Sunday, January 10, 2010

Deus ex Obama.

4LAKids: Sunday 01.10.01 Binary Day
In This Issue:
Op-Ed #1: BETTER TEACHERS, THE UNION WAY. United Teachers Los Angeles leaders offer ways to improve teachers and the education system.
Themes in the News: PARENTS TO JOIN "RACE TO THE TOP"...but Who and How Many Will Participate? And Will it Matter?
HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
EVENTS: Coming up next week...
What can YOU do?

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Desperately listening to Governor Schwarzenegger's State of the State Address [] for some good news among the humorous anecdotes about the pony and the pig, I heard the Governator say:

“But I am drawing this line. Because our future economic well-being is so dependent upon education, I will protect education funding in this budget. (Applause) “

That sounds like a line in the sand: “Read my lips: No Cuts to Education”. But the tide came in and went out four times and washed away that line between the State of the State on Wednesday and the unveiling of Arnold's actual budget plan on Friday. Here's what The Times had to say about that:

“Under the governor's plan, state funding formulas would be changed to reduce payments to schools and community colleges by $2.4 billion. The proposed cuts come after school spending has already been rolled back considerably and many districts have been forced to impose layoffs, eliminate programs and increase class sizes.

“Schools would be given the option of reducing the academic year by up to five days to absorb the effect of the cuts. Specific programs targeted for cuts include class-size reduction.”

One feels something deep inside … and it isn't warm+fuzzy. If you're the dog, the pony and the pig eating your food isn't amusing – it's tragedy.

How one aligns the speech with the proposed budget cuts eludes me. But the man's an movie actor, he enters the light, stands on his mark and delivers the line on the page of the script he's been handed. Suspension of disbelief is the audience's job.

In the entertainment biz there's the Script, the Shooting Script and the As-Produced Script.

The FIRST used to finance the project and attract the talent. It's meant to sell the deal. The State o' th' State speech.

The SECOND is based on the reality of the budget and the actual world of the production schedule and the whims of the director and producers. Not enough money for that scene? Can't find that location? Every change to every scene or scrap of dialog is printed on a different colored page – blue pages replace white; yellow: blue. The spectrum of revision goes on through pink and canary and goldenrod to lilac. The governor's proposed budget is the blue pages of the bright vision of the State o' th' State ...soon everyone will put-in and take-out their 2¢ worth.

The THIRD is what comes out at the end, where a stenographer – not a writer – writes down the dialog and screen direction from the final movie as it was made. In our metaphor this is not the budget as produced in Sacramento but the the final movie as in plays on the screen of life. And our hopeful little comedy about the miniature pony and the pot-bellied pig becomes Animal Farm as produced by Wes Craven.

Other telling quotes from the speech:

“For too many years, too many children were trapped in low-performing schools. The exit doors may as well have been chained. Now, for the first time, parents -- without the principal's permission -- have the right to free their children from these destructive schools. That is great freedom.”

[smf: “Freedom”, Kris Kristofferson tells us,“ just another word for nothing left to lose”.]

“Also in the past, parents had no power to bring about change in their children's schools but that will now change too. Parents will now have the means to get rid of incompetent principals and take other necessary steps to improve their children's education.”

Principals seem to be the boogieman & boogiewomen du jour in Arnold's Ed Reform; what's with that? For the last month in LA we've heard how unqualified new teachers are the problem when it's really incompetent principals? OMG, who to believe?

The teacher's unions (CTA and CFT) have a lot of political clout in Sacramento, the principal's union (ACSA) not so much. Am I being cynical ...or is Arnie?

CYNICISM 2.0 : Also as part of his budget proposal Schwarzenegger called for other criteria besides seniority [aka: tenure] in teacher dismissals and advocated reducing power of the state oversight panel that can overturn decisions. [LA Times:Governor seeks to ease rules on firing weak teachers] C'mon ….removing weak, bad or incompetent teachers, principals or politicians and replacing them with good ones is a good idea ... but it is NOT a cost saving one!

CYNICISM 2.1: In a radio interview [KPCC: “LAUSD chief applauds governor's proposed $50 billion for education”] Superintendent Cortines praised Gov. Schwarzenegger for vowing to commit $50 billion in funding for education in the state budget proposal unveiled Friday. . $50 Billion is not enough to educate California's schoolchildren! The Prop 98 guarantee is a minimum level of funding ('A floor, not a ceiling!') and the superintendent is praising the governor for NOT violating the constitution? No mention is made of repaying the money previously taken, borrowed or stolen from the guarantee ...or the breaking of Wednesday's line in the sand promise with $1.5 – 2.4 billion in proposed cuts on Friday. Thank you for not kicking us after you took our lunch money and beat us up.

