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OPINION
September 20, 1998
Mayor Richard Riordan's plan to unseat four incumbent Los Angeles Unified School District board members ("Riordan Task Force Plans Its Own School Board Slate," Sept. 12) may have some merit to it, but his support should be as a private citizen, not as the head of a mayoral task force. School board members should be elected on the basis of their capabilities and skills, not as a result of a politically motivated campaign against incumbents. However, in the same article, UTLA President Day Higuchi indicates the union would defend incumbents David Tokofsky and George Kiriyama against "God himself," if they had union endorsement, because they have been dependable votes for the union.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
February 16, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
It was just like old times at the Los Angeles Unified school board meeting last week. The board voted to close two excellent charter schools for reasons that had nothing to do with the quality of education they are providing to students but rather over provincial concerns about turf. This was the kind of board behavior - common a decade ago - that drove so many frustrated parents and policymakers into the arms of the school reform movement. We had hoped those days were over. At issue were charter renewals for two Huntington Park schools run by Aspire Public Schools, one of the most highly regarded charter operators in California.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 1999
In laying the blame for "substandard education" of Los Angeles schoolchildren at the feet of the LAUSD board, the Committee on Effective School Governance (Feb. 18) overlooked several important factors having a far greater impact on student achievement in this district than any issues related to governance. For example, the LAUSD board did not: 1. Reduce state per-pupil spending from fifth in the nation to 42nd over a 30-year period. 2. Manufacture the recession of the early '90s, which necessitated huge cuts in support services to schools.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 13, 2013 | By Dalina Castellanos
The Los Angeles school board meeting is expected to draw more than 1,500 demonstrators Tuesday as members are scheduled to vote to continue funding the classroom breakfast program, an increase in the school police force and other budget items. In a memo to board members last month, Supt. John Deasy outlined eight items that the district would not fund without explicit board approval. Those included classroom breakfasts, which feed more than 2,000 students in 280 schools across the L.A. Unified School District.
OPINION
November 17, 1991
The LAUSD board is considering an across-the-board 3% salary cut. The district currently pays teachers and many other categories of employees holiday pay during the winter holiday (Christmas/New Year) break. That is, they do not work this time but are paid. I suggest that the board consider simply shutting the entire district down for this period, since children are on vacation anyway, and put all employees on a furlough without pay for this period. This would amount to approximately a 2 1/2% cut. In addition, the district would save on reduced utility bills, etc. At the same time, it would correct the inequity of having some employees having to actually work during this time for pay while others are paid for not working.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2000
Nancy Ichinaga, principal of Bennett-Kew Elementary School in Inglewood, is quoted in "How to Turn Out Successful Teachers" (Opinion, March 26) as follows: "I create a situation for everyone to succeed. Teachers are not successful because they are not given manageable situations." What a world of difference from the merit-raise position that assumes teachers are lazy and indifferent, to be motivated only by the dangling dollar carrot. We all spend a huge portion of our lives at work. To imagine that a person who has spent many years training for a position and many more working in it does not inherently want to be successful is profoundly demeaning.
OPINION
November 18, 2002
Steve Lopez's Nov. 13 column, "Seeing the Light and Saying So Long to All That Negativity," posed a question. My answer is that it's the "smear squad." I am struck by the treatment given the Richard Riordan and Eli Broad secret offer (is it really secret?) to Ted Mitchell, the president of Occidental College, and Occidental College itself. Lopez suggested that Riordan and Broad "believe so strongly they know better than us rubes what's in our best interest, they're willing to trample democracy to have their way."
OPINION
January 31, 1993 | Thomas Mitchell, a third-year law student, who serves on the editorial board of the Howard Law Journal, co-authored this article with classmates Scott Burrell and Darrin Howard.
As a Valley parent in favor of establishing a San Fernando Valley school district, I am distressed to learn that Roberta Weintraub has expressed her desire to lead this transformation (Jan. 20). Weintraub, a Nixon Republican, seized a seat on the LAUSD board as a one-issue (anti-busing) candidate. She then proceeded--along with her other inept colleagues--to preside over the near fatal destruction of what was a thriving school system. Weintraub is now changing her political party and fixating on another single issue to revive her deflated career.
