Sunday, August 23, 2015
Friday, August 21, 2015
"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."—Frederick Douglass
If you’re a social justice minded person in Los Angeles, with at least two years of college credit, consider Peoples College of Law (PCL). PCL offers a four-year evening Juris Doctor program to accommodate working students. Successful completion of the Juris Doctor (J.D.) program provides qualification to sit for the California State Bar exam. From their site:
Our recruitment and admissions policies are strongly directed toward socio-politically conscious Native American, Asian Pacific Islander, African-American/Black and Latina/o students. Our goal is to have a student body that is at least half women and two/thirds Third World People. Peoples College of Law affirmatively recruits LGBT applicants.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
From the August 24, 2015 issue of Update
The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is leading an effort to expand the number of charter schools in LAUSD. The Broads are being joined by the Walton Family and the Keck Foundations, among others. The expansion of charter schools is supposed to decrease the number of children attending what the charter industry calls failing schools or those with lower test scores. The aim is to get at least 50% of these children in the privately-run charter schools which could potentially be located on District sites. LAUSD already has about 100,000 students attending charter schools, more than any other school district in the country. In an email to LA School Report, the officials from the Broad Foundation wrote, “Too many of our school children still aren’t getting the quality of education they deserve, which is why tens of thousands of students are currently on public charter school waiting lists. We are in the early stages of exploring a variety of ideas about how to help give all families—especially in low-income communities of color—access to high- quality public schools and what we and others in the philanthropic community can do to increase access to a great public school for every child in Los Angeles.”
Officials from charter organizations, such as ICEF and Green Dot, are, understandably ecstatic about the proposal as it will generate more dollars for their programs. The foundations could provide funding for early administrative costs of new charters and for teacher training. Board Member Mónica Garcia said she is open to the foundations’ plans and says that her district could benefit from additional charter schools. However, not everyone is happy about this expansion. Because charter school teachers are not unionized, UTLA is not supportive of these independent schools and feels that input of teachers is disregarded. In a call to members, Alex Caputo-Pearl, UTLA President, vowed to fight the plans of the foundations, saying they are “out to destroy collective bargaining.” Board President Steve Zimmer is concerned that the charter schools will continue to be selective about who they enroll, leaving those students who require more specialized services and resources at the District schools. A mass exodus of students to charters will also severely decrease state and federal funding for the traditional schools.
As has been noted before, Eli Broad, the Waltons and other billionaires have been active in LAUSD politics for many years and have supported controversial efforts for reform. Financial resources have been provided candidates for the Board of Education that AALA has not supported and who have been strongly procharter. It should also be noted that Dr. John Deasy, former LAUSD Superintendent, was a graduate of the Broad Superintendent Academy and is now the Superintendent-in-Residence for the Broad Center. In fact, it has been reported that Eli Broad said that John Deasy was the best Los Angeles superintendent in memory. That, in and of itself, should give us all a reason to pause and look at this expansion plan with a critical eye.
Monday, August 17, 2015
Friday, August 14, 2015
Stoner Elementary community to hold protest against charter school co-location that has taken resources from home school
Press release – Stoner Elementary community to hold protest against charter school co-location that has taken resources from home school.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On Monday, August 17, 2015, the first day of school, from 7:30-8:30AM, the Stoner Elementary School Community and local Del Rey neighborhood will be holding a protest against the co-location of ICEF Vista Charter School on the Stoner ES campus. Stoners parents are upset that the co-location has taken resource rooms including: music, special education, and language therapy among others. Local residents are upset because the co-location will bring traffic and safety issues to their neighborhood.
WHAT: Stoner Elementary Community is holding a:
RALLY TO SUPPORT STONER ELEMENTARY AND OPPOSE THE CO-LOCATION
WHEN: Monday, August 17, 2015 at 7:30 – 8:30 AM
WHERE: on the corner of Stoner Avenue and Lindblade Street, 90230.
Media is invited to attend.
There will be speakers. There will be signs. There will be chanting and drums.
Most importantly, there will be calls for better schools, a safer neighborhood, and unity in the community.
ICEF Vista Elementary, a neighboring school that is located two blocks from Stoner on the campus of the defunct St. Gerard Majella Elementary School, has taken classroom space at Stoner. To many people in the neighborhood, ICEF is seen as ‘the school at the church’ and many ICEF families take pride that their school provides benefit to the local parish. However, ICEF wants to expand and that means leaving the church grounds. Part of ICEF’s expansion plan includes co-locating at another campus to open up space at the St. Gerard campus.
ICEF is “stealing from Peter to Give to Paul”
Stoner ES parents are outraged that ICEF Vista’s will be co-locating this year and has taken set aside rooms that are used for music, art, parents center, and computer lab at Stoner so that ICEF can open up space on the St. Gerard campus to have room for an art room, parents center and computer lab. ICEF is literally taking away resources from Stoner ES to give those same resources to the ‘school at the church.’
