Was the Public Deceived in the LAUSD Superintendent Search?

LAUSD Board member Scott Schmerelson provides information about how someone with no experience in education was picked to lead the country's second-largest school district in his appearance before the Northridge East Neighborhood Council.

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Complaint Alleges LAUSD Board Violated the Brown Act

Los Angeles County’s largest Democratic club presents evidence of wrongdoing to District Attorney’s Public Integrity Division.

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Looking at the California Governor's Race From an Education Perspective

Voters will go to the polls on June 5, 2018, with a plethora of choices. Which candidates for governor will best support public education?

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Los Angeles: Will Unqualified Superintendent Get In-Service Training?

"The Los Angeles school board selected an unqualified person to lead its schools. The decision was made in secret, with no public input.

Carl Petersen points out that state law requires that Superintendents must have experience as teachers and administrators. There is provision for a waiver. Is the superintendent is unqualified, like Austin Beutner, he may be required to take an in-service training program.

35028.
No person shall be eligible to hold a position as city superintendent, district superintendent, deputy superintendent, associate superintendent, or assistant superintendent of schools unless he is the holder of both a valid school administration certificate and a valid teacher’s certificate, but any person employed as a deputy, associate, or assistant superintendent in a purely clerical capacity shall not be required to hold any certificate.
(Enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010.)"

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Austin Beutner Hired As LAUSD's New Superintendent Without Public Input

Austin Beutner has called his appointment as the LAUSD Superintendent “unconventional.” That is an understatement! The method of his selection and appointment may have also been illegal.

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The Charter Industry Proves Again That They Are Not Public Schools

SB-1362 is a bill that would help bring accountability for the public funds that charter schools receive. By opposing this bill the California Charter School Association proves that these are not public schools.

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A Nightwish Come True

We were here!

                    - Nightwish

I was a little hesitant about buying tickets to see Finland’s Nightwish on their current tour. The press release promoting the tour was promising to feature “rarely heard material from the earlier era,” but these weren’t the songs that had drawn me to the band. I had discovered the band after stumbling across their Showtime, Storytime video on YouTube and the newer songs from their twenty-plus year career are the ones that had made them one of my favorite bands. These are the songs I wanted to see them play.

I should have had more faith.

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Los Angeles Charter Schools Allowed to Write Their Own Rules

The statute as I understand it...gives the District...the responsibility and authority of oversight

- LAUSD Board Member George McKenna

Under District rules, every charter that is submitted to the LAUSD for approval must contain District Required Language (DRL). Some of this language simply ensures that the charter conforms to the California Education Code. Other sections cover requirements specific to the LAUSD, like conforming to the Chanda Smith Modified Consent Decree. The most disputed sections require protections that have been successfully blocked in Sacramento by the California Charter School Association (CCSA). An example would be the requirement that the “charter school shall comply with the Brown Act and the Public Records Act.” Charter schools have also been critical of the language that gives the Office of the Inspector General “broad authority — including subpoena power — to sniff out ‘waste, fraud and abuse’".

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Collecting Campaign Cash is Not a Progressive Value

“Jesse Gabriel announced that his campaign has raised more than $500,000 for the upcoming April 3rd Special Election.”

- Jesse Gabriel

What do the former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s adviser David Crane, “symbol of the greed and money of the tech sector” Ron Conway and WalMart Chairman Greg Penner have in common? They are co-founders of Govern for California, an independent expenditure committee that seeks “to influence elections for the California Legislature under the state’s new top-two primary system”. Their efforts are focused on supporting moderates and Republicans. One of their beneficiaries has been Jesse Gabriel, who is running in Tuesday’s special election for Matt Dababneh’s seat.

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Ankur Patel Will Defend Public Education in the California State Assembly

“I commit to working to increase the amount of funding that goes to public education and specifically to students at their school site.”

- Ankur Patel

When choosing which politicians to back, the California Charter School Association (CCSA) seems to care more about how they will help them to avoid regulation than the candidates’ ethical values. In the LAUSD, they helped Ref Rodriguez defeat Bennett Kaiser only to have Rodriguez step down from the Board’s presidency after being indicted on felony charges that included perjury. During the  2016 election cycle, the CCSA spent $30,282 to re-elect Matt Dababneh to the California State Assembly after he sponsored a bill that would have limited the ability of school districts to conduct independent investigations of charter schools. In December 2017, Dababneh was forced to resign from office “after three women accused him of sexual misconduct, including a lobbyist who said he followed her into a restroom and masturbated in front of her.

26814916_143367379668978_5921430996742689002_n.jpgOn April 3, voters in Assembly District 45 will go to the polls to replace the disgraced Assemblyman. As an advocate for public education, I am endorsing Ankur Patel in this race. A win by the former School and Community Coordinator for LAUSD Board Member Scott Schmerelson would send a clear message to the CCSA that their days of purchasing politicians are over. Going forward, their schools will be held accountable for the public funds that they receive.

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