Ousted principal protests her forced retirement to LAUSD board

theogreer

Gail Greer

An elementary school principal who was removed over the summer after a wave of parental protests took her case before the LAUSD School Board today in an effort to win reinstatement.

Gail Greer was removed from the Mid-City’s Prescott School of Enriched Sciences Magnet Elementary School on July 27 by Superintendent Ramon Cortines after parents described her as unfit for the job and detailed their complaints in a petition.

“I feel like I am being forced into retirement and it hasn’t been fair,” Greer told LA School Report after speaking to the board.

In front of the board, she said, “I am not used to being before board members in an antagonistic way.” She said she has worked with board members and three past superintendents, raised school scores and attracted grants for the school.

“I do run the school like a family, and I have left schools better than when I received them,” she said.

Several supporters of Greer tried to help her appeal to remain at the school through the end of the school year.

A previous student talked about how she changed the 32nd Street USC Performing Arts Magnet school when it was “a bit troubled” and helped motivate him. Julkar Khan said Greer inspired him to write an article about environmental peace and earned him a Warren Christopher Scholarship. He said, “She treated us all like family and encouraged me to do my best.”

Parent and former student Edward White told the school board that he remembered how Greer encouraged him to read and write even though he was dyslexic. “She is a woman of integrity and whatever you decide, you need to know that she made changes in many people’s lives,” he said.

Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA) representative Mike O’Sullivan said, “She has not been accused of child abuse or theft, and the demotion of this veteran administrator is insulting.”

The administrator’s union was trying to reached an agreement with the district that would allow her to remain in an administrator position until she could retire at the end of the school year.

 

 

LIVESTREAM coverage of today’s LA Unified school board meeting

livestreamGrafix250The LA Unified school board is meeting today at a 1 p.m.

The board is scheduled to discuss its search for a new superintendent as well as board member Mónica García’s resolutions for the district to recognize Latino Heritage Month, Student Attendance Month, National Coming Out Day and College Awareness Month.

There will also be several public hearings regarding charter school petitions.

Click here for the live-stream coverage.

Judy Burton steps down as chair of technology initiative taskforce

Judy Burton

Judy Burton

LA Unified has announced that Judy Burton has stepped down as chair of the Instructional Technology Initiative Taskforce, which is guiding the district’s tech objectives in the wake of the cancelled iPad program.

Burton resigned as CEO and president of Alliance College-Ready Public Schools in January, the same month she was named to head up the new taskforce, but her chairmanship was on a volunteer basis and she stepped down for personal reasons, the district said.

Burton, who could not be reached for comment, will be replaced by as chair by Frances Marie Gipson, who also serves as superintendent for LA Unified’s Local District East.

“I want to thank Dr. Burton for giving her time to propel this incredibly important work forward,” Superintendent Ramon Cortines said in a statement. “She is truly an outstanding individual who does so much for the students of Los Angeles and surrounding areas. I am pleased she will be passing the torch to Dr. Gipson, who is experienced as a teacher, a scholar, and, most importantly, a leader.”

The district’s $1.3 billion Common Core Technology Project had the ambitious agenda of getting a computer tablet in the hand of every student and teacher in the district. But the project stumbled at nearly level as it experienced a problematic rollout, ineffective Pearson educational software and increased scrutiny of the bidding process.

After the FBI seized files in December related to the bidding process as part of a federal grand jury investigation, Cortines canceled the Common Core Technology Project. In January, he announced the project was being rebranded and redirected under the Instructional Technology Initiative. Cortines also announced that a 1-to-1 tablet project was no longer the goal, and the taskforce was asked to provide recommendations for a three-year strategic plan for the tech/computer programs, which will be presented to the school board in December.

The taskforce is meeting for the first time in the current school year on Sept. 10 under Cortines before he turns it over to Gipson.

Two firms meeting LAUSD board to start superintendent search

superintendent searchThe interview process starts today at the LA Unified school board meeting, with plans to hear from representatives of two headhunter firms in the search for the district’s next superintendent.

Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates of Rosemont, Ill. and Leadership Associates of La Quinta, Calif. were picked from among five bidders by the board on Sunday. They were also the two firms with the highest price tags: Hazard Young cited a cost of $160,000, followed by Leadership, at $157,500 — up to $30,000 of that is for expenses. The lowest bid was Ray and Associates, Inc. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa at $63,350.

