Sunday, July 19, 2015

4LAKids: Sunday 19•July•2015
In This Issue:
 •  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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Train-of-thought from Southwest Flight 1863 from Sacramento to Burbank:
Gordie: Alright, alright, Mickey's a mouse, Donald's a duck, Pluto's a dog. What's Goofy?
Vern: If I could only have one food for the rest of my life? That's easy-Pez. Cherry-flavored Pez. No question about it.
Teddy: Goofy's a dog. He's definitely a dog.
Gordie: I knew the $64,000 question was fixed. There's no way anybody could know that much about opera!
Chris: He can't be a dog. He drives a car and wears a hat.
Gordie: Wagon Train's a really cool show, but did you notice they never get anywhere? They just keep wagon training.
Vern: Oh, God. That's weird. What the hell is Goofy?”
― Stephen King, “The Body” (1981) – also the movie “Stand By Me” (1986)

In the Great Scheme of Things the historically significant event of the past week will by the flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft – not the shootings in Chattanooga, Bill Cosby’s depredations, Donald Trump’s standing in the polls, Students Matter’s latest lawsuit or the food service scandal in LAUSD.

Pluto, Wikipedia tells us, is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt - the first Kuiper belt object to be discovered. It is the largest and second-most-massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object directly orbiting the Sun. It is the largest known trans-Neptunian object by volume but is less massive than Eris, a dwarf planet in the scattered disc. Like other Kuiper belt objects, Pluto is primarily made of ice and rock and is relatively small—about one-sixth the mass of the Moon and one-third its volume.

In ancient mythology Pluto is the Roman god of the Underworld; in modern mythology he is the dog of a mouse. He is the cat in a Poe story. HMS Pluto is a number of ships of the Royal Navy, a U.S. nuclear powered cruise missile, any number of rock bands and rock songs.

Pluto is the ruling planet of the astrological sign Scorpio (Katy Perry, Caitlin Jenner, Bill Gates, Leon Trotsky – and Hillary Clinton, John Boehner, Scott Walker and Joe Biden.)

Pluto, whether a planet or not, is part of a binary system with its largest moon Charon – the only one in the solar system. Pluto’s other moons orbit the pair.

In Greek mythology Charon is ferryman of Hades:
"Whatever you do
Don't pay the ferryman
Don't even fix a price
Don't pay the ferryman
Until he gets you to the other side"
- Chris De Burgh

It’s all very kozmik with a “K”.

I spent much of the week in Sacramento, at the mercy of airport, lobby and hotel room television – subject to CNN, Fox and MSNBC and their “one-story/all-the-time” coverage of the Chattanooga shootings: The same video clips repeated ad-infinitum, the same stills, the same breathless “What does it all mean?” speculation pretending at coverage; talking head pundits masquerading as commentary, repetition portending to be depth. The shooter was a Muslim, it was Eid al-Fitr, he either had or didn’t have Facebook or Twitter accounts: Those Facts (if they are facts) Must Prove Some Premise.

The good news is all this kept Donald Trump off the airwaves for a couple of news cycles; the bad news is that it kept the Pluto news out of the spin cycle …but the connection is slow and it takes five-and-a-half-hours to get here. And The Donald is back.

4LAKIDS NOTES THAT THE SOUTHWEST VOTER REGISTRATION EDUCATION PROJECT announced the winner of their $25,000 ¡Voteria! prize immediately after we noted they hadn’t. The announcement came complete with a convenient “lost in the voicemail” excuse about why it took so long.

AT ONE LEVEL LAUSD’S BREAKFAST IN THE CLASSROOM/FOOD SERVICE SCANDAL [] isn’t quite so easy to figure out. There are a lot of moving parts, school district food service finance is complicated - and there certainly were mistakes, honest+dishonest, made. And at another level the wrongdoing is easy to see – and can be appropriately ascribed to the urgency+hubris of the previous superintendent: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Indicted.

He wanted Breakfast in the Classroom. He knew rich Hollywood types who fronted the money through the non-profit he ran, patterned after the appropriately/ironically named Robin Hood Fund in New York City: The Fund for L.A. Education. BIC is a program 100% reimbursed after-the-fact by the federal government. Once the federal dollars came in the food services account paid the Fund back.

