Archive for June 2010

It's Not What You Say, It's Where You Say It

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Last Thurday, June 17th, I went to the California Endowment to hear Professor Pedro Noguera speak on the topic The Trouble With Black Boy: Pedro Noguera on Race Equity and the Future of Public Education. While I do not consider myself to be in Professor Noguera's league intellectually, it became clear while he was presenting his ideas that we both saw eye to eye on what it would take to finally reform public education and the aspects of this failed system that he was focusing on in his talk as they related specifically to Black youth and their continued failure in public education. My epiphany came in the realization that if you talk about what Professors Noguera, Diane Ravitch, Charles Kerschner, Alan Singer, and other academics address in universities as respected academicians, you will be given a six-figure salary, book deals, and consulting jobs, while if you say the same things that these erudite teachers are saying at the K-12 level, you will be put on paid administrative leave at best, to make sure you do not infect others with you ideas, or more likely hounded out of public education.

21

06 2010

Calling A Spade A Spade

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In the L.A. Beez -- Hive For Hyper Local Ethnic News -- article entitled Feds Eye African-American Performance Gape in L.A. Schools, the predominantly African Americans readership are feed the foolish arguments that the habitual failure of Black children in LAUSD has something to do with "the ongoing budget crunch," seniority of teachers, or the preference of good teachers to go to "affluent neighborhoods." Nothing could be further from the truth. The painful reality is that our society -- whether Black, White, and/or Brown -- we have allowed a coat of endemic ignorance, not stupidity, to be used in defining education without rigor for children of color in this system. While a patina of colored folks have been co-opted into this racist system to give it visual credibility, it is still the American beehive that continues to give children of color the royal shaft instead of the royal jelly.

Pali Charter... The Rich Getting Richer

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Tipster: At the meeting of the Board of Directors of Palisades Charter High School on June 5, 2010, the outgoing Executive Director Ms. Dresser-Held presented a new salary schedule for school administrators. Now their salaries will grow by $ 5,000 each year plus the same annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) raise that the faculty might subsequently get. Thus, in five years, an administrative salary from the starting amount of $ 99,000 goes to an impressive 129,000, after which regular career increments and COLA will continue to apply. Isn't it a betrayal of the charter goals in the school that proclaimed that it would change the LAUSD paradigms, focus on the needs of classrooms and teachers, set new priorities, and do things differently?

Rhee(constitution) In D.C - Harbinger Of Things To Come In LAUSD

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The reconstitution of a school by making teachers reapply for their jobs or by replacing administrators is to education reform what blood letting is to good health. For the most part, it is not who is doing the teaching of administrating, but rather what they are administering. If I had a mechanically perfect car, but decided to put polluted old gasoline in it as its source of energy, I would have performance problems no matter how many parts on the car I decided to change.

16

06 2010

Reed vs. California

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Reed vs. California is just the latest attack on hard earned union rights like seniority, where the truth about the case as mentioned before is that it has less to do with seniority than it does with a failed school where those in LAUSD who made it fail and with the power to change the culture of the school to something that would be more attractive to experienced teachers refuse to do so. Even administrators don't want to be in these schools for anything more than the 2 or 3 years necessary to flesh out their resumes in their attempt to get a big job at the LAUSD Beaudry headquarters where they can assure that the policies that keep these schools failing year after year will never change in a manner that might threaten their privilege.

Chicago Teachers' Union Victory Against Scapegoating Teachers

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Someone once said, "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." That is true to the nth degree for teachers who have one of the most stressful jobs there is, but also must deal with a constant assault from LAUSD to try -- as I have said many times on this blog to scapegoat them -- for a system they have no control over. Well, while it is too early to tell, there might have been the first step toward turning this regrettable circumstances around in Chicago Public Schools, where its 30,000 teacher have just elected Karen Lewis to end the 40 year reign of business and politics as usual at their teachers' union.

14

06 2010

How Should LAUSD Be Structured?

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I don't know if I have the possibility of another stint at the university in me, but if I did, I would like to write a doctoral thesis on the idea that has been going through my mind over the last couple of years that all societies plant the seeds of their own demise when they fail to recognize that the well-being of the haves in any society is contingent on the well-being of those with less. When the disparity of wealth in terms of possessions and knowledge become too great, the citizens clearly have lost the historical awareness that should have been transmitted through education as to what the costs to both the haves and the have nots will be without education. Unlike Karl Marx, I look to the haves in Los Angeles and elsewhere to redress dysfunctional education that they have misguidedly abandon, because its continued failure will take them down as much as those who remain the direct victims of this system.

