Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ref Rodriguez for the LA School Board

Please join me in supporting Ref Rodriguez for the LA School Board. Here's Caprice Young on the race and its importance (and see attached 2-pager about him):
The Los Angeles Unified School District serves more than 650,000 K-12 students.  80% of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch, nearly 74% are Hispanic, 10% are African American, 9% are white, 4% are Asian and 3% are others.  According to NAEP (TUDA), 18% of LAUSD non-charter school students scored at proficient or above in 8th grade math and 19% in Reading.  See:  
Out of 1000 schools, more than 250 are independent charter schools.  According to both CREDO and CCSA, charters outperform similar traditional public schools consistently.  See: This is primarily due to the concentration of high quality charters in Los Angeles providing mutual support, CMO replication, and strong start-up funding from foundations for autonomous charters in low SES neighborhoods.  
The board of education is the primary charter school authorizer, although some have used the option of appeal to the county and state because LAUSD has begun denying charter school approval and renewals.  Just in the last year, the board has denied renewal of several top academically performing schools including Aspire, STEM and Alliance for College Ready Schools. This week, KIPP schools were renewed on very close split votes.  The board is about to undergo a superintendent search that will dramatically impact charter schools, common core implementation, labor negotiations and technology implementation. consists of seven members elected by geographic region.  Four members are up for re-election on MARCH 3, 2015 (YES, SOON):  Tamar Galatzan (District 3), a strong supporter, faces a crowded field.  CCSAdv is leading an IE on her behalf.  Richard Vladovic (District 7), the former board chair, has been a fair weather supporter and does not face a significant challenge.  George McKenna (District 1), a new member elected in August during a special election, has proven to be anti-reform so far; however, a challenge is not realistic at this time.  Finally, Bennett Kaiser (District 5), has been strongly opposed to reform of all types and we have a genuine opportunity to beat him.
Dr. Ref Rodriguez is a strong, proven reform leader who has started several high performing charter schools in his district and serves on the California teacher credentialing commission. His district is a Latino district (based on registered and active voters) that has successfully turned out for strong Latino reform candidates (Yolie Flores, for example in 2007) in the past.  He has a large, dedicated volunteer base of families and students and the former school board president, Monica Garcia, is holding a fundraiser at her home tonight.  He has a strong campaign team on board.  Ref needs 17,000 votes to win in the primary over the white, union-backed reformer and another white challenger.  The most important aspect of this race is the ground game.  Early GOTV with absentee voters is everything.  For that, his campaign needs cash ASAP.  Our goal is to raise $250k by the end of December and the max is $1,100.  Please urge everyone to help Ref.
This is a very critical time for Los Angeles reform efforts.
Thank you!!
Caprice Young, Ed.D.
Education Growth Group
3750 Lankershim Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA  90068

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