Such is life in the 2nd largest school district in the country that nearly every news report about education issues has something to do with what is going on in LAUSD. Let's take a look at some of the week's news.

But first, one of the biggest disruptions to schools was not discussed publicly at all.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the LA school board delegated its authority to make Prop 39 charter co-location decisions to the Superintendent. Prop 39 is the state law that requires schools to turn over “available” classrooms to charter schools. Following a court settlement, this is based on a count made at every school every single year. this has turned the school district into a land baron negotiating invasions on many fronts. The item was placed on the Consent Calendar. So, with no discussion, the Board took the public out of the process. More on this later. Much more.

Turning principals into compliance managers:
How gratifying for a parent to read the broad perspective expressed in the Administrators’ newsletter. We expect principals to lead efforts of the whole school community in the newly created “marketplace” of competitive school options. They can’t do this if they’re filling out reports 10 hours a day. We need them out in our communities developing partnerships, pondering possibilities, leading discussions about curriculum and instruction, talking about a place called school. Not filling out flushing logs. I encourage every parent, teacher, principal--anyone who cares about our schools--to read this:
From AALA's Update last week 

ICYMI – I attended the school board’s marathon meeting on charters and lived to tell it. No need to repeat.

NAACP moratorium:
That’s rich: The Wall Street Journal tells the NAACP it’s out of touch. You know, the newspaper whose "Home" section is called "MANSION".

Steven Rosenfeld explains in Salon who is really out of touch on the issue.

Alan Singer of Hofstra University weighs in in HuffPost. He also quotes Carol Burris from a Washington Post column. As a principal, Burris disaggregated the data to show how a neighborhood school really compares to a charter.

Jitu Brown of the Journey for Justice writes a letter to the New York Times. A community leader in Chicago, Brown has fought devastating school closures.

Author Mercedes Schneider looked ahead at Huntington Park’s moratorium on charters based on land use and zoning issues.

Reports on the outcome of the vote: The Wave Newspaper and the Los Angeles Times.

Charter school co-locations often come up as land use issues because public schools were impeccably designed—to be one school. When 200-400 cars suddenly descend upon a neighborhood twice a day on top of an existing school campus, neighbors freak.

Is anyone else in our LAUSD community working with City Councils that overlap our 700 square miles to address charters through land use and zoning policies?

Last week, a California appellate court ruled that charters cannot expand outside the district that authorized them. Recent legislation would have accomplished something similar if Governor Brown had not vetoed it.

POLITICS: Mixing politics with school
Dorsey High School hosted a Black Lives Matter discussion. CBS News covered the event. There were reports that LAUSD had tried to prevent the event from occurring on campus. What is the appropriate balance between community movements and schools? There are many views.

Last week, Yohuru Williams wrote an eloquent (as always) piece for The Progressive on how Seattle teachers are using the issues raised by BLM as a teaching moment. Well, more like a teaching day. Williams is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University in Connecticut. He regularly contributes to the national discourse on racial and social justice issues impacting schools, with his thoughtful commentary. He even makes it to L.A. occasionally...so let's invite him.

In his article, Williams shared this golden nugget from MLK speechwriter Vincent Gordon Harding:
"I wonder how, with the resegregation of our schools and communities, do you get to know the content of anyone's character if you're not willing to engage in life together with them?"

Yes, Virginia, there is DUAL LANGUAGE
Quick! Which states are the fastest growing for dual language learners? If you didn't guess Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, think again.

A new report from the New America's Dual Language Learners National Work Group explains, including how one Virginia school district has become a leader in dual language learner education.

Virginia is where Anne Holton served as Secretary of Education until recently. She resigned when her husband, Tim Kaine, became Hillary Clinton's running mate. So there’s a pretty good chance that we’ll be seeing more of programs like this in the immediate future. When is this policy, which has been prioritized by Board President Steve Zimmer, going to be discussed at a public meeting?

POLICE ON CAMPUSES: The Right to Remain a Student
A new report by the ACLU looks at best and worst practices—and names school districts in both categories—for questioning students as witnesses, arresting students suspected of crimes, and the role school officials play. This report and how LAUSD policies compare to best and worst should be discussed in public by the school board, senior staff and the community.

KPCC’s Larry Mantle talked with attorneys and school officials.

Anna Phillips’ article in the LA Times says: “Los Angeles Unified School District receives some kudos for its policy requiring police officers to have a warrant or court order before removing a student for questioning. But the report notes, disapprovingly, that the district continues to require school staff to screen middle and high school students randomly and daily, using a metal detector wand.

“While the policy expressly states that police should not conduct the searches, the ACLU’s review of the district’s search logs revealed that police frequently perform the searches,” the report says. “This policy has led to the unnecessary criminalization of students who possess minor contraband or do not wish to comply with the searches.”

What's the agenda description for this item? Which board committee would address it? Which resources are impacted?

ATTENDANCE: In School + On Track
State Attorney General Kamala Harris released a report on suspensions + drop outs. Which California school districts are doing it right?

Lawndale spent $22,000 and reaped $260,000 for its efforts. Long Beach launched its All In campaign for under $100,000, and increased its revenue by half a million.

What does LAUSD’s program look like? What does it cost? How much revenue are we projecting?  Who in the LAUSD community has the best ideas that could inform district policy? There is an Attendance and Truancy agenda item at Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting. Will we have a robust discussion? Hopefully, board members will do their own homework because the materials on the agenda look like they're from a time capsule.

IN CONCLUSION
These are our issues. If news outlets are devoting so many resources to covering them, if advocacy organizations are bothering with policy recommendations, shouldn't we be looking into them, too?

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