Monday, May 06, 2013

CCSS + LCFF: No vowels

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If you were playing Scrabble and drew CCSS and LCFF as letter tiles you would be, in Scrabble parlance: Dead.

All consonants, no vowels …plus you cheated by taking one too many tiles – but this metaphor isn’t about counting, it’s about spelling.

There is not quite enough, as Gertrude Stein would say: “there” in Common Core State Standards and the Local Control Funding Formula to make sense. You can’t a make word with the letters from those acronyms.

This past week California State PTA has been in convention in San Jose – and following a presentation on the post Prop 30 budget picture with Jennifer Kuhn of the Legislative Analyst’s Office there was a panel discussion , sponsored by EdSource, about the governor’s Local Control Funding Formula - with Michael Kirst, President of the State Board of Ed; Liz Guillen of Public Advocates; Richard Carranza, Superintendent of San Francisco Unified; and Robert Miyashiro of School Services of California – moderated by Ed Source Today editor John Fensterwald..

EdSource, like most of us, attempts to be fair. But like all of us, has an opinion and an agenda – and EdSource is a supporter of the LCFF – and the panel reflected that support. There wasn’t much dissent – just differing opinions on all the wonderfulness and urgency. We did not hear from the voices in Democrat caucus of the State Senate – but they were criticized (unfairly) for an imagined position that their opposition was advocacy was for a return to 2007 …The Year before the Great Recession. But in the discussion – and in the Q+A that followed – the LCFF’s lack of accountability – became apparent and eventually paramount.

Who exactly is accountable to whom? …and for what? And how do we do it? Will there be strong legislative oversight? Or oversight from the State Department of Ed? Who is accountable at the school site? One speaker spoke of a need for deep professional development for School Site Councils, another advocated blowing SSC’s up as rubber stamps for school administrators.

The LCFF perpetuates+institutionalizes the “temporary” spending flexibility in categorical programs. School Boards didn’t have to spend money on things that they didn’t want to as a one-time-only emergency measure.

They used the college fund to pay the rent. Now the crisis is over, and instead of putting money in the college fund, let’s buy a new car! A new testing program. And tablets for all the kids to take tests on.

(Of course it isn’t as simple as all that …but it is that simple!

Let’s continue the cuts to programs like Class Size Reduction. Phys Ed Programs. Student Health, Facilities, and Maintenance+Operations. (M&O is always the first thing cut – but instead of putting money back into M&O – let’s continue the cuts.)

Things that used to be important are no longer thought to be so. Classes are larger. Counselors and Librarians are fewer. Kids are less fit, safe or healthy. But that’s OK – test scores in English Language Arts and Math are up! What else matters?

The time to strike is now! We can change the entire California School Funding paradigm without debate in a budget bill to be delivered ASAP after May 15th.

The soft bigotry of low expectations is being replaced by the fierce urgency of now.

Nobody claims that 2007 was a golden time and nobody really advocates establishing that year as a benchmark of anything other than a median of mediocrity. But at the same time class sizes in 2007 were smaller. There were more social workers and nurses and health teachers and counselors and librarians in schools. More minutes of PE. The books were newer.

If and when the LCFF comes to pass, let’s think this way in LAUSD and maybe in all school districts:

Let’s attach the money to the child in a true Weighted Student Formula - and create a student-based (rather than location-code-based) funding formula– so if little Dick and Jane bring more revenue to the school, let’s’ focus it on them as individual living, breathing students rather than data-points in a sub-group – whether they are one of the 100% of free or reduced lunch kids at Inner City Elementary … or the only foster child, ELL or poor student at Wonderful Mountain Elementary. Because, gentle reader, it’s the actual real live child that needs the help+support – not the location code or the school district.

Governor Brown’s thinking is to fund the state’s part of school modernization and construction through the LCFF. There are no state facilities bonds in the governor’s version of the future – so the general fund and local taxes are the only source of school construction, maintenance and repair funds. This is a short term and shortsighted solution to the problem of school funding – and only large urban districts and rich suburbs will be able to build and maintain schools.

