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Ramon Cortines

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OPINION
October 31, 1999 | Richard Lee Colvin, Richard Lee Colvin covers education for The Times
Ramon C. Cortines, 67, who frequently says he was a mischievous kid growing up in San Francisco, has held some of the most challenging jobs in public education in the course of a 43-year career. Now, he's being talked about for another one: the interim successor to Ruben Zacarias, the veteran L.A. educator whose contract the L.A. school board now wants to buy out.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2013 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has ruled against a midlevel manager who had sued former L.A. schools Supt. Ramon Cortines, alleging sexual harassment. Judge William F. Fahey ruled that real estate manager Scot Graham failed to file his claim within the six-month time limit allowed in such cases, said Sean Rossall, a spokesman for the L.A. Unified School District. The ruling is dated last Wednesday but was issued late Friday, according to the district. The judge did not rule on the merits of the allegations.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 1999
Re "Board Buys Out Zacarias; Interim Chief Is Cortines," Nov. 5: After 26 years as a teacher/counselor with the Los Angeles Unified School District, I now know that you spell "dignity" with a $. Silly me. HELEN ARAGON San Fernando Seven hundred fifty thousand dollars! More money than I have earned in 18 years of teaching your children at the top of the wage scale, including every summer school and intersession they would give me as well as an extra period a day. For the first time in five years I'm on vacation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2012 | By Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times
Carlos Santana. Johnnie Cochran. Al Gore. The parents of City Councilman Tony Cardenas. It's a diverse group with at least one thing in common: Los Angeles public schools bear their names. The Los Angeles Unified School District's decade-long school building program is winding down after about 100 campuses have been named. As district officials replace such temporary generic names as South L.A. Area New High School No. 3 with permanent monikers, the process has become political, controversial or just plain wacky.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 10, 1999
Re "Board Buys Out Zacarias; Interim Chief Is Cortines," Nov. 5: Supt. Ruben Zacarias' $750,000 buyout, designated-Supt. Ramon Cortines' "willingness to engage in political brinksmanship," to quote your article, and the $200-million Belmont fiasco illustrate just some of the disastrous consequences of forgetting the only real rule that should govern every decision a school district makes: The classroom comes first. Instead, the Zacarias deal has drained money that could hire 15 to 20 new teachers to teach approximately 400 students.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2012 | By Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times
Carlos Santana. Johnnie Cochran. Al Gore. The parents of City Councilman Tony Cardenas. It's a diverse group with at least one thing in common: Los Angeles public schools bear their names. The Los Angeles Unified School District's decade-long school building program is winding down after about 100 campuses have been named. As district officials replace such temporary generic names as South L.A. Area New High School No. 3 with permanent monikers, the process has become political, controversial or just plain wacky.
OPINION
March 26, 2000
Your March 19 editorial, " 'Mini' Paths to Good Schools," comes down squarely on the side of merit pay for teachers. In doing so, you completely ignore the one absolute reason that merit pay is unfair: social promotion. Next year I will teach fourth grade at a school that is at the absolute bottom of all Academic Performance Index measures. Experience tells me that at least two-thirds of my class will have been socially promoted through every grade, eight to 10 students won't know the alphabet and some of them will never have done a single homework assignment, because they knew they would get passed on anyway.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 24, 2006 | Joel Rubin and Nancy Vogel, Times Staff Writers
As aides to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and state lawmakers continued to sculpt legislation that would dramatically reshuffle control of Los Angeles public schools, two prominent education figures said Friday they were open to becoming the next superintendent. State Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles), a former member of the Los Angeles Unified School District board, said she had received numerous calls urging her to seek the position. And Ramon C.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Ramon C. Cortines returned as head of the nation's second-largest school system three years ago to complete unfinished business, namely, to transform education in Los Angeles. He left this week at the age of 78, after dealing with the worst budget crisis in memory and constant political pressures from an aggressive mayor and other powerful, often conflicting forces. The superintendent's supporters and critics agree that Cortines, known for an innate stubbornness and self-confident pride, managed these and other pressures by adjusting, creating results that he felt would benefit students and that would match his own goals for the school system.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 2012 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
