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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

New LAUSD superintendent Austin Beutner isn't an educator. Here's what we know about how he thinks about schools. | 89.3 KPCC

New LAUSD superintendent Austin Beutner isn't an educator. Here's what we know about how he thinks about schools. | 89.3 KPCC:

New LAUSD superintendent Austin Beutner isn't an educator. Here's what we know about how he thinks about schools.

Austin Beutner is a former investment banker with no history working as an educator. But the newly appointed superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District he does have a history with the school system – one that gives clues about how he might direct the education of the more than half a million students the district serves.


LAUSD board members voted Tuesday to offer a three-year contract to Beutner.
It's the biggest civic project yet for Beutner, who has spent much of the last decade deeply involved in the civic life of Los Angeles. He served as the city's deputy mayor from 2010 to 2011 and then spent just over a year as publisher and chief executive of the Los Angeles Times. In 2012, he founded a non-profit organization that provides children with free eye exams and glasses that has worked closely with LAUSD.
Beutner has been scrutinizing the district's finances and operations since 2017. That's when he began co-chairing a task force of civic leaders advising the school board on accelerating the pace of change. 
In late 2016, Beutner had breakfast with board member Richard Vladovic. At the time, former superintendent Michelle King was struggling to gain the board's support for her Strategic Plan. The plan called for raising the district's graduation rate to 100 percent, increasing school choice for parents and reducing absenteeism. But board members were frustrated and were pushing King to get more specific
Beutner saw a disconnect.
“Every kid graduating and perfect attendance … that’s interesting and those are laudatory goals," he later recalled telling Vladovic in an interview with KPCC. "But this is something different, in my view, than a plan.”
That breakfast led to a meeting with Superintendent King herself. And Beutner pitched an idea: how about a task force of civic leaders from outside LAUSD?  The Strategic Plan had already outlined some goals; a task force could recommend some strategies to meet those goals. King agreed.


Beutner recruited 12 other leaders from local foundations, philanthropies, non-profits, advocacy organizations and academia for the task force. They began meeting in May 2017.
By December, they had concluded that more than 80,000 students were chronically absent the previous school year, costing the district about $20 million in revenues. The group also released its first set of recommendations, outlining several pilot Continue reading: New LAUSD superintendent Austin Beutner isn't an educator. Here's what we know about how he thinks about schools. | 89.3 KPCC:

Nation’s Top Teachers Confront Betsy DeVos In Private Meeting | HuffPost

Nation’s Top Teachers Confront Betsy DeVos In Private Meeting | HuffPost:

Nation’s Top Teachers Confront Betsy DeVos In Private Meeting
Teachers say they left the meeting disappointed and frustrated.

At a roundtable with the nation’s top educators on Monday afternoon, at least one teacher told Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that her favored policies are having a negative effect on public schools, HuffPost has learned.
DeVos met privately with over 50 teachers who had been named 2018 teachers of the year in their states. As part of the discussion, teachers were asked to describe some of the obstacles they face at their jobs and were given the opportunity to ask the education secretary questions.
Jon Hazell, Oklahoma’s teacher of the year, told DeVos that school choice policies are draining traditional public schools of resources in his state. He specifically referenced charter schools and private schools in voucher programs, Hazell told HuffPost. His comment received support from other teachers in the room. 
But Hazell, a Republican who voted for President Donald Trump, said he found DeVos’ responses to his concerns unsatisfactory.
DeVos told Hazell that students might be choosing these schools to get out of low-performing public schools, he said.
“I said, ‘You’re the one creating the ‘bad’ schools by taking all the kids that can afford to get out and leaving the kids who can’t behind,’” Hazell said he told DeVos in response. (Hazell said he was not referring to DeVos specifically as creating the “bad” schools but to school choice policies generally.)
The centerpiece of DeVos’ education agenda involves expanding school choice policies. Before entering the White House, she spent years advocating for these programs and pouring money into the cause.  
Brian McDaniel, California’s teacher of the year, confirmed Hazell’s version of events. He described the two as nearly engaging in a “verbal sparring session” and said DeVos’ Continue reading: Nation’s Top Teachers Confront Betsy DeVos In Private Meeting | HuffPost:

Billionaires Buyout LAUSD school board Poised to name Beutner as superintendent

L.A. school board poised to name Beutner as superintendent:

