5 Ways I Can Still Help LAUSD + Perdaily Mentioned In LA Weekly Blog

While I am happy to be away from the toxic and administratively sanctioned unhealthy environment that physically and mentally continues to do damage to my fellow teachers, I am saddened by not being allowed to work at my profession as an idealistic, honest, and motivated teacher. While a proper independent venue will ultimately decide the disputes I continue to have with LAUSD, there is no reason why I can't still be allowed to at least earn my salary and benefits, even if the District doesn't seem to care about my trivial pay in light of an over $640 million hole in it's budget. LA Weekly even mentions it HERE.

In fact, I might even be able to do a more effective teaching job from my home when no longer subjected to the constant and unwarranted harassment that my fellow teachers and I have suffered on a daily basis with no respite from adversarial administrators, whose continued employment as non-tenured District employees is predicated on unquestioningly following  orders -- seems like I heard that phrase "only following orders" somewhere else before.

In a continuing attempt to raise the level of the public education policy debate, let me make the following suggestions as to how LAUSD might obtain better value for my highly compensated teacher services -- and all without even having to admit that they are inept, fraudulent, and self-serving!

NOTE: New people should read about how I reported a fraud, got suspended, then sent to the rubber room, then sent home.

1. Given that students are socially promoted into grades far beyond what they are capable of doing work in, which is probably the greatest factor accounting for the constant disruption that is endemic to most LAUSD schools, I offer myself as a free tutor to work with students in the following subjects that I am either credentialed in or have sufficient education or life experience in from having taught or worked in these areas. This would allow me to help these struggling students and free up their teachers: All Social Studies (including APs) and English courses, Math through Algebra 1A and Geometry, Spanish, French, and Italian, Industrial Arts, and Video or Film Production.

Any interested students or teachers can contact me at: lenny@perdaily.com either during school hours or later as I have never punched a clock as a teacher, nor do I think have the vast majority of teachers who are presently being set up to be the scapegoat for long standing failed LAUSD administrative policies.

From LAUSD administration's point of view, its a 2fer: You get to blame the teachers for your incompetence and you use this to pay these "lemon" teachers' replacement far less in salary and benefits.

2. Every year teachers with long years of service to LAUSD go into retirement and take their best practices with them. With all the money that LAUSD squanders, what would it take as part of the retirement process to have a debriefing of retiring teachers, where the materials that they think are the best of their careers could be put into an on-line database that would be accessible to overloaded new teachers, who tend to get the most problematic classes due to archaic and ill-thought out rules of seniority. As mentioned before, this leads to a 50% turnover rate among teachers in 5 years. The cost of replacing 50% of your workforce ever 5 years and the expertise and continuity of instruction that they offer far outweighs the savings that LAUSD derives in paying new teachers lower salaries and benefits.

3. Let's implement a real-time school work internet service, where I would be able to assist students during school time that need one-on-one attention, especially in classrooms with 43+ students. This could include a service that presently only exists by paid subscription online, where I could correct and return student work with a quick turnaround time that would insure students' work  gets graded and identified mistakes were reviewed with each student. Presently, teachers often spend hours grading work that students never review.

4. In a reality where text books can easily cost $100 a piece, why not have teachers like myself write chapters for online textbooks that LAUSD would own the copyright on. There would be no risk to LAUSD, since the writing of these text materials would in no way obligate LAUSD to use them. However, if the writing and correlative materials that are free on the Internet were sufficient to actually fulfill the teaching of grade-level standards in any subject, the amount of money saved by the District would be astronomical -- they might even decide to share some of these saving with the teacher writers as a motivational incentive. Needless to say, this might cause Scholastics et. al. to take out a contract on me for this suggestion. What would Cortines think?

5. Allow me to report for work at an one of a number of government programs that are actually being cut or totally eliminated. In addition, while some of the people in these programs might be old, they are not all suffering from dementia. These old folks could remain more vital if their life experience could be harnessed to help underachieving students in LAUSD. Every vital society venerates age, because it realizes the incalculable value of the experience of older people... except ours. We also tear down our historical buildings, instead of creating institutions that might allow the American dream of justice for all to be passed on to future generations.

Until LAUSD leadership can learn to think out of the anti-intellectual group think box that they have put themselves in for as long as I can remember -- my mother was also an LAUSD teacher -- I will sit here and write posts for www.perdaily.com in hopes that what I am doing has more chance of bringing about viable change in public education than anything that LAUSD continues to do in what has become their perpetual self-preservation mode, where they come up with a new name for continuing the failed policies of the past.

Can any of you think of better ways that I could be spending my time, which would not cause the LAUSD administration to lose face until they final decide to try and dismiss me from service to Emperor Cortines?

Flickr: bartmaguire


02 2010

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