Ramon Cortines' bizarre letter to Schwarzenegger
Somebody provided us the strange letter Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines purportedly sent today to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, about the governor's plan to allow school districts to reduce the school year, increase class size, and/or drop a key science course that California students normally must take to graduate.
Putting aside those controversies, it's a rambling letter that eight times thanks Arnold for "flexibility" or praises "flexibilities." As we've mentioned before, Ray Cortines is a nice guy but not known for turning around schools (the unusual writing duo of NYC school chief Joel Klein and Al Sharpton listed the top school districts and top educators serious about reform in the WSJ. Neither L.A. or Cortines was mentioned.)
Cortines uses poor grammar and misspells the word "through," so let's hope this is a rough draft. It's about 400 words long, yet doesn't seem to make an actual point. A teacher might give him a C-.
Here's a taste of it:
Letter (or so we are told) from Ray Cortines to Schwarzenegger, dated today, January 13, 2009:
I want to thank you for your leadership in promoting the flexibility authorization for the K-12 education budget. The flexibility option would be of great assistance in these difficult economic times and state budget deficits. Given the fact that we are more than halfway thru the fiscal year and teachers and students are in the midst of their school year -- with districts already having made decisions about staff, class size and programs -- flexibility options are essential in the handling of any midyear reduction. ... For the upcoming year, continuing these flexibility options help us shape a more balanced education program. In some ways this is even more critical in preserving our educational programs. ... We hope that you will continue to promote flexibilities, including class size ... as you come to a resolution on balancing the budget. ...