Monday, August 24, 2009


The LD#3 Community Meeting @ Hamilton High School last Monday produced three raw data reports, reprinted below. 

Community Mtg Notes from Charts | Comments from Index Cards | Community Feedback Forms

Many more questions were asked than answered.

Community Mtg Notes from Charts


Thanks to District Staff

• LD3 already has partnership schools. No HPS are in a relationship with a charter school.

• What do we do when I feel like the board has no confidence in what we do? (language of the board motion)

• District-wide attendance policy to get students in the seats (new attendance policy is out)

• Why are we spending money for new schools, not operating school?

• Why is the vote preceding the Federal investigation on payola?

• Money not spent the way it was intended.

• What happens if a charter school is not renewed?

• Will choice result in improvement for all students? (teachers, community, etc.)

• There is a confusion, need clarity

• Too much to manage.

• Class size concern

• Giving well thought plans a chance

• Teachers should be a part of the process

• More information about charters needed.

• What can the community do to help re-allocate the funds?


How would you like to be involved?

• We (LAUSD) will write a plan to keep all of our schools under the guidance of LAUSD.

• Teachers should get involved so they can be a part of the plan. Two competing plans for a school; what happens?

• Grass-roots: support teachers, advocate for students, parents be parents; getting parents involved; parents more accountable; plan more successful

• Communication

Comment: I am ashamed and disappointed in Superintendent and LD3. This looks like another for segregation like the white flight LAUSD experienced. Some students will go to new schools and some will be left in schools we are not focusing on (the ones penalized, criticized, dumped on regular schools are good too.


What should be included in the plan for opening a school or underperforming schools (PI3)?

• A better way to identify a school needing improvement

• Must come up with a process whether the motion passes or not

• Stakeholders competing against professional plan writers (what will that look like?)

• Enforce the standards based promotion

• ADA must be remediated (American Disability Act)

• Use what’s working at schools that have shown improvement


What part(s) of the process should be more important during the selection of successful prop?

• involve all stakeholders at each level of the process

• identify the “problems” through the community (community needs survey)

• selection criteria to include all students (SWD,.EL,.etc) to prevent screening out

• teacher rights and teacher protection

• prevent “cherry-picking” of students

• vertical articulation (ES<>MS<>HS)


Why aren’t ES and MS accredited?

1. How can we get construction money reallocated – who do we call/write?

2. Would the district please publicize all of the good/successful programs school in all of LAUSD! Stop promoting failure.

3. This question is for all of the folks representing the labor unions: “Why don’t we hear more about reform within labor—seniority reform, teacher evaluation reform, ect..?” If you don’t start making changes from within you are going to keep feeling pressure from parents communities with chronically low performing schools and charter groups.

4. If we’re going to be in competition with charters, etc., who in LAUSD is responsible for writing the plan? Collaborative? Not just decision

• LD, teachers, superintendent

• Work with Pio Pico community for that move

Who would be eligible to open these schools?

• charters, individuals… groups or other entities

How do we determine labeling of schools as under-performing?

• Criteria now is PI3+

Is LD3 writing plans for underperforming schools?

• We have partnerships but not with any charters.

How do I get motivated if the Board doesn’t have confidence? Worried about job security.

• This is a process and want everyone to be aware of it.

Where is the process if the motion doesn’t pass?

• Still need a process that’s coordinated - it will move forward.

1. Timing – before traditional starts – more parents

2. What criteria to judge improving schools?

3. What happened between 8/18/08 and today regarding improving school status.

4. Are only new schools in resolution?

PI3+ also

Why not focus on instead of looking at new schools?

• Need to really look at data (newest schools) LAUSD needs to write for these schools also.

Will choice result in improved achievement for all (curriculum selected by schools)

• Choice in and of itself – no; but there should be choices that are valuable to students.

Can’t we use construction money to bring back RIF’d teachers?

• Money is allocated only to construction can’t be used for salaries.

How many new schools are planned for LD3 in next 3 years?

• 2 new schools

Will giving control to charters make changes? Will budget decisions help improve achievement?


Comments from Index Cards

· Why have we not continued on the plans for school improvement that were adopted by parents, teachers and staff?

· After years of gathering information when will you (LAUSD) present some answers?

· When voters agreed to fund schools as public schools in order to relieve over funding no mention of charter schools were made. Aren’t using funds for purposes not intended illegal?

· What is the meaning of a public school where everyone in the neighborhood can attend as opposed to being screened out by a charter school?

· What happens to the parents and students if a charter is not renewed? How will they be judged?

· What affect will charterization have on federally funded Title I funds? Why are these meetings being held before traditional schools open?

· If a PI3 school has decreasing dropout, increasing attendence, and CST scores, what criteria would be used to judge its success?

