Sunday, September 18, 2011

Postponing the postponement + the deliverer, delivered.

Onward! 4LAKids
4LAKids: Sunday 7•Feb•2011
In This Issue:
THE EARLY START CALENDAR: On again/Off again/On again, Off again. …or not!
Look! Up in the sky! …It’s a bird …it’s a plane …it’s THE MAN WHO WILL SAVE LOS ANGELES
HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
EVENTS: Coming up next week...
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● Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. - Ambrose Bierce. The Devil's Dictionary

BEFORE I descend into all the cynicism: Congratulations to Alliance Gertz-Ressler High School, an Alliance for College Ready Charter School in South-Central/University Park – the only National Blue Ribbon School within LAUSD named this year.

TUESDAY'S BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING showed how lucky some of the schoolchildren of Los Angeles are that they attend charter schools. In the audience there was a large number of parents in white t-shirts – from PUC Charter Schools – they must have been thanking their lucky stars that they and their offspring are safely removed from all the dysfunction on the horseshoe.

They have tossed the rascals out their lives and are unaffected by the outcome – there to testify about the wisdom of that prior decision.

Not that everything went awry. The flag salute went well. The resolutions supporting Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender student rights; opposing dating violence and supporting this week as Arts Education Week went well and the presentations were moving.

Resolutions require resolve – the jury is still out.

The data about student performance and graduation rates was graphically rich – the superintendent's oft repeated mantra about dropouts v. push-outs was repeated again – and technology infrastructure to support education shows a commitment (if not the wherewithal) for LAUSD to join the 21st Century.

The dry and opaque personnel matters and procurement contracts were impenetrable – with series of case and contract numbers pulled out and discussed in a way that made it clear that the board knew just a little more about what was going on than the public …though later in the meeting a number of votes by a number of trustees were changed from nay-to-yay or yay-to-nay - or abstain or something like that… just to keep the confusion confused.

Dr. Vladovic's cause celebre du jour from last week – the Met Life Dental Contract cancellation - was reversed. And a charter school zoning issue was so misunderstood by the board (or they were so underinformed) that doing nothing may have been the best possible outcome.

AND THEN THERE WAS THE VOTE ON CHANGING THE EARLY START CALENDAR - and here the confusion was carefully set aside and the Banner of Chaos unfurled above the battlements.

The motion on the floor – from the superintendent's office (but not enthusiastically supported by the superintendent) - was to postpone (again) the districtwide roll-out of the early start calendar.- to save money.

The superintendent's commitment to save that money was not very deep – and the board moved and seconded and amended every variation and reached no consensus, ultimately deciding not-to-decide ("not with a bang but with a whimper") and to postpone the postponement. In other words: To do nothing. This confused the media, with reporters reporting opposite outcomes. Sometimes doing nothing is the right thing. Stay tuned – that money may still need to be saved.

The lesson to be learned may have been that the Board of Ed needs to get more engaged and informed - but the motions the floor to have more committee meetings so they can - were postponed yet again.

WATER-COOLER RUMOR HAS IT THAT STEVE LOPEZ' L.A. TIMES COLUMN "THROWING THE BOOK AT SCHOOL LIBRARIES" drew Superintendent's Deasy's considerable ire – though his "protect classrooms" defense of the policy on Madeline Brand's KPCC interview show and at an appearance at Occidental College (“Students learn to read through their classroom teacher, not through the library") rings a little hollow. Students need to do more than learn to read, they need to read and read and read! Of course libraries don't teach reading, they foster and nurture it – and its dangerous progeny: independent thinking.

There is plenty of evidence [] that Beaudry leadership is convinced that school libraries are not important and school librarians in elementary and middle school are expendable.

I'm going to keep saying it. I'm not proud, I'm repetitive. The library is the most important classroom in the school. A library without a librarian is a bookroom. And all of this is borne out by the conclusion to today's L.A. Times editorial: CLOSING CALIFORNIA'S ACHIEVEMENT GAP: California's schools are showing improved results with younger students, but they must do better with those in high school. If the first time a student encounters a functioning school library is in the ninth grade (that's the current plan) that gap just got nine years wider.