CYNICISM 3.0+: By pretending to hold the line on Education the governor commits to slashing social programs – including children's health insurance. He calls for the California congressional delegation to oppose federal Health Insurance Reform.

THE SMOKE+MIRRORS: All of Schwarzenegger's budget projections rely upon the federal government riding in to the rescue with an infusion of billions in as yet un-earmarked-and-undreamt-of stimulus or bailout dollars. Chrysler and GM and AIG and the Banks got loans;; California wants a handout. The Deus ex Obama scenario. Nobody in the governor's political party – or from the other party – sees much hope for this.

But hope is audacious. And remains eternal. And floats.

¡Onward/Adelante! -smf


●● HORSES WITH FEATHERS: a response to email to 4LAKids

A longtime 4LAKids reader – a retired teacher/administrator/union leader (once an educator/always an educator!) - writes, apropos of last week's “Cheerio” rant [] - about NCLB/Race2theTop/Public School Choice (all horses of the same feather) - and the previous one “Y2K+10” [] and the Grab4theMoney rush to deregulate Public Education:

“Good analysis of the trend in education in the first decade of the new millennium. We have a new breed of politician/educators or politicators. We used to have the Deweys and Hunters of the world who were actually looking at how children we have the Cortines and Mitchells of the world who are looking for ways to placate their political benefactors. You are correct.....actual student learning is not discussed or considered.....that is too much like pragmatic work.”

4LAKids wrote previously about the penchant for US Secretaries of Education and the presidents they serve to look wistfully upon their previous employment as Civic Miracles/Paradigms of Wonderfulness. [IOUs ON IOUs 12July09] That penchant and those paradigms are further developed in a series of articles in the Washington Post here. [synopsized following in The Houston Miracle, etc.]


●● 4LAKids is still agonizing over publishing only abridged teasers to stories – along with links to “the rest of the story”. (Lemme know if this makes you crazy!) I do this in support of reporters and writers – and by extension, their employers, the publishers. The copyright law 'fair-use-doctrine' permits further distribution of copyrighted material for non-profit education and information sharing ...but publishers are entitled to some click-thru revenues – and reader exposure to their advertisers messages. (If you note many charter school organizations and supporters are advertisers on newspaper's Ed webpages – consider this in your consideration!)

FOLLOWING ARE TWO OP-ED'S FROM TWO POLAR OPPOSITE POINTS OF VIEW ...and some might say similarly pointed-headed! I republish both in their entirely. Op-Ed content is uncompensated – and in fairness, 4LAKids shouldn't be editorially limiting it beyond the usual attaboy or cheap-shot criticism. One cannot miss that both sides are wrapping themselves in parent empowerment – though the charter/voucher advocate's wrapping his argument in the United Nations Charter of Universal Human Rights stretches rhetorical credibility!
- smf

Op-Ed #1: BETTER TEACHERS, THE UNION WAY. United Teachers Los Angeles leaders offer ways to improve teachers and the education system.
LA Times Opinion by A.J. Duffy, Julie Washington and Gregg Solkovits

January 8, 2010 -- Great teachers aren't born -- they evolve. They must have certain things starting out, of course: a passion for knowledge and a love of working with children, to cite two. But it then takes years of study and practice to master the art of teaching.

The recent focus on evaluations as the overriding problem with teacher quality ignores the arc of an educator's career. Yes, honest feedback and assessment is crucial. But if we truly want to have an impact on teaching and learning, more effective evaluations alone aren't enough. Teachers need better training programs, better professional development and additional peer support.

As teachers, we want to see our profession strengthened. But that won't happen simply through punitive measures.


● OVERHAUL THE WAY WE EVALUATE TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS: Most teachers agree that the evaluation system needs to be fixed. Far too often, evaluations are carried out almost as afterthoughts by overloaded administrators who have received little training in assessing a teacher's performance. We would like to work with the school district to improve teacher evaluations so they can be used to identify areas of strength and weakness, but the process must include a plan to provide the support and resources an educator may need in order to improve. The school district makes a large investment in a new teacher, and it would be counterproductive to simply cast him or her aside without first giving him or her help to become a more effective educator. As officers for the teachers union, we will protect our members' professional rights. That said, no one supports keeping someone in the classroom who clearly isn't making the grade. Evaluations should also be a two-way street, with teachers involved in evaluating the administrators they work with every day.

