Sunday, November 12, 2006

Lest we forget | A hat in the ring

4LAKids: Sunday, Nov 12, 2006
Veteran's Day Weekend
In This Issue:
NEW BATTLE LOOMS OVER L.A. SCHOOLS: The board election may pit the mayor against the teachers union.
TAG, YOU'RE OUT!: Schools try to discourage the game, but it endures — for good reason.
Highlights, Lowlights & The News That Doesn't Fit: BUILDING FUELS SCHOOL HIRING + BILL COSBY ON TEACHERS
EVENTS: Coming up next week...
What can YOU do?

Featured Links:
READING TO KIDS: Read to some kids the second Saturday morning each month. Make a difference. Change some lives (including your own!).
The Blueprint for Effective School Reform: MAKING SCHOOLS WORK — Get the Book @!
4LAKidsNews: a compendium of recent items of interest - news stories, scurrilous rumors, links, academic papers, rants and amusing anecdotes, etc.
November eleventh, Veterans Day in the United States, honors all veterans of the United States armed forces.

LEST WE FORGET (…the slogan usually attached to the buttonhole poppies traditionally worn on the day) the Eleventh of November is an international holiday. In the British Commonwealth and Canada it is "Remembrance Day", elsewhere it is "Armistice day" – celebrating that day – on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 – when the guns fell silent and World War I – "The War to End All Wars" ended. When troops emerged from the trenches and met in peace the "no man's lands" of Belgium, Holland and France.

An Act of Congress made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday: "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day"; a later amendment in 1954 changed the name to "Veteran's Day" – but the dedication-to and promise-of world peace remains.

►Readers of these pages have probably by now figured somewhat who I am and where I stand. I may be overgenerous with my opinions – some may be welcome, others an anathema. I don't expect everyone to agree with me all the time; I don't really expect everyone to even read what I have to say most of the time.

(If ever there was a cue to skip to the next article …that was it!)

Much of what I say and do and advocate for:
• Responsible, honest and ethical operation and governance of this school district – OUR school district.
• Enlightened policy and adequate funding (and a dogged semantic distain for adequacy in favor of excellence).
• Establishing clear expectations and setting achievable goals …and then achieving them.
• Accountability, Responsibility, Transparency and Communication.
• Listening-to and considering other people's opinions.
• and always weighing every decision against What Is Best for Kids

…I try to model and act upon in my role as a parent leader and in my various roles within and without the school district.

I don't have all the answers; I don't even pretend to know what most of the questions are.

I have a hat that I bought at Disneyland; it doesn't have ears – it simply says "Grumpy" on the front. It reminds me that criticism for criticism's sake is never enough – to keep my critical thinking positive and solution oriented. It also reminds me that I am unsatisfied with the status quo (as we all must be) — that "good enough" never is — and that there are miles to go before any of us can sleep.

I have this weekend tossed that grumpy hat into the ring and declared my candidacy for School Board – for District Five in Northeast and Southeast Los Angeles and the Cities of the Southeast – the seat currently held by David Tokofsky. I hope to bring some honest debate and some positive thinking to the campaign; I hope to bring an actual parent's voice and experience to the discussion and ultimately to the Board of Education.

I have shared my thinking with you over the past few years and I hope you will continue to share your thinking – and the other candidates in all the races will do the same. And that all the stakeholders in all the districts of the District – parents, teachers, administrators, government officials, community members and please, please, please: Students — will share their thoughts. Education is about thinking above all. Thinking critically, well and thoughtfully

Leaving No Child Behind is neither utopian rhetoric nor a reasonable goal; it is defeatist nonsense. We must bring every child as far forward as we and he or she can possibly go – we must fix our and their sights beyond the horizon.

Onward. —smf

Candidate List: City Council/School Board/Community College Board

NEW BATTLE LOOMS OVER L.A. SCHOOLS: The board election may pit the mayor against the teachers union.

By Howard Blume, LA Times Staff Writer

November 12, 2006 - The real battle for control of the Los Angeles schools began Saturday — almost unnoticed — as the one-week filing period closed for candidates to enter next year's school board elections. And the biggest news isn't who signed up, but a possible rift between two powerhouse allies that could affect the path of future reforms.

If Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the teachers union — steadfast fellow travelers for years — endorsed all the same candidates, their slate would be seemingly unbeatable. But that appears unlikely.

Such a parting of the ways could mean political survival for the three incumbents seeking reelection.

And the mayor could once again be frustrated in his efforts to exert controlling authority over the Los Angeles Unified School District.

