Education issues as seen from a father's eyes.
By Carl J. Petersen
Seven years ago NBC4 reported that aging pipes and water fountains were leaching lead particles into the drinking water at LAUSD facilities. In response, the district instituted a water-wasting “flushing policy” that required schools to run “every fountain ‘a minimum of 30 seconds’ before school each day.’” This was supposed to be a “stop-gap measure” until the district could replace the lead fixtures or install filters. Despite assurances that “the health and safety of our students is a priority,” these repairs have only been made at one school.Read more
Another candidate for District 3 is Carl Petersen, who clearly understands that Galatazan "doesn't pay attention to her constituency, " but rather has no problem getting lost in her iPad during public comments at the board meetings- clearly, her mind is already made up and she's just going through the motions.
Petersen got into this because of a personal interest in special needs students who the district continues to either ignore or underserve. In Petersen's systematic approach to this issue, he has shown a rational approach that can easily be translated into other areas where the district and more specifically the LAUSD Board have consistently missed the boat.
Whether it's viable alternatives to college careers or "classes structured for STEM, but not interest, Petersen clearly understands that the district's top/down model has no place for individual needs in a system where there is never an "independent justification" for what the board does and why.
In my e-mail, I also ask Petersen if he will have time for a phone-interview. He responds back within 8 minutes with his phone number and an invitation to call him, although he has a meeting at 11. I respond to him that I am in class until 10:50 and ask for another time, and he assures me that he will e-mail me after his meeting. I can’t help but notice that he signs his e-mails simply with his first name as “Carl”, despite my formal address to him as “Mr. Petersen.”
I seem to be checking my phone more often as I casually open Google to begin researching this friendly and prompt Mr. Carl Petersen.
The father of five decided to run after spending two days at LAUSD headquarters fighting with district lawyers for the services two of his children need because they suffer from disorders in the autistic spectrum. While campus-based educators agreed Petersen’s children needed the support, he said, district higher-ups didn’t agree.
“During those two days, I said, ‘Something has to change; parents need a say,’ and I decided I was going to step up and run,” Petersen said.
Petersen also believes the cure to many of LAUSD’s woes is more local control. But rather than break up the district, he said, LAUSD needs to set clear expectations and let educators decide how they’re best achieved.
“You have to let teachers do their thing. They’re professionals; that’s why we hired them,” said Petersen, who heads up logistics for a company that manufactures surveillance cameras.
Posted on February 13, 2015 12:28 pm
Petersen spent a lot of the night criticizing Galatzan. He said the board failed to successfully oversee Deasy, was strongly against the iPad program — even belittling it at times...He also said teacher jail was overused.
On the issue of teacher vs. reform, he said he would be a representative of parents. He was the only candidate to bring up MiSiS, the district’s troubled computer system, and criticized the district for going forward with it when MiSiS was “not ready for prime-time.”
Read the full story at http://laschoolreport.com/packed-stage-empty-house-district-3-game-show-debate/
If Carl Petersen does not win the crowded LA Unified school board race for District 3, it certainly won’t be because he was not aggressive enough.
He has been relentlessly hammering incumbent Tamar Galatzan for months on Twitter, Facebook, in press releases and the comments section of LA School Report. Long before most of the other four challengers declared their candidacy, Petersen was calling out Galatzan for every fault he perceived, on issues great, small...
Read the full story at http://laschoolreport.com/bad-lausd-experience-led-carl-petersen-school-board-race/
“All students in grade 9 are expected to be present at school to take the exam. Absences on the testing day will be counted as a school absence and students will be responsible for making up the test.”
- Granada Hills Charter High School
For two mornings this week my child will not be learning anything in school. She will not have class time with a teacher, benefit from a stimulating classroom discussion or prepare for her AP test in May. Instead, she will have to sit in front of a computer screen taking a test that which will help “prepare students for computer based standardized tests and other adaptive tests.” This is not exactly a task that will contribute to a “student-centered environment in which all students will develop academic skills, practical skills, and attitudes to enable them to be successful lifelong learners and productive, responsible citizens in a diverse society.” However, I do suspect that it is geared towards preparing students to get better grades on the state mandated tests so that the school can flout these scores in their public relations materials.
- Tamar Galatzan
It is a stated goal of the Los Angeles Unified School District to have “parent and community engagement.” Unfortunately, putting those words on paper is as far as their commitment to the issue goes. For example, Board meetings start at 1:00 when most working parents, teachers and students can not attend. It is not even a good time for stay-at-home parents because it is too close to the end of the school day when they have to pick up their children. The Board did experiment with a 4:00 start time, but Tamar Galatzan led the effort to return it to the middle of the work day.
The district’s $1.3 billion plan to provide an iPad to every “student, teacher and administrator” has now drawn the attention of the FBI, but moonlighting City Attorney Tamar Galatzan should have been the one to notice the problems. Instead, she was what KPCC’s Annie Gilbertson described as “a fierce supporter of the Superintendent’s iPad program.” Howard Blume of the Los Angeles Times said that she “was one of the staunchest supporters of the original iPad plan.” An opinion piece in the Los Angeles Register referred to “the iPad plan’s chief proponents, Tamar Galatzan and Monica Garcia.”
Ms. Galatzan’s support of the iPad program does not line up with her campaign’s position that “she has also been very judicious in how she spends voter-approved bond money earmarked for her schools.” Bond funds are paid back with interest over 25 years and are a school district’s equivalent of a household mortgage. Just like a mortgage is appropriate for buying a house, the LAUSD is justified in using these funds for construction, capital improvements and long-term maintenance. A consumer would be ill-advised to take on such a long-term obligation to buy a consumer item, like an iPad, that will only last a few years. Similarly, the district should not be using these funds to buy “hoops, ropes and soccer balls” if this is the type of “recreational equipment for school playgrounds” that she brags about on her campaign site.Read more
The LAUSD has set a goal of a 100% graduation rate. The students, parents and community should expect nothing less. Unfortunately, the results fall far short. In the 2013 - 14 school year, only 67% of students in the district graduated in four years and only 41% of students are “graduating and passing all A-G courses.” The fact that a Board Member would ask for re-election based on those “record numbers” is appalling.
This is another issue that calls out for new blood on the LAUSD Board of Education. As a member of the Board I will:Read more