Show me where in campaign literature or ballot language the voters who voted for Prop 30 voted to support the LCFF or the CCSS. They voted to support kids in their communities and six million California schoolchildren. I believe we were voting to tax ourselves and increase school funding and end categorical flexibility and avoid the dire predictions of automatic cuts. And instead we seem to ready to perpetuate the reductions.

The federal government has increased funding to students of socioeconomic challenge since 1968 under Title I and the War on Poverty. It certainly has done some good – but it hasn’t succeeded. Those kids are still poor and poorly educated. Title I is not accountable; there is no expectation of success or results - just forms to fill and file, boxes to check and rules to follow. Except in that if one doesn’t spend the money one must give it back – and giving money back is the great “no-no” in government programs.

Returning to the Scrabble metaphor: Accountability for the spending to the taxpayer, parent and student generates the missing vowel: “A”.

And there are 4 words you can spell with CCSS and A. And 7 with LCFF and A. And 23 with LCFF + CSSS + A.

Mixing the word game metaphors:

“Pat, we need to buy a vowel: 'A'.”

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf


By Michael Muskal, LA Times |

May 1, 2013, 9:25 a.m. :: A 2-year-old Kentucky girl was accidentally killed by her 5-year-old brother who fired a rifle he had been given as a gift, officials said Wednesday.

Cumberland County Coroner Gary L. White said an autopsy of Caroline Starks showed the toddler had died from a single shot from the .22-caliber rifle. The death has been ruled accidental and no charges will be filed, he said in a telephone interview with the Los Angeles Times.

“Most everybody in town is pretty devastated by this,” White said. “Nobody wants to take anyone’s guns away, but you’ve got to keep them out of harm’s way for the kids. It’s a safety issue.”

The girl, Caroline Starks, was in her Burkesville, Ky., home when her brother fired the rifle he had been given as a birthday present about 1 p.m. Tuesday. The mother had just stepped outside the house for a moment, White said. The child was pronounced dead at Cumberland County Hospital.

The rifle used in the accident is a Crickett designed for children and sold under the slogan “My First Rifle,” according to the company's website. It is a smaller weapon designed for children and comes with a shoulder stock in child-like colors including pink and swirls.

“The little Crickett rifle is a single-shot rifle and it has a child safety,” White said. “This was just a tragic accident.”

The child safety lock was in place and operational, White said. Officials believe a shell had been left in the weapon from the last use and no one realized it.

“In my fifteen years as coroner, this is the first such case,” he said. “It is very, very rare.”

It is legal in Kentucky to give a child a rifle as a gift, White said. Nor is it unusual for children to have rifles, often passed down from their parents, he said.

Earlier this month, Brandon Holt, 6, was accidentally shot to death by a 4-year-old playmate in New Jersey.

CARTOON: Exercising 2nd Amendment rights, Kentucky 5-year-old kills sister By David Horsey, LA Times


John Fensterwald, EdSource Today |

May 2nd, 2013 | Michael Fullan may be coming soon to a school district near you.

The man credited with transforming the Canadian province of Ontario into one of the world’s most effective school systems is ready to help California do the same. Fullan, though, would lead the state in a sharply different direction from the forced march that federal officials in Washington, D.C., have led over the past decade.

“I want California to become an alternative model to No Child Left Behind; that would be a great thing to aspire to,” Fullan said last month during an interview in Sacramento. Instead of improvement through the “negative drivers” of standardized testing and quick school turnarounds, he would shift the focus to improving instruction through “motivational collaboration” between teachers and administrators.

California is full of education leaders eager to listen to, if not act on, his advice on systemic reform.

During his swing through Sacramento in April, Fullan:

● Led a four-hour discussion for about 100 administrators and employees at the State Department of Education on changing their mission from monitoring districts’ program compliance to helping to build up districts’ strengths;

● Conducted an all-day seminar for 20 superintendents at the Superintendents Executive Leadership Forum, run by the UC Davis School of Education, on how the district office can support classroom-based innovation;

● Dined with superintendents of the nine districts that have applied for a joint waiver from the No Child Left Behind law; their application promises to incorporate some of the methods that Fullan instituted in Ontario.