FINALLY – and I think that this is on a lighter note – there is the cult-of-personality enhancing THE MAN WHO WILL SAVE LOS ANGELES in the Huffington Post, enshrining Superintendent Deasy as the heir apparent to Mayor Tony – the most recent TMWWSLA. There is much to argue with in the article – the New Englander in me bristles at Deasy being the "Great Boston Hope" with a Boston accent – the superintendent and his accent are both from Rhode Island. But its hard to not find cynical amusement in the description of the Board of Ed as "…controlled by hacks: teachers' union mouth-pieces and Mayor Villaraigosa's hand-picked mediocrities, minor politicos making a pit stop at the LAUSD Board on their way to their next political sinecure." Deasy joins Tony, Bratton, Broad, Riordan, Uberroth, Bradley, Kenny Hahn, Mayor Sam, etc. in a crowded TMWWSLA field. Hey – Jack Johnson, and Wyatt Earp lived in L.A. for a while!

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf

P.S. - I can't resist!: "Cheerleaders' new miniskirts are too short for class, school says."


L.A. Times Editorial |

September 18, 2011 - Most of the upheaval in public education over the last decade was prompted by the achievement gap. Middle-class, white and Asian American students scored much higher on standardized tests than their disadvantaged, black and Latino counterparts. Those in the latter groups were far more likely to drop out and far less likely to attend college. The gap doomed entire subpopulations to generally lower-paid, less-fulfilling jobs as well as higher unemployment.

The reasons for the gap are many and complex. But there's no denying that at least part of it has been caused by shameful disparities in the allocation of school resources. Just a few years ago in the Los Angeles Unified School District, students in poorer neighborhoods couldn't take the courses required to attend a four-year college — no matter how bright or hardworking they were — because their high schools didn't offer the courses. When there was a shortage of qualified math and science teachers, these schools, not the ones in more affluent areas, were assigned teachers who lacked credentials in the necessary subjects.

The federal No Child Left Behind Act was a clumsy attempt to address such lapses by demanding steep improvements in the standardized test scores of the low-achieving groups so that by 2014 they would have the same levels of proficiency as more privileged students. In fact, under the law, every student would be proficient in reading and math, an unachievable goal for any group unless the proficiency standards are set extremely low. Yet as badly as the law was written, it put needed pressure on schools to improve. And many of them did.

When standardized test scores are released each year, as California's were this summer, there are complaints that, even with strong gains overall, the achievement gap is not closing. But that's because critics of the schools tend to use an overly simple measure of relative improvement. In many ways, the state has made substantial headway, for which schools should be receiving credit.

The reading scores of white and black fourth-graders offer a good example. In 2003, when No Child Left Behind took effect, only 27% of black students in California scored as proficient, compared with 59% of white students. By this year, the proficiency rate of black students had nearly doubled, to 52%. The proficiency rate of white students had increased by about a third, to 80%. In other words, both groups improved markedly. Eight years ago, there was a 32-point gap between the two groups' proficiency rates; that has narrowed to a 28-point gap, which has been described as a "modest" reduction.

But viewed as a percentage, black students' gains were impressive. In 2003, they were less than half as likely as white students to achieve proficiency; now they are two-thirds as likely.

Attempts to measure the achievement gap lead to the uncomfortable but necessary judging of one group's growth against another's. What if, in the example above, the number of proficient white students had increased to 70% instead of 80%? The achievement gap would have narrowed substantially, but that doesn't mean black students would be any better off. As it happens, white students are often in a position to show the quickest improvement when schools do better, because they tend to have more support at home in the form of educated parents with the financial resources to provide them with enrichment opportunities. The important thing is to keep pushing for improvement for the students who have historically underachieved so that, eight years from now, we will see the achievement gap virtually erased.

There are pitfalls to any overly simple way of measuring progress, including when we judge by percentage gains. If only 2% of black students had tested as proficient in 2003 and the number were 6% now, their proficiency rates would have tripled, but there would be no cause for celebration.

What nine years of testing data for California show is that there is plenty of improvement to admire in elementary schools. Latino and low-income students, even more than African American students, raised their proficiency rates and narrowed the point gap with white students as well. Scores in elementary math improved more than those in reading. And the percentage of black and Latino students taking algebra in the eighth grade more than doubled, to virtually the same level — about 60% — as white students. In 2003, early critics of the No Child Left Behind Act said this kind of progress would be impossible because of poverty and low parent involvement. They were wrong.

Results are quite different for high schools, though, where none of the groups show really heartening improvement. Is that solely because high school students are more cynical about the tests and don't bother trying very hard? Probably not. Schools have only begun the process of assigning more qualified teachers to schools in low-income areas and offering college-prep courses.