The Stoner parents and local residents are mad about the colocation and are fighting back
In February 2014 when the proposed co-location was announced, Stoner community leaders addressed the ICEF board and asked them to reconsider their co-location plans. In March 2014, Stoner families and local residents sent over a hundred letters and emails to ICEF and LAUSD Boards urging them to not have the co-location at Stoner. In April 2014, when a final offer was made for the co-location, the Stoner and local community held a protest in front of the ICEF Vista campus urging them to not co-locate.
The Stoner and local community will be holding a protest on the morning of the first day of school Monday August 17 to let ICEF families know about our concerns with the co-location. More protests are planned for later in this school year.
WHAT DO WE WANT:
We want to let the ICEF community know the damage this co-location is causing and the harm it is bring to our community children. The Stoner parents are asking family of ICEF Vista to not support the co-location by selecting another educational option. We are encouraging the families of the 20 ICEF students who pertain to Stoner to consider sending their children to their local community school. We are asking parents from outside the area to consider their local schools or choose a non-colocated charter.
Adam C. Benitez
President, Friends of Stoner Avenue Elementary School
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
The activists comprising Voices Against Privatizing Public Education, whose efforts were recently highlighted on Professor Diane Ravitch's blog, are holding a rally/protest in front of the Broad Foundation's headquarters. This is in response to Broad and his fellow reactionaries' announcement of plans to privatize more than half the Los Angeles Unified School District within the next few years. Given the money these plutocrats have dumped into their profitable privatization projects, the Broad/Walton threat to eliminate public education is a clear and present danger. Join the rally/protest, sign the petition, and get involved with turning back the tide of school privatization by helping overturn avaricious billionaire Reed Hasting's 1992 California Charter School Act. For more on Eli Broad and school privatization, see the section entitled "The Neoliberal Emperor of Los Angeles" in this essay. — rds
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Join us in showing your support for public education. Public schools are OUR schools, not Eli Broad's
The LA Times announced that the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, along with the Walton Family Foundation and the Keck Foundation met to discuss plans to have half of Los Angeles students attending charter schools over the next eight years. http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-lausd-charters-20150808-story.html
We say no more billionaire and corporate takeover of our public schools!
Charter schools cherry pick students, falsify records, commit enrollment fraud, close down public schools in predominantly low income areas, destroy jobs, bust up unions, appoint private school boards unaccountable to the taxpayers, and segregate student populations based on income and race.
Separate but equal has no place!!
A recent report entitled “Fraud, Waste and Lies: Charter Schools Cheating Communities out of Millions of Dollars” cited hundreds of millions of public education dollars being wasted due to fraud and other abuses in the charter school sector. Read here: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/04/29/fraud-waste-and-lies-charter-schools-cheating-communities-out-millions-dollars
The charter school industry is a cancer on our public education system. The only solution is to repeal the charter school laws in California once and for all.
Come to the rally - defend our public schools against the attack by greedy profiteers.
Please show your support for placing a statewide ballot initiative to repeal charter school laws in California by signing petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/repeal-charter-school-act-of-1992-in-ca-ballot
Please read more at: https://notocharterschools.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/defend-public-ed-statement.pdf For more information about this rally call us at: (415) 282-1908
Make your voices heard and be part of the solution to save our public schools!
Saturday, August 08, 2015
Antioch University Friends of Education Speaker Series - Wayne Au will talk about various issues with high-stakes testing and organizing against the tests. Au is an Associate Professor in the Education Program at the University of Washington, Bothell, and he is an editor for the social justice magazine, Rethinking Schools. Most recently, he co-authored the article, "Rethinking schools: Enacting a vision for social justice within US education" for Critical Studies in Education and co-edited Pencils Down: Rethinking High-Stakes Testing and Accountability in Public Schools.
Join Voices Against Privatizing Public Education's efforts to repeal the California charter school law
There is a small grass-roots group that has been working diligently to create a ballot proposition to repeal the charter school laws. While a seemingly daunting task, there might not ever be another chance to do this before the privatizers eliminate public schools altogether (Eli Broad just announced his plans to cut LAUSD's public schools in in half). The group has an online petition that now has over 600 signatures. They also have a facebook group. Both of which are linked here:
Most importantly, they have picked up a handfull of key labor leaders and organizations:
- AFT Local 6161 (Palomar Faculty Federation)
- North County Labor Alliance
- Escondido Public School Advocates
- Bill Freeman- NEA Board member for California
- Alita Blanc- United Educators of San Francisco
The coalition is working hard to get several more organizations on board, including local Democratic party clubs in several large cities. Please consider getting involved, and perhaps even endorsing the efforts of the group.