Friday, May 23, 2014

LAUSD Wants Rigor? Well, Maybe…LAUSD Retaliates

LAUSD Retaliates:

LAUSD Wants Rigor? Well, Maybe…

LAUSD Retaliates
Stuart Magruder
The LAUSD school board on Tuesday rejected the reappointment of one of its most rigorous overseers in what many see as retaliation for questioning the use of bond funds to purchase iPads.
Stuart Magruder, AIA, LEED, is the appointee of the American Institute of Architects, one of the organizations charged with providing public oversight of the school district’s expenditure of billions of dollars in bond funds.
How does the entity being overseen fire its overseer? This short video of the clumsy hearing answers that question: sloppily.
Board President Richard Vladovic and Vice President Steve Zimmer took turns chairing the 15-minute discussion so many times, it was hard to keep track of who was in charge. Zimmer accepted an amendment by Tamar Galatzan to remove Magruder from consideration without bothering with a vote.
Apart from procedural shenanigans, the substance is far more important. In what should have been a routine confirmation of the AIA’s representative, Galatzan declared Magruder unfit for the role. She did not explain that he had dared to question Superintendent John Deasy’s $1 billion iPad project. She said he had overstepped by evaluating projects based on their instructional value. (The Committee’s mission includes ensuring that bond expenditures are “educationally sound”). Anyone who has ever witnessed a Bond Oversight Committee hearing can describe the routine discussions about how projects support curriculum, as well there should be.
Galatzan also erroneously claimed that Magruder had a policy not to approve bond projects unless they provided work to architects. Nevermind the two years worth of public record showing the opposite. In fact, the bulk of the projects before the Bond Oversight Committee during Magruder’s tenure have been repairs and maintenance, for which architects are rarely required to complete the job. But they do provide knowledgeable advice.
That’s where things got dicey.
It was much easier for the school district to push the iPad boondoggle through by claiming critics were simply adults who just didn’t understand computers like the kids do. But Magruder does understand the importance of technology in education—and he knows his way around a “Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment” budget. In fact, he had read the iPad contract word for word.
Magruder is no slouch. He may look like a surfer dude or like he jumped off the cover of a romance novel, but he earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton and a Master’s degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. With professional experience in a heavily regulated and often litigious profession, he brings a depth of knowledge to rigorously evaluate projects. He worked on the $300-million San Jose Civic Center that covers two city blocks while working at Richard Meier & Partners, one of the most highly respected LAUSD Retaliates:

A New Model of School Reform
Vicki Zakrzewski Vicki Zakrzewski: Organizational psychology research has for many years shown that lasting change happens only if the individuals within the system are willing to transform their own beliefs and practices, from the ground up. LA Progressive *This is an excerpt. To read the... (This is a summary only. To read the entire article, click the title)