In March, Fullan had a wide-ranging, three-hour discussion with Gov. Jerry Brown, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, California Teachers Association President Dean Vogel, State Board of Education President Michael Kirst and State Board Executive Director Karen Stapf Walters during a dinner in Oakland. It was organized by Oakland Unified Superintendent Tony Smith and UC Davis School of Education Dean Harold Levine, who had previously discussed Fullan’s work with the governor. The purpose was to gauge any interest by the governor in pursuing Ontario-like reforms on a statewide basis.

Brown’s sweeping plan for reforming the system for funding K-12 schools envisions a shift of decision-making from Sacramento to districts; this is his “principle of subsidiarity.” Fullan said his question, in turn, to Brown, is “How do you know local districts will have the capacity to take advantage of their freedom?”

Strong influence

In January and last fall, two delegations of California educators that included Torlakson, Chief Deputy Superintendent Richard Zeiger, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Executive Director Mary Sandy, Vogel, Levine and a half-dozen superintendents and CEOs of charter management organizations made sojourns to Toronto, funded by the San Francisco-based Stuart Foundation.* There they observed classrooms and met with Fullan, teachers and provincial leaders about Ontario’s strategy of school improvement.

Levine left impressed with what he saw in Toronto. Everyone they met with, from the provincial level to the school sites, consistently talked about progress toward the same universal goals and credited Fullan and the premier who appointed him, Levine said.

Fullan has worked with Sanger Unified and Garden Grove Unified, where he led two days of discussions with teachers and administrators this year. Last month, he launched a three-year project on building systemic change involving every school in four unified districts – Napa, Alameda, Pittsburg and San Lorenzo. It too is funded by the Stuart Foundation at $375,000 per year and organized by the School of Education at UC Davis.

But his biggest involvement in California could come soon, if the federal Department of Education grants nine districts comprising the California Office to Reform Education, or CORE, a first district waiver from the No Child Left Behind law.

Fullan reviewed CORE’s waiver application, which cites his writing and says that CORE’s “alternative accountability model and day-to-day work” is motivated by the “changed culture and positive and lasting improvements” in Ontario. The waiver expresses confidence that the same philosophy – paying attention to data but using it as a basis to improve, not as a cudgel to declare failure – would work in California.

The most controversial idea in the CORE waiver application – to give standardized tests for federal accountability purposes in only one grade per school – was based on work in Ontario, where provincial tests are given in grades 3, 6 and 9, along with a literacy test in grade 10. Rick Miller, executive director of CORE and a former deputy state superintendent, said the CORE districts have asked Fullan to work with them if the waiver goes through, to see that the implementation is done right.

“Michael is the moderating force that pulls sides together,” Miller said. He represents the “third way” and “middle ground” between rejecting the methods of NCLB and renewing a commitment to its main goal, raising the achievement of all students.

Fullan, in the interview, was blunt: “NCLB has no credibility whatsoever now so it is easier to step to the plate and push against it. If I were Arne,” he said, referring to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, whom he has met, “I would encourage a quid pro quo – ‘Show us good ideas that are likely to work, and I will signal that we can be more flexible.’”

The Ontario experience

A professor emeritus and former dean at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, Fullan was already a renowned author and authority on large-scale school reform when Ontario’s newly elected Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty asked him to be his special adviser on education in 2004. With 2 million students in 72 districts and 5,000 schools, Ontario is a small-scale version of California. Like California, its teachers are unionized; English is not the primary language spoken at home for 27 percent of families, and in Toronto, it is 57 percent – and this does not include French speakers, Fullan said. “People in the United States dismiss Finland and Singapore as ‘not like us,’ but Ontario has similar geography and is English speaking. You can no longer say that you cannot learn from another jurisdiction.”