It wasn't supposed to play out this way.

For one thing, United Teachers Los Angeles helped compose the law giving L.A.'s mayor substantial authority over the schools. And UTLA's support proved instrumental in getting the legislation passed this summer.

But that was then.

Now the union leadership and the mayor have different priorities.

First and foremost, the mayor wants a school board that will support the letter and spirit of the law, Assembly Bill 1381. Four of seven board seats are up for grabs in March. The mayor is expected to oppose all three incumbents, in no small measure because they opposed the bill and support litigation to overturn it.

Villaraigosa has frequently accused board members of impeding reform. His legislation not only weakens their authority but strips them of their individual staffs.

"The goal is to have a school board that supports reform and the implementation of AB 1381," said Nathan James, spokesman for the mayor's school reform committee, to whom Villaraigosa referred all questions. The legislation takes effect Jan. 1, pending the legal challenge.

The union is more focused on getting a sizable pay increase for teachers; their contract expired July 1. UTLA also wants to elect a more "teacher-friendly" board majority and win a significant role for teachers in running schools. In addition, the leadership hopes for a board that will publicly reject major components of No Child Left Behind, President Bush's education reform act.

"This school board election should not be a referendum on AB 1381," said union Vice President Joshua Pechthalt. "People of goodwill could have had — and still could have — differences of opinion. I don't see that as a line in the sand for support."


The most obvious divergence could be in District 3, which stretches across the west and south San Fernando Valley and is represented by Jon Lauritzen.

Potentially strong challengers include city prosecutor Tamar Galatzan, who has close ties to the city's business community, and Bea O. Stotzer, a property manager instrumental in helping develop a project that includes a charter school and affordable housing. Both have potential funding sources beyond the mayor and UTLA.

The union has long and tight relations with one-term incumbent Lauritzen, who has consistently sided with UTLA.

"Jon's been a strong supporter of ours," Pechthalt said. "If UTLA does support Jon, I hope that the mayor sees that, in spite of Jon's opposition to AB 1381, he's a good guy."

It was Lauritzen who pushed hardest — and successfully — to reverse this fall's involuntary transfer from Crenshaw High of teacher and local union leader Alex Caputo-Pearl. Union officials cite the incident as crucially relevant.

There are starkly contrasting interpretations of the matter. One is that the restoration of a popular and well-meaning activist is nothing less than justice triumphant over a school bureaucracy that disdains genuine community involvement. The alternative reading is that management was right in the first instance to move a disruptive teacher from a troubled school but gave in to a school-board majority unwilling or afraid to stand up to the union.

District 1 board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who represents the Crenshaw area, sided with management regarding Caputo-Pearl, and that's one reason the union leadership became disenchanted after having endorsed her in 2003.

The mayor's office is at least as cool toward her, especially after LaMotte, who is African American, suggested that Villaraigosa's efforts were more about raiding the school district budget than improving schools. And she compared his plan to oversee a group of schools to the infamous Tuskegee experiments, in which doctors studied the effects of syphilis on black patients rather than curing them.

What's less clear is whether UTLA and the mayor can agree on an alternative to LaMotte. One challenger, Johnathan Williams, could prove less dependent on either. Co-founder of the Accelerated Charter School in South Los Angeles, he is a favorite son among the wealthy backers of the charter school movement.

There's also uncertainty over the union's direction on three-term incumbent David Tokofsky, who has missed no opportunity to criticize the mayor's intervention plan. Tokofsky, a former history teacher, represents District 5, whose boundaries cut a tortured path from Eagle Rock to South Gate.

The union leadership considers Tokofsky a sometime friend who is too close to the district's central administration.

Tokofsky insists he's been good for teachers. In past runs, he's won UTLA's endorsement — based on the vote of the union's House of Representatives — every time, even when top union leaders have opposed him. In other words, even if the union leadership sided with the mayor against Tokofsky, it's far from given that the members would go along.


That point was underscored last month when union members bucked their officers by voting to withdraw official support for the Villaraigosa schools law. The referendum put UTLA in an awkward position: Namely, is it "pro-union" for a candidate to be for or against the law?

Candidates who have received scrutiny from the mayor's office for possible endorsement include Luis Sanchez, whose nonprofit organization has organized Eastside students and parents around education issues, and Yolie Flores Aguilar, chief executive of the L.A. County Children's Planning Council. She lost a close board race against Tokofsky in 1999. Another notable entrant is Scott Folsom, president of a major district parents group and a board member of the committee that oversees school construction.