Critics of the school accountability movement argue that test scores don't reflect what students have been learning. It's true that reform overemphasizes standardized tests and the arbitrary goal of scoring as "proficient," which means different things in different states. But the tests do provide a rough measure of educational basics. Students whose scores are at the bottom levels probably don't understand the material. A student who scores as proficient most likely does. The tests might measure a limited set of skills, but if students are better able to read and do math, that's an important change from where they were eight years ago.

California test scores indicate that although the state has far to go in improving results for disadvantaged and minority students, schools have made truly laudable gains with younger students, regardless of which ethnic or economic category they're in. The proper response to the tests, then, is not to bash schools for failing to eliminate the achievement gap within eight years, but to praise the progress made in lower grades without getting complacent. The state must continue to build achievement levels, especially among disadvantaged and minority students, and figure out the reasons so many high school students falter, regardless of their ethnicity or financial status. California's students are getting a stronger start, but stumbling at the finish line.

►THROWING THE BOOK AT SCHOOL LIBRARIES: L.A. Unified Lays Off Library Aides and Slashes Their Hours When It Should Be Addressing Huge Reading Deficiencies.

Steve Lopez, LA Times Columnist |

September 14, 2011 - It's September, a time to remind children that we care about them and have high hopes and all that.

So what's going on in Los Angeles Unified?

The school district is dumping 227 of its 430 elementary school library aides and cutting the hours of another 193 aides in half.

Welcome back to school, kids.

At Burton Elementary in Panorama City on Tuesday morning, library aide Mary Bates was wondering whether to fight, pack up her belongings for a transfer to her fourth school in two years, or have a good cry.

"I can't tell you how many kids have told me they'll miss me," Bates said under a sign that reads "Books Can Take You Anywhere."

At Lowman Special Education Center in North Hollywood, aide Franny Parrish found a new purpose in life four years ago after a career in acting and music producing. But after growing to love her severely disabled students, she got hit with a layoff notice and has no job prospects at the age of 63.

"I never enjoyed doing anything so much as I've enjoyed this," said Parrish, whose last day will be Sept. 23.

Meanwhile, principals were left with the kind of uncertainty that has become standard operating procedure in LAUSD, unsure as to whether they'll have libraries or who will run them. Many of the aides who survived this cut are being transferred to schools so far from where they live, they might decide it's not worth it because they'll burn half their pay just getting to and from work.

It was chaos, and it remained unclear whether amateur volunteers might be recruited to keep libraries open, or whether there might be a last-minute chance of restoring the positions and rescinding the layoff notices.

You had to wonder how district officials can prattle on about the goal of improving literacy while cutting off the primary access thousands of students have to books.

"There's a certain hope, and magic, too, in returning to school," said former school board member David Tokofsky. "Books and libraries are part of that, and if you lose the magic pieces, you're building an institution that has no pulse, blood flow and heart."

And this follows the district disgrace chronicled in the spring by my colleague Hector Tobar, in which full-time librarian/teachers were subjected to an inquisition and had to defend their teaching skills. Why? Because their libraries were in danger of being shut, and if they weren't returned to classrooms, they might end up on the unemployment line.

Speaking of which, the latest census figures show that unemployment and the number of people without medical insurance are up, and 2.2 million California children now live in poverty.

"Policymakers should not balance state and federal budgets at the expense of the families who have been hardest hit by the economic downturn," Jean Ross of the California Budget Project said in a statement. "At the same time … policymakers should focus on proven strategies for improving the state's competitiveness — strengthening our schools, our colleges and universities, and other public structures that are fundamental to job growth and a healthy economy."

Sound advice, if you ask me. But the combination of a bad economy, lousy leadership and boiling disdain for anything government-related has produced a demolition derby.

In defense of LAUSD, it's one of the state's biggest slashing victims. But it's unclear from one week to the next what's on the chopping block in the district, or even how decisions are made.

The district has roughly $1 billion in flexible state funds for library aides, magnet staff, early education, preschool programs and the like.

Don't we deserve a full public discussion in which we can question the wisdom of destroying an elementary school library system in a district with huge reading deficiencies? And if library cuts absolutely had to be made, why couldn't that have been handled before the start of the school year to avoid all this disruption?

Several library aides I spoke to had a fair question for Supt. John Deasy:

If he could tap deep-pocket friends and huge nonprofits to pay for a battalion of new senior executives in the district, couldn't he have hit up some of those same people to cover the cost of library aides?

