Westwood Village Rotary Club Luncheon Thursday, April 21, 2011
Art Henry gave the Invocation but not before telling a dumb joke which was outdone by another one given by Elliott Turner later in the meeting. John Heidt led the club in the Pledge and Four Way Test.
At the head table were: Art Henry, Past President Ed Gauld, John Heidt, guest Jacob Belknap and speaker Patrick Sinclair.
John Heidt announced that the WOMP project in Westwood last Sunday was a big success and he gave special thanks to volunteers: Ed Jackson, Dwight Heikkila, Past President Mike Newman, Steve Pettise and eight Rotaractors.
Guests were Kait Peters of OPCC and Melivn Hale a PhD candidate at UCLA and special guest of Past President Stephen Scherer. From the Santa Monica Rotary Club Jane Hall visited us with her daughter Janene Doyan.
President Gordon Fell announced the following:
1) Dodger Rotary Game Night in support of Polio Plus is Saturday April 30, 2010 at 7:10pm contact Gordon to sign up. The tickets are $32.00 per person.
2) To find out how Rotary Youth Exchange works attend an informational meeting at the Hacienda Hotel (Board Room) located at 535 North Sepulveda Blvd, El Segundo CA on April 28, 2011 at 6:30pm. RSVP Roger Cox (310) 483-5671
3) Day At The Races at Hollywood Park, June 3, 2011 at 6:30pm Tickets include admission, program, VIP valet parking and Gold Cup buffet dinner for $75.00.
President Gordon told us that Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about eleven (11) things they did not and will not learn in school.
Rule 1 : Life is not fair - get used to it!
Rule 2 : The world doesn't care about your self-esteem.
The world will expect you to accomplish something
BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school.
You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss
Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.
Rule 6 : If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were.
So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
The guest speaker was Patrick Sinclair, Director of Communications & External Affairs for Partnership of Los Angeles Schools. This partnership was funded by a $50,000,000 gift made by Melanie and Richard Lundquist which is funded at a rate of $5,000,000 a year. The partnership is now into its third year. The group was spearheaded by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Its aim is to turn around a cluster of the district’s lowest-performing schools. The Mayor struck a deal with the LAUSD to share control of 21 of the city’s most challenged schools, which are now operated under the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. The Partnership schools are not Charter Schools.
In the Partnership schools nearly 9 out of 10 of the 18,000 students are so poor they qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. When the Partnership started roughly 4 out of 10 students in the selected schools dropped out before completing high school.
Progress has been slower than some would like, but there has been growth: API scores, a standard measure of achievement, have increased an average of 21 points at Partnership schools, more than that of LAUSD generally. New programs and testing hatched at partnership schools are beginning to enrich other parts of the district. For example, the partnership found that by blanket testing 2nd grade students they have been successful in finding gifted students. This is now done district wide.
Patrick was very candid about his observation that LAUSD is a bureaucratic nightmare. His feeling is that the LAUSD is in decay and provides an irrational maze of people to see and answers that never seem to be able to be answered by logical means. Likewise, the Teachers Union is all about retaining teachers with seniority regardless of quality of teaching. Their mission defies logic because the union does not identify student education and high quality teaching as its primary mission. Their primary mission is job retention and wages.
The Partnership is incubating change by identifying standard practice that does not have merit. For example, in the schools that they control, the Partnership has had success in changing standard practice of laying off the last teachers hired to teach students. It was determined due to budget cut backs and because of the Teacher’s Union seniority rules their schools were susceptible to loosing 50% of their teachers due to the fact that most of these schools were made up of new hires. The Partnership is fighting this kind of unfair practice with support of the mayor.
Patrick’s most important message to all of us was to engage. Engage in our schools and to do what we can with our time in our public schools. If you are interested in engaging please start by visiting www.partnershipla.org and then call Patrick Sinclair at (213) 201-2000 ext. 259
Next week our speaker will be Jason Axe of Reading To Kids.