District 7, which runs from Watts to the harbor, has no incumbent, with the retirement of Mike Lansing. But once again, reaching common ground with the mayor could be difficult for UTLA. Union leaders have already identified three candidates they could favor: Jesus M. Escandon, a former UTLA chapter chairman who works for the California Teachers Assn.; Neal B. Kleiner, a former L.A. Unified principal; and former West Covina Unified School District Supt. Richard A. Vladovic, who also had a long career at L.A. Unified.

All of them want support from anywhere they can get it. But Kleiner's pitch, for example, seems more aimed at teachers, while Vladovic and Escandon are careful to choose words unlikely to offend Villaraigosa.

Two other candidates have government experience: former Los Angeles Public Works Commissioner Woody Fleming and Gardena Councilwoman Rachel C. Johnson.

This potential divide between the mayor and the union has roots in the alliance that brought them together through the mayor's school legislation in the first place. The mayor originally sought full authority over the school system, and key Villaraigosa allies backed his bid precisely because they wanted to limit union influence over the school board. In the final version of the law, Villaraigosa settled for power sharing to avoid the risk of getting nothing.

For its part, UTLA settled for power sharing to stave off a later bid for full mayoral control. Union leaders also note that the law has language supporting teachers as partners in sharing the power.

UTLA's Pechthalt still sees potential for common cause with the mayor's team. "In the best of all worlds they'd support the candidates we support," he said.

One way or another, Villaraigosa will be following in the footsteps of former Mayor Richard Riordan, who used his bully pulpit to raise money for his own "reform" candidates but had mixed success in getting them elected. In some races, he and the union endorsed the same person, although that period is remembered more for its battles between Riordan and UTLA.

Riordan said in an interview that all parties ought to put ideological and political alliances aside as much as possible.

"You have to get the best and brightest candidates," he said. "People who will be their own bosses."




Austin Dragon
Age: 37
Profession: businessman*
Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte
Age: 73
School board member
Johnathan Williams
Age: 39
Profession: Co-director,

Accelerated Charter School
Gloria Zuurveen
Age: 48
Profession: publisher of
community newspaper


Debra L. Clark
Age: 53
Profession: runs nonprofit for special-needs families
Tamar Galatzan
Age: 37
Profession: city prosecutor
Jon Lauritzen
Age: 68
School board member
William Charles McMahon
Age: not available
Profession: engineer/educator*
Louis Pugliese
Age: 56
Profession: college instructor
Bea O. Stotzer
Age: 56
Profession: Chief executive, property management firm


Yolie Flores Aguilar
Age: 43
Profession: Chief executive, county Children's Planning Council
Edward Bañuelos
Age: 26
Profession: field services representative*
Scott Folsom
Age: 59
Profession: president, parents association
Luis Sanchez
Age: 32
Profession: runs education/housing nonprofit
David Tokofsky
Age: 46
School board member

Jesus M. Escandon
Age: 38
Profession: field representative, California Teachers Assn.
Woody Fleming
Age: 60
Profession: street services coordinator
Rachel C. Johnson
Age: 46
Gardena councilwoman
Neal B. Kleiner
Age: 60
Profession: Retired principal
Richard A. Vladovic
Age: 61
Profession: retired superintendent
Joey Mandingo White
Age: 30
Profession: loan consultant

*As listed in city filings
Source: City of Los Angeles filings; Times reporting.


by Naush Boghossian, Staff Writer, LA Daily News

November 10 - Los Angeles Unified offered its teachers a 3 percent raise on Thursday - a proposal that was immediately rejected by the union president, who has promised to strike unless demands for a 9 percent pay hike are met.

In addition to the 3 percent raise, retroactive to July 1, the district's offer includes fully funded health benefits through 2007 and $10 million to reduce class size in grades 4-12.

"We believe the offer we have put on the table is extremely generous," said Kevin Reed, the district's chief legal counsel. "We have put an offer on the table that makes a commitment by the district to ensure that all of the additional revenues that the district got from the state this year are being offered to our teachers as compensation."

But A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said the union's 47,000 members - who earn an average annual salary of $56,652 - deserve a larger raise to compensate them for improved student achievement.

"Three percent is unacceptable and it's an insult to our teachers," he said. "The district can't have it both ways. They can't say, `This is a district on the move,' because the almighty test scores are going up and then cheat the teachers who make those test scores go up."

Duffy said he is organizing the teachers behind demands for more money, smaller classes, less bureaucracy and greater local control of schools, and is prepared to strike if the district doesn't yield.

