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Friday, February 11, 2011

State Board of Education puts the brakes on Parent-trigger Law, one of two miraculous laws that passed in CA's Union Dominated Legislature Last Year.

A group will be appointed to study how to implement the measure, which lets parents petition for sweeping reforms at low-performing schools. Critics see it as an attempt to derail the law.--LA Times Local Section

By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times

February 10, 2011

The state Board of Education, in its first full meeting with a majority of members appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, moved Wednesday to put the brakes on a landmark law that gives parents the right to force major reforms at low-performing schools.

The board took no action on proposed regulations to implement the law but instead will set up a working group to help determine the procedures. The panel will include those who had complained that the previous board was rushing the process without sufficiently considering their input. The board will reconsider the issue in March.
Read more here.

Does this mean they will also kill the other law that passed by a thread, and that has real teeth?  The one that made it legal to use childrens' test scores as part of a teacher's evaluation, because prior to this miraculously hard won law, before, it was illegal to use a teacher's students' test scores as part of a teacher's evaluation. 

That means if a teacher is  incompetent,  that every year when the incompetent teacher's children leave her with far lower proficiency scores than when they came into his class, same results, year after year, this teacher never was held accountable for this correlation, for it was illegal to speak of it!  It was illegal to do such an analysis!  

So why would they not eliminate both powerful laws that are explosively driving real reform?

They are set to take the power back from the parents, whom up until the parent-trigger, had none, no choice but to leave their children at home, alone, or to send them to a failing school, with generations of failure.   They offer no solutions but the same empty promises of committees to study the matter.

They are taking away from the parents this short lived power to have say over standards, quality, and curriculum.  They claim these parents are not qualified to say what is the difference between a school that fails their children and one where their child is learning to read and write and do math and language arts.  And they blame the parents for not being educated themselves, as if the parents are not discerning.  As if they cannot judge a quality program by the result, i.e. their child is learning or not to read and write and love learning!  

I would be surprised if it were not the very second item on the State Board of Education's agenda after they have completed to take away this powerful tool from the parents who have no other power, recourse or options.

Linda Serrato, Communications at Parent Revolution, joins me this Saturday night at 11 on 870AM KRLA, to talk about the unjust scene between impassioned parents and the political class of servants to the teacher's union lobby at the Capitol this past Wednesday. Parent Caroll Turner will also speak with us briefly.

In case you missed it, you should hear about the brave and enduring parents that rode all night in a packed bus to appeal to the State Board of Education as they had their eighth hearing on the Parent Trigger law. These parents made emotional pleas requesting that the Board ensure that any permanent regulations empower parents, not district bureaucrats or well-paid Sacramento lobbyists.
Education writer, John Fensterwald, wrote the dedicated words of the parents and posed the question parents across the state are asking: how much will legislature alter the law?

LA Weekly highlighted with skepticism how State Superintendent Tom Torlakson expresses concern that the law is too sloppy and how all he wants to do is to “clean up” the Parent Trigger law along with fellow Parent Trigger opponent, Assembly member Julia Brownley.

Even the LA Times reported critically on the State Board and how they “moved Wednesday to put the brakes on a landmark law that gives parents the right to force major reforms at low-performing schools.” Pretty difficult considering the passion and earnest effort of the parents who came and testified before the Board.

Fox News 11 flew out to Sacramento to film a segment on the Parent Trigger hearing and they nailed it on the head, how confusing the process was and how passionate these parents are.

They made it clear: the lobbyists cross N St. to give their well-paid spin but parents will organize, speak eloquently and passionately, and they will defend the rights of their children for the long run. Parents are organizing and working together to ensure that every next step from Sacramento will have parents involved, organized and working together. 
The teacher's union lobbyists, and former lobbyists who sit on the Board of Education want to keep the status-quo and not allow these parents to upset their lock hold on their racket.   At stake are the children.

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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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