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Morning Read: LaMotte a ‘Fierce Champion’ for Her District

LA School Report | December 6, 2013



The feisty legacy of Marguerite LaMotte

Opinion: Marguerite LaMotte will be missed as a fierce champion of directing more resources to the largely black and Latino students within the district she represented. She understood the community well, though she differed sharply with the reform movement about the best ways to help that community. In recent weeks, she at times seemed confused about exactly what was being proposed or discussed, but to her credit, she wasn’t afraid to ask the questions it took to find out. In most cases, she could be counted on to have a strong opinion — and to voice it. LA Times


Don’t hold up funding for LA’s poor school kids

Commentary: Does the state education department really need L.A. moms and dads to fill out forms to prove there are a lot of poor school kids here who need help? Los Angeles Unified is scrambling to meet a March deadline for parents to submit a form listing their household’s annual income. Our Barbara Jones reports that 22 percent of the forms distributed in November have been returned. At stake is up to $200 million in state money to supercharge the educations of low-income students, English learners and foster children under California’s new Local Control Funding Formula. LA Daily News


Growing up in the shadow of Nelson Mandela

Commentary: As a teenager growing up in Cape Town in the 1960s, a favorite weekend activity was climbing to the top of Table Mountain, the glorious promontory at the end of the African continent. From there it was impossible to avoid seeing Robben Island, the flat mile-long smudge in Table Bay where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners had been incarcerated just a few years earlier. We could not see, nor did we know about, the limestone quarries where he was forced to chip white rock in the African sun. EdSource


Area poverty on the rise; education could be key to the recovery

Southern California is still climbing out of a massive economic hole following the recession. While unemployment rates are decreasing, the region’s poverty rate continues to rise. More than 3 million SoCal residents are living in poverty — that’s s 69 percent increase from 1990, according to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). So a group of about 400 business and political leaders met Thursday in downtown Los Angeles to discuss how to get the economy back on track. Led by SCAG, a planning group that represents six counties including L.A. County, the agenda focused on education. KPCC


Bloomberg’s truancy program wins praise from researchers

The largest, most comprehensive campaign to reduce chronic absenteeism among K-12 students undertaken by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg three years ago delivered significant positive results, according to new analysis. Although key elements of the program were rolled out only this school year, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University said participating students in poverty – a special focus of the effort – were 15 percent less likely to be chronically absent than similar students at comparison schools. Moreover, students living in temporary shelters were 31 percent less likely to frequently miss school than the control group. SI&A Cabinet Report

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