- Engage the Community in Healthy Discussion & DebateBring everyone together for the good of our kids, while making it useful and fun
- Learn from Each OtherStay open to learning new ideas and new perspectives
- Get More People to VoteEducate and motivate people to vote for the good of our kids.
VoteLAUSD brings elected officials, parents, students, educators, administrators and concerned citizens together for the good of all our kids.
We encourage, facilitate and moderate healthy discussions and debates on the most important issues affecting our kids’ schools. We then make it easy for users to find the top rated opinions for and against important issues and candidates, so the community can form its own opinions from a balanced and diverse set of facts and opinions.
We also provide a forum to evaluate the best candidates for the LAUSD School Board. We share candidates’ positions on the most important issues, as well as the communities’ opinions of candidates, to help people determine who should represent our kids.
Many of the issues facing LAUSD are complex. Healthy discussion, debate and collaboration are useful for good decision making.
Also, many voters don’t understand all the issues and they don’t understand how important the LAUSD School Board is. Many people think the Mayor or the Superintendent are more influential, when the reality is that the Superintendent serves at the pleasure of the School Board and the Mayor has no direct control over the School Board. Many school board elections have very low voter turnouts (oftentimes less than 10% of eligible voters). By working together and sharing our opinions via VoteLAUSD, social media and word-of-mouth we can all play a key role in educating and motivating the community so we dramatically increase voter turnout.
How We do It:
VoteLAUSD is free and open to everyone. We encourage people to invite others into the community so we get more diverse points of view. We then let the community rate everything on the site, so the best opinions, comments and points-of-view rise to the top. The goal is to make it easy to see what the community feels is most important and useful to the discussion.
We also allow comments-on-comments, so anything anyone adds to the community is subject to transparent discussion and debate.
Another key feature of our community is showing two columns of opposing views side-by-side, so you can quickly get a balanced viewpoint and formulate your own opinions.
We also let the community flag inappropriate content (personal attacks, spam, off topic, etc.) so we can remove it from the site. This way we can all stay focused on what matters most, while not being distracted by “noise” or irrelevant conversations. We ask everyone to agree to keep the discussions respectful - disagreeing is fine but we ask people to keep it respectful.
These features work together to give users an efficient and balanced viewpoint on the most important issues and elections.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Q: How do you rank the comments?A: We let the community rank the comments, and then we use best practices used by the top user generated web/mobile communities. If you want to geek out and read all about it… specifically we use the lower bound of Wilson score confidence interval for a Bernoulli parameter and you can read all about it here.
- Q: How do you determine what content should be removed from the site?A: We let the community flag comments (by clicking the Flag icon on comments). Moderators review flagged content and determine what should be removed. Moderators may also directly remove content.
- Q: What if you feel your comment was removed unfairly?A: If your comment is flagged and removed from the site, you will receive an email message telling you so, as well as an explanation of why it was removed. If you disagree, you can escalate it to a senior moderator for review. If it is found to be flagged in error, it will be added back to the normal view.
- Q: How do we know you aren’t just removing content you disagree with?A: You can see all the content we remove from the site and judge for yourself (when you select the “show flagged content” option in the menu, removed content will return to the discussions). We want to be completely transparent and our goal is to only remove content that is a personal attack, spam or off topic.
- Q: Why do you allow anonymous posting?A: We do encourage people to post as themselves, but we also realize that sometimes it may be difficult for certain people to speak openly (for fear of losing their job or political backlash). For these reasons, we feel it is important to allow anonymous postings. Also, since the platform allows the community to comment on comments, vote on comments and flag and remove inappropriate content, the community will figure out what is truthful and useful.
- Q: What happens if a user abuses the system (flags things that aren’t inappropriate, continuously posts things that are personal attacks, spam, or off topic, abuses the appeals process, etc.)?A: We reserve the right to remove anyone from the community. This would be a last resort for us, and we would first try to educate people on the intended purpose of this community. We want to engage people in healthy debate and discussion.
- Q: Who is funding this site?A: VoteLAUSD is totally independent and funded 100% by a Los Angeles technology entrepreneur interested in increasing discussion and collaboration between LAUSD's administrators, teachers, parents and concerned citizens.