● HAVE TOP-NOTCH TEACHERS HELP THEIR COLLEAGUES: In 1999, United Teachers Los Angeles was instrumental in passing a state law to bring peer assistance and review to school districts statewide. The Los Angeles Unified School District program, a collaborative effort with the union, provides both new teachers and struggling veterans with ongoing peer coaching from trained consulting teachers. Teachers who receive a below-standard evaluation are automatically referred to the program. So far, nearly 850 teachers have been referred to the program, and more than two-thirds of them have successfully improved their practice or decided to leave the profession. Many more could be helped if the program received more funding. We also need to reinstate the highly effective mentor teaching program (a victim of budget cuts) and tap into the wealth of national board certified teachers in the LAUSD. More than 1,000 in number, these educators have met rigorous national standards for teaching, and their expertise should be put to work helping struggling teachers.

● OFFER PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT THROUGHOUT A TEACHER'S CAREER: The best teachers are lifelong learners, and they need a system that sustains that. Every school should have effective, teacher-driven professional development and common planning periods for collaboration and sharing of best practices. UTLA helps by providing year-round professional development at our headquarters and supporting lesson study, in which teachers work together to design and field-test lesson plans for maximum effectiveness. In LAUSD, lesson study has been incorporated into the intern training program, where it has helped shape more than 15,000 educators, and is being used intensively with staff at five overcrowded inner-city schools.

● OFFER INCENTIVES TO KEEP ACCOMPLISHED TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOM: Too many teachers move to administration or out-of-classroom positions simply to earn higher pay or avoid classroom pressures. California has among the highest student learning standards in the country, but the state continues to rank almost dead last in per-pupil funding. As part of an overall increased investment in our schools, we must raise teacher salaries and lower class sizes to match the higher demands of the profession. We should also look at pay initiatives that are working, such as the salary increase for educators who earn national board certification. That incentive has kept countless exceptional teachers in the classroom.

● REVAMP TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAMS AT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES: Teacher certification programs need to concentrate on the skills teachers need the minute they step into their own classrooms. When we talk to new teachers, they give us similar feedback about what they felt was missing in their training: They want more classes in student discipline. They want to know how to talk with parents about their child's performance. They need help planning lessons that take into account the different ability levels of their students. Above all, they wish they had had more on-the-job experience in real-world classrooms similar to the ones in which they ended up teaching.

● GIVE TEACHERS A SAY IN HIRING THEIR COLLEAGUES: A fourth-grade teacher pays the price if a teacher in grade three is not doing the job. At some schools in LAUSD, teachers routinely interview teacher candidates. This should be expanded to all schools. Given the opportunity, teachers will choose to work with the best colleagues.

All of the above will take resources, commitment and follow-through on many levels. We can't ignore that the task will be made much more difficult by the chronic underfunding of public education and the severe budget cuts, which threaten to cut the heart out of our schools and our communities.

The most ineffective thing we can do to improve teacher quality is a tweak here and a tweak there. If we use this moment as the chance to look at the big picture and make systemwide changes, we will be helping not only those students who are in our classrooms now, but generations of students to come.

● A.J. Duffy is president of United Teachers Los Angeles. Julie Washington and Gregg Solkovits are both vice presidents in the union.

by Alan Bonsteel | OpEd in the San Francisco Chronicle

Sunday, January 10, 2010 - The greatest revolution in education in the United States today is taking place in Los Angeles. It is the mandate of the Los Angeles Unified School District School Board to convert almost a third of its schools either to charter schools, the public schools of choice that are the one shining light in an otherwise dysfunctional system, or other alternatives such as magnet schools. The change is not only a mighty one for the state's largest school district, but in time it could double the number of public schools of choice in California.

What is remarkable is not just the magnitude of this earth-shaking change, but the complete shift of the paradigm about how we think about public education. The driving force behind this revolution is Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is not only a Democrat but also a former organizer for the United Teachers of Los Angeles, Los Angeles teachers' union. Villaraigosa took his nontraditional stand because, as he noted, LAUSD was racked with violence and plagued with a dropout rate of 50 percent, and showed no signs of improving.

Even more astounding: With the doors open to making bids to the school board to launch pioneering schools, groups of public school teachers and the teachers' unions themselves are submitting proposals. "This is the power that teachers have always been asking for, the authority to choose what is happening in our schools," Monterey Park English teacher Patricia Jauregui told the Los Angeles Times. She added, "With power comes responsibility. We are accountable for the results, and I don't mind that."

