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NEWS
May 10, 2012
Teachers should be angry and La Cañada citizens outraged at Scott Tracy's op-ed piece attacking California teachers (“Teacher protections can interfere with education,” May 3). In spite of his professed love for teachers, in reality he's just a local version of Wisconsin's governor Scott Walker. He wants to destroy a public employee union. Tracy clearly wants to move public education in the direction of privatization. It's unfortunate that Tracy's mentality is such that he so willingly adopts the concept that public education must, inevitably, be downsized because of funding cuts.
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NEWS
By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com | May 9, 2012
La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation fundraising efforts have brought in $1.55 million to date, signaling that the district likely will be able to retain many of the teachers who received layoff notices in March, officials said this week. “It is hard work for the next two months,” La Cañada Unified School District board President Scott Tracy said Tuesday. “We have less than two months to go until June 30 to try and raise as much money as possible.” The announcement came even as the school board voted Tuesday to lay off the La Cañada High School student store coordinator, cutting a part-time classified staff position.
THE818NOW
May 9, 2012
La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation fundraising efforts have brought in $1.55 million to date, signaling that the district likely will be able to retain many of the teachers who received layoff notices in March, officials said this week. “It is hard work for the next two months,” La Cañada Unified School District board President Scott Tracy said Tuesday. “We have less than two months to go until June 30 to try and raise as much money as possible.” The announcement came even as the school board voted Tuesday to lay off the La Cañada High School student store coordinator, cutting a part-time classified staff position.
NEWS
By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com | April 25, 2012
Local teachers and public school officials launched new contract negotiations this week, marking the start of what is likely to be a months-long exchange shaped by dwindling budgets and controversy over policies such as the use of teacher collaboration days. “It is going to be a tough round of negotiations because we are running out of resources,” La Cañada Unified School District board member Andrew Blumenfeld said. “It is going to be tough because there is a lot of uncertainty as we wait to see what happens on the ballot in November.
NEWS
By Mandy Redfern | April 21, 2012
There has been much attention directed at teacher tenure in La Cañada in recent weeks. Is teacher tenure the problem? A school board member asked this question publicly and responded by saying, “Yes.” My first response to this is to say that teachers and certificated staff members in California do not have tenure. Tenure is a right only given in particular professions such as university professors. Elementary teachers, secondary teachers and other certificated staff members are granted “permanent status” after completing two years of probationary status.
NEWS
By Carol Cormaci | April 11, 2012
As dismaying as it may seem to some, I've come to the conclusion that the reported $215,000 payout to La Cañada High School math teacher Gabrielle Leko was probably the wisest course our school district officials could have taken. We had braced for a six-figure settlement on the teacher, so it wasn't a huge surprise when, in response to our paper's public records request, we learned exactly how much Leko will receive over the coming few years after she high-tails it out of the district at the end of this semester.
NEWS
By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com | April 8, 2012
For a teacher, nothing beats seeing a student succeed. For Rajeev Wahi at Flintridge Preparatory School, helping 2011 graduate Kelly Yang get into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology resulted in success rebounding back to him. Wahi is one of 33 teachers across the country who was named last month to receive MIT's Inspirational Teacher Award. Freshmen at the Cambridge, Mass., university nominate their top high school teachers. The instructors who win the recognition gain access to MIT databases and teaching tools.
NEWS
April 6, 2012
There is never a break for a teacher (“ Leko agrees to leave La Canada district ,” March 29). Mediocrity and incompetence are pervasive in public education, yet the slip of one foul word or a moment of rage-induced race-baiting, and a dedicated and established teacher gets the boot. School boards have no business taking up discussions over the inappropriate, and indeed offensive, off-hand comments of educators. Instead of hacking away at a teacher, why are they not hacking away at the excessive bureaucracy that is siphoning away much-needed, yet dwindling, funds in school districts across the state?
NEWS
March 27, 2012
An embattled La Cañada High School math teacher will leave the district at the end of the school year, bringing to a close a tense six-month chapter in which La Cañada Unified officials were criticized for mishandling concerns about her classroom conduct. Briefly addressing the subject during a meeting Tuesday, School board President Scott Tracy announced that the board had unanimously approved a settlement with Gabrielle Leko that includes her departure on June 15. In a statement released several hours later, district officials said that the agreement protects students while also shielding the financial interests of the district.
NEWS
By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com | March 7, 2012
La Cañada Unified officials this week tabled a vote on possible changes to the district's formal complaint process after reaching a stalemate over the acceptability of third-party complaints. After a nearly hour-long discussion during the regularly scheduled board meeting Tuesday night, school board members were split 2-2 on the issue. They opted to delay a decision until absent member Joel Peterson could be present. The review of the district policy and administrative regulations regarding complaints against employees was born out of a community furor that erupted last year after accusations against a La Cañada High School math teacher became public.
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