Two of the school board members voted against asking Leadership to present before the board, and one abstained. When contacted by LA School Report today, Leadership Executive Team member Jim Brown said that he plans to arrive from Santa Fe, N.M. to make his pitch to the board at 4 p.m.

Brown said he felt the firm answered all the questions that were asked in the initial Request for Proposal letter by the board.

“We do have a game plan, and we are happy to answer any of the board members’ concerns,” he said. “We did not want to inundate the board with papers, but we will meet with the board to develop a process for the search.”

One concern raised by board member Mónica Ratliff, who voted against inviting Leadership (along with Ref Rodriguez), was that it had ties to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Brown said no one is or has been directly working with the Gates Foundation, but that a group funded by the foundation hired the firm to consult.

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LAUSD board sees ‘significant exposure’ from FBI’s iPad probe

FBI logoEver since the FBI seized documents in December related to LA Unified’s controversial iPad program, there have been no public updates on the case, but now it appears that the LA Unified school board and its legal department see trouble coming.

It is just a single line in the agenda for tomorrow’s closed board meeting, but it may speak volumes.

Described as “anticipated litigation,” the board will be discussing possible ramifications of the FBI probe, arising out of state law that reads, “A point has been reached where, in the opinion of the legislative body of the local agency on the advice of its legal counsel, based on existing facts and circumstances, there is a significant exposure to litigation against the local agency.”

The document seizure happened as the result of a federal grand jury subpoena looking into potential bid rigging in the district’s $1.3 billion Common Core Technology Program, which sought to get a computer tablet in the hands of every student and teacher in the district.

Due to the secrecy laws surrounding federal grand juries, little has been known about the nature of the investigation since the seizure. But the board’s closed meeting agenda is the first indication that a grand jury might have identified legal problems with how the district conducted the bid process and, as a result, that the district might face legal action. No indictments have been brought in the case, and federal law requires that details of the grand jury investigations remain sealed unless one is brought.

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With White House listening, LAUSD students share concerns, ideas

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Matt Gonzales and Adrianna McMullen on panel

A group of LA Unified students joined local and national educators last week to describe academic challenges they face and to suggest ideas for what could help them.

The four-hour discussion last Thursday evening kicked off a weekend of activities sponsored by UTLA in conjunction with the “White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.”

David Johns, the executive director of the initiative, participated in the discussion with the students and in two other events, at Palisades Charter High School and the Grammy Museum, where the theme was social justice.

Also speaking Thursday was Congresswoman Judy Chu, a Democrat from Monterey Park and the first Chinese-American woman elected to Congress. She discussed her concerns that schools in predominantly poor and ethnic neighborhoods have less-experienced teachers than those in more affluent and predominantly-white schools in the same district.

“Kids are coming to our schools hungry, stressed and unprepared,” Chu said. “We need to strengthen teacher preparation and give the teachers resources.” Referring to the federal “No Child Left Behind” program now under review by Congress, she said, “We all know it’s a failure that needs to be fixed.”

“The bottom line,” she said, “is the voices of minority students need to be heard.”

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LAUSD board invites two firms to interview for superintendent search

BoardInformalThe LA Unified school board made limited progress yesterday in the search for a new superintendent. The members invited two headhunter firms to pitch their ideas on how to handle the search but said three other firms may also still be in the running.

The two leading firms — Hazard, Young and Associates of Rosemont, Ill. and Leadership Associates of La Quinta — each played a role in two former senior LA Unified administrators moving to other jobs. Hazard, Young helped Tommy Chang, superintendent of the Intensive Support and Innovation Educational Service Center, become superintendent of Boston Public Schools, and Leadership Associates helped Chief Strategy Officer, Matt Hill, win the job of superintendent of the Burbank Unified School District.

The two firms were invited to made a follow-up presentation to the board while three others could still be asked to make presentations at some future time. A $250,000 contract with the district awaits the winning company.

The selection was the only public action announced as the members spent more time in closed session than open. Billed as a board “retreat,” it was held at the Point Fermin Outdoor Education Center in San Pedro, miles from the usual board meeting setting downtown. The location is part of San Pedro High School and a special environmental education program that has been around since 1926. Buildings look out to the Pacific.

The casual setting was chosen so board members could be more relaxed, in substance and style. The warehouse-like building had fans, and members sat around a table. Mónica García handed out cookies and read a prayer to start the meeting, and each board member read excerpts aloud. Superintendent Ray Cortines showed up wearing shorts, as if his next stop was the beach. School police officers even noted how they had never seen the 83-year-old superintendent wear anything but a suit to a board meeting.