In his 1978 book, "Education by Choice," John Coons, UC Berkeley School of Law professor and father of the American charter school movement, predicted that one day public school teachers would see the benefit of teaching in schools in which they had professional autonomy, and in which every child wanted to be there and valued what that school had to offer. It has taken 32 years for that prediction to come to pass.

California public schools, once the envy of the nation, have students performing on some tests of reading skills barely above Mississippi students. Our once-vaunted high technology sector must import engineers from Asia. And our state budget has been busted in large part because of a bulging prison system, with more than 85 percent of the convicts high school dropouts.

At the state level too, school choice has become a far more bipartisan issue than could have been imagined even a year ago. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and his colleague Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, teamed up to get legislation passed that mandates more complete reporting of dropout rates.

Four of the candidates for governor of California, Republicans and Democrats both, are charter school advocates.

This is public education's fall of the Berlin Wall. The old model of the compulsory, one-size-fits-all, factory-style public school is being tossed on the scrap heap of history, to be replaced by upholding the U.N. Charter of Universal Human Rights, which guarantees the right of parents to direct the education of their children.

Someday soon, all of our children will be enrolled in schools that their families have freely chosen and that give them the sense of community, even of family, that will keep them in school and get them safely to graduation day.

● Alan Bonsteel, M.D., is president of California Parents for Educational Choice,

●● Connect the Dots - Choice to Charters to Vouchers to Deregulation to Privatization of public schools: California Parents for Educational Choice (CPEC) has its roots in the 1993 campaign for Proposition 174, the School Voucher Initiative.

by Nick Anderson |Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 29, 2009; -- CHICAGO -- Soon after Arne Duncan left his job as schools chief here to become one of the most powerful U.S. education secretaries ever, his former students sat for federal achievement tests. This month, the mathematics report card was delivered: Chicago trailed several cities in performance and progress made over six years.

►smf: One of the cities it trailed was LA and LAUSD: Read full article with additional links and a chart with the NAEP results at:

Miami, Houston and New York had higher scores than Chicago on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Boston, San Diego and Atlanta had bigger gains. Even fourth-graders in the much-maligned D.C. schools improved nearly twice as much since 2003.

The federal readout is just one measure of Duncan's record as chief executive of the nation's third-largest system. Others show advances on various fronts. But the new math scores signal that Chicago is nowhere near the head of the pack in urban school improvement, even though Duncan often cites the successes of his tenure as he crusades to fix public education.

"Chicago is not the story of an education miracle," said Chester E. Finn Jr. of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education think tank in Washington. "It is, however, the story of a large urban system that has made some gains and has made some promising structural changes."

For more than seven years, starting in 2001, Duncan tried to rejuvenate his city's struggling schools: jettisoning staff, hiring turnaround specialists, shutting down those deemed beyond hope. He pushed a back-to-basics curriculum, spawned dozens of charter schools and experimented with performance pay. State and federal test scores and graduation rates rose on his watch, and Chicago became a laboratory for innovation. As a result, the reputation of its schools has improved markedly since 1987, when an earlier education secretary, William Bennett, called them the worst in the country.


Yet questions have arisen this year about the magnitude of Duncan's accomplishments. The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, which represents business, professional, education and cultural leaders, concluded in June that gains on state test scores were inflated when Illinois relaxed passing standards and that too many students still drop out of high school or graduate unprepared for college. The Consortium on Chicago School Research, a nonpartisan group at the University of Chicago, reported in October that Duncan's closure of low-performing schools often shuffled students into comparable schools, yielding little or no academic benefit.

"Obviously, you always want to get better faster," Duncan said in an interview when asked about the federal math scores. "I was focused on outcomes -- improving graduation rates, making sure that students who graduated had a chance to pursue higher ed. You can have the best test scores in the world, but if kids aren't going that next step, you're not changing their lives."

Duncan also said he had adjusted his school closure policy a few years ago to ensure better opportunities for students. He said that he was unhappy that the state had relaxed passing standards and that graduation rates remain unacceptable. About half of Chicago students fail to graduate on time with their peers.
In January, Duncan said at his Senate confirmation hearing: "We're proud to have made significant progress . . . and to really be a model of national reform. But again, hard work is going to continue there and is far from done."

In the interview, Duncan said he is careful not to exaggerate his record. Critics, however, say his legacy is routinely overblown.