· If the Federal Investigation on possible conflict of interest by Board members for payola

why is this not resolved first, before voting August 25th?

· PI status seems a flawed way to determine if a school is failing/underperforming.

· How will we determine success of a school after an “entity” takes over?

· Does LAUSD plan to annually evaluate and show to stakeholders (local) the impact of charter school co-locations on every campus before agreeing to extend the charter school renewal?

Also, will standardized test scores be a part of the evaluation (as far as the impact on the home campus kids?)

· The focus here is on providing choice. If a school, such as Emerson MS become a charter where is the choice for the parents of students in the community? If Emerson is the only school in the community, do parents really have any choice?

· When then are conflicting +/or competing plans for a school, I hope the community of stakeholders (especially parents of existing and future students within the footprint) can input their choice/via a fair vote.

· What is the difference and/or advantage with this proposal (plan) compared to charter and IDesign schools?

· Why are we looking to bring in charter schools? Where do charter schools get their funding?

· Ritter ES is an IDesign school that created special curriculum for English/Spanish Learner students excluding primary students. This is not an equal opportunity for all students. Why is so much focus on English/Spanish students and omitting low achieving English speakers?

· In addition to NY, Chicago and Denver, have you perused citied in the state of Virginia?

· Where is the data that shows the benefit of charters above existing schools?

· As a retired (30 years) teacher and former 15 year UTLA Chapter Chair, the Union must realize that it is time for major reform. UTLA and LAUSD must negotiate a plan to move from a “seniority motivated contract” to a “teacher quality of instruction motivated contract”. Until this change is implemented LP school will have no choice but be taken over by charters and other successful models.

· How is this really providing a choice for parents and students if these schools are to relieve over crowding? What students will get to attend a new school?

· Including in any plan to improve an underperforming school should be input and information from the feeder schools. Input should come from all stakeholders, but especially parents who determine where their children will go to school. All options should be looked at, including options that may result in the school being closed. For example if a middle school is PI, perhaps the elementary schools can all go K-8. Similarly, if a high school is PI, then perhaps the middle schools that feed it can go 6-12 or 8-12 ect.

· How to improve underperforming schools? 1) less testing/more instructional time 2) a ratio 20 to 1 per classroom 3) make parents accountable.

· With no state textbook adoptions on the horizon, what are the plans for those funds in LAUSD?

· Regarding school funding, if charter schools funds are fairly unrestricted, can the District consider allowing non-charter public schools to use school funding without restrictions?

· I am saddened that 3 awesome teachers from my child’s elementary school have been pink slipped! How can we insure that the teachers that are replacing these amazing teachers will have our children’s best in mind?

· Why do we have to have a plan to open new schools? Isn’t that the job of district employees? Follow-up: Why are we talking about “full application?”

· Why should the taxpayer pay for new schools that will be turned over to a charter organization that is not directly responsible to taxpayers? The taxpayer has no say on how the charter organization spends our money.

· I am concerned that teachers are not a high enough priority. Shouldn’t we spend all our money on teachers and not things we cannot afford?

· Discuss state budget cuts effect on these new school plans. Won’t the cuts result in more underperforming schools?

· Please define existing underperforming schools—PI3+ It seems “unfair” to categorize/lump all schools together as there are certainly specifics/differences

· How will underperforming school be selected to participate in this process? What input will school site staffs have in this process? Will they “rule” on whether or not to participate in this process?

· For an underperforming school (PI3) what can be done to replace administrators who are not working to improve school performance?

· If current schools will be involved in the “alternative” or charter school will the UTLA contract process for “going charter” or choosing an alternative option be followed as it is supposed to be?

· When will we recognize and realize the true value of the Arts in education “see them not as an authentic learning and growing opportunity”?

· Are there jobs in the Construction Division for laid off school personnel?

· How do we return those new teachers that have been RIF’d by the District due to budget reasons. Could we freeze the construction until the crisis is over? Need for a strong interaction between parents, students, teachers and the administrators to move any school community forward.

· The reason why a uniform curriculum was put into place was due to the high transient rate across the district. LAUSD has made great strides over the past 7 to 8 years, why disrupt what has helped us to succeed? For years schools were able to select their own textbooks and curriculum resulting in low academic performance. Is choice going to result in improved student achievement for all students?

· Why would we experiment with LAUSD’s newest and most state-of-the-art facilities? Why not simply implement the team and techniques that have already been proven within the District?

· I thought Yolie Aguilars’ initiative addresses only new schools not underperforming schools? Aren’t only new schools on the table?

· Charter schools often exclude Special Education students from enrolling and kick out behavior problems in Chicago. Some of these children do not have a public school near their home so they have no access to education once they’re kicked out. Would you hold charters accountable to take/keep these students? Will you level and equalize the playing field?

· In the selection criteria is there any criteria regarding track record or proven success with groups of students (specific demographic or community)?