But Los Angeles Unified School District officials maintain there isn't enough money for a 9 percent pay raise, particularly after negotiators agreed to fully fund health benefits, costing an additional $60 million.

According to Reed, teachers' salaries and benefits account for roughly half of the district's $5.7 billion general fund. A 9 percent pay raise for teachers would equate to about $360 million - close to the $400 million spent on 6,400 administrative positions.

"For Duffy to claim we can cut the bureaucracy to make this pay raise is out of touch with reality," Reed said. "He knows we have a leaner administrative structure than our big-city school district peers. We do not have a fat bureaucracy."

Duffy said the union would demand that the LAUSD dismantle its eight administrative mini-districts and use the money for raises and class-size reduction.

UTLA has hired its former president, Wayne Johnson, to organize teachers and work as a negotiations consultant. Johnson orchestrated the 1989 teachers strike, which resulted in a three-year, 24 percent contract.

The teachers union is already scheduling events in advance of a strike authorization vote in February.

by Dana Bartholomew, Staff Writer, LA Daily News

Nov. 6 - NORTH HOLLYWOOD - The mission was as precise as an Apollo shot to the moon, only with far less thrust.

Students in the nation's only Advanced Placement physics course for middle schools had to calculate how far they would fire a marble across their classroom - without trial or error.

"This is very sophisticated," declared teacher Daren Kitajima, 37, briefing the brains of his class at Walter Reed Middle School. "You can launch with various velocities.

"But you only get one shot."

When he took over the class two years ago, the teacher had one shot to win over the minds of some of the smartest students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Since then, his eighth-graders have scored higher on AP physics tests than many high school seniors across the nation.

From the mechanics of motion to nuclear energy, students study principles that would flummox some college grads.

Some credit Kitajima's love for math and science. Some credit his playful pedagogy. Others bow to his gift for showing how rote science formulas translate into screaming roller-coaster rides at Magic Mountain.

For students, it's all about "Ninja Power," a term Kitajima wipes from the whiteboard while sketching the mechanics of marble flight.

"He can appropriately be described as a Ninja," said Min-jae Kim, 13, of Los Angeles, one of 22 students in this year's class. "He throws intellectual stars.

"It's killing us."

In challenging the most gifted students, Kitajima has picked up the torch from William Fitz-Gibbon, the stentorian founder of the award-winning class.

"It shows what can be done by these kids - people don't understand the tremendous range of ability of these students," said Fitz-Gibbon, who retired in 2003 but still coaches at the school.

The College Board, which administers the AP program, recognizes Walter Reed as the only middle school to offer AP physics.

Of the 23 eighth-graders to take the national AP physics test last may, 14 were from Walter Reed. The rest were probably independent study or home school students, a spokesman said.

Nearly 36,000 students in Los Angeles Unified took AP exams last spring - all of them high school students, except for those at Walter Reed.

Administrators say they'd like to clone Kitajima's class as a model for other middle schools, but there are too few qualified science teachers willing to teach lower grades.

"Ceilings are for rooms, not students," said Sheila Smith, LAUSD district coordinator for gifted and talented programs. "We would like to have everyone open to the joys of working to their potential."

"The kids can do it," added Marc Share, of Sherman Oaks, whose son, Matthew, scored the top grade on the AP physics exam last spring and is now thinking of becoming a scientist. "They do feel good about rising to the challenge of advanced science."

A wiry man with rimless glasses, rolled up jeans and Birkenstocks, Kitajima subsists on a diet of peanut butter and bagels, stashed in a small fridge behind his desk.

The Bay Area native has regaled students with his jazz sax and rock guitar riffs and once sang "Wild Thing" during algebra. He's been nerdy enough to inscribe the symbol for "Pi" in his close-shaved crew cut.

He's taken students on field trips to Magic Mountain to measure the velocity of roller coasters, study the G-forces of Goliath and figure out the friction needed to stay aloft on Roundabout.

During a recent lab, he paired off students who, like NASA engineers with braces, were asked to measure the trajectory and landing of spring-fired marbles.

Students measured the marble, how fast it traveled through a laser, calculated angle and height and velocity using trigonometry and quadratic formulas - recalled with a ditty to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel" - to predict the marble's travel across the classroom.

Before long, two students met the challenge with a bull's-eye.

"Every once in awhile I step back and say, `I can't believe these kids are getting it,"' said their teacher. "But everyone has their heart in it.

"Many are our future scientists."