"There's been this rhetoric about dramatic gains, dramatic success, that we have to replicate this model because of its dramatic success," said Julie Woestehoff of the advocacy group Parents United for Responsible Education. "And here in Chicago, we're looking at these schools and going, 'Uh . . . ' "

In 2003, President George W. Bush's education secretary, Rod Paige, faced similar, perhaps stronger, criticism when his much-highlighted record as leader of Houston's schools in the 1990s came under scrutiny. Questions were raised that year about the reliability of Houston's reported dropout rates.

Duncan's record is of more than historical interest. He wields considerable power through the combination of his Chicago connections, shared with President Obama, and his oversight of billions of dollars in reform funding. The Education Department is dangling an unprecedented $3.5 billion in grants for school systems to turn around weak schools and $4 billion for states to pursue innovation.


With 418,000 students in 675 schools, Chicago faces challenges on a scale exceeded only in Los Angeles and New York. Eighty-five percent of students come from poor families, and 12 percent have limited English skills.

Tours in a handful of Chicago schools this month found educators pushing against formidable obstacles to establish a climate of learning. For some, simply asserting control over a campus represents a big victory.

In the North Lawndale neighborhood west of downtown, dotted by decaying rowhouses and apartments, Johnson Elementary School was given a new staff this year and renamed the Johnson School of Excellence. Duncan, in one of his last actions before leaving Chicago, proposed the restart in January because of the school's perennially low test scores. The nonprofit Academy for Urban School Leadership, which pairs master's degree candidates with teaching mentors in a residency program, runs the school and 13 others under contract. Johnson serves 300 students from pre-K through grade 8.

In the last school year, officials said, police were called to the campus nearly every day to deal with angry parents or disruptive students.

"It was a war scene," said Jennifer Earthley, mother of a fourth-grader and a fan of the new regime. "The administrators were afraid of the children. The children did what they wanted to do. We have been on the low end for a long time. All we have been looking for is a passionate group of people who care."

Now, attendance is up and fights are down. Students are drilled on respect, manners and lining up in the halls. In one fourth-grade classroom, teacher Katelyn Funderburk counted "5-4-3-2-1" after asking students to pull out their textbooks. "Steven Earthley got it opened fast and folded his hands," she said. "Thank you." [more.....]

Read full article with additional links and a chart with the NAEP results

Themes in the News: PARENTS TO JOIN "RACE TO THE TOP"...but Who and How Many Will Participate? And Will it Matter?

Themes in the News for the week of January 4-8, 2010
By UCLA IDEA staff | A weekly summary of themes in education news provided by UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education and Access.

Hoping to qualify the state to receive federal ‘Race to the Top’ funds, California lawmakers passed legislation designed to empower parents and lead to meaningful school reforms. On Wednesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger promised to sign the bills into law. The new laws allow parents of children in the state's 1,000 lowest-scoring schools to apply to have their children enrolled in schools in other districts. And they allow parents “to overhaul up to 75 chronically underperforming schools each year by collecting signatures from a majority of parents” (Sacramento Bee). The challenge for the law is whether parents—acting individually and with school and community organizations— can access the resources and clout to press for substantive changes. Or will parents compete among themselves—school-by-school—for the scarce education funds that the state and federal governments make available?

Ben Austin, executive director of Los Angeles based Parent Revolution told the Christian Science Monitor: “This is a groundbreaking and historic new policy. We think this is a 21st century roadmap to transform public education in America … around what’s good for kids, and not for grownups” (Christian Science Monitor). Parent Revolution “has close ties to Green Dot Public Schools, a charter school management organization based in Southern California. Charters are public schools that operate independently of many district rules and are mostly nonunion” (Los Angeles Times).

“Is it a dawning of a new era of parent power?. . . It really depends on how many parents can be organized to take action here, how well informed they can be about their choices and how much pressure they can put on their school boards," according to Stanford Education Professor, Michael Kirst (Sacramento Bee).

The Christian Science Monitor reports, “Some critics question the rush to embrace certain measures – like charter schools and turnaround measures for failing schools – that have little basis in research.” Others note that the new reforms don’t amount to much change from the Bush-era ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ (NCLB). Under NCLB, students in schools with the lowest test scores must be allowed to transfer to a different school within their district. Also, “many districts, such as Sacramento City Unified, have an open-enrollment process that lets parents choose a school for their child outside their neighborhood.” However, one important distinction is that these new bills take “open enrollment” a step further by allowing designated students to transfer to a better school outside their district (Sacramento Bee).

