Parental Engagement

By Carl J. Petersen

Education issues as seen from a father's eyes.

The Standoff Continues: GHCHS Doubles Down on Non-Compliance

GHCHS_Requests_IEP.jpgGranada Hills Charter High School continues to ask for documentation during the enrollment process that is not allowed by its own charter. When will the LAUSD act?

Read the article on K12 News Network's The Wire.

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Broken Promises: Another Failing Charter Gets A Pass

Snapshot_1_(10-8-2017_7-37_PM).pngUnder the control of the Green Dot charter organization, Alain LeRoy Locke High still gets failing grades but is renewed by the LAUSD.

Read the article on K12 News Network's The Wire.

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Conference: Opposing Charter Schools

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Without Discussion the LAUSD Board Chooses a President

The LAUSD Board made Ref Rodriguez their president without properly vetting him. Did they learn from their mistake?

Read the article on K12 News Network's The Wire.

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Rookie Mistake?

I sent the following letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times in response to the charter industry's op-ed diminishing the charges against Ref Rodriguez. It was not published.

 

If we are to believe Peter Cunningham’s September 21, Op-Ed, Ref Rodriguez’s alleged violations of the law should be ignored because they are a result of a “rookie mistake”. This reasoning ignores the fact that the defendant was employed by PUC charter schools as a treasurer, with a responsibility to understand financial rules. He was also asked by KPCC radio in 2015, about the actions that are now detailed in the felony complaint and denied that the donors were being reimbursed. This is a case of deception, not of ignorance.

Contrary to Cunningham’s assertion, perjury and money laundering are not “crime[s] with no victim”.  The actions described deprived “the public of information about the true source of a candidate’s financial support” making every voter a victim. Furthermore, it demonstrates the character of a man who is supposed to set an example for the 640,000 children of the District.

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Rules? Where we’re going we don’t need…rules.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain: Is Ref Rodriguez saying that he didn't break the rules or that he just shouldn’t pay attention.

Read the article on K12 News Network's The Wire.

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On Deaf Ears: My Public Comment to the LAUSD Board

The LAUSD School Board rewards failure by approving yet another renewal of a charter that cannot show positive results.

Read the article on K12 News Network's The Wire.

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Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil: The Failures of LAUSD'S Charter School Division

State law provides that an authorizer is not liable for debts, obligations [or] liabilities so long as [they] provide appropriate oversight. We believe we are providing appropriate oversight.” [emphasis mine]

- José Cole-Gutiérrez

 As the District slides towards bankruptcy due to declining enrollment, the LAUSD School Board acted on Tuesday on another round of charter renewals and material revisions. Oblivious to the effects of refusing to oversee the charters under its jurisdiction, the Board approved these requests ignoring the shortfalls of these charters:

ICEF.pngThe ICEF chain of charters requested renewals for three of its locations. The chain has a laudable goal of “maximizing academic achievement” by focusing on the tenet that "if you teach students at the bottom 25% as though they are the bottom, they will always stay at the bottom." It, therefore, uses a model that “is designed to improve the education of disadvantaged and underserved students by applying the same ‘acceleration’ techniques used with gifted and talented students” as if children are widgets that can be manufactured to spec.

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Means, Motive, and Opportunity: Forcing the LAUSD School Board to Act

Charter schools may not enact admissions requirements or other barriers to enrollment and must admit all students who apply, just as traditional public schools cannot turn away students.”

- ACLU

On Tuesday, August 23, 2017, I made a third presentation to the LAUSD School Board about the enrollment practices of Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) and the Charter Schools Division’s lack of enforcement of the school’s charter. The following are a transcript of my remarks:

I came before this Board in June to show you what I had found out about Granada Hills Charter High School and their enrollment practices. At that time, the Charter School Division was instructed to look into the matter and get back to me. The letter that I received in response is, to be polite, disappointing. This is included in the packet that I have provided to you.

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Change.org Petition: Stop GHCHS From Discouraging the Enrollment of Special Ed Students

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According to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Charter School Division (CSD), “requesting a copy of a student’s IEP (Individualized Education Program) or information contained in a student’s IEP during the pre-admission stage creates an inference...that the charter school may be using this information to ‘counsel out’ or otherwise discourage students with disabilities from seeking admission” For this reason, Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) charter includes a statement that they “shall not request or require submission of a student’s IEP, 504 Plan, or any other record or related information prior to admission” (emphasis mine). Despite this prohibition, the school’s Enrollment For Incoming Students, enrollment entry page and New Student Information page on the GHCHS website still asks parents to submit IEP and 504 plans.

The LAUSD CSD was notified on March 12, 2017, about these violations of the school’s charter but did not force them to comply. The School Board was made aware of this lack of action on June 13, 2017. Over two months later, GHCHS has not been forced to make the appropriate changes.

If you believe in the importance of giving equal access to all educational opportunities and would like to demand that the LAUSD School Board do the same, please sign the Change.Org petition asking the LAUSD Board to pass the Holding GHCHS Accountable to Their Charter Resolution.

 

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