In Hollywood this is called leveraging other people’s money and is accepted standard business practice.
In Federal Contracting+Procurement this is called fraud and misuse of public funds.

Picky picky picky.

The schools, the ®eformers tell us, should be run more like Business. But 501(c)(3) non-profits are not piggy-banks, cash-cows, slush-funds or petty-cash boxes for anyone to do anything they want with …no matter how good the idea seems at the time.

Irving Berlin tells us there is no business like show business:
“There's no people like show people,
they smile when they are low.
Angels come from everywhere with lots of jack,
and when you lose it, there's no attack.
Where could you get money that you don't give back?
Let's go on with the show!”

Donald Trump tells us he will build a wall to keep the Mexicans out – and make the Mexican government pay for it.

And Chapo Guzmán?

Townes Van Zandt tells us:
“A few grey Federales say
They could’ve had him any day.
They only let him slip away
Out of kindness, I suppose.”

(By the way Donald, ‘El Chapo’ is an American citizen – he was born in La Luna, Texas.)

Seat backs and tray tables up, wheels down.

And so it was/Y así fue

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf

By Teresa Watanabe | LA Times |

15July2105 :: The Los Angeles school district’s massive food services program is riddled with mismanagement, inappropriate spending and ethical breaches, according to an internal audit released Wednesday.

The 33-page audit by the district’s Office of the Inspector General reviewed L.A. Unified’s revamped food procurement system, which was introduced five years ago to supply the nation's second-largest school food operation. Eight major vendors were awarded $750 million in food contracts spread over five years.

Under the new system, auditors found increased food prices, bloated inventories, incompatible computer systems to order food, a “haphazard” menu development process and insufficient controls over spending. The audit also found increased meal participation and greater innovation and flexibility.

L.A. Unified Supt. Ramon Cortines said district officials have already moved to tighten fiscal controls and spending oversight.

“The district takes these findings very seriously,” he said in a statement with Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, head of the educational services office.

Cortines said he was particularly concerned about the lax oversight of a school meal marketing program funded by food vendors. The program was created in 2010 by Dennis Barrett, the former food services director who now works for the New York City Department of Education.

To win the contracts under the new system, vendors agreed to contribute more than $1.5 million to promote the district’s healthful food initiatives and educate students about nutrition.

The marketing efforts helped draw national attention to the district’s cutting-edge efforts to shift to healthier school food with lower fat, sodium and sugar — including praise from First Lady Michelle Obama.

But the audit raised questions about some of the vendor payments: $117,500 to philanthropist Meg Chernin’s Los Angeles Fund for Public Education, $65,000 to place Los Angeles Dodgers photos on school milk cartons, $6,800 for employee travel and conferences, and $581,000 to two Los Angeles public relations firms, RL Public Relations and Tatum Wan Co., among others.

The district axed the marketing program this year. Officials have also strengthened its supervision of food services staff members, improved oversight of purchasing and new menu additions and returned to competitive bidding, among other changes, the Cortines statement said.

Board of Education President Steve Zimmer said he would withhold comment until the board could meet to review the findings.

Fallout over the program has ensnared David Binkle, the district’s nationally known food services director, who has been removed from his post and ordered to stay home. Auditors found potential ethical breaches involving a private consulting firm he runs and a failure to report vendor-paid travel to food conferences.

Binkle has denied any wrongdoing and said all travel and marketing activities were legal, specified in the vendor contract proposals and approved by his superiors.

He declined to comment Tuesday until he could review the audit.

Binkle, a professional chef who joined the district in January 2008, helped adopt cutting-edge menus lower in sodium and fat, introduced breakfast and supper programs, increased meals served by 76,000 daily and promoted directives from the federal government and L.A. Unified Board of Education for healthier food.

In an earlier interview, George Silva, L.A. Unified’s procurement chief, said the district would no longer ask vendors to directly contribute money to promote school food. Instead, they would be asked to provide opportunities for student class projects on the food industry, field trips, workplace tours, online exchanges and other activities combining academic study with occupational training through the district’s “work-based learning partnership” program.

The vendors included Tyson Foods Inc., Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, Goldstar Foods, Five Star Gourmet Foods, Driftwood Dairy and Don Lee Farms. The district is reviewing bids for a new set of contracts to replace those that expired this year.

L.A. Unified's $354-million food program serves 716,000 meals daily to 615,000 students at 1,200 locations.

