"NEGOTIATING" THE END OF UTLA?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Below are several rules that equally apply to good poker playing and good United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union teacher representation and negotiations with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) administration. Breaking these rules in either poker or the present union negotiations and the results could be disasterous. 1. Never sit down at a poker game that's too rich for your blood. 2. Don't telegraph to the opposition what cards you are holding. 3. Don't bluff the opposition in either poker or negotiations, unless you are willing to follow through with what you have threatened with a reasonable likelihood of succeeding. And in the present salary negotiations between UTLA and LAUSD there is something far greater at stake than whether or not teachers get paid more after years of no salary or cost of living increase. What is also at stake- and yet remains unacknowledged- is the likelihood that if UTLA calls a strike that it will not be able to sustain or enforce it. This could very well destroy what remains of an already demoralized union and rank and file- and with it the very existence of UTLA that has stood by for years while LAUSD has put the prerequisites for this final solution in place.

LAUSD- THE BUCK STOPS WHERE? AND WHEN?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) It has been a little over 5 years since I wrote a blog about how then Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent Ramon Cortines was going to get rid of "weak teachers," which he and his subsequent replacement- and now predecessor- John Deasy have had more than enough time to accomplish. And yet, even though the ranks of these "expensive" and supposedly "weak teachers" have been decimated by approximately 14,000 teachers, things are no better at LAUSD- in fact they continue to get worse. Might it just be that the problem never was the teachers, but rather an entrenched and incestuous bureaucracy, where questioning clearly failed policy continues to be something that can get you fired as an administrator. In other words, do what you are told, no matter how stupid you think it is.

23

02 2015

IF FAILED TEACHERS ARE FIRED, WHY ARE FAILED LAUSD INCUMBENTS RE-ELECTED?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) In the upcoming Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) board elections, I have a novel suggestion for anybody who is sick and tired of the consistent failure of LAUSD incumbent board members to address endemic corruption in both financial (iPad, MiSiS, inflated construction contract scandals) and pedagogic practices (fixed assessments, social promotion, and epidemic levels of truancy) that continue to fail the vast majority of the 90% Latino and Black student body of LAUSD and their parents. To echo this failed board's own rhetoric in establishing a standard for going after and getting rid of "bad teachers," (who just happen to be at the top of the salary scale- isn't that really why they are "bad"), why don't you go to the polls on March 3rd and get rid of some really bad LAUSD board members. Vote for anybody else except the incumbent. At the very least, you will ensure a runoff between the incumbent, who has an enormous advantage from the gitgo, and at least one of those challenging these go-along-to-get-along incumbents, who after multiple terms in office or as part of the LAUSD entrenched bureaucracy, have nothing objectively verifiable to show any improvement, while usually standing in the way of anybody trying to make things better in the school district that time seems to have forgotten.

ACCELERATED CHARTER IS LOOKING FOR A CALCULUS TEACHER

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If you are a credentialed Math teacher who has been having a hard time finding employment for any reason, you might try contacting Accelerated Charter principal Marcus Wilhite who is looking for a Calculus teacher. He can be reached at: Accelerated Charter, 4000 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA - (323) 235-6343

LATINO HIGHER EDUCATION- REALITY OR MERE RHETORIC?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) In the midst of an endless barrage of belated education reform proposals coming from Governor Brown, President Obama, and elsewhere that are purportedly designed to improve what has become an abysmal public education system, does anybody really want minority- and more specifically Latino- children to finally achieve their academic potential? If they actually did, those devising public education policy might try doing something different that has already proven to work well everywhere else in the world where it has been implemented. With recent studies showing that the bilingual brain is significantly more capable of assimilating more information in any subject than a monolingual brain, one must wonder why America still clings to a monolingual system of public education, where Spanish and other foreign languages are still treated like diseases that young students must be cured of, instead of potential assets to be nurtured as a culturally given advantage that all students might profit from.

3

02 2015

WERE YOU TERMINATED OR FORCED TO RETIRE FROM LAUSD BASED ON FABRICATED CHARGES?

