MIRAMONTE SETTLEMENT BLOCKS ANY LAUSD DISCLOSURE- THE CRIMINALITY GOES ON

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) With the 11th hour settlements just prior to when the civil trial was scheduled to commence, the combined costs of the Miramonte sexual abuse scandal cases now totals $169 million, making it the largest school child abuse award of damages in history. And yet the clearly failed LAUSD administrative mechanism that allowed it to happen- or happen again in the future- remains intact an LAUSD that is still immune from any outside investigation that this civil trial would surely have provided. The clearly dishonest motivation for LAUSD settling this case on the eve of trial is given strength and credibility by the realization that the plaintiffs couldn't have possibly gotten more money at trial than they got with this settlement, which is usually a defendant's motivation for settling. So what remains is the disreputable motive of covering up an LAUSD administrative culture that will continue to silence and cover up similar bad acts that continue unchecked throughout the District at this time. After all, those doing the covering up have yet to pay any price out of their pockets.

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11 2014

LAUSD & UTLA- IS CLASS SIZE REDUCTION THE BEST YOU CAN DO?

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In 1939 the famous Yiddish actor Boris Tomashefsky dies just before going on stage for the opening night of King Lear. The understandably distraught manager of the theater goes out on stage to break the news to the awaiting eager audience that the show will not go on because of Tomashefsky's has died. The manager offers them their money back. From way in the back of the theater an old lady yells out, "Give him an enema." The whole theater goes silent. "Madam," says the manager, "I don't think you understand. Mr. Tomashefsky is dead from a heart attack." The old lady pauses for just a moment and then says, "Well, it couldn't hurt."

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11 2014

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING- AN UNEXPECTED CELEBRATION OF LIFE

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) What the audience is left with is a celebration of life under the most difficult circumstances that is well lived and a challenge to those of us whose problems pale in comparison to what Stephen and Jane had to face. With a disease designed to isolate the individual and keep others out, Jane and Stephen have a rich, long, and self-sacrificing love that is always vindicated by their never-challenged awareness that they have found in each other somebody who cares for the essence of who they are as much or sometimes maybe even more than any individual can care for themselves.

SINGER CARLA MORRISON: A BORDER RUNS THROUGH HER

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Tecate, Baja California born Mexican singer Carla Patricia Morrison Flores, better known professionally as Carla Morrison, proved this past Thursday when she performed at the Observatory in Santa Ana that when it comes to a person's creative identity two ethnicities are better than one. Although she sang songs mostly in Spanish that melded her unique Mexican-American family history into this music, she freely acknowledges in an accent free English that a great deal of her creativity has its roots in the music of Patsy Cline and Brits like Morrissey and Radiohead.

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10 2014

THE POLITICS OF PLATITUDES- WHERE CHANGE AND ACCOUNTABILITY ARE NOWHERE TO BE FOUND

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) A friend of mine in Venice was asked to a meet and greet fundraiser this past Saturday for State Superintendent of Public Instructon Tom Torlakson. His opponent in this election is the corporate public school privatizer and Eli Broad supported charter advocate Marshall Tuck. I contacted Torlakson's people to find out if as a reporter for several blogs (perdaily.com, CityWatchLA, and The L.A. Progressive, as well as others that carry my work) I could attend the event? I heard nothing back. Given the clear pattern of what I have come to call the politics of platitudes, I was not surprised. Nonetheless,I will hold my nose and vote for Torlakson- a pretty lukewarm endorsement? As in many races, the voter now must content themselves with voting for what they might be deceiving themselves into believing is the lesser of two evils- both of whom run for the office in campaigns purposefully and completely without substantive programs or specific plans for implementation of anything.

TEXTBOOKS THAT ARE NEVER OBSOLETE- A SCARY THOUGHT FOR SCHOOL BOOK PUBLISHERS

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Here's a radical notion. What if a school districts like LAUSD owned all the copyrights of all the textbooks they used and had their teachers, who were so inclined, write chapters for these textbooks. The teachers would then share in a percentage of the copyright of the textbook or curricular materials they wrote to the extent that their work is a part of the total. It can be assumed that more than one teacher might like to supplement their income this way, so a degree of healthy competition might ensue that would only benefit the quality of the textbook ultimately produced and made resident on the school district's own computers as their property. There might also be a healthy national or international competition of potential teacher-writer contributors, which again would only redound to the improved quality of the textbooks produced. Even teachers working together to generate these materials would offer a more collaborative model that would have the added organization benefit of creating more cohesion in a teaching profession that has been under attack and divided for far too long now.

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10 2014

WILL THE REAL PROFESSOR DIANE RAVITCH PLEASE STAND UP?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Professor Diane Ravitch has become a G-d to her undiscerning and often cultish followers. What most of these people choose to see is her clearly unsurpassed knowledge of what is and has gone on in public education throughout the last 150 years. Without question she could be a revolutionary rallying point for countering the carefully planned and orchestrated program of public education privatization by charter schools run exclusively to increase the corporate bottom line and further dumb down the American public. However, the fact is that Ravitch has chosen to do nothing but talk and then only after the fact as can be seen in the recent Vergara case. This should have awakened her followers, but alas it hasn't.

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10 2014

DEASY TO CORTINES...FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE FOR LAUSD?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) This week in the latest installment of what has become the long running Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) soap opera, we witnessed what can only be described as the surreal renaming of 82 year old retired LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines as interim LAUSD superintendent to replace Superintendent John Deasy. Deasy has resigned under an iPad-MiSiS cloud of suspicion that was continuing to develop into a storm. In fact, It might even occur to some of you that Deasy resigned now before more scandals regarding the fixing of student assessments, grades, graduations, the lack of delivery of instruction, and LAUSD finances came out, in hopes that this would stop any further investigations. Good luck on that one John.

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10 2014

LAUSD- IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEASY?

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We are at a crossroads at LAUSD and in public education around the country. Either there will be greater disclosure of LAUSD's longstanding incompetence and illegal activities with the requisite changes being implemented to stop them or it will be more of the same. The hardest thing to change is LAUSD's entrenched bureaucracy that has yet to be subjected to an independent audit of their policies and financial practices. This has continued because of political pressure from city, county, state, and federal government that has become more and more under corporate and foundation domination to privatize and monetize public education, which after all was John Deasy's Broad, Gates, and Walton inspired agenda.

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10 2014

THE SHARING ECONOMY- CAN AIRBNB GIVE A LYFT UBER THE DESTRUCTION OF THE MIDDLE CLASS?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) As global capitalism continues to wring more and more profit out of the economy year after year, which after all is the raison d'etre of the corporate structure, a catastrophically impacted casualty of this using of more and more leading edge technology to make ever increasing profits has been the middle class. That is why it is all the more gratifying when that same technology can now be used to counter this unregulated corporate juggernaut, while helping the middle class to survive, if not flourish.

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