LAUSD vs North Korea: Life as a teacher in the propaganda bubble

What do North Korea and LAUSD have in common? In North Korea, people live in a kingdom headed by Kim Jung Il and his entourage and have no contact with the outside world. All people know is what their illustrious leader incessantly tells them about the future communist paradise that is being created. But this paradise is contradicted everyday by their daily experience. In LAUSD, people also live in a kingdom headed at various times by a governor, a retired admiral, or a blind optimist named Ray Cortines, who tells his people about an educational paradise where they will all go to college, but alas, this fantasy too bears no relationship to the everyday reality that his vassals experience.

In LAUSD, half the Latino population -- in this school district that is 73% Latino -- ends their schooling by either dropping out or aging out of school without receiving even a mediocre education, let alone a high school diploma. And if they receive a high school diploma, it is questionable if that diploma truly represents the mastery of academic skills it purposes to represent.

At the same time, teachers face the degradation of their medical benefits, a proposed 12% wage cut, and 4 unpaid furlough days, while all the time Superintendent Ray Cortines and Company in surrealistic letters to LAUSD employees keep talking about how all of our students are still going to college and how we teachers have to continue to do our best to create the the paradise of successful public education. Do either Cortines or Kim Jung Il really have the slightest belief in the nonsense they continue to spout? When does such knowing disregard of the truth constitute immorality, if not a downright crime?

While the majority of the world can see the self-diluted nature of North Korean leadership, when will people in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the big city public school districts of this country take cognizance of the glaring contradiction in school district behavior that allows our students to ultimately starve in a different, but just as lethal way as exists in North Korea.

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