AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! FOR years, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s leaders blamed students for the district’s low achievement. Now school board president Marlene Canter has a better idea it’s the teachers’ fault. Talking to city and school officials last week, Canter urged focusing on other reforms, and not breakup or mayoral control, as the way to turn the LAUSD around. “Governance is something that can be tweaked,” she said, “but it’s not the lever for change.” Really? We would have thought that in an institution that’s been chronically out of touch with the people it’s supposed to serve over a span of decades systemic corrections might be necessary. You know, like breaking it up into manageable parts. Something more than mere “tweaking.” Not according to Canter, who has joined the old guard’s chorus defending a bloated and inefficient bureaucracy that squanders fortunes and squelches teachers. “I know people get antsy and they want to change direction,” said Canter, “but you need people in who can develop programs with sustainability.” So don’t think about tossing out the current board and replacing it with mayoral appointees. Don’t think about getting rid of the bureaucratic deadwood. Don’t think about putting the millions saved by streamlining the administration into classrooms and the pockets of top teachers. So who is to blame for the LAUSD’s problems? Teachers and principals! Among the reforms Canter is urging for the LAUSD is changes in teacher quality. “I want us to get rid of terms like must-place’ teacher and the dance of the lemons’ when it comes to principals.” Fair enough. We’ve long supported greater teacher accountability including scrapping tenure and instituting performance-based pay. But let’s not pretend such reforms would be a cure-all for the LAUSD. And let’s not forget that district officials are to blame for the current lack of accountability. Canter, for one, has been on the board for nearly five years. LAUSD teachers, most of whom do heroic work given the circumstances, aren’t the problem. And they shouldn’t be scapegoated to fight off genuine reform.
India played out a draw with English county side Essex in the three-day warm up match at Chelmsford on Friday. India failed to put up a strong show ahead of the high-octane five-match Test series against England, which will begin on August 1 at Edgbaston.India failed to bowl out Essex in 94 overs and then Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara endured another failure when they went back to the pavilion for a duck and 23 runs, respectively on the final day.Essex resumed Day 3 at 237/5 and then went on to frustrate the Indians for 36 overs before declaring at 359/8, just 36 runs short of India’s first innings total.The stumps for the final day was called one and a half hours early due to rain, with India’s score reading 89/2 in 21.2 overs. The game ended rather abruptly, courtesy the first spell of rain in Chelmsford in two months.Also read – Watch: Shikhar Dhawan fails again, bags second duck in 3 daysThe away team would have been heading to Birmingham, the venue of the first Test, in a much better space if two of its key batsmen Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara had gotten some runs under their belt. However, it was not to be as Dhawan departed without scoring for the second time in the match while Pujara perished after scoring 23 off 35 balls.Lokesh Rahul, who was among the runs in the first innings alongside skipper Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay and Hardik Pandya, was sent out to open today alongside the struggling Dhawan.advertisementThe stylish right-hander made a strong case for selection in the series opener with a an unbeaten 36 off 64 balls, following his 58 in the first innings.Also read – Watch: Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan show off some bhangra skills at practice matchIt remains to be seen whether the team management sticks to the left-right combination of Dhawan and Vijay or brings in Rahul at the top. Pujara is also not a certain starter and if he is overlooked, Rahul can also bat at his number three position.After the bowlers were made to work hard by Essex, India got off to another poor start in their second innings, with Dhawan bowled for a three-ball duck in the second over. He was unable to comprehend Matt Quinn’s (1/5) swing and fell for a pair in this game having faced only four balls.Pujara improved on his first innings’ showing before falling to Paul Walter. Looking comfortable to a great extent, Pujara put on 36 runs for the second wicket with Rahul (who was dropped on 8 at second slip).Also read – Catching up with Virat Kohli after 12 years: The story of Varun ChopraBut just as he was beginning to drop anchor and have a good session or two, a low catch ended his stay at the crease with Varun Chopra making no mistake at short mid-wicket.Needing some batting time under his belt, Ajinkya Rahane then walked to the crease and saw India safely to tea. Afterwards though, it was surprising to see Rahul still walk out to bat, as Karun Nair (who scored 4 in the first innings) could have done with another hit in the middle.Perhaps the biggest news of the day, however, came in the pre-lunch session when R Ashwin (0/21) bowled five overs. He overcame the minor finger injury sustained in the nets on Thursday and took the field for a first time in three days, much to the relief of the team management.Ashwin bowled with decent control on a slow wicket not yet affording turn, and looked the best out of three spinners on display. Kuldeep Yadav (0/24) had also bowled in the morning session, his first outing in this game as well. But Walter (75 runs, 123 balls, 13 fours, 1 six) got stuck into him, hitting three fours and a six in two overs, as he attacked the wrist spinner.It was surprising that the spinners bowled only 11 out of 94 overs India sent down in the Essex innings with Ravindra Jadeja (0-17) not bowling on this final day.India’s pacers all had a good workout on day three as well, with Hardik Pandya (0/54) and Ishant Sharma (3/59) sharing the second new ball. The latter struggled to find his line for the second day running, while Shardul Thakur (1/58) put in some vital horse work.Mohammed Shami (0/68) generated enough momentum to get into reckoning, should India choose to go in with only two full-time pacers in the first Test, given how Pandya bowled well enough in both innings.As such, the stand out bowler for India in this game was Umesh Yadav who took 4/35 in 18 overs and always found enough movement to trouble the Essex batsmen. He has made a stern case to be included for the Birmingham Test, but there are far more important questions regarding the batting order and spin combination to be answered.advertisement(With PTI inputs)