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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Following Monica's Money

Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres”

Tell me with whom you walk, and I’ll tell you who you are.

- Mexican Proverb as quoted by Antonio Villaraigosa

As headlined in the L.A. School Report, “L.A. Unified school board member Monica Garcia dominates fundraising in re-election bid”. She has raised “nearly 150 times more money than her opponent”, giving her plenty of room to maneuver and make sure that her donations are as clean as possible. However, a review of her $119,858.40 haul suggests that not much of a review was performed. After all, the bar must have been pretty low to accept these donations:

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Why Was El Camino's Charter Renewed?

Since we are on a timeline and it seems that the other issues that would prevent a renewal just don’t exist here, that everything else is very, positive...we are on a timeline and I think that we should vote the renewal up or down.

- Steve Zimmer, LAUSD Board President

It is yet to be revealed just how long the “financial shenanigans” were going on at El Camino Charter High School (ECRCHS), but the records do show that a Notice to Cure (NTC) was issued to the charter’s Governing Board on October 28, 2015, that included the allegation that “there were charges on the credit card statement where it was indicated as ‘personal use’ which is inappropriate and does not align to the purpose for use of the public credit card.” In ECRCHS’ response dated November 3, 2015, they “request a December 17th deadline” to take corrective actions because of “the number of requests contained in the NTC”. However, just one week later, on a motion presented by Monica Garcia and seconded by Ref Rodriguez, the LAUSD Board ignored the existence of the uncorrected financial issues outlined in the NTC and unanimously voted to extend the charter by another five years.

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Resolution: LAUSD Election Reform

Whereas, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) School Board’s first priority should be to represent the more than 640,000 students enrolled within its boundaries;

Whereas, scarce education funds should be directly spent on students, not promoting the re-election of School Board Members;

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A Web of Deceit

E-Ltr_C_Petersen_re_Public_Records_Act_Request_Fourth_PRA_Request_092216_FINAL-page-001.jpg E-Ltr_C_Petersen_re_Public_Records_Act_Request_Fourth_PRA_Request_092216_FINAL-page-002.jpg Ltr_C_Petersen_re_Public_Records_Act_Request_No_5_092716_Contract-page-001.jpg Ltr_C_Petersen_re_Public_Records_Act_Request_No_5_092716_Contract-page-002.jpg

"The public interest in withholding those records clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure."

-Law Offices of Young, Minney & Corr, LLP

On behalf of El Camino Real Charter High School

Dear LAUSD Board Members:

I have previously shared with the Charter School Division (CSD) the responses that I have received from El Camino Real Charter School's (ECRCHS) law firm after attempting to gain access to the $20,000 report that the Governing Board commissioned from Oracle Investigations Group under the California Public Records Act (PRA). Unfortunately, I have not heard back from the CSD or received the report or a copy of the contract under which it was prepared. However, in reviewing the Response to Notice of Violation that was prepared on behalf of ECRCHS states on page two that "included among ECRA Board actions taken are...contracting with an independent investigator to investigate concerns raised by the LAUSD Charter Schools Division in a Notice to Cure in October of 2015". This is contradictory to responses that I received from the same law firm claiming that "as legal counsel for ECR our firm retained the services of Oracle Investigations Group, Inc." and "there are no documents responsive to your request in the possession of ECR" in response to my request for a copy of "the contract with Oracle Investigations Group that was approved by the Governing Board on June 22, 2016."

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