Parental Engagement

By Carl J. Petersen

Education issues as seen from a father's eyes.

Granada Announces Expansion - But Who Gave Them Permission?

Without applying for a material revision with the LAUSD or getting approval from their Governing Board, Granada Hills Charter High School says that they will start adding TK through Eighth Grade classes.

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Charters: Public Schools or Private Businesses?

CCSA.jpgThe charter industry claims to operate public schools but opposes attempts to make them accountable to those who fund their operations.

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Tone Deaf: Granada Misses the Point in Promoting its iGranada Program

A success story does not negate criticisms that it improperly forces students into its independent study program.

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LAUSD Board Set to Consider "Holding GHCHS Accountable to Their Charter" Resolution

Fourteen months into the fight over enrollment practices at Granada Hills Charter High School, the LAUSD School Board will take up this issue of accountability at the February Committee of the Whole meeting.

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Whack-A-Mole: The Los Angeles Approach to Charter Regulation

404.jpgIt is not enough to find violations at charter schools and quietly make them go away. The charter industry must be held accountable for bad practices.

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LAUSD Stakeholders Are Not Reading From An Open Book

Access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state

- California Government Code


When LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King first disappeared from the halls of the Beaudry Building “some insiders said she injured herself in an accident while on vacation with her family.” In October, “a district spokeswoman downplayed the effect of the medical issue” saying that she would return the following Monday, but that did not happen and the medical leave was made indefinite. A District spokesman then announced that “the superintendent planned to return January 22.” This was proven incorrect when four months into her leave King announced that she will not “return to her position and plans to retire later this year”. She “also ended months of speculation by announcing the condition that prompted her medical leave: she has been receiving treatment for cancer.”

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If Money Continues to Talk, We're Screwed

In the congressional races in 2008, the candidate who had more money won more than 93% of the time. Our representatives don’t serve us; they serve the people who pay them — their corporate funders.

- Cenk Uygur


The Republicans passed a tax bill despite the opposition of 55% of Americans. Now in an ass-backward move, they will now rely on conservative groups to plan “a multimillion-dollar effort to sell the GOP’s tax cut law”. These efforts include the Koch brothers launching “a multimillion-dollar push next year”, a GOP super PAC spending “$10 million to protect House members” and the Committee to Unleash Prosperity spending “the majority of its $1 million annual budget selling the tax plan”. The success of this plan relies on the American people forgetting that the law could add “$2.0 trillion to $2.2 trillion (before interest)” to the deficit, purposely punishes the citizens of Blue States, and is crafted in a way that “nearly two-thirds of the benefit [go] to the richest fifth of Americans in 2018.” The key to enabling this amnesia is the (perhaps inflated) reductions to withholding rates that will take effect in February, distracting the middle class from the fact that by 2027, 53% of Americans will pay more taxes under the new tax scheme.

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A Very Different Definition of Choice

Further, as the CSD is aware, iGranada is a well-designed independent study option, wherein most students are on campus daily, actively engaged in 1-on-1 and group learning.

- Brian Bauer, GHCHS

The inclusion of a statement in each independent study agreement that independent study is an optional educational alternative in which no pupil may be required to participate. In the case of a pupil who is referred or assigned to any school, class, or program pursuant to Section 48915 or 48917, the agreement also shall include the statement that instruction may be provided to the pupil through independent study only if the pupil is offered the alternative of classroom instruction.

- California Education Code

In the most basic of ways, Granada Hills High School has always been a school of choice. As noted by one researcher, “the choice among public schools has been linked to the family's decision about where to live, a decision that gives wealthy families more choice than poor families.” Unlike in economically disadvantaged portions of Los Angeles, many families in the surrounding neighborhoods of Granada Hills had the ability, and, therefore choice, to move within the boundaries of Granada Hills High School, “one of the highest-achieving schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District”, even before its conversion to a charter in 2003. While the charter industry promotes itself as a way for parents to have more choice, Granada’s conversion had more to do with the school’s ability to choose its students.

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Depriving the LAUSD Board of Ignorance

At the Los Angeles Unified School District, our goals are...5. School safety

- LAUSD

Given the vastness of the LAUSD bureaucracy, there is no guarantee that the members of the School Board knew that Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) had been cited for making unauthorized modifications to their District owned campus that threatened student and staff safety. Therefore, I used my three minutes of public comment at the LAUSD  November 14, meeting to make the board members aware of this situation:

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Senate Education Committee Informational Hearing: Charter School Authorization in CA

My testimony at the Senate Education Committee Informational Hearing: Charter School Authorization in CA on October 23, 2017:


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