ least 73% of youth with emotional disabilities who drop out of school are arrested within 5 years |

Pipeline to Prison: Special Ed too often leads to jail for thousands of American children | The Hechinger Report |


State implements new kindergarten cutoff age | EdSource

LAUSD’s chief writes to parents about MiSiS problems, hotlines and other efforts to fix transcripts | LA Daily News |

L.A. school officials order review of every senior's transcript - LA Times |

LA Unified acknowledges mistakes in student transcripts as college deadlines loom | 89.3 KPCC |



The MiSiS Crisis/Letters to Parents + College Presidents: “YOUR CHILDREN ARE THE REASON WE ARE HERE.... ”


EVENTS: Coming up next week...

Special Board of Education Meeting (Including Closed Session Items) November 6, 2014 - 8:00 a.m.
Start: 11/06/2014 8:00 am
[The agenda has not yet been posted]
*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
Phone: 213-241-5183
Phone: 213-241.8700


What can YOU do?
• E-mail, call or write your school board member: • 213-241-6386 • 213-241-6180 • 213-241-5555 • 213-241-6382 • 213-241-6388 • 213-241-6385 • 213-241-6387
...or your city councilperson, mayor, the governor, member of congress, senator - or the president. Tell them what you really think! • Find your state legislator based on your home address. Just go to: • There are 26 mayors and five county supervisors representing jurisdictions within LAUSD, the mayor of LA can be reached at • 213.978.0600
• Call or e-mail Governor Brown: 213-897-0322 e-mail:
• Open the dialogue. Write a letter to the editor. Circulate these thoughts. Talk to the principal and teachers at your local school.
• Speak with your friends, neighbors and coworkers. Stay on top of education issues. Don't take my word for it!
• Get involved at your neighborhood school. Join your PTA. Serve on a School Site Council. Be there for a child.
• If you are eligible to become a citizen, BECOME ONE.
• If you a a citizen, REGISTER TO VOTE.
• If you are registered, VOTE LIKE THE FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT. THEY DO!.

Who are your elected federal & state representatives? How do you contact them?

Scott Folsom is a parent leader in LAUSD and is Parent/Volunteer of the Year for 2010-11 for Los Angeles County. • He is Past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and represented PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee for ten years. He is a Health Commissioner, Legislation Team member and a member of the Board of Managers of the California State PTA. He serves on numerous school district advisory and policy committees and has served as a PTA officer and governance council member at three LAUSD schools. He is the recipient of the UTLA/AFT 2009 "WHO" Gold Award for his support of education and public schools - an honor he hopes to someday deserve. • In this forum his opinions are his own and your opinions and feedback are invited. Quoted and/or cited content copyright © the original author and/or publisher. All other material copyright © 4LAKids.
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