LAUSD whatever happened to textbooks with paper and pencil?

In LAUSD elementary classrooms they use workbooks, sheets from the publishers, and photocopies at a waste of millions while enriching the publishers. There is not enough practice on any skill for every student to attain mastery of that skill.

My students used five to six Math books with Math paper folded into 16 squares. The students got plenty of practice and practice equals mastery.

For Language Arts exercises, I used a textbook along with lined paper. I used lined paper for creative writing too. I supplemented the textbook with charts and transparencies and the students worked and there was sufficient practice for mastery.

Do they really learn how to punctuate quotations by putting in commas and quotation marks on a printed page?

My students wrote their own dialogue and put in the punctuation.

LAUSD: Your tax dollars at waste always!

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The LAUSD Board Strikes Out

Resolved, That the LAUSD Board of Education of the City of Los Angeles opposes the Broad Foundation plan and all initiatives that present a strategy designed to serve some students and not all students

-Scott Schmerelson

When a leaked copy of Eli Broad’s Great Public Schools Now Initiative was published by the Los Angeles Times, the public was given insight into what the Ed “Reform” movement’s plans look like before they have been cleaned up by the marketing department. While students should be the reason for any education system to exist, in this document they were reduced to “market share” and tools for creating a system that will become “a model for all large cities to follow.” While claiming that this new model would be better for students, the initiative’s metrics were not set up to measure student achievement. Instead, they measured how well the program performed at increasing the size of the publicly financed, private school system with three stated “objectives: (1) to create 260 new high-quality charter schools, (2) to generate 130,000 high-quality charter seats, and (3) to reach 50 percent charter market share.”

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3R’s + T = LAUSD

When you were in school did you learn more than the 3R’s:  Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.

Of course you did. If you think hard you can remember map making, singing and dancing, games, Social Studies, movies, slides or filmstrips, Science, public speaking and drama, Health, handwriting, and practical things like learning how to introduce two people, how to carry a chair, how to address an envelope, and so much more.

Don’t you want your children to have these experiences? How did we get to this place? How do we stop it?

We must retake our schools from the test and book publishers, the know it all celebrities (politicians and the extremely rich who never attended public school), the school board members who have no educational background, and the downtown administrators who are entrenched without the knowledge gained by current experiences at the schools.

Wherever thou goest in school today, the fun is gone, the tests are upon, and the students’ future is extremely drawn.

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American Idiots

Don't want to be an American idiot.

One nation controlled by the media.

Information age of hysteria.

It's calling out to idiot America.”

-Billie Joe Armstrong


Like consumer safety in a deregulated market, basic decency has been discarded as the Republican candidates for president have engaged in a race to the bottom in an attempt to secure their party’s base. Donald Trump fired the starting gun with attacks on Mexican immigrants and has continued to set the pace by mimicking a reporter with disabilities. Ted Cruz seemed to challenge President Obama to a schoolyard brawl when he stated "I want to encourage you, Mr. President, come back and insult me to my face." When the New York Times  reported that Ben Carson’s advisor,  Duane R. Clarridge, told them that “Mr. Carson needed weekly conference calls briefing him on foreign policy so ‘we can make him smart,’” the Carson campaign chastised the Times for taking “advantage of an elderly gentleman.” Chris Christie one upped Cruz’s declaration that our country should only admit Syrian refugees who are Christians because “there is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror,” by maintaining that even "orphans under age 5" pose a risk and should be excluded from entering our country in search of refuge. Carly Fiorina continues to maintain that she saw an anti-Planned Parenthood video that does not exist while Trump stands by his claim that he “watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. Jersey City, New Jersey...thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.” As proof, he “links to, a conspiracy website that pushes the idea that 9/11 was an insidejob...the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was a hoax, FEMA is setting up concentration camps and Andrew Breitbart was assassinated to prevent the release of damaging information about Barack Obama.” 

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The Real War on Christmas

This article was originally posted two years ago in the Patch. The examples may be dated, but the Starbucks Red Cup Controversy shows the issue is not dead.

The right wing media did not even wait for the turkey to be served this year before they started working up their annual hysteria about the left’s supposed “War on Christmas.” In somewhat of a Christmas miracle, Sarah Palin actually completed a project and has began promoting her book where she “defends the right to proclaim the true meaning of Christmas in public!” Glenn Beck is reminding followers that the Texas legislature took time off from legislating what women do with their bodies to pass a law that allows “teachers, students, and parents to ‘acknowledge Christmas on school grounds without fear of censorship, persecution, or litigation.’” The Fox Nation is reminded that “Christmas is under attack” and is provided with an interactive map that displays all of the places where “challenges to religious freedom are taking place.”

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How far will LAUSD parents go to find a better school for their children?

A parent who lives by Palms Middle School chose to send her child to Paul Revere Middle School about seven miles away. This is a heavy traffic drive and the street leading to Revere is a one lane road in each direction.

Why?  Because she wants the best education for her child.

Parents go so far as to use someone else’s address.  This is a common practice as parents in areas where their home school is not to their expectations find other ways to get their children into a preferred school.

Many years ago, a number of students attending an elementary school were found using the same residential address where none of them lived. People have turned the guardianship of their child over to a relative living in the residential area of a desired school.

There are also students using permits with transfer and taking extremely long school bus rides to attend better schools. There are also students who utilize public transportation to reach a school that their family prefers.

All schools are not created equal.

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Saving Money by Shortchanging a Special Education

For 13 years [we have] known what we should do for Special Education and we have ignored it as a district.”

-Ramon C. Cortines, LAUSD Superintendent

It cannot be denied that Special Education costs a lot of money. In fact, the Independent Financial Review Panel says that it “is one of the fastest growing parts of the LAUSD budget.” When done well, Special Education can be labor intensive, requiring classrooms with extremely low staff-to-student ratios and sometimes even more one-on-one time. Experts in speech and occupational therapy are needed to fortify regular instructional time. The District must make accommodations so that those with physical disabilities can have full access to school facilities. Transportation is needed to get students to the schools that provide their required programs. These services do not come cheap, but they are all essential components to provide a Special Education.

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A Parent's Evaluation of the LAUSD Charter School Division

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Public K12 education has changed radically

It is all about testing. The test publishers are getting richer, while controlling the curriculum. They prepare the tests and the test preparation materials.

They decide what shall be taught, thus what shall be tested.

There is no time for mastery of the skills. There is no time for review of the skills. There is no time for remediation of the skills. A skill is taught for one to three days; there is one homework assignment and then they must move on following the pacing plan that follows the publisher’s textbook. There is insufficient practice in the textbooks, workbooks, and photocopied sheets provided by the publishers.

Is the goal of education today to improve test scores or to generate a dumbed down generation?

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LAUSD: Rescind the TFA contract

Sign The Petition Here (Even if you do not live in Los Angeles): LAUSD: Rescind the TFA Contract

Cancel the contract that pays Teach for America (TFA) to recruit untrained interns to teach our vulnerable special education students. Identify reputable programs to recruit graduates and student teachers who are committed to the teaching profession, to our schools and our students.

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