"Honestly, I think they get a lot of bang for their buck from us," a tearful Mary Bates said at Burton Elementary. Bates, a library aide since 1998, makes $16 an hour. Because of seniority-based bumping in her union, she has been transferred to another school, effective Sept. 26, where she would be allowed to work only 15 hours a week and would lose her healthcare benefits.

"If I don't find a second job, I could lose my home," Bates said.

"She's very good at what she does, and she pays for a lot of supplies out of her own pocket," said Burton Principal Roger Wilcox, who was trying to wrestle the many-tentacled bureaucratic beast and keep Bates at Burton. But even if he can, can one person meet the needs of 700 students — many of them impoverished — in just three hours each day?

At Lowman, special ed instructor Dina Swann told me the library was virtually empty and unused until Franny Parrish arrived and turned it into a treasured resource.

"I don't know who's going to be able to do what she's done," Swann said.

Or whether anyone will be available to even try.

So much for the magic at the start of another school year.


Re "Help for libraries is overdue," Column, Sept. 14

While the Los Angeles Unified School District taps the generosity of the wealthy to fund "a battalion of new senior executives," we have the example of a wonderful member of our community, library aide Mary Bates, who makes $16 an hour and will soon have her hours and healthcare cut.

Steve Lopez laments the impending loss, because of cutbacks, of the magic such individuals bring. Yet why do so many of us accept this sort of inequity? Perhaps the blame falls on those who helped create our general indifference by furiously ranting against the "overpaid bureaucrats" who draw "Cadillac salaries and pensions" and took out their ire on the Bateses of the world while leaving the fat cats of management unscathed.

Barry David Sell, Glendale

What an interesting page layout.

Next to Lopez's piece on laying off or reducing the hours of L.A. Unified library aides, one of whom earns $16 an hour, are several enticing ads. One is for a diamond and platinum bracelet (price available on request). Below that ad are two for watches (one from a collection "starting at $7,100") and also some attractive stainless steel table forks that cost $12 to $16 each — an hour's work for a library aide.

It is a skewed society in which some people can buy luxuries but schools can't afford essential staff.

Harriett Walther. Santa Ana


Jerry Gorin | KPCC |

Sept. 15, 2011 |The Los Angeles Unified School District is preparing to dismiss half of its library aides before the end of the semester.

Superintendent John Deasy told KPCC's Madeleine Brand Thursday that the district has been hit hard by cuts in state funding. []

He said he weighed how students learn when making difficult decisions, “students learn to read through their classroom teacher, not through the library."

"It doesn’t mean the libraries don’t support and enhance that. But the fundamental acquisition of literacy skills occurs with their classroom teacher, and that’s who we tried to protect in this process," he said.

Deasy said he’s working with some Hollywood philanthropists to raise at least $200 million to help offset the budget cuts.

●●smf: Most of the layoffs are scheduled for next Friday, Sept 23rd. Let’s hope those Hollywood philanthropists come through quickly!

THE EARLY START CALENDAR: On again/Off again/On again, Off again. …or not!
●●smf: If the two stories below seem to be conflicted or conflicting, you should’ve seen the Board of Ed meeting! (I think that Connie Llanos has it right ...but stay tuned!)


By Connie Llanos Staff Writer | LA Daily News |

09/14/2011 01:00:00 AM PDT - Despite concerns about additional costs during tough financial times, all Los Angeles Unified schools will start class three weeks earlier next fall, district officials decided Tuesday.

A divided school board voted to move forward with the implementation of an "early start" calendar districtwide for the 2012-13 school year, meaning all schools will start classes in mid-August and end by early June.

Superintendent John Deasy had pushed for an indefinite delay in starting the new calendar over concerns about the one-time cost between $2-4 million.

Deasy said while his financial concerns remain, he supports the new calendar from an instructional viewpoint, saying it has shown tremendous academic results for students, especially in secondary school.

"There will be a one-time cost but we will own and bear it ... we'll make it work," Deasy said.

Much of the cost comes from having to pay employees for holidays they were previously not eligible for and to continue providing extended summer and winter programs to students with special needs.

The costs are only incurred in the first year of the new schedule though.

Currently some 18 LAUSD schools are on the "early start" calendar, which mimics the college calendar and is more closely aligned with testing for students taking Advanced Placement courses. The calendar allows the first semester of school to be completed before students leave on winter break.