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Morning Read: Impact of CA high school exit exam reexamined

Uncertain impact of California’s high school exit exam
Gov. Brown last week signed legislation that exempted students from the graduating class of 2015 from having to take the test. EdSource


Lawmakers consider retroactive diplomas for students who failed exit exam
Between 2006 and 2014, nearly 249,000 students, or about 6 percent of test-takers, did not pass the exit exam before the end of their senior year. EdSource


It took hunting to find L.A. school board meeting on superintendent hunt
LA school officials have promised a “transparent” search for the next superintendent of schools, but got that process off to a murky start. Los Angeles Times


Tools for tailored learning may expose students’ personal details
If the efforts by state legislators are any guide, the email addresses and search queries of the nation’s schoolchildren are a hot commodity. New York Times


Teacher keeps his job despite racking up 111 tardies
The New Brunswick school district had tried to fire elementary school teacher Arnold Anderson from his $90,000-a-year job. Washington Post


Meet Kristina Holzweiss, SLJ’s 2015 School Librarian of the Year
School Librarian of the Year, Kristina Holzweiss, displays an energetic penchant for tinkering with traditional ideas. School Library Journal

UTLA making clear to LAUSD board what it wants in next superintendent

UTLAAn open and transparent search, background as an educator and under no circumstances someone from the Broad Academy. Those are the three major criteria that UTLA wants in the next LAUSD school superintendent.

Alex Caputo-Pearl, the president of the United Teachers Los Angeles union, told the LA School Report that he has made it known to the school board the kind of superintendent teachers want in a successor to Ramon Cortines.

“So far we have been advocating these three issues,” he said. “We want the process to be transparent and open and understandable. It can’t be a move from the corner office to the front office like John Deasy was last time around and without a process. That didn’t work out well.”

The search process is now underway, with the board set to pick an executive search firm on Sunday. There’s a deadline to the extent that Cortines says he want to step down by December. At the outside, the board wants a successor in place before the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

Once the finalists are chosen, Caputo-Pearl is advocating public meetings where educators, parents and the community can ask the candidates questions and voice concerns. “We need to see how they get to engage with folks,” he said.

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Activists hope to repeal Charter Schools Act through ballot initiative

anti-charter petitionWhether charter schools in California have been a godsend or a destroyer of worlds depends upon whom you ask and where you are standing when you ask it.

But now a group of activists hope to end the debate altogether by getting an initiative on the 2016 ballot to repeal the Charter School Act of 1992, the law that authorized charters to open in California.

As a beginning of the effort, the group, which calls itself “Voices Against Privatising Public Education,” has started an online petition and Facebook group, but they are going to need to gather a lot more momentum to accomplish the Herculean task. Through early today, the online petition has 808 signatures — well short of the 357,000 on-paper signatures needed to get the issue before voters.

The online petition says it is an effort to “build support, get contact information because once we file the proposed initiative, a clock starts ticking, and we only have 150 days to gather actual signatures. All the signatures must qualify 131 days prior to a statewide election.”

Leaders behind the petition are Nina Deerfield, publisher of the progressive San Diego-based newspaper Alianza North County; attorney Kathleen Carroll and Steve Zeltzer, an activist and founder of the Labor Video Project. Deerfield declined a request for an interview, and Carroll did not return a message seeking comment.

The petition does not mince words, throwing out many common accusations at the charter school industry, which it says “cherry pick students, falsify records, commit enrollment fraud, close down community schools, destroy jobs, bust up unions and segregate students.”

Should the petition gain momentum, it would be watched closely within LA Unified, which has over 101,000 charter school students, more than any in the nation. LA Unified also received news recently that a number of high-powered charter school backers like Eli Broad are crafting a plan to begin a dramatic expansion of the number of charters in the district.

 

 

In a Sunday ‘retreat,’ LAUSD picking firm to find next superintendent

superintendent searchThe LA Unified board is going to the end of the earth, or close to it, to accelerate the search for the district’s next superintendent.

The seven board members are gathering at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Point Fermin Outdoor Education Center in San Pedro, about a quarter mile from the Pacific Ocean, for a retreat that board President Steve Zimmer had intended to hold earlier this month but couldn’t because of members’ travel plans.