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For at least the last 8 years, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) administrative leadership has systematically targeted teachers at the top of the salary scale, and/or about to vest in lifetime health benefits, and/or disabled, because it is able to save very significant money in combined salary and benefits in just the first year when it forces these high seniority teachers out of their profession in favor of a fresh out of college Teach for America type "teachers" who are hired to replace them on an emergency credential at much lower pay and significantly less benefits. These senior teacher "financial liabilities" to LAUSD are targeted for removal based on fabricated evidence and directed testimony from students and others who are told what to say to support the case for removing these expensive albeit innocent teachers. By adding a morals charge under California Education Code 44939, which is done in most cases, LAUSD administrators are further able to leapfrog over all of the teachers' union collective bargaining rights of the targeted teacher to grievance and arbitration, which is why so many of these targeted teachers are hit with defamatory false allegations of immoral conduct. Although no "verification" of these charges with statements made under penalty of perjury as is required by law is ever part of these charges, the LAUSD Board has admitted that it continues to vote to dismiss these teachers. I know firsthand of the suffering and unfair treatment experienced by so many at the hands of LAUSD administrators because I was a targeted teacher. I have been in "teacher jail." This is why I am reaching out to all current teachers who are being targeted and former teachers who have been forced out of their jobs, out of their life careers, under these dubious circumstances. If you, like me, are a victim of these reprehensible practices and would like to have your voice back and be heard, please contact me. I am interested in bringing us all together in a lawsuit to bring it to an end. Lenny@perdaily.com or Leonard.Isenberg@gmail.com phone 323.938.1258 cell 323.383.7805

19

01 2015

URGENT WANTED REPORTS OF OFFICIAL ABUSE OF POWER IN LOS ANGELES

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) HAVE YOU EVER BEEN THREATENED WITH ARREST FOR SPEAKING OUT ON PUBLIC ISSUES AT A SCHOOL BOARD OR CITY MEETING? HAVE YOU BEEN SUBJECTED TO PUBLIC HUMILIATION BY ELECTED OFFICIALS AT PUBLIC MEETINGS? IF SO, BY WHOM? WERE YOU EVER EJECTED FROM A PUBLIC MEETING FOR SPEAKING OUT OR ATTEMPTING TO TAPE RECORD THESE PUBLIC PROCEEDINGS? HAVE YOU EVER BEEN DEPRIVED OF YOUR BASIC RIGHTS TO DEFEND YOURSELF, YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR COMMUNITY AT A PUBLIC FORUM? WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU PLEASE CALL LEONARD ISENBERG AT 323.938.1258 OR EMAIL ME AT LENNY@PERDAILY.COM WE ARE DOCUMENTING THE ABUSE OF GOVERNMENT POWER IN LOS ANGELES, FOR A COMPREHENSIVE REPORT OF WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE IN THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES WE NEED YOUR REPORTS OF RETALIATION AND ABUSE.

TUITION FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE- TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Two separate proposals- one by President Obama and one by Governor Brown in the California state budget- that appear to strength both state and federal government commitment to post K-12 public education fail to address a critical factor that might make the increased money that they seek to make available for post secondary education a complete and utter waste for state and federal taxpayers and- more specifically- students, if a major oversight prerequisite for their effective implementation is not first put in place. That prerequisite must be an entity with the independent power and authority to monitor and reform the longstanding dismal performance of school districts like the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), where students continue to be allowed to pass through their K-12 education without attaining the fundamental English language and math skills that they would need to successfully take advantage of college or university. In short, without reform the only thing that is likely to be accomplished is to extend K12 to equally dismal K14.

9

01 2015

FBI INVESTIGATES iPAD SCANDAL- TIME FOR YOU TO CALL THE FBI?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) The problem with endemic corruption that has existed at LAUSD for years- if not generations- is that it has gone unchallenged and has never been subjected to a truly independent audit of both its financial and other practices in order to finally hold LAUSD and its administration legally accountable for their actions. This has created a bully culture of impunity and unaccountability where those running LAUSD have come to think they can get away with anything. With this mindset LAUSD administration has allowed itself to become rather sloppy in the commission of its various ongoing crimes, so that an FBI federal grand jury investigation, if allowed to go where the evidence takes it, should easily be able to connect the dots to uncover the clear pattern of criminal behavior that heretofore has gone unpunished and often unreported in the media.

3

12 2014

KEVIN COSTNER'S BLACK OR WHITE- BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) In a screening followed by a Q & A with Kevin Costner of his latest film Black or White at the Aero Theater America Cinematheque in Santa Monica, Mr. Costner not only gave us a most valuable clue to good movie making, he also suggested what might just be a timely solution in dealing with the neverending story of virulent racism. In a Hollywood driven more than ever by profit and not content Kevin Costner now the producer with his money on the line has chosen to "make the five or six movies that he shouldn't." If Black or White is any indication, one can only hope he continue down this less trodden path that will inspire others to realize that a good story might just be more important that special effects.

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