Getting What We Deserve

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Our school board’s disruptive and disorderly termination of the LBUSD Community Learning Center (CLC) is a case study in how our elected school officials shift blame for bad governance to teachers, students and parents.

For 30 years our school board offered CLC at the Top of the World campus as a school choice for families committed to alternative education. CLC parents and students with high satisfaction level were stunned by an immediate unplanned shut down of the “school-within-a-school” so long valued by the community.

School board member Peggy Wolff told impacted families innovation and enhancement in public school general education “caught up with CLC” and made alternate education obsolete.  CLC parents disagreed, explaining it as a tried and true community school partnership, its potential for improvement always allowed to evolve as an exercise of local control in public schools.

The truth is public general education did not change much less improve in ways that surpassed CLC, as Wolff asserted.  Rather, CLC was left behind when the school board, school district and TOW principal simply lost interest and abandoned local innovation, rush instead to dedicate human as well budgetary resources to new experimental innovations mandated by new state curriculum standards.

The facts speak for themselves.  As the Indy reported (“Schools Hire Principal, Suspend CLC” Indy, June 16), “For years, the program has not undergone annual evaluations, its class-size is significantly lower than elsewhere in the district, and it has mandated parent participation.”  The Indy correctly reported that this failure to make required annual evaluations created “gaps in compliance with the state Education Code.”

It is the legal duty of the school board, superintendent, assistant superintendent for curriculum and TOW principal to conduct the annual evaluations that prevent the kind of gross non-compliance that would justify an unplanned shut down. Yet, conditions of non-compliance due to incompetent school governance are being given as reasons parent and student requests at the very least for an orderly transition were denied, making use of the word “hiatus” disingenuous.

Wolff boldly told parents and students even a one year transition would be “fiscally irresponsible.”  That unintentionally confirmed the real reason CLC was sacrificed, which Wolff had no way of knowing the Indy would reveal in its article reporting that, “Superintendent Jason Viloria said…the district is currently overstaffed due to declining enrollment.”

But stayed tuned for the other half of the story next week.

Howard Hills, Laguna Beach

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Sure is a good thing Village Laguna didn’t back your candidacy! Our city has been cheated out of the gift you offered to our school board. God forbid we get some new blood in these very important positions.

  2. I watched the live stream of the board meeting, and you made it abundantly clear why you were not reelected (losing by at least 10%). You criticized the EL bridging and SchoolPower presentations and then commented on almost every action item, wasting so much time–saying nothing of any value, I might add. The taxpayers spoke, Mr. Hills. They did not elect you so please refrain from going to meetings in the future. You are simply a nuisance and a hindrance. You continue to write letters of which I rarely read and never comment on, but I had to on this one because of your behavior at the last meeting. Please ride off into the sunset as promised. The new superintendent and the ELECTED board are quite capable. Find another cause. I like to watch the meetings to see what is going on in my grandson’s district, and you detract from the great things going on in our schools.

  3. Marsha, normally I don’t respond to people who lack the integrity to reveal their identity. But I just wanted to remind other readers that in 2014 we made podcasting and archiving video of meetings a campaign issue. I had been advocating the need for public access for years. It was opposed by the entire Board until Dee Perry made it an issue and her leadership advocacy forced the .Board to end denial of public access. So if we had not put years of effort “wasting time” st school board meetings you would not be able to watch the meetings on line. You would have to get off your lazy apathetic posterior and actually attend meetings. Instead you just wallow in resentment because people you don’t agree with exercise the rights we have under the Brown Act to speak on every agenda item. Why don’t you come down and go on record with your reasons why no one should waste time criticizing the Bosrd. You try running a opposition campaign and. coming with 10% of actually having diversity and pluralism on the Board, heaven forbid that, right? I realize you would like to deny the right to speak in opposition to me and anyone else you don’t agree with, because you are aligned with those who agree with you that the Board should not have to be inconvenienced by criticism. It is because of that the Brown Act was passed. If you were not mired in illiberalism and believed in classic liberalism that is pluralistic you would not so conspicuously and generously display your lack of civic literacy. But thanks for reminding me why I need to keep coming to Board meetings.

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