By Larry Kaplan | Nonprofit Quarterly |

July 15, 2015 :: A prestigious nonprofit support group affiliated with the nation’s second-largest school district, with a high-profile staff and blue-ribbon board of directors, found itself in the middle of a scandal over waste in Los Angeles Unified School District’s food program.

An audit of L.A. Unified’s food services program, released by the district’s inspector general, reveals “swanky hotel stays, cozy relationships with contractors and millions of dollars in waste,” according to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News.

The audit singles out the food services director, who has been collecting an annual salary of $152,000 while on paid leave for more than five months. David Binkle established a reputation as a promoter of healthy eating, appearing at the White House with first lady Michelle Obama.

According to the audit, the $341 million-a-year program had problems that can be traced back to the district’s decision to let food services forgo standard contracting practices in 2011, on the belief that administrative costs would be lowered. That gave Binkle almost complete control over millions of dollars in contracts, and the paper reports that he used that power to give preference to contractors who showered him with perks.

Those perks were not reported on forms mandated by state law. In addition, Binkle failed to disclose his food consulting company, which made more than $950,000 per year, according to the audit.

Money was spent from the district’s marketing fund to pay key executives at the nonprofit L.A. Fund for Public Education $117,500 to promote the district’s controversial breakfast program, which it features prominently on its website. The Fund is a blue-chip support group for L.A. Unified, whose board includes the mayor, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times and a number of entertainment industry bigwigs. The group says on its website that it “builds innovative partnerships to create solutions that will improve the educational, health and wellness outcomes for students in Los Angeles.”

Binkle denied authorizing the payment, claiming that the nonprofit was authorized to spend tax dollars without his permission. The Fund denied that, and said it had no direct involvement with the program because the individual executives worked directly for the district.

The audit also revealed that the district overpaid for meals provided by one favored contractor, which paid for airfare and hotel costs for district employees to attend a food conference, a violation of the district’s ethics policy.

The Daily News reports that LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines says he has taken steps to prevent future ethical breaches and mismanagement. The audit also says that the food services department’s operating deficit more than tripled between 2010 and 2013, even though the district served 900,000 fewer meals, meaning that the cost of food increased 41 percent.

Some of that is due to buying the healthier food Binkle and the L.A. Fund promoted, but the inspector general said that the bulk of the increase was due to lax contracting practices, ordering too much food, duplicating orders and carrying excessive inventory. At the same time, the paper reports that about one-fifth of food served was wasted, even though food offered free by the USDA wasn’t ordered on time.—Larry Kaplan


By Thomas Himes, Los Angeles Daily News |

Posted: 07/15/15 :: Swanky hotel stays, cozy relationships with contractors and millions of dollars in waste were uncovered by an audit of Los Angeles Unified’s food services program, which was released by the district’s inspector general on Wednesday.

At the center of the audit is Los Angeles Unified Food Services Director David Binkle, who has been collecting an annual salary of $152,000 while on paid leave for more than five months.

A champion of health eating, Binkle has appeared at the White House alongside first lady Michelle Obama and starred in Tedx Talks.

But according to the audit, the $341 million a year program under his direction was anything but healthy. Problems can be traced back to the district’s 2011 decision to let food services forgo standard contracting practices with the expectation that administrative costs would be lowered.

The decisions to forgo standard practices left Binkle with near complete control over millions of dollars in contracts. He used that power to grant price increases, change orders and modify menus for contractors who paid for him to stay at a swanky hotel in Beverly Hills and, at his request, covered the cost of airfare and lodging for a conference, according to the audit.

Those costs went unreported by Binkle on forms that are mandated by state law. Binkle also failed to disclose his food consulting company, which he formed after starting work for the district in 2007. His company made more than $950,000 per year, according to the audit.

The audit said the company Gold Star Foods covered Binkle’s costs for a night at the Hotel Palomar in Beverly Hills. The money was later reimbursed through the district’s marketing fund, a $1.6 million fund with little oversight or documentation to show why money was spent.

Gold Star Foods was given a 15.5 percent cut of every dinner served by the district for no apparent reason, according to the audit.

The district could have bought meals at a 15.5 percent savings directly from FiveStar Gourmet Food, but after a discussion between Binkle and Gold Star Foods representatives, it was decided the district would pay 23 cents more for each dinner, raising the price of every meal from $1.20 to $1.48.