In Canada, provincial governments, not the federal government, control education. When he became McGuinty’s adviser, Fullan said in a 2012 published interview, progress had stagnated, and there was continual friction between the provincial government and the four unions representing teachers.

The first step, he said, was “to send a message … that we were going to show respect to teachers and commit ourselves to a focused partnership with a link to actual results.”

The provincial government set a few ambitious goals: improve the rates of proficiency in literacy and math and increase the graduation rate. In the past two years, it has added a fourth goal: phase in a universal, full-time kindergarten to increase the percentage of children who are school-ready.

Improvement the first year fed on itself, he said, helping to establish a “collaborative culture to get teachers to work together, led by principals who know how to focus on instruction.”

“By focusing on teacher development,” Fullan wrote in a May 2012 article in The Atlantic, “Ontario was also able to raise teacher accountability. Decades of experience have taught Canadian educators that you can’t get greater accountability through direct measures of rewards and punishments. Instead, what Ontario did was to establish transparency of results and practice (anyone can find out what any school’s results are, and what they are doing to get those results) while combining this with what we call non-judgmentalism. This latter policy means that if a teacher is struggling, administrators and peers will step in to help her get better.” Because “collaborative competition” among teachers encourages experimentation, provincial intervention for schools that fail to improve is a last resort.

Rhonda Kimberley-Young, secretary/treasurer of the Ontario Federation of Teachers, agreed that McGuinty and Fullan took steps to involve teachers in the improvement process. “There was really a partnership on big-picture items,” she said in an interview. “There was respect for the work that teachers do as professionals.”

The creation of the Professional Learning and Leadership Program, providing grants to teachers “to do what intrigues them and then build networks to share excellent resources, was symbolic of what the ministry tried do at that time,” Kimberley-Young said. Where the unions sometimes differed was on the use of evidence. “The drive to constantly compare data, with a laser-like focus on numeracy and literacy, took away from an enriched classroom experience; it went too far,” Kimberley-Young said.

There has been steady progress over seven years in meeting the original goals. Students meeting or exceeding goals on the province-wide tests in math and literacy rose for elementary grades from 54 percent to 70 percent, though shy of the target of 75 percent. High school graduation rates rose from 68 percent to 82 percent. Public confidence in schools rose from 43 percent to 65 percent during that time. Ontario students’ scores in reading on the 2009 international test, Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA, were among the highest in the world, ranking with South Korea and Finland; scores were good, but not quite as high in math. Scores in science on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) have declined over the past decade. (The OECD, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, creator of PISA, devoted a chapter on Ontario in its 2010 publication, “Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States.” In its 2010 report, How the World’s Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better, McKinsey & Company named Ontario, along with Long Beach Unified and Aspire Public Schools in California, among the 20 most effective school systems in the world.)

Right and wrong drivers

Fullan contrasted Ontario’s strategy and the approach of the United States through NCLB in a highly critical and widely circulated article, “Choosing the Wrong Drivers for Whole System Reform” (May 2011). The U.S. emphasis on “accountability – using test results and teacher appraisal to reward or punish teachers,” its reliance in technology to spur improvement and its “fragmented strategies” are flat-out the wrong drivers for systemic improvement, he wrote. “And it is a mistake to lead with them.”

The Obama administration compounded the problem, Fullan wrote, with Race to the Top, the competitive grant for districts and states that required the adoption of Common Core standards, robust data systems, teacher evaluations linked to standardized test scores and prescribed methods to turn around the worst-performing schools. There is a place for elements of those strategies in the “constellation of reform” but they will never establish the conditions for reforming a whole system, whether a state or a district, because they don’t change the “day-to-day culture of school systems.” They don’t build trust within schools and they don’t focus on improving instruction.

“Throw a good appraisal system in a bad culture and you get nothing but increased alienation,” he wrote.

Fullan’s advice: “Jettison blatant merit pay, reduce excessive testing, don’t depend on teacher appraisal as a driver, and don’t treat world-class standards as a panacea.”