OPINION
October 17, 1999 | FRANK del OLMO, Frank del Olmo is associate editor of The Times
When my sources at the Los Angeles Unified School District told me they'd seen a ghost wandering the halls of district headquarters, I figured it was a Halloween prank. But then the reformers who recently took control of the LAUSD board ousted Supt. Ruben Zacarias and put the ghost in charge. That's what happened Tuesday when the LAUSD board quite suddenly--and quite sloppily--created the new post of chief executive officer, reducing Zacarias to a figurehead.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 1995
I would like to respond to Abraham Hoffman's letter to the editor in the Valley Edition, Sept. 3. On behalf of the Board of Education, I have asked the superintendent to prepare a draft policy with which to evaluate specific proposals which may emerge to break up the district. The board will soon review this policy in public session and then take action to adopt or amend it. In the meantime, it is no more than speculation to theorize about any change in district attitudes toward this breakup.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
Damien Valentine knows painfully well about a national phenomenon that is imperiling the academic achievement of minority students, particularly African Americans like himself: the pervasive and disproportionate use of suspensions from school for mouthing off and other acts of defiance. The Manual Arts Senior High School sophomore has been suspended several times beginning in seventh grade, when he was sent home for a day and a half for refusing to change his seat because he was talking.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 2012 | By Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times
John Greenwood, a political moderate who headed the Los Angeles Board of Education in the mid-1980s and later served as president of the Southern California branch of the nonprofit Coro organization, has died. He was 67. Greenwood died of a heart attack Oct. 11 in San Pedro, where he and his family had lived for many years, said his sister-in-law Peg Greenwood. First elected to the school board in 1979, Greenwood saw his eight-year tenure begin at a time of deep contention among trustees and in the sprawling district over court-ordered mandatory school busing for integration, which had been launched the previous year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy has cautioned school board members to avoid taking sides over who should control 15 new and 22 low-performing campuses next year. Deasy was responding to complaints that school board member Bennett Kayser is openly backing plans being developed by three groups of district teachers for academies at South Region High School No. 8, a campus set to open next year in Maywood. The school board is expected to choose the winning bidders early next year.
OPINION
May 15, 2011
Voters go to the polls Tuesday to elect a member of Congress to represent California's 36th Congressional District, a South Bay area that is the bedroom community to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the historic home of much of this region's aerospace and related industries. The special election to fill the vacancy of departed Rep. Jane Harman has attracted a large and varied field. The Times endorses Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn. Hahn is not the only credible candidate in this race.
OPINION
March 1, 2010
The Los Angeles Unified school board looked transformation in the eye -- and blinked. By overriding several recommendations of its top experts and cutting three of the region's most respected charter organizations out of the picture, the board sadly demonstrated once again that it is devoted more to the politics of running schools than to the education of students. Charter school organizations submitted relatively few applications to run 30 new or underperforming schools -- part of a multiyear initiative to give outside operators a chance to manage perhaps 250 -- and in many cases they were passed over in favor of teacher groups by Supt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2009 | Jason Song
Because of the state's budget uncertainty, the Los Angeles school board agreed Tuesday to potentially lay off up to 2,300 teachers if no other options become available this year. The Los Angeles Unified School District faces up to a $250-million shortfall, and the move could shave about $50 million from that figure. But Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, in his first board meeting as head of the district, said he hoped not to send the notices. "This is strictly a place-holder," he said.
OPINION
October 31, 1999
I obviously don't understand something here. The position of LAUSD superintendent is not an elected position. Therefore, doesn't he serve at the pleasure of the school board, which is elected? Yes, he is under contract, but does that mean he cannot be fired or bought out? Doesn't this happen in private business all the time? What is the big deal? The duly elected school board is taking the steps it deems necessary to get the district back on course. I'm sorry that the previous, lame-duck board, in a petulant act, extended Supt.
OPINION
August 5, 2001
Re "LAUSD: Belmont Redux?" Opinion, July 29: Either David Tokofsky was asleep (highly unlikely), in the press room (his favorite haunt) or out of the room on the telephone (highly likely) when staff briefed Los Angeles Unified School District board members [on the purchase of a headquarters building] during at least three separate closed sessions. The real estate staff made itself available to answer any questions individual board members still had after those sessions. What are the pluses that Tokofsky did not mention?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2008 | Jason Song and Howard Blume, Song and Blume are Times staff writers.
The Los Angeles Board of Education voted Tuesday to pay at least $517,500 to buy out Supt. David L. Brewer midway through his four-year contract to run the nation's second-largest school system. No successor was named, but board members and other civic leaders have said they expect that the No. 2 administrator, Ramon C. Cortines, will be offered the job at least on an interim basis.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2006 | Duke Helfand and Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writers
Moving to bolster his sway over Los Angeles' embattled public school system, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will name former schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines today to the post of deputy mayor for education, youth and families. Cortines, a veteran educator who has led some of the nation's largest and most politically volatile school districts, including Los Angeles Unified for a brief stint, is expected to serve as an important buffer between Villaraigosa, the school board and the teachers union.
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