Kitajima - a former environmental engineer who also teaches algebra, geometry and the school's competitive math team - said he was drawn into teaching through tutoring and working with kids at his church.

He loves kids, he said. And he loves explaining the beauty of how things work.

"When I play the guitar for them, I explain how a vibrating string translates into music," he said. "I want them to be careful thinkers, critical thinkers - people who have found something that they're really passionate about, and pursue it."

► In the interest of full disclosure, I am the former PTA President of Walter Reed Middle School – the best middle school in this or any known universe! And those quoted but unnamed administrators who wish to replicate Kitajima's and "Fitz's" syllabus – the Reed Individualized Honors Program – which offers similar challenges to sixth, seventh and eighth graders in English, Math and History need to be listened to. And those likewise unidentified 'qualified teachers unwilling to teach lower grades' should think again …or perhaps seek employment in less challenging professions.

Middle school is the new front line. —smf

TAG, YOU'RE OUT!: Schools try to discourage the game, but it endures — for good reason.

Health & Fitness | by Janet Cromley, LA Times Staff Writer

November 6, 2006 - As school administrators wrestle with the deeply controversial issues of educating America's youth — evolution versus creationism, metal detectors on campus, standardized testing — one topic has really put them in the public hot seat: the schoolyard game of tag.

The issue made national headlines recently when Willett Elementary School in Attleboro, Mass., officially banned the venerable skinner of knees, inspiring considerable derision in editorials and online discussion boards. (Schools in South Carolina, Wyoming and Washington have instituted similar bans.)

The topic is so no-win that school officials, admittedly busy with loftier issues, are reluctant to discuss it.

But the reality is that schools across the United States have been quietly discouraging tag for years. Any discussion of it elicits a flinch response because this simple schoolyard game is at the nexus of three competing interests: giving kids freedom to play (what many teachers and kids want), keeping them safe from harm on large, unruly playgrounds (what concerned parents want) and avoiding band-aid-related depositions (what all administrators want).

Doug Slonkosky, principal of Van Buren Elementary school in Placentia, is a brave man. He was willing to go on the record that Van Buren discourages tag.

At big schools like Van Buren, which has 720 students, having masses of kids careening off each other as if they were errant billiard balls presents a genuine problem. Kids playing tag interfere with organized physical education classes, he says, and the games sometimes degenerate into kids running up and poking or hitting other students.

"Instead," Slonkosky says, "we incorporate the principles of tag into chasing games, such as touch football."

Although the Los Angeles Unified School District doesn't ban tag, many individual schools, which are free to adopt their own policy based on the needs of the school, have chosen to limit it. For example, in LAUSD's Local District 4, which covers nearly 100,000 students in the downtown basin, tag isn't banned but it's discouraged, says Richard Alonzo, the district superintendent. The reasons, he adds, are purely practical.

The game can bring out aggression in some kids and lead to confrontation. Today's campuses are often paved with blacktop, not cushioned with grass; and schools have had to cut back on supervisory aides because of funding problems.

"Why would we want to encourage a game that may lead to more injuries and confrontation among students?" Alonzo says.

Despite recent furor, the restrictions on tag are not new, says Alonzo. As far back as the late 1980s, when he was a school principal, the school discouraged it, for much the same reasons.

Andrew Rakos, general manager of Fountain Day School in West Hollywood, with 175 students, believes the socializing benefits of tag outweigh the dangers of lawsuits, particularly at relatively small schools like his.

"Tag is about learning how to compete in a fair and laughing joyous way," says Rakos. "There's an element of being safe, of avoiding trouble, strategy. You learn about how to deal with disagreements and how to find solutions. And of course you learn about your personal space and about speed and control of your body."

Charlene Burgeson, executive director of the National Assn. for Sport and Physical Education, thinks the real value of tag is much simpler.

A game like tag keeps children moderately to vigorously active, says Burgeson, at a time when kids are putting in more TV-viewing time than ever.

But tag proponents should take heart. Tag is a uniquely elemental game that develops naturally — and kids seem to be hard-wired to play it. At age 4 or 5, children are running around chasing each other, and by the first grade, they've created the rules and organized themselves into a game. "It's one of the few games left where the adults have absolutely nothing to do with it," says psychologist Fred Frankel, director of the UCLA Parent Training and Children's Friendship Programs. "Kids transmit it from generation to generation and spontaneously organize it."