In the EdSource interview, Fullan cited work in Sanger, where teachers from a cluster of three or four schools meet several times each year to learn from one another about what works. Principals lead the discussions and set high expectations, he said.

What’s next?

No other state besides California has expressed such intense interest, from state officials to a collaborative of districts to individual district leaders, in Fullan’s work. Whether this will lead to a coherent involvement in setting state policy isn’t clear.

The CORE districts should learn within weeks whether they stand a good chance for an NCLB waiver, creating an opening for Fullan.

Fullan characterized his conversation with Jerry Brown as inconclusive. “Jerry Brown was interested, but not convinced because of the lack of specificity. When I talked about capacity building, he said, ‘it sounds like jargon to me.’ That was our fault, not his, but he followed up with lots of questions.”

It’s not apparent, even to those at the dinner, what the next step should be – and who should take it. Levine said he left the dinner with the understanding that there was a strong interest in pursuing the path of Ontario reforms in California. He said he was hoping that the State Department of Education would write a white paper defining three or four common goals that Brown, the Department and the State Board could agree on.

State Board of Education President Michael Kirst said that “Fullan has momentum here” because so many of those who went to Ontario returned, to a person, enthusiastic that the changes in Ontario would be a good fit with California. But at this point, he said, “it’s too general to say where we are with this.” Someone has to turn Fullan’s broad ideas into specifics, an operational plan for California. “What are the blueprints for following what he wants? What is the timeline? What are the costs?”

Torlakson agreed that it’s still at an early stage, with a need for a lot more discussion. He and other leaders at the state Department of Education have acknowledged the need to shift their role of enforcing state and federal mandates to sharing areas of expertise and best practices with the state’s 1,000 school districts. Bringing Fullan to Sacramento was part of that effort to inspire his team. One Ontario innovation he’s interested in adopting, he said, is a fellowship program in which a team of teachers and principals rotate in and out of the Ministry of Education, sharing their perspective on running schools with government officials.

Christy Pichel, president of the Stuart Foundation, said that what attracted the foundation to Fullan was “the idea of changing the culture of a school by developing not just individual skills of teachers but by creating conditions where teachers work together to improve conditions for learning and teaching.” What makes Fullan distinct is that “he was able to do this across an entire province and big districts in a systematic way.”

Tom Timar is executive director of the Center for Applied Policy in Education (CAP-Ed) at the UC Davis School of Education, which has brought Fullan to its annual superintendents’ seminar for six straight years and is coordinating the four-district project for system reform that Fullan is leading. He said he has come to agree with Fullan that “real change will not come from top-down intervention strategies. They must be grassroots, collaborative, and professionalized with teachers working with administrators for a common cause.”

He’d like to see the development of a statewide collaborative of districts, not unlike what CORE is proposing in its waiver application, only bigger. “Fullan would be the one to provide leadership and expertise on how to pull these groups together. He’d be the glue,” Timar said.

If the state Department of Education looks at Ontario and sees “a convergence of ideas,” Stuart would be willing to bring them together, Pichel said.

“Ontario is a neighbor,” she said, “and Michael Fullan has a particular interest to help California if California wants to learn from him.”

* Note: The Stuart Foundation is a funder of EdSource.

●● smf: deja vu.

Much of the current flavor (flavour) of ®eform comes from Edmonton, Alberta and business school management guru William Ouchi’s book Making Schools Work. There are charter schools named after him. [Ouchi’s other work has been around Theory Z – which describes the Japanese Management Style of honoring employees to increase loyalty and productivity. One would be hard-pressed to find much application of this in LAUSD – or in charter-schools for that matter. Theory Z also lacks credibility in Japan’s current business climate.)

Now Canadian school reform has a new flavor. Get some today.


By Kimberly Beltran, SI&A Cabinet Report |

Thursday, May 02, 2013 :: A bill that would have imposed what supporters call ‘modest’ changes to the way teacher evaluations are conducted in California died Wednesday for lack of votes needed to keep it alive.

