ADA At Central High: By Any Means Necessary

For those of you that would like a preview of LAUSD's notion of educational reform, one need only look at Central High School/Tri-C. This is just another school where LAUSD leadership continues to allow administration to run amok. In a bad economy, it seems like a feverish effort to boost the student enrollment and Average Daily Attendance (ADA) necessary to sustain a pilot school will be tolerated.

Principal Seary and her acolytes AP Rene Martinez and AP Janine Antoine have dumped dangerous students with violent histories and active conflicting gang affiliations into classes making them a danger to other students and staff. Sorry if you are a student or teacher with the misfortune of having these students -- who have been thrown out of every other school they have ever been sent to -- dumped into your classroom. If that is not bad enough, no administrative support to avoid violent and disruptive behavior is offered. As a matter of fact, teachers who complain about this are in danger of suffering my fate, because they are perceived as a threat to the longstanding LAUSD policy of maintaining ADA/jobs at any cost.

On February 12, 2010 at the Central High Beverly Classroom site a Latino student was dumped into this site without adequate screening. This Latino student subsequently stabbed and almost killed a Black student, because Principal Seary was in such a hurry to get her numbers up, adequate screening that considered things such as conflict in gang affiliation or propensity for violence was not sufficiently taken into consideration. While regular schools have metal detectors, Central High School/Tri-C -- which gets the most problematic students that have been thrown out of those regular high schools with metal detectors and other forms of security -- has no daily process in place to protect either the teachers or students. What is more important to Principal Seary is what she said in a faculty meeting several years ago, "The students may come and go, this is about our jobs."

Well that's not really true. This isn't about our jobs, it's about her job, which she continues to show she will do anything to protect. If LAUSD bothered to audit/compare the enrollment vs. the actual in-seat attendance at Central High Tri-C, they would see a paper school, where ADA is a fraction of the students enrolled who Principal Seary and LAUSD continue to carry on the books, although they are habitually truant. Before being removed from Central after being handcuffed in front of my students, I had 27 students on my enrollment and yet no more than 10 students would ever show up on a daily basis -- often they would either arrive late or just pick up and leave if they felt like it -- because they knew that there would be no consequences for leaving early or doing no work.

At Sojourner Truth, another Central High School classroom site, a student was recently dropped off by a counselor who left no paperwork. The student in this classroom of 35 students -- which is way beyond what should be tolerated given the problematic nature of the students enrolled -- promptly got into a fight with another student in the classroom. And yet, the enrollment keeps coming. Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead!

Many of the "students" in my class and others throughout Central and other schools within LAUSD will tell you that they are only in school because:

1. Their mother wants them there;
2. They come to socialize with their friends;
3. Welfare requires it to continue receiving benefits.

Many of these LAUSD permissively damaged students had or continue to have human potential that is totally ignored by a system that is exclusively concerned with their LAUSD jobs and the warm butts in seats necessary to maintain them. All LAUSD employees -- well maybe not me and a few others -- are kept in line by being terrorized on a constant basis with the threat of losing their livelihoods. Most have rationalized their not reporting the fraud and malfeasance they see on a daily basis by looking at people like me and thinking that they can avoid my fate by just not saying anything.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are a few facts about pilot schools that they should acquaint themselves with:

1. LAUSD's local district superintendent has veto power over who is acceptable as principal. Do you actual think that anybody but a follower of LAUSD administrative party line will ever be allowed to run a pilot school?

Pilot schools allow significant degradation of the LAUSD/UTLA Collective Bargaining Agreement, most specifically in terms of tenure and job security. Does anybody think that A.J. Duffy and UTLA will protect them as a union is supposed to do? How many grievances ever end with teachers winning? Mostly they are dropped. The same is true with contractual arbitration, which the UTLA committee rarely votes to invoke in favor of defending the teacher. It is hard to expect more from a UTLA that is headed by A.J. Duffy who rumor has it is trying to get a job in pilot schools when he terms out this year as UTLA President.

By controlling the Learn Council with teachers that should have already been riffed, displaced, or simply dismissed that owe their very jobs to her, Principal Seary is in the process of creating an even more totalitarian pilot school structure than presently exists under LAUSD.

Most importantly, since pilot schools are driven by ADA, Principal Seary will be able to get rid of any teacher, administrator, or classified staff member that she has on her enemies list by rightfully claiming that the ADA at Central is no longer sufficient to sustain their continued employment.

It is also worth pointing out that some of the people who are presently supporting Principal Seary in her ill-conceived plan are going to lose their jobs when ADA isn't sufficient to support 3 principals and 3 counselors.

You've got to admire the sick genius of this plan. Anything like it going on at your school? Or do you want to keep your head in the sand?

Flick: Annie Mole

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