So it was finally scheduled on a day all could attend, even through it precedes by only a few days the September board meeting, planned for Tuesday in the usual place, the district’s downtown headquarters.

The Sunday retreat differs from a regular board meeting in two ways: One, it’s less formal, which means members might show up in shorts and t-shirts and certainly without ties. And, two, only one item is on the open session agenda: a decision on which of five executive search firms will win a $250,000 contract to find the district’s next leader.

“The Sunday meeting will give board members the opportunity to spend important time together to make sure we all understand each step in the process that lies ahead of us,” Zimmer told LA School Report. “It has been almost a decade since LAUSD conducted a national search for our superintendent. We all know that this is a pivotal moment for public education and the collaborative equity mission of this district.  And that the eyes of the nation are upon us.”

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3 PUC Schools moving to a new 7.5-acre campus in Sylmar

PUC Triumph Charter Academy Three PUC Schools are scheduled to open tomorrow with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a new campus in Sylmar. Newly-elected school board member Ref Rodriguez, who co-founded the PUC Schools, will have a courtyard named after him.

The 7.5-acre campus will accommodate PUC Triumph Charter Academy for grades 6 through 8 and two high schools — PUC Triumph Charter High School and PUC Lakeview Charter High School. The campus also includes facilities that all three schools will share, including a state-of-the-art gym, a soccer field, regulation basketball courts, baseball/softball diamond, science labs, a theater and dance room.

The thee schools had been operating at different sites before now.

The $26 million campus is expected to reach the full capacity of 1,250 students by next school year. Currently, 250 students are on the waiting list to attend one of the three schools, which were financed through a bond and $600,000 from the Ahmanson and Weingart foundations.

PUC –Partnerships to Uplift Communities — operates 12 PUC public charter schools that provide college prep educational programs in densely-populated urban communities with low-achieving schools in northeast Los Angeles and the northeast San Fernando Valley. There group also runs one school in Rochester, NY.

California sets Sept. 9 for release of Common Core test results

common-core-standards-The California Department of Education has set Sept. 9 as the probable date for releasing the results of the new statewide Common Core-aligned tests that were administered in the spring.

The tests, called Smarter Balanced Assessments, were given to 3.2 million students in grades 3 to 8 and 11.

The new tests will be used as part of a new statewide accountability system still in the works. However, the full results, which can be broken down by state, district and school, will be released online, and parents and guardians of students will be able to see their child’s individual scores.

LA Unified officials have already seen the results for the district and have  begun preparing parents and the public for some low proficiency results. Education officials across the state have repeatedly stressed that lower scores were expected the first time around, because they were conducted online and based on the new Common Core curriculum.

The Department of Education’s website has prepared guidelines for parents on how to read and understand their child’s scores.

Cynthia Lim, Executive Director of the Office of Data and Accountabilty for LA Unified, sent a letter to the school board and Superintendent Ramon Cortines last week, warning that the “percentage of students who will have ‘met or exceeded standards’ on the new tests will be lower than the proficiency rates we have seen with the old California Standards Tests.”

 

 

Morning Read: Voters unfamiliar with Local Control Funding Formula

Most voters haven’t heard of Local Control Funding Formula
Two-thirds of those surveyed said they had never heard anything about the Local Control Funding Formula. EdSource


Dan Walters: Poor kids’ school aid diverted
Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union surveyed the “local control accountability plans” of 40 large districts and found them wanting. Sacramento Bee


CDC gives schools good grades for nutrition
Federal authorities give American schools good grades for improving the nutritional quality of food served, but there’s still room for improvement. Los Angeles Times


2015 Superintendent of the Year: High-stakes testing is ‘fool’s gold’ 
Philip D. Lanoue is the superintendent of the 13,000-student Clarke County School District in Georgia, the most impoverished county in the state. Washington Post


How schools are handling an ‘overparenting’ crisis
Two new books make strikingly similar claims about today’s youth and their parents. NPR


Hunger strike over future of Chicago school enters its 11th day
Parents, teachers and activists are fighting to defend a high school the Chicago Public School Board voted to close several years ago. NPR

Parent Revolution announces Seth Litt as new CEO

Seth Litt

Seth Litt

Parent Revolution has announced that Seth Litt is taking over as its CEO. The news comes a full nine months after the organization’s former executive director and founder, Ben Austin, stepped down.

