Education issues as seen from a father's eyes.
By Carl J. Petersen
Unable to compete against Jackie Goldberg’s experience, the supporters of Heather Repenning resort to the politics of bigotry as election day in LAUSD Board District 5 approaches.
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Nick Melvoin’s plan to change the Board rules was pulled from the agenda at the last minute. It will now be heard at a Board meeting in June.
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Ignoring the proposed “Board Meeting Accessibility to the Public” resolution, Nick Melvoin seeks less public input on education issues.
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“LAUSD Career and Transition Center programs provide employment preparation, independent living skills, and social skills instruction to students ages 18-22 years who are on the Alternate Curriculum.”
While the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) likes to pretend that all students will graduate high school and advance to college, this is an impossible goal for students with severe special education needs. Fortunately, under California law, school districts must continue serving these students until they reach the age of 22 so that they are given the opportunity to reach their full potential. One of the options for young adults who have finished the high school alternative curriculum is the Career and Transition Centers (CTC) that are located throughout the District.Read more
“Heather Repenning, is moderate in her approach, but her lack of experience in education shows; during an interview, she had nothing insightful or original to say about the issues facing L.A. Unified.”
- Los Angeles Times Editorial Board
During my first run for the LAUSD School Board, I was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times (LAT) Editorial Board as they considered who they would endorse. Unfortunately, this discussion devolved into an argument over my support of the opt-out movement for standardized testing. I had explained that one of the reasons that my wife and I had decided to exercise our rights under the state education code and exempt our children from taking these tests was the unnecessary stress it imposed on students. A member of the Editorial Board accused me of hypocrisy as I had also allowed my children to choose to take AP tests. She was unswayed by my argument that since the payoff for undergoing the stress of taking an AP test was possibly receiving college credits, the stress of taking that test was an acceptable cost. To her, stress was a necessary part of life and she did not see a reason why children should be protected from it.Read more
- LAUSD Charter School Division
The LAUSD School Board took the rare step of considering the denial of a charter school’s renewal during their April 2, 2019, “special” meeting. In reviewing the hundreds of pages of documents supporting this recommendation, it was clear that the Community Preparatory Academy (CPA) has been in trouble since it was opened five years ago. During public comment I summarized the worst of their offenses for the Board:
- LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia
At the April 2, 2019 “special” meeting of the LAUSD School Board, the charter school industry was once again permitted to stack the public speaker list so that only their viewpoint was heard before action was taken on the renewal of Summit Preparatory Charter. Knowing that there was at least one person who was denied the ability speak against this renewal, Board Member Scott Schmerelson asked how he could institute a pilot program that would enable speakers to use Skype to address the Board remotely from local district offices. In response, Board President Monica Garcia suggested that “Mr. Melvoin’s group and Mr. Crain (the Board’s Secretary)...could probably figure out how to do a pilot.” Melvoin followed up by saying “I think that it’s a great thing for the Board Rule Committee to consider.” Garcia agreed by saying “Let’s go to that committee.”Read more
- Scott Schmerelson
While the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board has promised for years to address complaints about difficulties that parents and other members of the community face when trying to participate in school board meetings, it took a member of the public using the education code to place an item on their agenda for it to finally be addressed. At Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, the Board heard from parents who supported the “Board Meeting Accessibility to the Public” resolution before discussing the item. As the person who brought forward the proposed resolution, I was given the opportunity to speak first:Read more
Complaints about the many obstacles that the public faces when they attempt to participate in meetings of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board are close to universal. Parents of children enrolled in charter schools and those in District schools all seem to recognize that there is a problem with a system that requires them to line up hours in advance because the Board Room is not large enough to hold the number of people who show up, particularly when there are contentious issues on the agenda. While other local districts hold their meetings in the evening, the LAUSD hold theirs during the school day which means that working parents, students, and teachers are usually not able to attend. Since the Board limits the number of people who can speak on a subject, frustrations mount when opposing sides are not given equal opportunity to present their arguments before a vote is taken.
“Why, you slimy, double-crossing, no-good swindler! You’ve got a lot of guts coming here after what you pulled.”
- Lando Calrissian
Much to the chagrin of Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Superintendent Austin Beutner and his charter school industry supporters, parents overwhelmingly backed the District’s teachers when they went out on strike in January. At one point, less than a fifth of LAUSD students were attending class, even as principals pleaded with and threatened parents to send their children to school. One survey taken during the work stoppage found that 80% of Angelenos were supporting the strike.Read more