Thursday, April 26, 2018

Parents want ‘voices counted’ in search for LAUSD superintendent – Daily News

Valley parents want ‘voices counted’ in search for LAUSD superintendent – Daily News:

Valley parents want ‘voices counted’ in search for LAUSD superintendent


A group of San Fernando Valley parents decried the Los Angeles Unified School District’s search process for the next superintendent and claimed the school board is not being transparent and not seeking input from parents and students.
The school board has not held public input sessions as it did during the last superintendent search and has met in closed session to discuss who will lead the nation’s second-largest school district.
“The student voice and the parent voice must be part of that decision-making process,” said Joe Macias, of Reseda, a parent of two LA Unified students.
Macias and a handful of other parents spoke before the school board went into closed session last week to interview candidates.


LAUSD interim superintendent Vivian Ekchian is among the candidates for the permanent position heading the school district. She is seen above in July 2015 at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in the Lake Balboa area. (File photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News)
LAUSD interim superintendent Vivian Ekchian is reportedly among the candidates for the permanent position heading the school district. She is seen above in July 2015 at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in the Lake Balboa area. (File photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News)

It appeared as though the board would make a decision last week, but on Friday the board announced it would recess until May 1 without reporting a decision had been made.
Superintendent Michelle King revealed in January that she had cancer and said she would retire at the end of the year. King was named superintendent in 2016. Vivian Ekchian has been serving as interim superintendent since September when King went on medical leave. The interviews with the candidates began this month.
“It felt rushed, it felt not transparent and, in a way, it felt disingenuous because they’re talking about parent engagement, but not when it comes to these big decisions like selecting a superintendent,” said Evelyn Aleman, Macias’ wife, who also spoke at last week’s board meeting.
Two years ago, when King was selected superintendent, the board held numerous community forums and a search firm conducted a survey seeking input about what qualities the community wanted to see in the next superintendent. This time around, the board has not gone through the same process. Some have indicated the board could draw on the feedback it received two years ago.


Former Baltimore schools chief Andres Alonso is among the finalists for the job of superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. (Courtesy photo)
Former Baltimore schools chief Andres Alonso is reportedly among the finalists for the job of superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. (Courtesy photo)

But many parents expressed frustration that they read the names of the finalists in the Los Angeles Times. The Times, citing anonymous sources, reported last week that the finalists are Ekchian, former investment banker and former Times publisher Austin Beutner, and former Baltimore schools chief Andres Alonso. Indianapolis public schools superintendent, Lewis Ferebee, announced last week he withdrew his name as a finalist.
“I don’t want the outcome to be that students and parents feel that their voice is not valued by the district. I want parents and students to feel that their participation and their engagement in the democratic process is critical to the success of their schools and the broader district.”
— Donald Cohen, executive director of In the Public Interest
Macias said he wished the district would have announced the finalists and that parents and students would be given the opportunity to interview the candidates and review their track record.
“Every one of these candidates has a vision for LAUSD, I just don’t know what that is,” he said.


Former LA Times publisher Austin Beutner is among the candidates for the position of superintendent at the Los Angeles Unified School District. (File photo)
Former LA Times publisher Austin Beutner is reportedly among the candidates for the position of superintendent at the Los Angeles Unified School District. (File photo)

John Rogers, a professor of education at UCLA, said other districts have released the names of  continue reading: Valley parents want ‘voices counted’ in search for LAUSD superintendent – Daily News:


Diane Ravitch: What The Teachers Are Asking For | HuffPost #RedForEd

What The Teachers Are Asking For | HuffPost:

What The Teachers Are Asking For

A stunning image of just how many teachers are marching to the Arizona State Capitol. 

The teacher walkouts began in West Virginia, where public school employees were woefully underpaid and faced spiraling health care costs. They stayed out for nine days and won a 5 percent salary increase. Oklahoma teachers soon followed suit, seeking a raise and increased education funding for their schools and students. They too won concessions. Then came Kentucky teachers, angry because the state planned to restructure their pensions for the worse. Starting Thursday, public school teachers in Arizona will walk out. On Friday several districts in Colorado will be closed.
What is happening? Almost all these states are red states, controlled by Republicans. Almost all are right-to-work states, with weak unions. Yet in these states, teachers have said enough is enough. Typically, it has not been their unions that spurred the walkouts. Time and again, the uprisings were from the grass roots, beginning with a page on social media calling other teachers to get together and protest working conditions.
As educators often say, teachers’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions. It is not merely low pay that is sending the teachers into the streets: It is also large class sizes, obsolete textbooks, crumbling buildings and the fact that many teachers — already underpaid — are shelling out $1,000 or more each year to pay for classroom supplies that their schools no longer provide.
In short, teachers are calling on their legislatures to fund their schools and their students adequately.
For years, the red states have been working from a common playbook: low taxes for corporations and budget cuts for schools, universities and other public services.
The result? Many teachers have to work two or three jobs — sometimes even more ― to feed their families, pay their mortgages and make their car payments. Some move in with continue reading: What The Teachers Are Asking For | HuffPost:

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