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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Assignment # 32 Open Letter to the School Board

Dear Mr. Deasy and School Board Members;

It is imperative that the board votes to centrally fund lausd school libraries immediately! This is not a political issue yet it has become one. My school site is top heavy with administrators yet you claim their is no $$$$$ for a teacher librarian. I know otherwise. It is merely a question of priorities. Since you are all educated people you must understand the importance of cultivating a culture of reading at a school site. This is particularly essential at those sites with a demographic of students living in poverty, with a high % of language learners and with no access to book stores in their communities. There is ample evidence to suggest that the single contributing factor to raising test scores on standardized tests is providing students with access to interesting and varied reading material. I have added more media links to the list Melinda Buterbaugh, our spokesperson has sent you. I have personally informed Tom Torlakson, one of the creaters of the model School Library Standards of the lack of support for school libraries here at LAUSD. He will be receiving copies of hearing transcripts along with Governor Brown and the State Board of Education. I am hoping they will all agree that the lack of central funding for libraries is unacceptable. Many of my students and parents will be filing Williams Complaints. We are also expecting mandated inclusion of school libraries and digital literacy standards into the curriculum framework. By joining us (LASLA) in supporting school libraries you can look like champions rather than villains. Do the right thing and restore funding immediately!

An open letter addressed to you: from the American Library Association.

Hector Tobar's has written this article in the May 13 LA Times:,0,3002882.column This article has received over 16,000 hits on Facebook alone and 334 online comments, 853 Tweets, and 3195 "Shares" on the LA Times web site.

And this from School Library Journal:

"Which Way LA?" on KCRW with Warren Olney (click on the "Librarian" tab above the "Play" button):

From Patt_Morrison at Kpcc : "LAUSD librarians, fighting for their jobs, get a grilling"

National Education Association article by John Rosales

This compelling story will break your heart:
Ms Murphy's Blog: The library is not a fruit

Nora Murphy writes an eloquent op-ed piece for the L.A. Times

Beverly Goldberg authored this post in American Libraries Online,

This TL Connie Williams maintains a blog of related media news:

audio blog: Circulate This: Stories from the School Library

People who really know about education know that a strong school library is key to student achievement. I hope that you will rescind the RIFs of teacher librarians and do your duty to the school children of this district by restoring funding of all library staff positions

“There is no evidence that more standards and tests will raise achievement. There is plenty of evidence that investing in libraries and librarians will raise achievement."

- Stephen Krashen, Prof Emeritus, USC, and the author of The Power of Reading

Ms. Annette Scherr
Teacher Librarian
Monroe High School
(818) 830-4291

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