Why We Need a Parent on the LAUSD School Board

The LAUSD’s goal of “parent and community engagement” is stated in black and white on the District’s website. Unfortunately, the District’s actions often speak louder than those words. As an example, when the parents of children with severe special education needs lost the first round of a court case against the District, a press release stated that it was “a civil rights victory for our students”, as if these children needed to be protected from their parents. A higher court overruled this decision, but last June Mónica García and the rest of the LAUSD School Board voted to continue the court fight. Sitting across from each other in a courtroom does not count as “engagement.”

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The LAUSD's Hostility Towards Special Education

On November 16, 2016, the Office of the Independent Monitor held its semi-annual public hearings about the services provided by the LAUSD to students with special education needs. The following is a copy of my testimony before Dr. Rostetter:

 

 

When I saw your reaction to Adam’s speech, it gave me something that I haven’t had in a long time at these meetings and that is hope. It showed that you really care about what happens to our children. But Adam shouldn’t be the exception to the rule. Instead, the LAUSD shows hostility towards special education.

Mónica García said in a Board meeting just a few months ago that “I’m not about defunding special ed, I just know that we have a serious issue to how can we serve our own kids.”

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Resolution: Improving Special Education Within the LAUSD

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LAUSD softens ‘disruptive person’ letters, but parents are still angry

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Rejecting Education by Division

 

If we accept the notion that education is the great equalizer, then we must demand that all children have equal access to education. This does not mean that we should expect that every student will have the same results. However, we should expect as a society that all children are given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Unfortunately, all of my opponents do not share the view that every child is worthy of an education.

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The Fallacy of Charter School Oversight in L.A.

The October staff recommendations represent a fundamental and drastic departure from the Charter School Division’s expressed values of consistency and transparency, and the District’s historic focus on student outcomes as an authorizer.”

-California Charter Schools Association (CCSA)

Both El Camino Real Charter High School (ECRCHS) and Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) were originally LAUSD public schools. While charters are marketed as a way to offer alternatives to poorly performing schools, both of these schools had excellent reputations before their conversions. El Camino has won seven Academic Decathlon National Championships, both as a charter and a public school. GHCHS “had one of the best academic records in the district [prior to its conversion], but it was bothered by cuts in district funding and hampered by rules that limited its own fund-raising abilities.” Like LAUSD schools, the teachers at both schools continue to be represented by UTLA. It should be no surprise that both  of them continue to meet their academic benchmarks.

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Why the shine is off the charter school movement

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Carl Petersen: The Shocking Decision by the LAUSD Not to Renew Five Charter Schools

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LAUSD Loses Over 6000 Students to Charters in One Vote - Some Charters Get Slapped, Too

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The Absurdity of Charter School Oversight in L.A.

This is about the fact that they want to kill our charters and nothing more.

-Magnolia CEO Caprice Young

“The sky is falling.”

-Chicken Little

 

As usual, the LAUSD Board spent a significant portion of their time at Tuesday’s meeting ignoring the needs of students enrolled in District schools so they could focus on charter issues. At this meeting, held at a time set aside to ensure maximum convenience for the charters, one new charter “was approved, another was allowed to expand and three others were renewed.” However, most of the focus has been on Magnolia and Celerity for the rejection of their renewal petitions and El Camino Real Charter High School (ECRCHS) for narrowly avoiding advancement in the charter revocation process.

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