The district spent $12.1 million on serving dinner in 2013, according to the audit.

FiveStar Gourmet, meanwhile, shelled out $8,831 in airfare and hotel costs for two employees to attend a food conference. The payment was made at Binkle’s request and in violation of the district’s ethic’s policy, according to the audit.

The inspector general couldn’t figure out why other money was spent from the marketing fund. For instance, staff members of the nonprofit, The LA Fund, collected $117,500 to promote the district’s controversial breakfast program.

Binkle denied authorizing the payment, claiming The LA Fund was able to sign off on the spending of tax dollars. The LA Fund denied the claim, saying it had no involvement with the program and thought individual employees were contracted by the district.

In another instance, a company volunteered to print Dodgers players on milk cartons free of charge but later collected $65,000 for it. Binkle said he thought it was free of charge and the audit doesn’t state who agreed to the payment.

In written statement, Superintendent Ramon Cortines said steps have already been taken to prevent future ethical breaches and mismanagement.

“The district takes these findings very seriously,” Cortines said. “We have alerted the Board of Education of these reforms, and will continue to provide updates.”

The audit also describes massive waste, as the food services department operating deficit more than tripled over three years leading up to the $78.6 million shortfall in 2013.

But even as the budget ballooned to $341 million, the district served nearly 900,000 fewer meals in 2013 compared with the 2010 fiscal year.

The increased budget reflects a 41 percent increase in the cost of food bought by the district. While the rising cost can partially be attributed to buying healthier food, the lax contracting practices led to a lack of competition and likely higher prices, according to the audit.

District officials also ordered too much food, duplicating identical orders and carrying inventories that were more than three times the recommended value of $3 million. Part of the problem was contracts that guaranteed a minimum purchase, according to the audit.

Meanwhile, up to 21 percent of food served went to waste, with an average of more than 9 percent over a three-week observation period, according to the audit.

While food the district was buying went to waste, vegetables, canned goods and other food offered free by the USDA weren’t ordered on time, compounding the cost of meals and waste, according to the audit.

Inspector General’s report on the review of the Food Services Division's Categorical Partnering Food Program


By Howard Blume | Los Angeles Times |

19July2015 :: The No Child Left Behind law had an ambitious goal to reform America's public schools 16 years ago: Every student, everywhere, would be academically successful by 2014.

That hasn't happened, and the vast majority of schools that receive federal funds are now labeled as failures under the law.

"The current federal system has basically become meaningless in drawing a distinction between schools that are performing well and schools that are not," said Keric Ashley, deputy superintendent for the California Department of Education.

That could change. Both houses of Congress have approved sweeping education bills, but the effort could fall short of becoming law because of political and policy hurdles.
The current federal system has basically become meaningless in drawing a distinction between schools that are performing well and schools that are not. - Keric Ashley, deputy superintendent for the California Department of Education

The Senate's Every Child Achieves Act, approved last week, as well as legislation passed by the House of Representatives, would return to the states broad authority over how to deal with low-performing schools.

At the same time, the bills maintain requirements for annual standardized testing in math and English in most grades, while also ordering states to report detailed data about student achievement.

But there are important distinctions between the House and Senate measures that ultimately could doom the effort.

The fundamental differences concern the amount of federal funding and the rules for using these dollars. The House bill, called the Student Success Act, caps education spending and allows states more freedom to reduce their own spending on schools without facing federal penalties. It also gives more freedom to states regarding which students will benefit from federal aid.
Just as crucially, the House bill would make it easier for federal money to follow low-income students who qualify for aid, regardless of what public school they attend. This approach has many supporters, but would fundamentally alter the purpose and distribution of federal funds, experts said.

That's because current federal policy concentrates this aid, called Title 1, in schools with the highest percentages of low-income students. In L.A., for example, a school in which 20% of students come from low-income families would not receive Title 1 funding under today's rules, leaving more funding available for a campus that is 80% low income. The House bill would eliminate that.

A GOP-driven federal education bill could cut $782 million for LAUSD low-income schools over the next six years.

The House bill would represent a "turning away from the historic commitment of federal dollars to poor kids," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

The House passed its bill largely along party lines, with Republicans closing ranks to provide a narrow majority.

