1. If Students Fail the CAHSEE, How Do They Continue to Pass Algebra and English?
There is widespread inflation of grades in LAUSD by teachers who don't want to incur the wrath of their administrators, who aren't protected by tenure and must coerce the teachers under them to continue socially promoting grossly under prepared students. How can a student pass Algebra when he doesn't know times tables?
2. The Rise in Los Angeles Gangs and LAUSD Truancy
While the actual number is significantly higher, on any given school day LAUSD admits to 35,000 truants. And yet, LAUSD allocates about 3 RSP Administrators (Truant Officers) for every 100 schools in LAUSD to address this problem? Will more police address this problem? Can an administrator acknowledging this problem end their career at LAUSD? Given the ISIS system that is presently in place, what would it actually take to correlate enrollment with actual attendance.
3. How Can You Teach to Grade-Level Standards When Students Have Not Yet Mastered Previous Years Standards?
Take Lenny's example: 76% of his school's students read at a 4th grade level (or below), and still he is required to interrupt their class time to take them to a college fair?(!) It is LAUSD Board policy that all high school students must be enrolled in Algebra, even if they don't know their times tables or basic math.
4. Social Promotion- Why Does It Still Exist?
It is hard to fail in school without nonetheless being socially promoted year after year to the next grade. Why does teacher seniority mean that the newest teachers are given the most problematic students? Look at Venice High School, they hire a new rookie teacher every year to teach 5 traveling classes in English and Social Studies -- classes that nobody else wants to teach. Talk about a formula form burn out.
5. Average Daily Attendance as the Sole Basis for Compensating Public Schools
Warm butts in a seat should not be the sole basis of determining state to school district compensation. All this formula has achieved is LAUSD administration adapting to poor academic achievement to keep the money -- and the jobs -- at any cost. Well it really isn't any cost, it's the very specific cost paid by predominantly minority children in not reaching their potential and being treated by education "professionals" as if they couldn't.
6. Research Shows No Correlation Between Administrative and Teach Credentialing and the Ability to Administer or Teach
A group of researchers, Thomas J. Kane, an economist at Harvard's school of education; Douglas Staiger, an economist at Dartmouth; and Robert Gordon, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, have investigated whether it helps to have a teacher who has earned a teaching certification or a master's degree. Both are expensive, time-consuming credentials that almost every district expects teachers to acquire; "neither makes a difference in the classroom.". However, credentialing programs do help fund the California college and university systems that offers them.
7. 50% of LAUSD Teachers Quit Teaching Within 5 Years. Why?
Could it have something to do with intolerable student behavior? Or the classes of 40 students (or more) that the administration tolerates in the name of ADA at any cost? If teachers don't quit education outright, at the very least, they get out of the classroom. At present, it is becoming fashionable to scapegoat teachers for administrative policies that they are in no way responsible for. While there is no question that there are a significant number of teachers who are burn outs that need to find something else to do with their lives, the vast majority of this group did not start out this way, but rather shut down from the impossible reality that they are asked to face every day without administrative or parent support.
8. Comparing American Public Education to its Counterparts in Europe, Asia, and Cuba
While the task of fixing American public education might seem daunting, it is actually rather straight forward. Step 1: Stop social promotion. If a student operates at a 3rd grade level, give them the most qualified teachers to teach them at that level, so that the present humiliation that occurs against students starting in middle school is avoided -- nobody likes to be asked to do what they are objectively incapable of. Step 2: Get rid of the constant regime of testing. Give one test at the beginning of the academic year and one at the end. If you don't pass, you don't move to the next grade. Step 3: Spend the vast majority of public school money on lessening teacher to student ratio, something that now is the first thing to be compromised, while all educational supplier of books, computers, buildings and everything else get their funding before this primarily important factor.
9. The Effect of Failed LAUSD Public Education on the Los Angeles Business Community
Just talk to Costco, Home Depot, and any other retailers, who find LAUSD graduates totally incapable of dealing with even the minimum requirements of employment with their companies. The business community in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the United States as offered many times to deaf ears at LAUSD to become an active part of public education with financial aid and business experience -- LAUSD always declines, unless they can twist the proposal toward maintaining their control.
Let us know what we missed and/or take a guess at what we're working on.