Parent Revolution was formed in 2009 by Austin and played a role in creating California’s “parent trigger” law. It also offers guidance and help to parent groups wanting to implement the law at their school.

Litt brings a long career in education to Parent Revolution: he was a teacher in middle school in the south Bronx, a Teach for America corps member, a union chapter leader and charter high school principal.

“I am excited to join Parent Revolution and lead the organization through its next chapter of impact for students and families,” Litt said in a statement. “Families in every community deserve more than hope or a roll of the dice – they deserve information, access to the system, and real power to make changes for their kids and their communities. For too long parents in communities like the south Bronx, south Los Angeles, and elsewhere have been on their own. They deserve the power to take action and effect change in their children’s education and lives.”

Alison Laslett, Parent Revolution’s Chief Operating Officer, has been serving as interim executive director while the board searched for a permanent replacement, a role now changed to the title of CEO.

Parent Revolution and the parent trigger law have proven to be a controversial and polarizing presence in California. Under the parent trigger law, which was passed in 2010, parents at a chronically underperforming school that meets certain criteria can call for reform if a majority of them sign a petition requesting a specific change. The changes could include converting the school into a charter school or changing the administration.

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AALA calls for more APs, NBA All-Star returns to his LAUSD school

school report buzzLA Unified added 70 assistant principals to its ranks this year along with officially combining the roles of assistant principal and “instructional specialist” into one. Still with 1,564 APs now on the payroll, leaders of the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA) say many more are needed.

AALA, the union which represents district administrators, posted an article in its weekly newsletter pointing out what it says is a low level of assistant principals working in the district.

“It is important to note that there are some elementary and middle schools in the District that are operating with a sole administrator and there are numerous secondary sites with less than the standard five-member administrative team. There was a time when it was unthinkable to run a school with fewer than five administrators,” AALA said.

 

The article also points out that principals have similar workload issues regardless if they have an AP or not. District leaders have been receptive to adding more APs over the last few years, but no official timetable has ever been set, AALA said, adding that “we continue to press for a systemic approach to examining administrative norms and a reasonable implementation timeline.”

Russell Westbrook returns 

NBA All-Star and former UCLA Bruin Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma Thunder returned last week to his former school, 75th Street Elementary Community School, dedicating a new wing of the school’s library and donating 1,400 books to help fill it up.

russell westbrookRussell’s Reading Room” also features murals of his playing days at UCLA, and Westbrook dedicated the room while reading to 25 students.

“This will be a place for students to fall in love with books, strengthen their reading skills and build their vocabulary,” Miguel Campa, the school’s principal, said in a statement. “Putting books in children’s hands opens the world to them, provides opportunities to ensure equity and empowers with the four essential 21st Century skills: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. We believe that with a book in your hands, your imagination can take off.”

Cortines praises Legislature for SB 725

LA Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines came out in full support of Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Legislature for passing Senate Bill 725, which allows close to 5,000 high school seniors across the state to graduate without passing a now-cancelled high school exit exam. Nearly 500 of them were LA Unified seniors.

“I am pleased that the governor and the Legislature acted quickly to resolve what has been a significant problem for almost 500 of our students,” Cortines said in a statement. “These are students who have met all graduation requirements with the exception of the California High School Exit Exam, and they have been in limbo through no fault of their own.

“Without Senate Bill 725, these students and thousands more around the state would have been prevented from starting college, pursuing jobs and apprenticeships, and joining the military. These students now can move forward as successful L.A. Unified graduates.”

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CA voters OK with taxes to support public schools, new poll says

proposition 30A new poll shows that California voters would support reauthorization of Proposition 30, a 2012 measure that raised taxes to support public education.

The survey by PACE/USC Rossier School of Education Poll shows 63 percent of voters favor extending at least one provision of Prop. 30 — the tax increase on high incomes or the sales tax hike or both. Only 28 percent of voters said both fiscal provisions should be allowed to expire, the poll showed.

Prop. 30 temporarily increased the state sales tax by a quarter cent and the personal income tax rate on people earning more than $250,000 a year to fund public education and other government programs. It expires at the end of 2016.

“Since the inception of this poll in 2012, we have identified valuable trends that not only reflect the opinions of the state’s voters but also influence policymakers in Sacramento,” said USC Rossier School Dean Karen Symms Gallagher. “The latest results indicate a growing confidence in our public school system as voters are clearly willing to provide greater financial support to education.”

