LAUSD BOSS DECRIES STATE ENGLISH TEST.Byline: David R. Baker Daily News Staff Writer
Speaking at a crowded town hall meeting on education, Los Angeles schools Superintendent Ruben Zacarias on Sunday blasted a state mandate to test all students in English, whether they speak the language or not.
Zacarias supported his school district's effort to tell parents, in a letter sent earlier this month, that they could opt out of the standardized tests.
He rejected criticism that the letter was an attempt to raise local test scores by reducing the number of children with limited English skills taking the exams.
``It was not meant as subterfuge sub·ter·fuge
A deceptive stratagem or device: "the paltry subterfuge of an anonymous signature" Robert Smith Surtees. ,'' Zacarias told parents gathered at a Bel-Air elementary school elementary school: see school. . ``It was not meant to hype-up scores.''
He said the state requirements were unfair to kids still learning English.``I think it's ridiculous - we're going to put a test in front of kids who can't even read the instructions,'' he said.
The state requirements, and the Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. Unified School District's response to them, were among the more actively debated topics in Sunday's education forum, sponsored by the Jewish Federation's Jewish Community Relations 1. The relationship between military and civilian communities.
2. Those public affairs programs that address issues of interest to the general public, business, academia, veterans, Service organizations, military-related associations, and other non-news media entities. Committee. About 100 parents met with state and local officials to discuss public education's current condition and future.
The meeting came at a time when several California school districts are protesting, or openly defying, the state's English testing mandate. San Francisco's board of education voted unanimously last week to reject the tests for students with limited English skills.
State schools chief Delaine Eastin Delaine Eastin is a California politician. She served as the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1995 to 2003. A native Californian, Eastin received her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis, and her master's degree in political science , who gave the town hall meeting's keynote address keynote address
An opening address, as at a political convention, that outlines the issues to be considered. Also called keynote speech.
Noun 1. , has threatened legal action if San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden does not comply with the mandate. Although she repeated that warning Sunday, she also said the law should be changed.
As for Los Angeles, Eastin said there was no reason to pursue legal action against the district over the letter. State officials last week began investigating whether the letter broke the law, but Eastin said that the statute contains no punishment for what the district is doing.
``I can't repossess repossess v. to take back property through judicial processes, foreclosure, or self-help upon default in required payments. your furniture because you got a speeding ticket Ask a Lawyer
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I was traveling on a two lane street with an officer driving toward me in the opposite direction. ,'' she said.
Zacarias said the district sent similar letters last year without provoking criticism.
The testing program drew both support and complaints from those attending the forum, which also covered such issues as creating charter schools and holding students and teachers accountable for academic performance.
``What am I to think of a letter like that and what appears to be an effort to hype test scores?'' Sherman Oaks resident Steve Meister asked Zacarias.
Meister said that administering the tests to students with limited English skills would give the district a way to measure how much work needs to be done with those students.
But Noel Park of San Pedro said the testing program was nothing but a political ploy to make public education look bad by lowering test scores.
``I think to make kids take a test in a language they don't understand, the word that comes to my mind is evil,'' he said.