Last Winter, the school board voted 6-1 to move all LAUSD campuses to the early start schedule by 2011-12 but then postponed the change for a year because of budget cuts.

Some parents opposed the earlier calendar because it places students in school during some of the hottest days of the summer, and conflicted with summer camp and vacation plans.

Board members Richard Vladovic and Bennett Kayser opposed the new calendar, wanting more time to discuss the issue. Vladovic asked to have a study done to prove the academic benefits of the calendar swap before moving forward, but his motion failed.

School board member Steve Zimmer also asked that a waiver be available for schools who did not want to participate, but that motion also failed.


By Reanna Delgadillo | KNBC New |

Wednesday, Sep 14, 2011 | Updated 7:06 AM PDT - An early start calendar for the LAUSD school year was originally planned for 2011-12. It's been pushed back and pushed back and now pushed back again.

The early start calendar that would affect thousands of Los Angeles Unified School District students has been delayed again.

The school year would have students beginning their first day of classes in August. This is much earlier than the traditional first day of school being the day after Labor Day.

The proposal would have gone into effect for the 2012-13 school year. It has now been pushed back, possibly to 2013-14, depending on a school board vote.

This is not the first time the new calendar has been delayed. It was originally planned for the current 2011-12 school year. Yet it was met with some frustration on the part of both teachers and parents.

Those against the calendar believed it would interfere with vacation plans and would force students to start school during the hot summer months.

According to the memo sent to LAUSD board members from Superintendent John Deasy, he recommended to delay to start due to "continuing uncertainty of state and federal budgets and its impact on the district's short and long term fiscal planning."

Members of the Unified Teachers Los Angeles, the teachers' union, said they were upset about the calendar since there was not much dialogue with the education community.

"The early start calendar is an example of LAUSD's top-down decision making. The district and school board need to open up the process and listen to parents, teachers and the community," UTLA President Warren Fletcher said in an email statement.

"Currently, decisions are made by a handful of people. UTLA is pushing the school board to reinstate committees," Fletcher said. "We want the district to function smoothly and efficiently. Input from all stakeholders would allow it to do so."

There are 18 schools that have already started on the early start calendar.

Karen Turner, a coordinator at James Monroe High School said the first day "went very smooth."

Supporters of this new calendar believed it would help align high school with the college calendars and create better testing schedules.

"All tests are done before winter break, so students don't forget anything," Turner said.

One downside to the new calendar is that students could miss LAUSD registration if they waited to attend another school, not on early start, and were denied, Turner said.

There is a vote planned for Tuesday afternoon during the regularly scheduled board meeting, said district spokeswoman Gayle Pollard-Terry in an email.

Look! Up in the sky! …It’s a bird …it’s a plane …it’s THE MAN WHO WILL SAVE LOS ANGELES
by Fernando Espuelas in the Huffington Post - Host of "The Fernando Espuelas Show" on Univision Radio |

9/15/11 03:34 PM ET | The second largest city in America has the public education system of a poor, sub-developed third world nation.

Los Angeles' public schools are factories of failure, despair and poverty. The kids who survive this system, the students and parents that somehow transcend the culture of dysfunction to graduate, are like survivors of a ship wreck -- innocent victims of a captain with a knack for crashing into icebergs.

The stats are stark: only 50 percent of LAUSD's students ever make it to their graduation ceremony. Some estimates point to fewer than 15 percent of those kids finishing a 4 year college. Forty cents of every dollar LAUSD spends feeds its humongous bureaucracy, funds that could be better invested in improving educational outcomes.

And then there is the high school diploma Big Lie. Some of the diplomas issued by LAUSD are not recognized by the University of California system as valid for admission into our universities -- they are literally worth as much as the paper on which they are printed. They are rewards for not dropping out, unrelated to actual academic achievement.

This squalid reality represents a present and clear danger to the economic and social fabric of Los Angeles. The spiral of poverty that LAUSD's failure spawns has immediate consequences -- the flood of non-graduates and under-educated kids hitting an anemic job market every year, the opportunity cost of so much wasted human capital, the collective lost earnings of families who will never climb into the American middle class, stuck in low-paying jobs and unfulfilled lives, a depressing list that goes on and on.

This is the societal wreckage that the LAUSD has created. Over decades of incompetence and malfeasance, this broken system has failed our society. But now, in 2011, as America faces one of its most challenging historical moments, a time where at home and abroad there is talk of "national decline," the LAUSD has a hope.