11

06 2010

UTLA - Adaptation To LAUSD Failure Is Not A Viable Policy

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UTLA finally needs to have a discussion as to what is the mandate of the union. It is either an entity that spends its limited resources on playing a game defined by LAUSD in which it clearly cannot win or it needs to finally define and spend its limited resources toward expressing a clear platform with which they can galvanize support among its rank-and-file and the community -- it cannot do both. Not only does UTLA's present course change nothing, worse yet, it gives credibility to LAUSD's misguided and self-serving programs and policies that are antithetical to everything that must exist in order for excellent public education to exist in Los Angeles.

10

06 2010

LAUSD Still Wishing We Would Go Away...

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When I bumped into LAUSD Office of the Inspector General investigator John Metcalf, I was initially gratified when he told me that my harvesting of fellow employees email addresses and sending them a flyer about education reform and www.perdaily.com did not violate the District's Acceptable Use Policy. However, my joy was short lived because he cited the following Employee Code of Ethics policy that he was assured by LAUSD's attorneys I had violated..READ THE REST

Public Education's Forgotten Excellence

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In the Professor Stanley Fish's New York Times blog today entitled A Classic Education: Back to the Future, Professor Fish reminisces about Classical High School in Providence, Rhode Island where he went over 55 years ago. The academic rigor he describes from that time seems much further removed than its actual 55 years, when juxtaposed with an LAUSD of today which doesn't see this level of academic excellence as even a possible goal in anything but rhetoric. Much like LAUSD of today, Classical High was "A student body made up of the children of immigrants or first generation Americans; many, like [Professor Fish], the first in their families to finish high school with nearly a 100 percent college attendance rate."

Send LAUSD A Message By Voting NO On Measure E

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It is very difficult for us to recommend a NO vote on Measure E because we are aware of the teachers jobs and programs from the arts to maintaining librarians that hang in the balance. However, giving LAUSD more money under the circumstances smacks of extortion, while the well being of students and teachers are the human shield to try and make just one more withdrawal from the taxpayers by the money junkies at the District. If their was any credibility in LAUSD one might offer even a more expensive tax measure, but without the ability to first restructure LAUSD's corrupt and self-serving bureaucratic leadership, it is unacceptable to give them more money to waste without LAUSD first showing that they would do something different with it than they already have done. Does anybody give YOU more money for failure?

LAUSD Robots Only Follow Orders...

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Just when I thought it couldn't get more bizarre... I met with my Principal Janet Seary and Ignacio Garcia of LAUSD Staff Relations today, because it was Seary's intention to issue me another Notice of Unsatisfactory Acts and another 15-day Suspension for alleged acts on my parts that go back as much as 8 months to September 29, 2009. Surprise, this wasn't one Notice of Unsat and one 15-day Suspension, but rather two.

4

06 2010

Online "Learning" Revisited

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Tip: "...The unaddressed lax security allows for students to cheat at any time. Some students have friends complete the assessment portion. Some students even have their parents complete that portion, several admit to it. Students with decent computer skills keep the lessons open and search for answers. While a majority of the students use trial and error, knowing that a majority of the questions will be repeated."
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3

06 2010

Bilingualism, The American Advantage

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For me, one of the most interesting expressions of the conflicting approach to maintaining American viability as a society, with the knowledge that every other previous society has declined, is what I think of as the inherently American process of cultural co-optation, while at the same time allowing our identify as American to be changed by the different human combinations and permutations that are forever changing the face of this country.

2

06 2010

Nothing Is Certain But Death And Taxes... And More Charges From LAUSD

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For those of you who have followed my odyssey over the last year, you probably thought that I could not receive anymore Notices of Unsatisfactory Acts or Suspensions from my Principal Janet Seary, because I have been under paid administrative leave at my house during the last 4 months and out of harm's way. Well, as I found out on last Thursday, May 27th you and I were wrong. To add to my previous two Notices of Unsatisfactory Acts and two prior pending Suspensions of 8 and 11 days respectively, I have been summoned to a meeting at LAUSD Staff Relations on Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 1 pm where I am to be hit with another Notice of Unsatisfactory Acts and yet another 15 day Suspension.

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06 2010