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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Democrats for Ed Reform--CA join the "Don't Hold Us Back" Coalition

Here's their PrOctober 31, 2011

Dear Education Partner,

Democrats for Education Reform has joined the efforts of the “Don’t Hold Us Back” campaign to ensure every child receives the quality public school education they deserve. 
While the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Academic Performance Index has improved in recent years, proficiency levels continue to disappoint: only 47 percent of students are proficient in English language arts and 52 percent in math.  Today, 54% of its schools are low-performing and nearly half of 700,000 students do not graduate high school on time. We are unequivocally failing our students.

Although, reform efforts over the last few years such as Public School Choice, the Teacher Effectiveness Taskforce, and the implementation of Pilot Schools have effected positive change, it is not enough.

Education is the cornerstone of every great society.  We succeed when LAUSD succeeds.

LAUSD is currently negotiating with UTLA on a new District/Teacher contract that would serve as an obstacle to effective teaching.  It does not address the pressing issues of teacher evaluation, accountability and autonomy.  Parents want greater autonomy and accountability in the classroom.  Parents need to be engaged, empowered and offered choices to provide the best education for their children.

On Tuesday November 1st, LAUSD & UTLA have an opportunity to create real systemic change.

It is time for both parties to move forward at a pace that reflects the urgency we feel to improve our schools.

DFER is calling on LAUSD and UTLA leadership to complete negotiations on a new contract focused on the needs of our children at a pace that matches the urgency of the teachers who want it, the students who deserve it and the parents who expect it.

We strongly urge you to contact the office of the Superintendent, LAUSD Board Members and UTLA President today!

School District
Superintendent John Deasy
213-241-7000, john.deasy@lausd.net

LAUSD Board President Mónica García
213-241-6180, monica.garcia@lausd.net

Board Member Tamar Galatzan
213-241-6386, tamar.galatzan@lausd.net

Board Member Bennet Kayser
213-241-5555, bennett.kayser@lausd.net

Board Member Marguerite LaMotte
213-241-6382, marguerite.lamotte@lausd.net

Board Member Nury Martinez
213-241-6388, nury.martinez@lausd.net

Board Member Richard Vladovic
213-241-6385, richard.vladovic@lausd.net

Board Member Steve Zimmer
213-241-6387, steve.zimmer@lausd.net

Teachers Los Angeles
UTLA President Warren Fletcher
213-368-6267, wfletcher@utla.net

UTLA/NEA Vice President Mary Jan (M.J.) Roberts
213-368-6227, mjroberts@utla.net

UTLA/AFT Vice President Betty Forrester
213-368-6250, bforrester@utla.net

UTLA Elementary Vice President Juan Ramirez
213-368-6236, jramirez@utla.net

UTLA Secondary Vice President Gregg Solkovits
213-368-6237, gsolkovits@utla.net

UTLA Treasurer Arlene Inouye
213-368-6218, ainouye@utla.net

UTLA Secretary David Lyell
213-368-6244, dlyell@utla.net


Democrats for Education Reform
Monica Aleman\\ Deputy Director


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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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