(Mensaje se repite en Español)
It is with a great deal of all too rare enthusiasm that I whole-heartedly endorse the candidacy of Carl Petersen in the race for the Los Angeles Unified School District Board District 2 position presently held by Monica Garcia. In her long tenure as an LAUSD board member Garcia has done absolutely nothing to stem the decay of public education at LAUSD nor has she done anything to rein in the obscene profits of vendors of goods and services to LAUSD that presently have the district on the verge of bankruptcy.
While voter apathy in the past has normally seen a small turnout of around 20% of eligible voters in these school board elections, given the numbers of teachers, students, parents, and others who continue to suffer from endemic LAUSD corruption, it is my belief that Carl Petersen now offers you the first step toward a viable alternative that will finally hold those in power accountable, while bringing about independently verifiable academic achievement and the change necessary for all students and teachers to fulfill their potential.
Read what Carl Petersen says about his candidacy and rest assured that with 3 kids of his own in the system he will do what he says:
What are the most critical issues in your district and how would you address them?
1) The Threat of Bankruptcy: In December, the LAUSD warned: "that the district may not be able to meet its financial obligations in upcoming years because it faces a cumulative deficit of $1.46 billion through the 2018-2019 school year." A significant reason for this deficit is the loss of students because many parents feel the District is not listening to their concerns. As an example, a majority of parents surveyed by the District preferred that the school year start after Labor Day. After a vote to keep the current start date, Mónica García thanked "all the effective voices that made this possible for our youth!", as if parents who wanted a different schedule were working against the needs of their children. The former Superintendent celebrated a winning round in court by calling it "a civil rights victory for our students with special needs". The District's opponents in the case were parents who wanted to preserve the choices available to them.
Unlike any of the current Board members, I actually have children enrolled in the District. Therefore, my voice would add a perspective that is missing from current deliberations.
Existing charters also need to be properly regulated. Just this month the Board renewed the charter of View Park Middle School even though it had been ranked a one out of ten by the California Charter School Association, they demonstrated a 0% reclassification rate for English Learners and the "staff has limited special education capacity and knowledge." I will vote to shut down failing charters and ensure that their enrollment policies comply with the law.
2) At least 25% of students do not graduate: First, it must be noted that the LAUSD is probably inflating the graduation numbers. In December 2015, the District estimated that only half of their students would graduate. However, through the use of online "credit recovery," they were able to inflate this number to 75%. The value of an LAUSD diploma is devalued if credits are simply given away.
In order to achieve a 100% graduation rate, we need to provide a meaningful education to all students, including those who are not headed immediately to college.
3) The District has been under the Chanda Smith Consent Decree for over 20 years: It is time for the District make it a priority to help children with special needs meet their full potential. To do this parents and teachers must be empowered to design Individual Education programs. Special Ed centers must remain a choice for parents who children with severe needs.
4) The $1 Billion Lawsuit alleging age discrimination: It is clear that Teacher Jail has been used to force out older teachers and whistleblowers. An investigation must be conducted to hold those who engaged in these abuses to be held personally responsible and a settlement reached with the plaintiffs that does not push the District further towards bankruptcy.
-Dr. Diane Ravitch
Former Asst. Secretary of Education
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