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Morning Read: No unanimity on how to replace LaMotte

LA School Report | December 17, 2013

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L.A. school board priority: Put students first
Editorial: The memory of Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, a long-standing member of the Los Angeles Unified school board, deserves to be honored. She was a devoted educator who fought for students and teachers. There are many appropriate ways to show respect to such an accomplished and caring woman: Name a school for her. Fund a scholarship for needy students in her district. Hold a memorial service. But don’t misuse her memory to seek partisan political victories or to avoid doing work that needs to be done. LA Times

Let voters choose LAUSD’s new board member
Commentary: The Los Angeles Unified school board gets to decide Tuesday whether it will appoint a replacement for Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte or hold a special election. There’s something wrong with board members even having the option to choose a new colleague themselves. They must let voters in LaMotte’s South L.A. district pick their next representative. LA Daily News

Act now and name a replacement L.A. school board member
Commentary: There has been great consternation in recent days over the best way to select an interim school board member to complete the term of Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who died this month. The two of us, both former school board members, believe that LaMotte’s former constituents would be best served if the board appointed a replacement for the remaining 18 months of her term rather than holding a special election. LA Times

East L.A. high school girls volleyball coach accused of lewd acts
A 23-year-old girls volleyball coach at Esteban Torres High School in East Los Angeles remained jailed Monday on $1 million bail amid accusations that he had sex with a 15-year-old female student, authorities said. Jonathan Adam Roldan is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on charges of having lewd conduct with a minor, officials said. LA Daily News

California low in school spending, but high in teacher salaries

Generally, the states that spend the most on their public schools also have the highest teacher salaries, but there’s one notable exception – California – as newly compiled data reveal.mCalifornia’s average teacher salary is the fifth highest in the nation this year, but its per-pupil spending is the 12th lowest – indicating that the state is committing an extraordinarily high proportion of each school dollar to those salaries and relatively little on administration and other school expenses. Sacramento Bee

Gov. Brown opposes government-imposed standards for schools

Gov. Jerry Brown blasted the notion of government-imposed standards for public schools, saying he opposed efforts from Washington and Sacramento to dictate education policy. Using “data on a national or state level I think misses the point — that learning is very individual, very personal,” Brown said during an on-stage interview Monday with the Atlantic magazine’s James Bennet at the Computer History Museum. LA Times

SF considers eliminating ‘willful defiance’ as reason for suspensions
Suspensions and expulsions for “willful defiance” of school authorities may soon be forbidden at SF Unified, which is considering a broad new discipline policy that focuses on restorative justice practices and other alternative measures. The “Safe and Supportive Schools” policy would, among other things, require staff training on how to handle disruptive students and build a positive school climate. EdSource

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