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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Would you want to be Superintendent?

Miller, Cortines, Romer, Thompson, Brewer, Anton, and Handler.  Not a basketball team, but the names of the LAUSD Superintendents over the last 30 or so years.   

Why so many? They tried a former governor with limited educational knowledge. They tried an admiral with almost no educational knowledge and his buyout was expensive.

Is the District truly governable?  It is large and unruly stretching from Chatsworth to San Pedro, from East Los Angeles to Pacific Palisades. It takes in students from cities and county areas:  Gardena, San Fernando, Carson, West Hollywood, Marina del Rey and more. At some schools parents are involved and truly act as stakeholders, yet at other schools parents are just trying to survive in this world.

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LAUSD—Los Angeles Unusually ScrewedUp District is at it again

All the news about the district has been coming from the downtown Beaudry Headquarters.

Fighting off the Broad initiative to have half of the students in the district leave to attend charter schools.

One idea proposed downtown is to make the entire district a charter district.

The other major issue is the potential for financial doom in the immediate future.

Where has all the money gone?

Ask any teacher or employee at a school if they have ever had enough money or resources. Ask them if they or their students benefit from the money wasted at Beaudry, the programs rolled out (like the new Restorative Justice Program, MiSIS or iPads) which are rolled out half assed and end up costing millions more to correct.

News from a school district, especially a gigantic one like LAUSD, should be positive and should be solely about the schools and what is going on with the students.

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Saving Summer?

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(D) and (R)

Everybody on the Republican stage is better than Hillary Clinton.”

-Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush stated at a town hall that he does not “want to be elected president to sit around and see gridlock just become so dominant that people literally are in decline in their lives.” He then went on to say that the electorate should “elect Trump if you want that.” In the second Republican debate he told Trump that “you can’t just talk about this stuff and insult leaders around the world and expect a good result.” After saying that “if you have intellectual curiosity as a leader, you can grow into the” presidency, he pointed out Trump’s limitations with the qualification of “I’m not sure Mr. Trump has much intellectual curiosity.” Can Bush stand by these criticisms about Trump and still say that his current opponent is more qualified than Hillary Clinton, a former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State? In Bush’s mind does adding a (R) after your name give you special super powers that automatically makes you a superior candidate? Most importantly, has a pledge to the RNC to “endorse the 2016 Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is,” become more important than serving the best interests of the American people?

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