4LAKids Rants: This all part dangerous trend by fuzzy thinking educrats to remove all danger and excitement from the lives of children!
• Growing up is by definition exciting and dangerous – and the only way out is the stifling safety of aduthood!
• Ask any child: A young life without danger and excitement is hardly worth living.
• There is a serious national movement afoot to eliminate recess altogether – it gets in the way of curriculum and standardized testing. Thankfully there is a counter movement also: Rescuing Recess. (link below)
• First we adults prohibited running with scissors – and then running in the hallways.
• Dodgeball is already on the cutting room floor; now tag?
• What's–next: Swings and slides?

This is the country that invented the self adhesive bandage and made of them a badge of courage – where is the giant Band-Aid® cartel and their tassel-loafered K Street lobbyists on this one?

Recess and playground activity is often the only strenuous activity urban kids bused and carpooled to supervised play dates ever have – if we let the bean counters with their actuarial tables and risk management projections run the playgrounds we will end up with a bunch of sedentary fat schoolchildren prone to diabetes, asthma and poor socialization skills. Unless it's already too late. —smf


Highlights, Lowlights & The News That Doesn't Fit: BUILDING FUELS SCHOOL HIRING + BILL COSBY ON TEACHERS


by Susan Abram, Staff Writer, LA Daily News

The Los Angeles Unified School District's $19 billion construction program is responsible for most of the increase in its nonteaching work force over the past five years, the school board said Tuesday.

The analysis came during discussions of a new report - commissioned by the district and its teachers union - which found that the bureaucracy has swelled 12 percent while teachers' ranks have declined 2 percent and enrollment is down about 1 percent.

Board members said the report did not address the massive school construction program or how the district's conversion to digital technologies affected the hiring for nonteaching positions.

"Bureaucracy has led to building new schools," said board member David Tokofsky. "I think (the report) is very useful information that, if used thoughtfully, can help teachers and students. But it should not be used as cannon fodder for collective bargaining discussions or propaganda."

Tokofsky's comments were directed at United Teachers Los Angeles, which is demanding a 9 percent raise for its 38,000 members.

UTLA President A.J. Duffy, who has hired former UTLA chief Wayne Johnson to help mobilize for a strike if pay demands are not met, has called for LAUSD's bureaucracy to be dismantled and employees reassigned to classrooms or regional resource centers that support schools.

"The UTLA finds it troubling and disturbing that nonteaching staff have increased while student enrollment has declined," said Julie Washington, vice president of the union.

A second phase of the report is expected to include student achievement and take a more in-depth look at teacher-student ratios.

▲ LAUSD had to hire additional folks to run a $19.3 billion program to build 160 schools and modernize the rest? They couldn't do it entirely with volunteers? Who woulda thunk it?



From Teacher Magazine Online | EdWeek

November 7 - Bill Cosby made headlines last week after giving a speech in Los Angeles about education, with news outlets reporting that he had criticized teachers and parents for not doing enough to help kids. The comedian, who holds a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, has been outspoken in recent years about what the black community needs to do to close the racial achievement gap.

But Cosby says his comments about teachers were taken out of context.

Rather than attacking teachers, he says, he meant only to urge them to explain to kids why they love the subjects they teach. Cosby gives his side of the story in the following audio clip from a recent Teacher Magazine interview.

Additional parts of the interview will be published in the January/February issue of Teacher Magazine.

Listen to the clip + feedback from teachers

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
Wednesday, Nov. 15 @ 2PM
(note unusual meeting time)

Thursday, Nov. 16, @ 9:00 a.m

Thursday, Nov. 16, Middle School Reform @ 1:00 p.m.

▲above meetings @ LAUSD Boardroom | 333 S. Beaudry | free parking available

Thursday Nov 16, 2006
6:00 p.m.
Ellen Ochoa Learning Center
5027 Live Oak
Cudahy, CA 90201

*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
Phone: 213.633.7493
Phone: 213.633.7616


What can YOU do?

• E-mail, call or write your school board member: • 213-241-6387 • 213-241-6180 • 213-241-6388 • 213-241-6382 • 213-241-6385 • 213-241-6386 • 213-241-6383

...or your city councilperson, mayor, the governor, member of congress, senator - or the president. Tell them what you really think!
Call or e-mail Governor Schwarzenegger: 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.
• Register.
• Vote.

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

Scott Folsom is a parent and parent leader in LAUSD. He is President of Los Angeles 10th District PTSA and represents PTA as Vice-chair the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee. He serves on various school district advisory and policy committees and is a PTA officer and/or governance council member at three LAUSD schools. He is also the elected Youth & Education boardmember on the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council.
• 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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