Mainstreaming vs. a Special Education.

Our job is to teach the student we have. Not the ones we would like to have. Not the ones we used to have. Those we have right now. All of them.”

–Dr. Kevin Maxwell

Children with special needs deserve the chance to be integrated into society. The days of hiding them away should be relegated to the past and every effort given to accommodate them. However, this should be done for their benefit, not ours. They should also be provided with the opportunity to retreat to a safe place when they become overwhelmed. In the LAUSD, these safe places are the special education centers. These are truly special schools where the most fragile of our students can have their unique needs addressed in a stimulating and accepting environment with trained professionals.

Unfortunately, the LAUSD has an unacknowledged, but readily apparent, plan to close down the special education centers. Parents are reporting that the district is depriving them of their final say in education decisions for their children by not making these schools available during the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process and intimidating those who push for the choice. As a result, the populations of these schools are steadily decreasing. Instead, these students are being forced into mainstream schools that are ill-equipped to handle their needs. These are students that need intensive assistance and at some point one of them is going to get lost in the shuffle of a general education campus and this will result in a tragedy. The district needs to reverse course before this happens.

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Election 2015: iPad controversy looms large in LAUSD District 3 board race

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As the city's March 3 primary election draws near, Los Angeles Unified school board candidates are blasting incumbents for the controversial iPad program.

Opponents sharply criticized the $1.3 billion bond-funded program at a debate Tuesday in West San Fernando Valley, where District 3 school board member Tamar Galatzan was elected in 2007.

"Galatzan said the district is going in the right direction," declared candidate Carl Petersen, a parent and businessman. "I don’t know how anyone can look at the events of the past year and come to that conclusion."

 

Read the full story at http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2015/02/20/17931/ipad-controversy-looms-large-in-lausd-district-3-b/

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L.A. Unified candidates use Deasy as a platform springboard

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[Galatzan's] challengers, meanwhile, push hard on her support of the iPads — an effort that Deasy called a civil rights imperative.

Carl J. Petersen faulted the use of school construction bonds to buy the devices. The parent of five also prefers well-stocked computer labs to the purchase for each student of what he called a "glorified toy."

 

Read the full story at http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-lausd-election-20150220-story.html#page=1

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Misplaced Priorities: LAUSD Students Face Threat of Unsafe Drinking Water

Seven years ago NBC4 reported that aging pipes and water fountains were leaching lead particles into the drinking water at LAUSD facilities. In response, the district instituted a water-wasting “flushing policy” that required schools to run “every fountain ‘a minimum of 30 seconds’ before school each day.’” This was supposed to be a “stop-gap measure” until the district could replace the lead fixtures or install filters. Despite assurances that “the health and safety of our students is a priority,” these repairs have only been made at one school.

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If Failed Teachers are Fired, Why are Failed LAUSD Incumbents Re-Elected

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Another candidate for District 3 is Carl Petersen, who clearly understands that Galatazan "doesn't pay attention to her constituency, " but rather has no problem getting lost in her iPad during public comments at the board meetings- clearly, her mind is already made up and she's just going through the motions. 

Petersen got into this because of a personal interest in special needs students who the district continues to either ignore or underserve. In Petersen's systematic approach to this issue, he has shown a rational approach that can easily be translated into other areas where the district and more specifically the LAUSD Board have consistently missed the boat. 

Whether it's viable alternatives to college careers or "classes structured for STEM, but not interest, Petersen clearly understands that the district's top/down model has no place for individual needs in a system where there is never an "independent justification" for what the board does and why.

 

Read the full story at http://www.citywatchla.com/8box-left/8441-if-failed-teachers-are-fired-why-are-failed-lausd-incumbents-re-elected

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From the lens of a journalist: Tamar Galatzan v. Carl Petersen

JAZLEY FAITH

JOURNALISM.

In my e-mail, I also ask Petersen if he will have time for a phone-interview. He responds back within 8 minutes with his phone number and an invitation to call him, although he has a meeting at 11. I respond to him that I am in class until 10:50 and ask for another time, and he assures me that he will e-mail me after his meeting. I can’t help but notice that he signs his e-mails simply with his first name as “Carl”, despite my formal address to him as “Mr. Petersen.”

I seem to be checking my phone more often as I casually open Google to begin researching this friendly and prompt Mr. Carl Petersen.

 Tweets

Read the full story at http://jazzleyfaithjournalism.tumblr.com/post/111154529102/from-the-lens-of-a-journalist-tamar-galatzan-v

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LAUSD District 3 race: 5 challengers seek to end Tamar Galatzan’s reign

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CP2.jpgThe father of five decided to run after spending two days at LAUSD headquarters fighting with district lawyers for the services two of his children need because they suffer from disorders in the autistic spectrum. While campus-based educators agreed Petersen’s children needed the support, he said, district higher-ups didn’t agree.

“During those two days, I said, ‘Something has to change; parents need a say,’ and I decided I was going to step up and run,” Petersen said.

Petersen also believes the cure to many of LAUSD’s woes is more local control. But rather than break up the district, he said, LAUSD needs to set clear expectations and let educators decide how they’re best achieved.

“You have to let teachers do their thing. They’re professionals; that’s why we hired them,” said Petersen, who heads up logistics for a company that manufactures surveillance cameras.

 

Read the full story at http://www.dailynews.com/government-and-politics/20150214/lausd-district-3-race-5-challengers-seek-to-end-tamar-galatzans-reign

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Packed stage, empty house at District 3 ‘game show’ debate

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Posted on February 13, 2015 12:28 pm by 

District-3-debate.jpegCarl Petersen

Petersen spent a lot of the night criticizing Galatzan. He said the board failed to successfully oversee Deasy, was strongly against the iPad program — even belittling it at times...He also said teacher jail was overused.

On the issue of teacher vs. reform, he said he would be a representative of parents. He was the only candidate to bring up MiSiS, the district’s troubled computer system, and criticized the district for going forward with it when MiSiS was “not ready for prime-time.”

 

Read the full story at http://laschoolreport.com/packed-stage-empty-house-district-3-game-show-debate/

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Bad LAUSD experience led Carl Petersen to school board race

L A School Report

Posted on February 2, 2015 1:19 pm by 

CP2.jpgIf Carl Petersen does not win the crowded LA Unified school board race for District 3, it certainly won’t be because he was not aggressive enough.

He has been relentlessly hammering incumbent Tamar Galatzan for months on Twitter, Facebook, in press releases and the comments section of LA School Report. Long before most of the other four challengers declared their candidacy, Petersen was calling out Galatzan for every fault he perceived, on issues great, small...

Read the full story at http://laschoolreport.com/bad-lausd-experience-led-carl-petersen-school-board-race/

 

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Parental Involvement Should Not Be This Hard

All students in grade 9 are expected to be present at school to take the exam. Absences on the testing day will be counted as a school absence and students will be responsible for making up the test.

- Granada Hills Charter High School


For two mornings this week my child will not be learning anything in school. She will not have class time with a teacher, benefit from a stimulating classroom discussion or prepare for her AP test in May. Instead, she will have to sit in front of a computer screen taking a test that which will help “prepare students for computer based standardized tests and other adaptive tests.” This is not exactly a task that will contribute to a “student-centered environment in which all students will develop academic skills, practical skills, and attitudes to enable them to be successful lifelong learners and productive, responsible citizens in a diverse society.” However, I do suspect that it is geared towards preparing students to get better grades on the state mandated tests so that the school can flout these scores in their public relations materials.

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