Archive for November 2010

WE PROVE IT: CENTRAL HIGH GRADUATING STUDENTS WITH 2ND GRADE READING LEVELS

lenny.jpg
On June 19, 2009, Central High/Tri-C Continuation School in Los Angeles graduated and gave valid high school diplomas to students with reading abilities as low as 2nd grade, according to the students STAR Reading scores. All we have are the teachers, students and documents to prove it.

20

11 2010

LAUSD: Que le vaya bien

Thomas Jefferson.jpeg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) After 184 posts on this site made every school day for the last year, I think I have public education reality out there for anybody who would like to look through this site for the rampant corruption and what I have suggested could be done about it. In the future, I will keep this site up and monitor those who contact and want to post, but I will now only post on an occasional basis as I need the tremendous amount of time it takes to write 5 posts a week to defend myself and others through expensive and time consuming legal process. Clearly, teachers are the key to bringing down corrupt LAUSD and it is for this reason that LAUSD administrators brutally attack anyone who dares challenge their militantly ignorant policies that continue to destroy student and teachers lives. In talking with some of the 80 - 200 teachers who share my fate of either being on paid or unpaid administrative leave, there are clear similarities in the abusive tactics that LAUSD has employed against all of us in complete and utter disregard for truth and due process of law.
Tags: ,

12

11 2010

LAUSD: Now It Begins (Ahora Empieza)

Monica Garcia.jpeg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) On Tuesday, November 9th at 4:44pm I received a call on my cell phone from Janice Davis, Head of High School Programs for LAUSD. After 8 months of being confined to my home between the hours of 7:30am to 3pm, Monday-Friday, she was calling to tell me that the LAUSD Board had rubber stamped LAUSD Chief Academic Officer Dr. Judy Elliott's recommendation made on October 4th to have me put on unpaid status as a first step toward dismissing me from employment as a teacher from LAUSD. Now begins the real fight in venues, that at least in theory, are out of LAUSD's control and where I will have a right to judicially enforced discovery to request the non-existent documents that LAUSD has used as a basis to sustain false charges against me while refusing to authenticate anything in total violation of anything that even resemble due process. There is nobody at LAUSD who has a good faith belief that I am guilty of anything other than not going along with their fraud. Given that I know for certain that I have done nothing wrong, in all likelihood when compelled to produce documents to support their charges, they will refuse, drop the charges, and place me back in another school only to start the process of intimidation all over again with incessant assistant principal visits and writing me up on a new series of nonexistent charges until I do what the majority of teachers in my situation do which is to quit, retire, or if they are lucky get bought off upon the signing of a non-disclosure agreement with LAUSD that forbids them from discussing the terms of their settlement or anything else about the way they were treated.

11

11 2010

LAUSD/UTLA : In a fit of PEAC

PEAC.jpeg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) On November 5th last week, I received the following terse email from David Rapkin of Progressive Educators For Action (PEAC), the self-proclaimed progressive activist arm of UTLA: "At a certain point, people and groups need to disagree forthrightly on principle and part ways clearly. It is the decision of the PEAC leadership that your posts are no longer welcome nor permitted on the list." David Two days later after sending the following incendiary comment to David: Enjoy the cool aid (reference to Jim Jones, Guiana, and the cult-like adherence to doctrine to the point of adamantly refusing to hear or deal with anything outside accepted dogma, i.e. fanatic.
Tags: , ,

10

11 2010

LAUSD, UTLA, The L.A. Times and Yellow Journalism

Mitchell Landsberg.jpeg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) On Sunday, November 7th Mitchell Landsberg of the Los Angeles Times wrote an article entitled "Teachers unions clout in question," which is a completely and utter distortion of everything that he knows from having daily and intimate access to the highest echelons of LAUSD, which he once described to me as resembling a "MASH triage unit in Superintendent Ramon Cortines's offfice," where they are running from brush fire to brush fire without a clue as how to deal with any of the issues they face in a logical and definitive manner. Mitchell Landsberg, Jason Song, Howard Blume, and other journalists that limit themselves to publishing what Diane Ravitch ironically calls "the dominant narrative" party line that is parroted all the way down the line from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines, who all know the reality of public education's programmed failure that has gone on for generations, but choose for what must be their own career security to write articles that incessantly mention dominant narrative talking points without the slightest critical analysis which should be the hallmark of real journalism.

9

11 2010

Teacher at Point Blank by Jo Scott Coe

Teacher at Point Blank.jpeg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) When I was a teacher and UTLA Chapter Chair 10 years ago at Palisades High School, I had a colleague named Janis Adams who was unmercifully brutalized by students who put out an underground publication that libeled her by superimposing her face on Larry Flint Hustler Magazine pictures, with salacious articles that were attributed to Janis Adams 7 year-old son. Don Savarese was the principal of the school who - following long established LAUSD protocol - was allowed to be the principal for 2 years to retire out at a higher rate, because he had diligently played LAUSD's game throughout his career. As a non-boat rocker, he did nothing while Janis Adams was allowed to suffer the outrageous behavior of these students, because in a very real sense he had already retired. As UTLA Chapter Chair I reported what was going on to Superintendent Ramon Cortines, who was in his first stint as LAUSD superintendent. The students parents lawyered up and the District decided to give the students their own teacher and expensive film editing equipment to avoid a lawsuit while doing nothing for Janis Adams. Adams sued and a jury awarded her $4.5 million based on 5 separate counts on which they were unanimous. The judge threw out the verdict, which started a 10 year odyssey that recently ended in the California Supreme Court. LAUSD spent $1.2 million further beating up on Ms. Adams who ultimately signed a confidentiality agreement, so she cannot talk about the case and most likely got only Workman's Compensation for her 10 year ordeal. It is worth noting that the judge in the case was quoted as saying, "Any woman who becomes a teacher has to expect to be sexually harassed." The reason I tell you this prologue is because I want you to read Teacher at Point Blank by Jo Scott Coe. After publishing this website for a year now, what I have found is that people who are willing to write the truth about what is really going on in public education are rare. Those who bring impeccable research skills together with the ability to organize and write in a manner that is accessible to the general public as well as educators are something that is even rarer.