Six in 10 voters said California should be spending more on schools, as opposed to 26 percent who said the state’s public schools have enough money, the poll showed.

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UTLA cites working conditions, health benefits as major concerns

UTLA97The first big step was getting a pay raise. That happened earlier this year. So what’s next for UTLA?

United Teachers Los Angeles president Alex Caputo-Pearl says extensive input from teachers over the summer points to conditions in the classroom and the future of health benefits as among the issues most important to the union membership. He also said UTLA will strive to unionize more charter schools.

“Everyday teaching and learning conditions tend to be something that we hear a lot from our members,” Caputo-Pearl told the LA School Report. “They want to come into their classroom and do what they do and work with young people and not have to deal with ceiling tiles that are falling, or class sizes that are too big, or an administrator that refuses to follow basic contractual guidelines. Basic conditions are a concern.”

The other big concern voiced by teachers is the potential erosion of health benefits that have helped teachers to LA Unified. The benefits package LA Unified offers is among the most robust of any district in the state, including free lifetime benefits for retirees and their dependents.

“There is obviously a very well-funded national movement to attack public sector workers and health benefits that are associated with public sector workers,” Caputo-Pearl said. He talked about billionaire John D. Arnold who he said is “specifically intent to fund efforts to attack pensions, attack health benefits and retirement. It’s a very well-funded effort that our members are concerned about.”

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Brown signs high school exit test waiver, allowing 5,000 to graduate

Gov Jerry Brown LAUSD

Gov. Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown today signed Senate Bill 725 into law, allowing close to 5,000 high school seniors across the state to graduate without passing a now-cancelled high school exit exam.

The governor signed the bill without comment, his office said.

Brown’s signature brings to a close a problem that began in May, when the California Department of Education suspended administration of the California High School Edit Examination (CAHSEE), which was to have taken place in July.

“Students who’ve been accepted into college should not be prevented from starting class this fall because of a test cancellation they could not control,” said Deborah Hoffman, Brown’s press secretary. The Governor signed the bill, she added, “to ensure these students begin their college careers.”

Education officials cancelled the July test in part because state lawmakers were considering whether to continue using the test as a graduate requirement even though it is not aligned with material being taught under new Common Core standards.

The cancellation left thousands of high school seniors in limbo, unable to graduate and move on to college. The number included 492 seniors in LA Unified.

The University of California and California State University had agreed to enroll students who had qualified for admission but had not passed the exam because they couldn’t take it. However many other colleges and universities had not.

The exam assessed students’ grade-level competency in the state content standards for reading, writing and math.

LA teachers planning campaign to oppose charter expansion

Alex Caputo Pearl LAUSD Board meeting-9.9.14 charter

UTLA President Alex Caputo Pearl

* UPDATED

UTLA president Alex Caputo-Pearl said the teachers union is planning an aggressive campaign to oppose Eli Broad and other wealthy foundation leaders who have announced plans for a major expansion of charter schools in LA Unified.

In a wide-ranging interview that focused on the state of charters in the district, Caputo-Pearl was highly critical of the effort, asserting that charters are undermining the ability of traditional district schools to maintain a quality education for all students.

“We’re going to make every effort that we can to organize against the expansion of what are essentially unregulated non-union schools that don’t play by the rules as everybody else,” Caputo-Pearl told LA School Report. “So we’re going to take that on in the public, take that on in the media, engage the school board on it. We’re going to try to engage Eli Broad. We’re going to try to engage John Deasy because we understand he’s the architect of it. It will be a major effort. It is a major concern.”

The charter expansion plans involve three major foundations that have been active for years in education reform across the country: the Broad Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation and the W.M. Keck Foundation. They said they intend to create enough charter schools in eight years to serve as many as half of LA Unified students.

The California Charter School Association has consistently denied that there are separate rules for charters, pointing to the fact that charters have to demonstrate academic achievement and financial stability to remain operating. Many charters do employ non-union teachers, but UTLA in recent years has succeeded in unionizing a number of them.

Caputo-Pearl’s targeting of Deasy evolves from Deasy’s association with Broad before and after he served as LA Unified’s superintendent. Before he was hired in 2011, Deasy attended the Broad Academy, which prepares senior executives for roles in urban education. He resigned as superintendent last year after problems with the iPad program, leading to a federal investigation of the bid process. Currently, he is a consultant for The Broad Center, a separate non-proft organization that helps train future education leaders.

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