A senior L.A. school district official who accused former Supt. Ramon C. Cortines of sexual harassment will seek additional damages because the school system publicly disclosed details about the allegations and a settlement approved by the Board of Education. Attorneys representing Scot Graham, 55, also assert that they now want to negotiate directly with current Supt. John Deasy, who has been largely uninvolved in the matter. In a statement, the L.A. Unified School District said that the school board Tuesday "voted unanimously to reject a new counter settlement proposal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2012 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
A settlement with the employee who made allegations of sexual harassment against former L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines threatened to unravel Tuesday over disputed terms of the agreement and its disclosure by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The allegations also have had fallout at the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, which sent a delegation Tuesday to meet with Board of Education President Monica Garcia over changing the downtown school's name.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 2011 | By Jason Song, Los Angeles Times
Former Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines agreed last year to let teachers and parents at Verdugo Hills High School implement their own reform plan, which included hiring their own principal. But Cortines' successor, current Los Angeles Unified School District chief John Deasy, has not approved the school's top choice for principal. Instead, district officials appointed an interim principal at the Tujunga campus. Deasy said that because he evaluates the district's principals, he should have a say in hiring.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously overrode its own procedures as well as objections from some parents and teachers to name its downtown arts high school after Ramon C. Cortines, who retired as the district's superintendent in April. Although Cortines was universally praised, school representatives asked that L.A. Unified follow its own process, which was updated in January 2010, when Cortines was superintendent. That process requires participation by students, faculty, staff and parents as well as a survey.
OPINION
April 21, 2011
Cortines as a leader Re "Cortines leaves mark on district," April 16 Like the soldiers who served under Army Gen. George S. Patton and called themselves "Patton's men" in honor of the general who got them through World War II, I am grateful to have served Ramon C. Cortines. The former superintendant of the L.A. Unified School District got us through some very tumultuous times; he was a disciplined professional who provided a playful smile, an attentive ear and a quick kick to the rear.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Ramon C. Cortines returned as head of the nation's second-largest school system three years ago to complete unfinished business, namely, to transform education in Los Angeles. He left this week at the age of 78, after dealing with the worst budget crisis in memory and constant political pressures from an aggressive mayor and other powerful, often conflicting forces. The superintendent's supporters and critics agree that Cortines, known for an innate stubbornness and self-confident pride, managed these and other pressures by adjusting, creating results that he felt would benefit students and that would match his own goals for the school system.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2010 | By Jason Song and Howard Blume
Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines proposed Friday cutting six days from the school year to help reduce an estimated $640-million deficit and avoid the need for widespread layoffs in the nation's second-largest school system. The move, announced by news release Friday evening, would save the district $90 million and could spare up to 5,000 jobs, Cortines said. The alternative to this drastic action, he said, would be to let the district go bankrupt. "Do I think [this]
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 2011 | By Jason Song, Los Angeles Times
Former Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines agreed last year to let teachers and parents at Verdugo Hills High School implement their own reform plan, which included hiring their own principal. But Cortines' successor, current Los Angeles Unified School District chief John Deasy, has not approved the school's top choice for principal. Instead, district officials appointed an interim principal at the Tujunga campus. Deasy said that because he evaluates the district's principals, he should have a say in hiring.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2011 | By Jason Song, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Unified School District officials are reviewing personnel and curriculum at Widney High School, which serves developmentally disabled children, because staff members are doing a poor job of teaching the students and automatically giving overtime to workers who leave early and arrive late, according to documents and interviews. During a recent visit to the Jefferson Park campus, Supt. Ramon C. Cortines observed instructors watching a soap opera during class time. "They didn't even make an effort to turn it off when I was there," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2011 | By Jason Song and Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles school district leaders announced Wednesday that they will split low-performing Jordan High School into three small schools that will be run by outside groups. All current employees will have to reapply for their jobs or work elsewhere. It marks the second time the Los Angeles Unified School District has targeted a campus for such a forced makeover. Fremont High School, located in Florence south of downtown, was also "restructured" last year, a move that drew fierce criticism from the teachers union and resulted in the departure of most teachers.
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