Having been granted reconsideration by Senate Education Committee chair Carol Liu after a tie vote last week, SB 441 failed to receive any additional support from legislators despite the fact they were lobbied to do so by an overflow room full of teachers, students and education advocates who said the current system is failing the state’s children.

But teacher and labor unions opposed the bill Sen. Ron Calderon, D- Montebello, saying it had many flaws, including the fact that it would infringe upon collective bargaining rights and that it was designed without sufficient teacher input.

“I just think that there’s some people missing from the table here and I’d like to see us bring in the people who are here with the people who aren’t here and have them come together to make this work,” Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, told Calderon. “Without that I think the bill is too flawed, and I apologize. I know there are a lot of people here who believe in it, and I certainly support a lot of this effort, but you have to have more people at your table.”

Pressure on states to revamp teacher evaluation systems has been growing in recent years, promoted by President Barack Obama’s education agenda that seeks to reduce achievement gaps between student subgroups, lift failing schools and produce college and career ready graduates.

A few districts have made small inroads with their local teachers unions in updating some aspects of their evaluation programs. But, statewide, initiatives aimed at linking teacher performance to student performance have faced stiff opposition from educator unions, including the California Teachers Association, the California Federation of Teachers and the California School Employees Association.

Unlike legislation last summer that would have at one point required student test scores to be among the performance indicators used in teacher evaluations, Calderon’s bill would require governing boards of school districts to regularly “evaluate and assess the performance of certificated staff using multiple measures, including a minimum of four rating levels.” The bill leaves up to individual school boards the authority to define each rating level used.

Calderon argued that his legislation would not affect collective bargaining rights because it does not prescribe what district evaluation levels should be or what they should base performance measures on.

A line of supporters that trailed out of the hearing room urged, pleaded and cajoled members of the Senate panel to vote in favor of the bill.

Several students wondered why they are evaluated routinely, multiple times a year when their teachers are not.

“My kindergartner is getting evaluated more than his teacher,” one mother said.

The vote on Calderon’s bill, which comes a year after lawmakers killed another teacher evaluation bill by a Democrat, remained open throughout a daylong hearing on education bills of all kinds. But at the end of the day, it still had not attracted enough votes for passage out of the committee.


From the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles Weekly Update of May 6, 2013 |

In the last two issues of Update [picked up in 4LAKids: AALA explains it all for you: THE PARENT TRIGGER LAW, PARTS I & II |] we provided information on the California Parent Trigger law, which made critical amendments to the Education Code.

Its author was outgoing Senator Gloria Romero who lost her race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. She now chairs the California chapter of Democrats for Education Reform, an advocacy group that promotes school choice and tying student performance to the evaluation of school administrators and teachers. Another organization, Parent Revolution, has the same agenda and similar funding sources. It has been very active in California since the law passed in January 2010. Parent Revolution recently organized the effort at LAUSD’s 24th Street Elementary School to use the parent trigger law. The District forged a partnership with the organization and a charter school to run 24th St. We understand Parent Revolution is trying to pull the trigger at other LAUSD schools. With this and Parent Revolution’s efforts to mount a national movement for parent trigger laws, we decided to look further into this organization. So, exactly what is Parent Revolution? How did it begin? Where does it get its money?

A quick look at the Parent Revolution website shows that the organization was founded in 2008 (but officially launched in January 2009) in California to reform low-performing schools. It purports to give low-income parents the same power that middle income parents take for granted. What the website does not say is that Parent Revolution originated from the Los Angeles Parents Union (LAPU) which was founded by Green Dot Public Schools and that Parent Revolution’s current Executive Director, Ben Austin, had the same position at LAPU. It doesn’t say that Parent Revolution is aligned with the far-right Heartland Institute, which unabashedly advocates for the privatization of schools through vouchers and charters. The website does claim its first victory as the passage of the LAUSD Public School Choice resolution, led by former board member Yolie Flores, which opened up the management of over 200 District schools to independent charters and other nonprofit organizations. This also increased the number of schools run by Partnership LA (the mayor’s schools) and LA’s Promise. The jury is still out on how successful the new operators are, but preliminary data is far less than overwhelming.