Whether parents are able to move their children into new schools also will depend on rules established by “receiving” school districts. SB X5 4 requires districts to “adopt specific, written standards for acceptance and rejection of applications for enrollment subject to specified conditions and a specified priority scheme for applicants” (Around the Capitol). As Beverly Hills’ recent decision to rescind out of district permits suggests, some districts may be reluctant to accept students from outside their boundaries and hence create standards that lead most open enrollment applicants to be rejected (Los Angeles Times). Further, the California School Boards Association worries that “the bill does not provide enough real protection against “cherry picking,” the process of recruiting and accepting the best students from neighboring districts” (California School Boards Association).

Other skeptics, even if they are well-wishers, raise questions about whether schools (from individual charters to entire districts) can mobilize to accept shifts in student enrollments as students move to different schools across neighborhoods and across school districts. For example, Debbie Look of the Sacramento chapter of the Parent Teacher Association was concerned that funding mechanisms don’t exist to transport students in high-poverty areas to a better school in another district (Sacramento Bee).

Torie England, principal of F.C. Joyce Elementary in North Highlands, says it's tough to get parents engaged in difficult economic times. “Most of her students come from families that struggle with basic necessities. Many are homeless, sleeping in cars or staying with friends. Lots of her students live in single-parent homes with moms working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Other children are in foster care or have parents who don't speak English” (Sacramento Bee).

Jeff Freitas, an advocate for the California Federation of Teachers, said the measures would divide parents and teachers at schools. While some students could transfer to other campuses, Freitas said, "you are leaving students behind with no reform for that school”” (Los Angeles Times).

“We've got to strengthen the quality of all schools rather than allowing parents to search from among fairly mediocre alternatives in a lot of communities,” said UC Berkeley education professor Bruce Fuller (Sacramento Bee). According to Fuller, “We're creating the illusion of choice among schools that are collapsing among less and less state support” (San Francisco Chronicle).


HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
This just in: “AN UNPLANNED REVOLUTION?” Please!

smf opines re: Sunday's Front page puff pieces on charter schools in the Times

Calling the ‘revolution’ ”unplanned” is like calling reality television “real”. Or even “unscripted”. What of the premeditation and designs of Villaraigosa, Barr, Riordan, Broad, Gates, Garcia and Co? Helped by Schwarzenegger, Mitchell, Hastings, Romero, etc.? Do the names Gates and Walmart ring a bell?

Not to mention the Times Editorial Board, which is playing LAUSD like the Chandlers played the City and the DWP back in the day.


By Mitchell Landsberg, Doug Smith and Howard Blume - Enrollment is up, and overall, standardized test scores outshine those at traditional campuses. Even the L.A. Unified board has eased its resistance. [smf: …being bought and paid for – however fair and squarely - has that effect]


By Mitchell Landsberg - The charter had a rough start with L.A. Unified but is gaining strength with a county charter.

LAUSD IN THE NEWS: Friday, January 8, 2010: from LAUSD LOS ANGELES TIMES Opinion Better teachers, the union way .....and more ..

COURT(?) TO DECIDE LAUSD’S BATTLE WITH CHARTERS: “The debate is more about adult politics than improving children'...

UTLA v. LAUSD: Lawsuit filing contending the Public School Choice Resolution: UTLA v LAUSD - [FULL TEXT OF THE LAWSUIT] -

HORSES WITH FEATHERS: response to email to 4LAKids A longtime 4LAKids reader – a retired teacher/administrator/u...


L.A. UNION SUES OVER CHARTER PLAN: News in Brief In Ed Week Vol. 29, Issue 16, Page 4| By Lesli A. Maxwell Publi...
Wednesday, January 06, 2010 8:06 AM

COURT RULES THAT SCHOOL BOARD E-MAILS ARE PUBLIC INFORMATION: Massachusetts court also finds that superintendent’...

MORE HEADLINES: Knowledgeable parents trigger autism, Another emergency session, Union leaders plead for education,...

1●5●2010 UCLA/IDEA CALIFORNIA EDUCATION NEWS ROUNDUP: Districts ready to Race …but will they really sign..Bl...

Read the 4LAKidsNews Update Blog ...or

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
Phone: 213-241-5183
Phone: 213-893-6800


What can YOU do?
• E-mail, call or write your school board member: • 213-241-6383 • 213-241-6386 • 213-241-6180 • 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! • 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 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.
• 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.

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

Scott Folsom is a parent leader in LAUSD. He is Past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and represents PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee and the BOC on the Board of Education Facilities Committee. He is an elected repreprentative on his neighborhood council. 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 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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