Like the House, the Senate is in the hands of Republicans, but the bill from that chamber attracted bipartisan support, as noted by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the education committee.
"The Senate's shown that not only is there broad consensus on the need to fix this law — remarkably, there's also broad consensus on how to fix it," Alexander said in a joint release with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). "This is the consensus: Continue the law's important measurements of students' academic progress but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about the results of those tests."

The legislation now goes to a conference committee, where lawmakers will work to reach common ground.

The Obama administration has signaled that the president could sign the Senate bill, but still wants revisions. Most importantly, the administration is calling for rules that compel states to act when low-performing schools fail to improve, said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

"This bill still falls short of truly giving every child a fair shot at success by failing to ensure that parents and children can count on local leaders to take action when students are struggling to learn," Duncan said in a statement. "We cannot tolerate continued indifference to the lowest performing schools."

Steps to please the administration would likely erode Senate support. At the same time, any revision of the House bill would mean having to exchange some Republican yes votes for Democratic ones.

In recent years, with Congress in partisan gridlock, Duncan has stepped in to promote favored policies with the lure of grants and exemptions from some rules and penalties.

Through this method, the administration has pushed states to adopt new learning goals, called the Common Core, and to adopt teacher evaluation systems that rely on student standardized test scores as one measure of effectiveness.

These efforts led to sweeping change across the country as well as backlash against the learning standards and against the amount and use of testing that was first required by the No Child Left Behind Act, a bipartisan bill signed by President George W. Bush.

Both current bills make it clear that states can establish their own learning goals. And there's no mandate for teacher evaluations — the challenge of developing fair performance reviews has sparked disputes across the political spectrum.

"It's helpful to put some of these issues behind us," said Mike Petrilli, a policy expert who has supported key Duncan policies.

"The aggressive federal role at this point is hurting more than helping the reform movement, causing a backlash from the left and the right," said Petrilli, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Fordham Institute.

Petrilli and Weingarten are among those with strong disagreements on education policy — and among those who are currently hopeful.

Said Weingarten: "This is the first time that we are close to getting it right."

from the AALA Weekly Update for Week of July 20, 2015 |

15July2015 :: Just when we thought there could possibly be a light at the end of the dark and winding MiSiS road, the LAUSD community now faces another hurdlefaulty transcripts. Superintendent Cortines confirmed that there have been reporting issues with graduation requirements for students in the Class of 2015 resulting in potential errors on as many as 7,500 transcripts. For some reason, several transcripts show that students had met graduation requirements when they didn’t and vice versa for other students. In other cases, summer school grades just disappeared from the system, affecting credits earned and matriculation to the next grade level. While it was announced that these most recent problems have been resolved, those in the field claim there are still inaccuracies. Several additional steps for school site and local district office staff have been put in place, most of them entailing checks and balances to ensure the accuracy of the information in MiSiS.

The issue with transcripts is not new.

The same problems were occurring last October as seniors were preparing their college admissions applications. The District at that time hired retired educators to come in and verify by hand that the transcripts were correct and students were asked to compare their new transcripts with their old report cards. Several more millions of dollars were allocated to fix the problem then, so it is unsettling to see that the same thing is reoccurring now.

Superintendent Cortines had hoped that the system would be operating correctly by now, but recently admitted that it may take all of 2015-16 to get it fully functional. Last week, the MiSiS log of unresolved problems still exceeded 350. School staff members report that as soon as one problem is resolved another pops up. And now as we are less than a month away from the start of the new school year, administrators, counselors and teachers are holding their breaths that students will have accurate class schedules, that attendance reporting will be correct and enrollment counts can be taken.

By Howard Blume | Los Angeles Times |

15 July 2015 :: An education advocacy group sued 13 California school districts Thursday, claiming that they have ignored a state law requiring teachers’ performance evaluations to include student standardized test scores.

The lawsuit targets the largest school systems in the state that have barred such use of test results through collective-bargaining agreements with teachers unions. These contract provisions are illegal under state law, according to the complaint, which was filed in Contra Costa County.

The litigation represents the latest effort by Students Matter, a Los Angeles-based group that has turned to California courts to make changes in education law that were otherwise blocked at the state and local levels. The organization was founded by tech entrepreneur David F. Welch to build on other attempts to limit teacher job protections and hold them more accountable for student achievement.