The website cites its second victory as the passing of the California Parent Trigger law in January 2010, the first in the nation, which was heavily influenced by Ben Austin. By April of 2010, this same Ben Austin was appointed to the California State Board of Education by Arnold Schwarzenegger but was later removed by Governor Brown after receiving a letter of censure from the body for unethical behavior. Ben Austin is also cited as the leader of the effort to reform Locke High School, which resulted in Green Dot taking over the school. Note: The president and CEO of Green Dot Public Schools sits on the board of Parent Revolution and funded more than 80% of the takeover effort at Locke HS. Mr. Austin, an attorney, worked for Rocky Delgadillo in the L.A. City Attorney’s office. His strong ties to Mayor Villaraigosa go back to 2008 when as a consultant for Green Dot he was earning $100K. He helped establish Parent Revolution and helped Ms. Flores get public choice established in LAUSD. In 2008, he made a bid to run for election to former board member Marlene Canter’s open Board District 4 seat, which is now occupied by Steve Zimmer. As of September 1, 2010, the State Bar of California lists Austin as “not eligible to practice law.”

We previously wrote that Parent Revolution was successful in pulling the parent trigger in Adelanto, California, resulting in a public school being turned over to an independent charter. This occurred after its failure in Compton. While it claims that it just assisted the parents in forming a union and provided help and support to organize the community, Parent Revolution purportedly rented a house for use as a headquarters, provided a full-time paid organizer to work with parents and sent in experts to train parents on strategizing, letter writing and researching potential charter schools for the takeover. Unconfirmed reports are that persons were paid for each parent signature that was obtained on the initial petition.

Parent Revolution receives its multimillion dollar funding primarily from the Walton Family and Gates Foundations, both proponents of charter schools. The Walton Family Foundation has contributed more than 43% of Parent Revolution’s funding since 2009 and is also one of the nation’s largest private donors to charter schools. (Note: According to online EdSource Today [April 30, 2013], the Walton Family Foundation recently increased its donation to Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst from $3 million to $8 million.) In addition, Parent Revolution received funding from the Broad and Wasserman Foundations and the California Education Policy Fund, a project of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, funded by the Hewlett Foundation that supports nonprofit organizations in their efforts to reform education. These funders are all supporters of charters and market-driven education reforms. “Education reform” is now closely aligned with power, politics and profit. While Parent Revolution claims to be a grassroots effort to empower parents to fight for reforms at their school, could it really be a well-organized, well-funded effort to create more schools for charter management organizations and conglomerates looking to cash in on the increased privatization of public education?

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
CALIFORNIA’S EDUCATION BECOMING THE TITANIC: by Patrice Apodaca, Newport Beach Daily Pilot | http://bit....


‘NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND’ GETS LEFT BEHIND: “Unlike the state-designed NCLB standards, the Common Core State Stan...

Duncan admits flaws in current standardized testing via @edsource


Open Meetings Laws, The Brown Act, etc.: SCHOOL BOARD TRANSPARENCY A CHALLENGE IN DIGITAL AGE: By Nora Fleming...

CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS OPPOSE NCLB WAIVER FOR LAUSD …or are they and do they?: By Barbara Jones, Staff Writer, ...




WASHINGTON & SACRAMENTO’S COLD WAR OVER EDUCATION: Washington and Sacramento must end Cold War on education ...



Letters: L.A. SCHOOLS ARE #1 …AND #2 IN THE NATION: Where was the governor? …the “education mayor?” …the super...

PARENTS, SCHOOL WORKERS LAUNCH EFFORT TO KEEP LAUSD BREAKFASTS: Superintendent Deasy has not funded Breakfast ...

WALTON FOUNDATION GIVES $8 MILLION TO STUDENTS FIRST: Michelle ®hee’s pro-charter group gets WalMart largesse ...


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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