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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog: Tonight, Ben Boychuk, John Seiler, Special Guest, Yolie Flores, former L.A.U.S.D. School Board Member, catalyst for reform

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Dec 20, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com welcome special guest Yolie Flores of Communities for Teaching Excellence, on the web at 4TeachingExcellence.org

We'll speak with Flores about: 
  • her decision to leave the L.A.U.S.D. School Board, 
  • her decision to not endorse a candidate to fill her seat. 
  • The organization Communities for Teaching Excellence, she now heads up
  • What does she make of the latest contract agreement between the L.A.U.S.D. Superintendent and the UTLA teacher's union? 
  • What does she make of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

We'll cover the latest hot talk from around the state of CA.   John Seiler has a new report up on Mexico:  U.S. Govt. Destroying Mexico | CalWatchDog,

and we'll talk with Ben Boychuk on the latest published on CA City Journal and his latest Head to Head weekly column with Pia Lopez:  To boost the economy should Congress extend the holiday on payroll taxes? 

Related Links: 

The Huntington Park campus newspaper infamously ripped into Flores when she began to push for change, very clearly echoing the hurt expressed by their teacher(s), who understandably don't want to shoulder the blame for the high school's terrible standing.
But Flores won't back down in her conviction that enough is enough. Now, she tells the Times: "This school has been waiting for decades, and people say wait a little longer. To me, it's a stall tactic. I'm tired of waiting."--Huntington Park High School Becomes Guinea Pig for Radical LAUSD Reform: 50 Percent of Teachers to Get the Boot --LAWeekly, By Simone Wilson Tue., May 10 2011

School Reformer Yolie Flores Departs LAUSD to Fight From Outside - Page 1 - News - Los Angeles - LA Weekly  She forced through the most radical idea in recent lausd history. So why’s she leaving for a Bill Gates start-up? By Jason S. Mandell Thursday, Mar 10 2011

Supt. John Deasy asks LAUSD board members to stay impartial on school control - Los Angeles Times October 01, 2011|By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

UTLA signs contract with LAUSD that holds teachers accountable for student performance - LA Daily News By Barbara Jones, Staff Writer, 12/15/2011 05:15:30 PM PST, Updated: 12/15/2011 05:16:47 PM PST 

The UTLA characterizes the tentative agreement as a solution that "will stabilize schools by stopping the giveaway of sites to outside operators and limiting reconsitution." 
As Howard Blume reports in this morning's Los Angeles Times, the agreement, in negotiation for several months, "virtually [ends] the two-year policy that allowed [under the 2009 LAUSD School Board ruling on Public School Choice] charter operators and others to take over low-performing and new campuses."  --Unleashing the power of the professional": LAUSD brings back local control - California's Children 11-30-2011

The demands of the "Don't Hold Us Back" coalition, which includes the California Charter School Association (CCSA) went completely unheeded. Insiders will tell you that their protests could be dismissed as harmless "theatrics." The continuance of school board management is simply a continuance of union rule. While reformers have done a poor job organizing themselves, the results show that their efforts were wholly insufficient.  --Anthony Krinsky's Education Blog: UTLA members rubber-stamp 6 more years of union rule  Dec 16, 2011 

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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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