Education issues as seen from a father's eyes.
By Carl J. Petersen
- Lawrence Lessig
In Los Angeles, the allegedly cash-strapped school district will spend approximately $2.4 million in the special elections to replace disgraced former Board member Ref Rodriguez. This is money that won’t be available to reduce class sizes, give students with special education needs the services they need or ensure that every school is staffed with a trained librarian. Even worse, it will be used in an electoral system where the vast majority of those eligible to participate will not do so and little will be done to promote the exchange of ideas between candidates.Read more
- LAUSD Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic
The students in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Board District 5 have been unrepresented since Ref Rodriguez was forced from office on July 23, 2018. Considering the fact that the charter school founder pleaded guilty to crimes related to his election, these constituents have not been represented fairly since the day he took office. Board Member Scott Schmerelson offered a resolution that would have given them representation by appointing Jackie Goldberg to the seat until an election could be held. However, after a meeting poisoned by bigotry, the Charter backed Board Members sided with Dr. Vladovic to leave one-seventh of the District’s stakeholders unrepresented.Read more
- Allison Bajracharya
As a “senior leader” at the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Allison Bajracharya was directly responsible for student outcomes. If these schools were proven success stories, her experience could serve as a legitimate springboard for service on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board. After all, who would not want to take a proven model and apply it to public schools?
Unfortunately, Bajacharya’s record does not represent an unqualified success:Read more
- Network for Public Education Action
When Ref Rodriguez pleaded guilty to felony charges related to campaign finance violations last July and was forced to resign from his Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board seat, he left the residents of Board District 5 without representation. When supporters of the California Charter School Association (CCSA) used bigotry to block Scott Schmerelson’s resolution to appoint Jackie Goldberg to fill the seat until a special election could be held, they ensured that this lack of representation continued. During this time, a charter school closed without notice, the police were called to question a kindergarten student, the School Board voted to make it easier for child abusers to enter the classroom, the LAUSD kept classes in session during the strike despite an admission that they could not guarantee the safety of certain students and the District signed a possibly illegal lobbying contract with a former state assemblyman surrounded by scandal.Read more
- LAUSD School Board slogan
While claiming poverty, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is currently spending $2.4 million on the special election to replace admitted felon and charter school supporter Ref Rodriguez. The District’s General Counsel, David Holmquist, was asked by Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson to look into the “viability” of “bringing legal action against this enormous cost which was not [the District’s] fault.” Holmquist has yet to publicly provide an answer.
- LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin
One item is notably missing from the agenda for the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Committee of the Whole (COTW) meeting that was released yesterday. As permitted by Article 3, Section 35145.5. of the California Education Code, the “Board Meeting Accessibility to the Public” resolution was submitted to the District on September 27, 2018. While LAUSD Board rules state that these items will be heard before the COTW, the resolution once again has not been scheduled. The Board Secretary’s office says that it will be heard next month, but they are not the ones that set the agenda.Read more
- LAUSD Board Member Scott Schmerelson
In a clear case of insubordination, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent Austin Beutner has ignored a request for copies of contracts that the District had signed for four months. On at least one occasion, Beutner publicly promised to turn over these “confidential contracts” to Board Member Scott Schmerelson but did not do so until last week. “The consultants’ work was not disclosed”.
“Under her leadership, she has made important changes in her departments, which I expect will be sustained.”
- Debra Duardo, LACOE Superintendent
The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) provides oversight over the 80 school districts within the county and can take control if it finds that any of these districts are in danger of becoming insolvent. Therefore, CFO Candi Clark caused a lot of alarm when she made a surprise appearance during public comment at a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board meeting last August. Her warning that the county was concerned about the District’s finances were seen as a vindication from an independent source that the LAUSD could not afford the union’s demands during the ongoing contract negotiations.Read more
- Austin Beutner
At best, the National Enquirer, published by AMI, is mindless entertainment for people stuck waiting in line at their local supermarket. While stories about aliens and other ridiculous conspiracy theories are harmless, their coverage about celebrities crosses a darker line. Intruding into a person’s private life during times of adversity to sell copies of a tabloid is bad enough when the stories are real. Churning out works of fiction using a real person as the main character shows a lack of any moral center.Read more
- Carrie Hahnel, EdTrust-West
It is easy to blame a public school for failing to successfully educate a child. Teachers and schools make easy scapegoats in a society that consistently fails at addressing generational poverty, fails to support children with disabilities, and fails at balancing the need to nurture children with the necessity of putting food on the table. In California, we defunded our schools with Proposition 13 and are still wondering why these same schools are not educating children to our expectations.Read more