· Where is this process if the choice motion on August 25th does not pass?

· What happens when there are two competing plans for one school? Do the stakeholders have a guarantee say?

· You are talking about plans for new schools. Is LD3 writing plans for underperforming school that involve charters etc.

· It seems that the criterion for “underperforming schools” is PI status. Palms MS has an API of About 820, yet is in PI status. Is PI status the best measure of whether or not a school is “performing”? Could any organization, charter or otherwise, launch a bid for Palms under government program?

· Charters have a spotty record of academic success. Why are charters being promoted as if charters guarantee success?

· Let’s discuss the issue of privatization/charterization of new schools.

· Who would be applying to open new schools, private companies entities?

Will charter schools be for “profit”?


Community Feedback Forms


Date: 08/17/2009

Local School District: 3

1. How would you like to be involved with the process of planning for new schools and improving underperforming schools?

  • Better, clearer communication; weekly bulletins from principal & board on all activities and problems at school
  • Appreciated tonight’s meeting although it was not well publicized.
  • In the future I think all meetings should be better communicated.
  • Any proposal for improving schools should draw most heavily from individuals who are “closest to the action”, the teachers. They have many excellent ideas
  • Want my voice heard as a teacher and a parent
  • We would like to be part of the process
  • I would like to submit an application as part of a group of retired administrators and in collaboration with my church
  • I would like to be considered to be a part of the committee that creates and implements the criteria for the RFP
  • Create the best school for my children and have a voice in the process, I want change for my children not more failing schools
  • Community voice needed
  • Re-evaluate what defines an underperforming schools
  • PI status that determine a failing school
  • School community should take priority over an outside entity to create a plan
  • Focus on existing schools not building new ones w/budget constraints and dropping enrollment
  • Advisory and Consultative role
  • Do not turn PI schools over to charters
  • Fund books and classroom supplies

2. What should be included in the plan for opening a school or improving an underperforming school?

  • I recommend the district use: adherence to data analysis; periodic assessments and a plan to also incorporate standards based instruction
  • Peer based collaboration, benchmarks to measure growth targets
  • Utilization of data team
  • A rubric scored by various, representative stakeholders
  • Parent, Administrators, business, community, TAs and teachers
  • Commitment from the entire team applying is essential
  • A way to have more control of our funding
  • The ability to get rid of poor teachers and hire great ones
  • The ability to control our staffing
  • A smaller district
  • First, an understanding of why a school is underperforming
  • Real benchmarks, not just NCLB test scores
  • Same rules as public schools-ELs, SWDs need equal protection
  • Real assessment of teachers
  • Plan to retain teachers and provide security
  • More effective PD
  • Finding an operator that can provide cultural change in an underperforming schools: can take kids that have been underserved and get them on track for college
  • Pick an operator that has and will be successful
  • Real understanding of school/ community needs – not just test scores, suspension rates & attendance rates
  • More effective PD
  • Parent outreach
  • Known funding
  • Give a greater stake to parents to turn them into partners instead of keeping them at arm’s length
  • Look at school’s that are working well
  • Interview teachers and analyze and take what’s working
  • An environment where parents, teachers, students and administrators have buy-in into the process
  • Enforcing the Standards based promotion policy

3. What part(s) of the process, if any, should be more important during the selection of successful proposals (i.e. student education program, student testing plan, school leadership team, etc.)?

· School leadership

· Performance

· Community and Parent involvement

· Community approval

· Educational programs

· High expectations

· Standards

· Student, teacher, parent satisfaction growth- are you happier w/ your school this year?

· Sound services for students such as nurse, counselor

· Parent involvement

· Peer evaluation

· Research- should only do those things that have proven efficacy in peer reviewed studies

· Grassroots and school level input should be most important- give people what they need and then step back

· Will vote that pubic school will remain public schools and not given to corporations

· School board should do the job they were elected to do within the realm of public education

· District needs to improve instead of outsourcing its mission to entities which are not directly responsible to students, parents and taxpayers

· A plan that would lower class size and create the best balance of student teacher ratio

· A plan with goals and objectives that are measureable

· Teaching excellence is the key

· Any proposal should include no cherry picking of highly motivated group of students

· Base on research and educational experts

· Don’t be afraid to force parents to be involved an be positive participants when it comes to their students

Rank the following questions on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = strongly disagree; 2 = disagree; 3 = neutral; 4 = agree; 5 = strongly agree)

1. This information session improved my understanding of the new schools/ existing schools improvement process. ____*3___

2. I felt that I was given ample opportunity during this community meeting to participate and have my voice be heard. ____*3___

3. In the future, I would be interested in providing my opinion regarding the proposed process. If yes, include email and/or phone # __see hard copies_____

Additional Comments please fill in here are send to :

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