Call him the "Great Boston Hope." He is John Deasy, the new Superintendent of LAUSD. Effectively, the new CEO of the nation's second largest school district. If you were waiting for Superman, he's arrived.

OK, maybe not Superman, but he is impressive. Aside from his sterling credentials, and a history of success, Deasy has both a vision and a mission -- and unlike the usual small-bore leaders of the LAUSD, his vision is broad, comprehensive and ambitious. Ambition tied to talent can be a powerful engine of change and growth even in the most broken of organizations, like LAUSD.

Deasy wants to restore LAUSD's education system so that it actually serves the kids and not the special interests that hold these students hostage as the ship sinks. He wants our schools to educate effectively, graduating the best students in the country. And he wants to do it fast.

I recently met Deasy. He is a compact, fit man, projecting energy and enthusiasm, sporting a military hair-cut that lends intensity to his words. He speaks with a marked Boston accent that reminds me of Tip O'Neill. And like the former Speaker of the House, Deasy delivers powerful, unsettling messages with a smile.

And behind the smile, steely determination. An unrelenting focus on the mission -- educate kids to compete globally, to succeed, to contribute to our society. Everything else is irrelevant, noise, unimportant and to be ignored. This is a man with a focused mission.

By this point, most Angelenos know that the Board of the LAUSD, specially since Yolie Flores stepped down in apparent disgust, is controlled by hacks: teachers' union mouth-pieces and Mayor Villaraigosa's hand-picked mediocrities, minor politicos making a pit stop at the LAUSD Board on their way to their next political sinecure.

This Board is politically and financially motivated, largely paid and bought for by special interests and chronically unable to improve the objective conditions of the the LAUSD's dismal performance.

Examples of the Board's mismanagement abound. One of the senior LAUSD executives in charge of the district's school construction program was indicted for allegedly directing construction contracts to his own consulting company. The former LAUSD Superintendent, Ramon Cortinez, was caught moonlighting -- for a LAUSD contractor, Scholastic Inc. And it was also discovered that the LAUSD was paying some $200 million dollars in salaries to people that no longer worked for the district.

Can Deasy then really make a difference? Can one man change the course of history and give Los Angeles a world class public education system? I mean, really, can this rotten education system be fixed?


Every once in a while, history produces a man or woman that stands above the rest. Moments of crisis -- and our education system has been in crisis for years -- create opportunities for those leaders who are determined to make a positive impact, fix what's wrong, drive profound change and have the guts to take the heat.

I think that Deasy is that historical figure. And the Latino community, making up some 80 percent of the kids in the LAUSD system, should support Deasy.

As he faces what will inevitably be fierce resistance from the Board and the teachers' union, Latino parents must help Deasy by pushing change at the school level.

Rather than remaining passive and waiting for someone else to solve the problem, parents must organize and mobilize to demand educational accountability from their principals and teachers -- everyday.

Only by executing this pincer movement -- from the top of the command chain, change pushed by Deasy, and from the field, the schools, by parents equally sharing Deasy's unrelenting drive to properly educate our kids -- can victory over systemic failure be won.

The recent Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) survey of education achievement across the globe finds the United States lagging the shock-inspiring educational outcomes of formerly underdeveloped nations like China and South Korea, nations once better known for their vast poverty than producing world-class students.

This dismal ranking is as much a wake-up call to the nation as it is proof that failure in the Los Angeles public education system is not option.

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources


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Look! Up in the sky! …It’s a bird …it’s a plane …it’s THE MAN WHO WILL SAVE LOS ANGELES: by Fernando Espuelas in... http://

THIS IS WHAT IT’S COME TO: Save the Atwater Elementary School Library: School library will close on Sep... http://

CALIFORNIA SAT PARTICIPATION UP, SCORES DOWN – paralleling national trends and results: ... http://

WHY CHARTERS AND TEACHERS DON’T HAVE TO BE ENEMIES: Op-Ed in the L.A. Daily News by former UTLA President John P... http://

THE EARLY START CALENDAR: On again/Off again/On again, Off again. …or not!: smf: If the two stories below seem t... http://

THROWING THE BOOK AT SCHOOL LIBRARIES: L.A. Unified lays off library aides and slashes their hours when it shoul... http://

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Read on: CHECKING IN ON CHARTER SCHOOLS - An Examination of Charter School Finances (2009): REPOSTED BY SMF FROM...

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
Phone: 213-241-5183
Phone: 213-241.8700


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

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

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