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Viramontes criticized, Common Core confusion, 5K Challenge

LA School Report | November 20, 2014

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Earlier this month, Arnold Viramontes, an outside expert hired by former superintendent John Deasy, issued a report to LA Unified that was a scathing indictment of the new MiSiS system, finding that “red conditions” arose early and should have signified “No Go.”

This week, in it’s weekly newsletter, the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA) expressed disappointment with Viramontes’ homework, with a suggestion that he has been copying off AALA’s earlier assessments.

The newsletter reads:

What we do find disconcerting, however, is that Viramontes, who was hired by former Superintendent Deasy and who has a contract with the District through February 2015, actually comes up with little new information and regurgitates much of what we have previously written, albeit using more organizational management semantics. For example, “The Help Desk had not been tiered to handle the call load or have the level of expertise needed.” Hmmm…we said that last spring. Also, “There appeared to be a significant lack of input from the community of personnel that would eventually use the applications.” Gee, didn’t we say that too? In fact, for AALA members and those on the MiSiS Committee, there is really little new information in the seven-page report.”

Following the Board

LA Unified board meetings have always been interminably long. Now, they’re growing interminably disjointed. Take this week’s meeting on Tuesday, for example.

The members met in five different settings: open session, closed session, open session, closed session, open session. The festivities began at 10 a.m., rather sometime after 10 am because they never start on time, and they concluded at 8:30 p.m.

That’s bad enough. But the open sessions have devolved into a spaghetti plate of disorder. Simply following the agenda as written is futile.

The crazy quilt starts when they go through items for “consent,” which means passage without discussion. But any member can request discussion on any item, which means removing that item from consent for a conversation later.

Then there are the “time certain” items, which means halting the progression to jump to an item affixed for discussion at a set time, which is usually done to accommodate the schedule of someone important. After that, the members return to wherever they were, once they figure where they were. Tuesday’s meetings had at least two time certain items, but the members were late getting started on both because they were immersed in something else.

And, finally, it bears noting, that nothing — nothing — starts on time, which may not be the best message to students. They’re required to be in their seats on time. Maybe the board should, too.

Oops, I need to change that vote

Seemed kind of odd, board member Bennett Kayser‘s voting against a recommendation to deny a charter school its renewal. Kayser is about as anti-charter as there is among LA Unified board members.

But when the votes were counted Tuesday on a measure to deny a renewal for Magnolia Science Academy Bell, the count was 6-1, with Kayser voting to keep the school open.

Until he realized he hadn’t meant to: a day later he notified the board secretary that he was voting in favor of the denial, making it unanimous.

Common Core still a question mark in CA

More than 50 percent of California voters say they knew nothing or very little about the new Common Core standards, according to a new report by the Policy Analysis for California Education/USC Rossier School of Education.

“Four years into adoption of such an important policy, there seems to be little awareness.,” said Morgan Polikoff, an assistant professor of education at the USC Rossier School of Education, according to Ed Source.

But no surprised, he said, pointing out that voters are typically ill informed on policy issues.

LAUSD 5K ‘Move It’ Challenge

Thousands of LA Unified students, parents and staff are expected to descend on Dodger Stadium for the district’s second annual 5K “Move It” Challenge and Health Festival on Nov. 22.

The event is intended to raise awareness on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and serve as a fundraiser for the district’s Wellness Centers. LAUSD has more than a dozen Wellness Centers that offer free health programs, services and education

Click here to learn more about the event. 


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