Many states and school systems are using scores in instructors’ performance reviews in part because the Obama administration has offered them incentives, including grants and exemptions from some federal rules and penalties. The practice is among those favored by such influential organizations as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and typically opposed by teacher unions.

Students Matter scored a victory last year when a Superior Court judge in Los Angeles ruled that several teacher job protections were unconstitutional. That case, Vergara vs. California, was watched nationally and spawned similar litigation in New York. The California ruling is on hold pending appeals.

If that decision is upheld, teachers would lose the right to earn tenure, and layoffs would no longer be based on seniority. The process for firing instructors also would be streamlined. The Legislature could pass laws restoring some of these job protections in another form, but they would have to survive court scrutiny.

The goal of the new litigation is to compel change across California. The 13 districts serve about 250,000 students of more than 6 million in the state.

“School districts are not going to get away with bargaining away their ability to use test scores to evaluate teachers,” said attorney Joshua S. Lipshutz, who is working on behalf of Students Matter. “That’s a direct violation of state law.”

The plaintiffs are six California residents, including some parents and teachers, three of whom are participating anonymously.

The suit doesn’t ask the courts to determine how much weight test scores should be given in a performance review, Lipshutz said. He cited research, however, suggesting that test scores should account for 30% to 40% of an evaluation.

A union leader called the effort misguided.

“There’s growing evidence, a ton of research, that shows the kind of evaluation system they would like to see happen is a disaster for public education,” said Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers.

Over-reliance on test scores creates negative incentives that he said contributed to the exam cheating scandal in Atlanta and to “narrowing the curriculum” to material appearing on tests.

“It distorts what happens in the classroom for students and educators,” he said.

The case, Doe vs. Antioch, follows earlier litigation involving the Los Angeles Unified School District. In 2012, an L.A. Superior Court judge ruled that the school system had to include student test scores in teacher evaluations. But the judge also allowed wide latitude for negotiation between the union and the district.

That decision was based on the 1971 Stull Act, which set rules for teacher evaluations. Many districts had for decades failed to comply with it, experts say.

Advocates initially went after L.A. Unified because it is the largest school system in California. Under a court-imposed deadline, the union and district signed a pact that incorporated the use of test scores; but, later, disagreements arose. The two sides are currently in negotiations over a revised evaluation.

“All the evidence points to the fact that a majority are not” complying with the law, said Bill Lucia, president of Edvoice, the Sacramento-based organization behind the previous Stull Act lawsuit.

The districts being sued are: Antioch Unified, Chaffey Joint Union, Chino Valley Unified, El Monte City, Fairfield-Suisun Unified, Fremont Union, Inglewood Unified, Ontario-Montclair, Pittsburg Unified, Saddleback Valley Unified, San Ramon Valley Unified, Upland Unified and Victor Elementary.

Those districts approved labor deals that don’t allow the consideration of student achievement in evaluations, according to the complaint, which contains excerpts from collective-bargaining agreements.

The contract for the Fremont district, for example, states that standardized tests “shall not be used in the performance evaluation of a unit member, unless by agreement.”

Pechthalt defended these pacts.

“These are districts where management and teachers have developed an evaluation system that works for them,” he said. “The Stull Act doesn’t prescribe in detail how an evaluation system should happen. There is some leeway.”

The issue has percolated in the state Legislature, which considered four bills this year affecting teacher performance reviews. The most contentious ones have been pushed into next year.

The California Department of Education was not named in the suit, but could become involved because Inglewood Unified is currently under state control as a condition of a financial bailout.

A spokeswoman said the department had not reviewed the suit and could not comment.

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


Calif. lawsuit says schools are breaking law in teacher evaluations | Associated Press |



Chicago Public Schools' budgets spend $500 million district doesn't have |


RECESS IS OVER, SCHOOL BOARD - Advice for LAUSD Board: less kumbaya, more work – starting now …not in September!

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
Nothing scheduled.

*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, county supervisor, state legislator, 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 at

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

Scott Folsom is a parent leader in LAUSD and was Parent/Volunteer of the Year for 2010-11 for Los Angeles County. • He is Past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and has represented PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee for over 12 years. He is Vice President for Health, Legislation Action Committee member and a member of the Board of Directors 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 "WHO" Gold Award and the ACSA Regional Ferd Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award - honors 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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