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An Attempt At Engagement Falls Flat

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In a vote taken at the October 13th Board meeting, Steve Zimmer, George McKenna, Monica Garcia and Ref Rodriguez blocked public access to the finalists in the search for a new LAUSD Superintendent. While the public will have no say in who is chosen, the District is asking for input on the qualities the stakeholders are seeking in the new Superintendent. Under the PR-sounding heading of "Your Voice Counts," the search firm hired by the district is conducting an online survey and two weeks of community forums. Certainly, any move towards community engagement is welcome in the District, but in my new blog at the K-12 News Network I detail how both of these attempts are flawed and will do little to ensure that students, parents or community members will have a say in the selection. To make someone's voice count, they must not only be allowed to speak, they must be heard.

While the Community Forums do not give a full voice to the members of the public, not participating sends a message to the District that the public does not want to be engaged. Unfortunately, all four of the events that I participated in last week were sparsely attended with ten to 23 attendees each. The following are the public's final chances to show that they do want to be involved:

October 26

Webster Middle School

9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

11330 W. Graham Pl (Daniel's Den)

LA, CA 90064

October 27

Eagle Rock High School

11:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

1750 Yosemite Dr. (Auditorium)

LA, CA 90041

Crenshaw High School

9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

4120 11th Ave. (MPR)

LA, CA 90008

October 28

Van Nuys High School

10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

6535 Cedros Ave. (Auditorium)

Van Nuys, CA 91411

White Middle School

7:00 p.m.

22102 S. Figueroa St. (White Hall)

Carson, CA 90745

For the complete story, please visit http://thewire.k12newsnetwork.com/2015/10/25/an-attempt-at-engagement-falls-flat/

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Carl Petersen is a parent, an advocate for students with special education needs, an elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, a member of the LAUSD's CAC, and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, the Network for Public Education (NPE) Action endorsed him, and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a " (more...)

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