Time For A Change

The LAUSD is broken. Will you join me on my quest to fix it?

The students, parents, teachers and other community members within the Los Angeles Unified School District have been trying to tell the Board of Education for years that our children are not receiving the education that they deserve. We have not simply offered them a list of complaints and demanded that they fix these issues, we have given them proposed solutions. In many cases we have simply asked that they get out of our way so that we can fix them ourselves. Too many times our voices have fallen on deaf ears and our district continues to fail.

At some point it is time to stop complaining and step up to the plate. For me that time is now and on March 3, 2015, I will run for the District 3 seat on the LAUSD School Board. Between now and the election I hope to not only earn your vote but to motivate you to become part of my team. Education is our investment in the future and we should all feel invested in our district’s success.

As a father of five, I have seen the best and worst in the LAUSD. Since two of my daughters are on the autism spectrum, I also have insight into the needs of educating students with IEPs and how the district is failing these students. Serving on the School Board is a chance to put this experience to use and give back to my community. My professional experience in planning, logistics and accounting and my degree in Business Management provide me with the qualifications that are needed to contribute to the mission of the board.

My priorities will include:

1) Giving stakeholders more access to the decision making process. The fact that board meetings are held during the day when working parents, teachers and students cannot attend is indicative of a board that has insulated itself from the community that it serves.

2) Moving control away from a bureaucracy downtown so that school communities have more input. Breakfast in the Classroom is an example of a program that many parents do not want but is still imposed on them by the district. If this type of control in not relinquished, many more schools are going to seek the charter school route.

3) It is important that we recognize the programs that work and duplicate them where practical. We must also become more innovative in finding solutions to the problems that plague our system. To do this, we must reward teachers who consistently show that they know how to get their students to excel and make sure that they are not burdened with rules that only serve to stifle creativity.

4) The current adversarial relationship between the district and the parents of special education students must end. We must also recognize that the process of educating these students in islands located within neighborhood schools is not working or even meeting the goal of giving them access to mainstreaming. Instead we need campuses that specialize in giving these students access to a cutting edge education. I would like to see these campuses combined with a magnet for “typical” students who would like to pursue a career in special education and related fields.

5) Tenure provides important protections to teachers. At the same time, we have all sat in classrooms where teachers have lost the drive that they once had for teaching. I would work with the UTLA to update the existing tenure system, find different assignments for teachers who need a change and end the wasted resources of “teacher’s jail.”

6) High stakes standardized testing is forcing teachers to teach our students how to take tests instead of giving them the skills that they need to compete in the global economy. These tests have become the goal instead of one of many ways to measure progress. Additionally, rules must be put in place so that any district employee that puts pressure on a student to do well on these tests is severely punished.

7) While the STEM fields are important, so is a well rounded education. If there is not enough time in a day to adequately expose students to all subjects, then we will have to look at ways to expand the school day. Adequately funding art and music programs is also essential for a complete education.

I look forward to hearing your suggestions on other ways that we can change our district for the better. Using the comments section allows us to promote a dialog. You can also reach me via email at changethelausd@gmail.com.


You can follow my campaign at ChangeTheLAUSD and on Twitter.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ziegler April 20, 2014 at 07:23 PM
The layout of the grammer school makes a difference in what the child is exposed to and learns. That sounds inconceivable but whan they made the decision to put the children is separate bungalows with just one teacher all day it meant that they would not be exposed to specialist teachers such as literature, art, and music appreciation until they get to Jr. High School. I grew up during the great depression. Most assuredly there was no excess money for education, yet we had a gym teacher, we received instructions in drawing and painting, and we listened to classical records in our one day a week music class - because we walked to the specialist teachers classroom. Getting instruction in the humanities costs no more than sitting all day with the same teacher. It is the number of classroom hours spent per week that counts. The Superintendant does not have to hire more teachers, he hires specialists who excite and stimulate the kids in the subject that they themselves love so much. When the child gets a singlr teacheer who teaches math, English, history, etc. that teacher is bound to not be too good at some of the myriad subjects. If we could expose kids tothe very best at the hight of the depression we can do better by them than to have them sit on their behinds all day with someone who is a master of some and a bore at all.
Carl Petersen III April 20, 2014 at 10:26 PM
Ziegler April 20, 2014 at 04:06 AM "Karl has not blamed teachers and in fact he laments that Parents are ignored especially the Parents who want the besat for their kids. Over all the teachers are very much respected." ________________________________________________________ I think that the current tenure system is an insult to great teachers. The first special education classroom that I witnessed for my daughters did little more than babysit them. We were told that they were doing all they could for them and that they were meeting all of the goals of their IEP. Their next teacher was still taking classes towards her masters degree and was excited to try new things. My daughters made amazing progress. ____________________________________________________ When the LAUSD was forced to lay off teachers, do you want to guess which one lost her Special Education assignment? Instead she was assigned to a kindergarten classroom. What a waste of a special talent!
Rae Anne Resident May 30, 2014 at 07:15 PM
Hi Carl I hasnt seed you a round. just hope you is ok an all.


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