8

11 2010

LAUSD: The Catch 22 In Fixing Public Education (El Catch 22 en la fijación de Educación Pública )

2+2=5.jpeg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) I've been writing this blog for about a year and it finally dawned on me that I have always taken for granted that others shared my belief as to why public education reform is an essential priority for a democratic country. While others think it is essential, they do not think so because education is an essential tool for citizens of a democracy to insure that they are not hoodwinded by government/corporations, rather they have other reasons why it is essential: For parents, it is a place where they can dump their kids and abdicate all responsibility for maintaining the educability of their children by enforcing reasonable standards of behavior that would allow the teacher to teach and other students to learn. "He's your problem between 8 and 3." The fact that Johnie never does any homework is of little concern to many of these parents who themselves were a product of the same failed public education system. For students, it is a place to hang out with their friends. While we know that over 50% find this not enough of a reason to finish school and quit between the 9th and 12th grade. How many drop out from kindergarten to the 12th grade is a figure LAUSD has not seen fit to share with us.
Tags:

5

11 2010

LAUSD: "Truant Deterrent and Intervention" ("Truant disuasión e intervención")

Truancy.jpeg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) This month marks the 1 year anniversary of perdaily. Sometimes I think I've just about covered all of the issues of incompetence and deceit engaged in on a daily basis by LAUSD administration and then something new pops up - the gift that keeps on giving. The art of doing nothing to actually fix public education in Los Angeles and elsewhere in this country is that the bloated LAUSD bureaucracy has to give at least the illusion of actual doing something. There latest effort was told to me last night in a robo-call from LAUSD Chief Academic Officer Dr. Judy Elliott. This is the same Judy Elliott who carried on a pro forma meeting with me on October 4th where she decided to submit my name to the LAUSD Board for immediate dismissal - Surprised? In last night's call Dr. Elliott was calling to make me aware of a new LAUSD program called Truant Deterrent and Intervention designed to deal with the large number of LAUSD students who wander the streets of Los Angeles on a daily basis and get into trouble. Under the program, once these students are apprehended by the police, they will be taken to one of 8 centers located within the District where they will be put into a "safe instructional environment."
Tags: ,

4

11 2010

LAUSD: What Real Reform Might Look Like (Qué reforma real podría ser similar)

School.jpeg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) I believe that one of the most important changes that could be instituted to bring about a profound positive change in our school system would be the changing of its physical organization. The model that we have used in our big cities for over a hundred years is based on a factory model of regimentation that has even been rejected by productive factories in the post-industrial period. Since W. Edward Deming changed the focus of Japanese factories from the "top-down" model they inherited from the Americans and the Europeans before them, the emphasis has been on work groups that set their own priorities in search of a better quality product and higher levels of production. In order to achieve this same goal with education in the LAUSD, I would change the organization and control of the school. For example, in the average high school which takes up a city block, I would no longer devote 50% of the physical plant to sports. According to Maslow's "hierarchy of needs," one never gets to a "need to know and understand" or "self-actualization needs" until the "physiological and safety needs" are satisfied. In the worst of the city schools that I have taught in, over 75% of the kids want to learn but are precluded from so doing by an unstable family life or the violence around them.

3

11 2010

The Cost of LAUSD's Continuing Failure in Deciphering the Miracles of the Mind (El precio del continuado fracaso del LAUSD en descifrar los Milagros de la Mente)

Abnormal Brain.jpeg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) It seems that scientific verification that genes affecting behavioral traits are the "most susceptible to environmental influences" has closed off another possible rationalization as to why we do not educate our people better. In a very real sense it is not the brains of the lower classes that need to be "remodeled" but rather the brains of the upper classes that still have not figured out that their own nurturing and safety is brought into question by a society where the disparity between rich and poor is ever increasing. As a student of history, this disparity of wealth and opportunity between rich and poor has always lead to a social dislocation that all classes have paid dearly for. Even before it was known that "intervening at kindergarten appears to provide only a minuscule benefit compared to intervention in the first weeks of life, the leaders of our society showed a militantly ignorant attitude in dealing with our most valuable asset. I remember one of the first acts that Ronald Reagan took upon becoming President was to take away the funds for feeding pregnant mothers, which had ensured that they received sufficient protein while their bodies were making a fetus- no protein, no brain.
Tags:

2

11 2010

What is one of the most important aspects of multicultural issues in the schools today? (¿Cuál es uno de los aspectos más importantes de las cuestiones multiculturales en las escuelas hoy en día?)

Palenque2.jpeg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) One of the most important aspects of multicultural issues in the schools today is who will set the curriculum and what that curriculum will consist of. As a social studies teacher, I think the debate that always ensues over the selection of new social studies textbooks in California is a good example of the two directions our schools might go and the ramifications of choosing one or the other. Books that portrayed a history of America built by diverse peoples but based on the values of Europe were accepted because the textbook commission said they offered a more balanced and unbiased approach. However, large groups protested the books on the grounds that they distorted and marginalized the histories of many of California's ethnic and cultural communities.