L.A. school board poised to name Beutner as superintendent

The Los Angeles Board of Education is poised to select philanthropist and former investment banker Austin Beutner to be the next superintendent of the nation's second-largest school system.
Barring a last-minute development, the only mystery is whether Beutner emerges with four or five votes from the board's seven members. Terms of his contract already have been under discussion, according to sources close to the process who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak.
The selection of Beutner, 58, who has no experience managing a school or a school district, would be a signal that the board majority that took control nearly a year ago wants to rely on business management skills instead of insider educational expertise.
L.A. Unified has serious financial problems. The district faces rising pension costs, vastly underfunded retiree health benefits and union pressure to raise salaries — all as declining enrollment is draining financial resources.
Fixing that imbalance would be a central duty suited to Beutner's skill set, but L.A. Unified also has struggled academically. His efforts also would have to be in the service of better preparing students for higher education and careers, which is the school system's primary task.
"He's not an educator," said Ama Nyamekye, head of the local branch of Educators 4 Excellence, a nonprofit funded by foundations that recruits teachers to take part in policy debates. "You'd hope the board would have some plan for establishing a vision and philosophy for education and a team in the district that would complement his experience in finance and management."
The district has been without a permanent superintendent since September, when Michelle King went on medical leave. King announced in January that she had cancer and would not return to the job. While some district insiders criticized the search that began soon after as too rushed, others pointed out that the district had already been without a long-term leader for most of the school year.
Beutner's recent record in the public and private sector is marked by brief stays in important jobs and a couple of roles that involved analysis more than action.
In 2010, Beutner became first deputy mayor of L.A. under Antonio Villaraigosa, overseeing business and job development. He was part of the Villaraigosa administration for about a year, also filling in as interim director of the Department of Water and Power.
He ran for mayor in 2012 when Villaraigosa termed out, but his campaign never caught on and he dropped out early.
In 2014, Beutner co-chaired the 2020 Commission, which made recommendations for the future of Los Angeles. He then became publisher and chief executive of The Times, but was fired after a year over disagreements about the newspaper's direction.
He became notably close to L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy during his tenure from 2011 through 2014. Deasy became a polarizing presence, with adamant admirers and vociferous critics. At Deasy's behest, Beutner served on a board that raised money to benefit local Continue reading: L.A. school board poised to name Beutner as superintendent:

Big Education Ape: Beutner emerges as a top pick for L.A. schools superintendent amid last-minute jockeying -

Big Education Ape: Charter schools boom in California. Here's where they grew | The Sacramento Bee -

Big Education Ape: Parents want ‘voices counted’ in search for LAUSD superintendent – Daily News -

Big Education Ape: The Danger of California Charter Schools - UConn Today -

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What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

What Is Guerrilla Marketing?:


Guerrilla Marketing is an advertising strategy that focuses on low-cost unconventional marketing tactics that yield maximum results.
The original term was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book ‘Guerrilla Advertising’. The term guerrilla marketing was inspired by guerrilla warfare which is a form of irregular warfare and relates to the small tactic strategies used by armed civilians. Many of these tactics includes ambushes, sabotage, raids and elements of surprise. Much like guerrilla warfare, guerrilla marketing uses the same sort of tactics in the marketing industry.
This alternative advertising style relies heavily on unconventional marketing strategy, high energy and imagination. Guerrilla Marketing is about taking the consumer by surprise, make an indelible impression and create copious amounts of social buzz. Guerrilla marketing is said to make a far more valuable impression with consumers in comparison to more traditional forms of advertising and marketing. This is due to the fact that most guerrilla marketing campaigns aim to strike the consumer at a more personal and memorable level.

The History of Guerrilla Marketing

Advertising can be dated back to 4000 BC where the early Egyptians used papyrus to make sales messages and wall posters. What we consider traditional advertising and marketing slowly developed over the centuries but never really boomed until the early 1900s.
It was at this time that the main goal of advertisements were to educate the consumer on the product or service rather than to entertain and engage them.
In 1960, campaigns focuses on heavy advertising spending in different mass media channels such as radio and print.
It wasn’t till the late 1980s and early 1990s that cable television started seeing advertising messages. The most memorable pioneer during this time was MTV where they focused on getting the consumer to tune in for the advertising message rather than it being the by-product of a featured show.
Jay Conrad Levinson
Agencies struggled to make an impression on consumers and consumers were tired of being marketed to. It was time for a change.
In 1984, marketer Jay Conrad Levinson introduced the formal term in his book called, “Guerrilla Marketing.”
Levinson comes from a background as the Senior Vice-President at J. Walter Thompson and Creative Director and Board Member at Leo Burnett Advertising. In Levinson’s book, he proposes unique ways of approaching and combating traditional forms of advertising. The goal of guerrilla marketing was to use unconventional tactics to advertise on a small budget. During this time, radio, television and print were on the rise, but consumers were growing tired. Levinson suggests that campaigns need to be shocking, unique, outrageous and clever. It needs to create buzz.
Small businesses started changing their ways of thinking and approached marketing in a brand new way. The concept of guerrilla marketing continues to develop and grow organically.
You can find more information about What Is Guerrilla Marketing?: