Archive for January 2011

OPINION: The School Board Election: What LAUSD doesn't want you to know (OPINIÓN: La Escuela de Junta Electoral: ¿Qué LAUSD no quiere que usted sepa)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) What they don't want you to know is that charters started as a way to explore innovative teaching practices, that fewer than one in seven charters produce better results, and while they should be explored, charters should not be promoted as the "be all end all" to the problems facing our schools that the politicians - school board members and the Superintendent - have refused to address for years. What they also don't want you to know is that there's an incestuous relationship between current and former board members, district employees, and many in the charter school industry. We need to follow the money trail. Our incoming superintendent, John Deasy, negotiated an $80,000 salary bump despite recent layoffs, pay cuts, and firings - all done because the district supposedly doesn't have enough cash. The board didn't even bother to consider any other candidates. Deasy has worked for the Gates Foundation, embracing their push for value-added assessments, despite that, at best, value-added has a margin of error of plus or minus 45 points, and even worse, the foundation has been withholding data from researchers.

KPFK's Shows the National Scope of LAUSD White Chalk Crime (KPFK muestra el alcance nacional del Delito del LAUSD tiza blanca)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) On January 18th, 19th, and 20th, Sonali Kolhatkar dedicated three segments of her daily morning show Uprising on KPFK - 90.7FM at 8a.m. - to the endemic corruption that continues to be allowed in the running of public education at LAUSD and elsewhere throughout the United States. She focused on the systematic harassment of any teacher that stands against this corruption in defense of honest and rigorous public education for all in a country that is now more segregated than it was pre-Brown vs Board of Education.

The National Conversation Required to Change Public Perceptions on Public Education by Susan Lee Schwartz(La conversación nacional necesaria para cambiar las percepciones públicas sobre la Educación Pública por Susan Lee Schwartz)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) We need to change the national conversation from one about teaching back to one about learning. In the place of genuine discussions of the methods and policies that promote learning, the media has presented a national rant about teachers-- focusing on teacher evaluation, and the 'imperative' to rid the system of the bad ones. The conversation about learning has been stolen by the very bureaucrats who administer these broken school systems. These politicians and businessmen -- deemed 'experts' because they served as chancellors and superintendents - crashed the system, and yet, they are currently the ones directing the national conversation for their own personal agendas and profit. They are pointing the public in the wrong direction.

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01 2011

Meet Professor Joel Shatzky from Brooklyn, New York , who could just as easily be describing LAUSD or any of the other purposefully failed public school districts in between (Conocer el Profesor Joel Shatzky de Brooklyn, Nueva York, que podría fácilment

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post Although Professor Joel Shatzky's writing and videos are about New York City public schools, can you see your own purposefully failed public school in the following three videos he has written or in the many articles and Huffington Post blogs he has written? Joel Shatzky:Brooklyn, New York Joel.Shatzky@cortland.edu Professor of English Emeritus--SUNY, College at Cortland (1968-2005) Adjunct instructor-Kingsborough CC (CUNY) 2006-- ) Regular contributor to the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joel-shatzky/educating-for-democracy-l_1_b_809924.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/searchS/?q=Joel+Shatzky Author of "The Thinking Crisis" with Ellen Hill (Authors Choice Press: New York, 2001) Numerous articles on education in Jewish Currents. Script-writer for three YouTube satires on educational "reform."

Whistleblower Teacher at LAUSD Board of Education Meeting

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) I was a teacher for LAUSD for 32 years with good evaluations until I and 2 other colleagues (P.E. Teachers) reported a female Asst. Principal entered the boys' locker room when the football team was changing for a game. As "mandatory reporters, we reported the incident and the administration as a whole started various kinds of harassment and retaliation as a result of that reporting. It got to the point where it became unbearable to continue working for LAUSD, which forced me to retire 2.5 years earlier that I had intended. I filed a lawsuit against the LAUSD and the individuals involved and am currently in the Appeals process. During the trial 5 employees and administrators perjured themselves while giving false testimony even thought there was direct evidence from the LAUSD itself that there were boys dressing in the locker room when the AP went into it. The LAUSD has used every trick in the book to try to get this case dismissed and was unable to do so. We are moving forward with the hope that a positive result for us in this case may open up Pandora's box against the LAUSD and many more teachers may come forward with similar lawsuits. Call me, if you like. I am in Rio de Janeiro 1.954.671.0279

25

01 2011

Forget Seniority: LAUSD Teachers No Longer Safe From L.A. Times Distortion of Reality (Olvídese de antigüedad: Los maestros del LAUSD que ya no están a salvo de Los Angeles Times, Distorsión de la Realidad)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) In Jason Felch and Jason Song's latest piece of yellow journalism for the L.A. Times entitled "Teachers no longer safe in seniority," one cannot help being astounded at the ability of these two journalistic aparatchiks to say so much while consciously leaving out critical information that might allow their readers to come up with exactly the opposite conclusion The Two Jasons want them to. What makes this all the more reprehensible is that anybody with the access to LAUSD of The Two Jasons and their other job threatened colleagues at the Times undoubtedly know that what they "report" are scripted talking points of a neo-liberal agenda to destroy the remnants of real public education and the knowledge and empowerment our Founding Fathers counted on public education for to give the citizens of this country as the repository of power under the constitution- no education, no democracy.

24

01 2011

The Gates Foundation and The Broad Foundation: Militant Reformers of LAUSD and Public Education or Militantly Ignorant(La Fundación Gates y la Fundación Broad: Reformas militante de Educación del LAUSD y público o militante Ignorante)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Several years ago, Patti Stonesifer the president of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was speaking at the Los Angeles Central Library about the Gates Foundation's using its vast wealth in addressing the deplorable state of American public education. In attendance were LAUSD Board Member Marlene Canter, Steve Barr of Green Dot Schools, and many other movers and shakers in public education, who had come to pay homage to the power that Ms. Stonesifer personified. At some point while I was sitting there, it dawned on me that Ms. Stonesifer, although she seemed very bright and had a personal fortune of over $350 million made working for Microsoft, was really in no better position to fix public education than I was. In fact, I actually might stand a better chance of succeeding than she did, because of what I knew from being on the inside as a teacher that she and the other people of good will present that evening did not know: After all, there point of entry into the public education reform arena was through the same corrupt and self-serving bureaucracy that was responsible for the long term and premeditated destruction of public education in the first place, which was not likely to give them anything but a distorted picture of what was really going on.

21

01 2011

Some Suggestions For LAUSD To Save Millions On Just Textbooks...If They Really Want To (Algunas sugerencias para el LAUSD para salvar a millones en sólo libros de texto ... Si realmente quieren)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post Writer Evelyn Waugh's classic black comedy The Loved One was also the source of a subsequent film starring Jonathan Winters. The story is a loosely veiled spoof on Forest Lawn and the American way of death. In one classic scene of the movie multiply-part-playing Winters who is the owner of the cemetery, when he finds out that the land on which the cemetery is built is worth a fortune, screams at the top of his lungs, "How do I get those stiffs off of my property." He ultimate solves his problem with a clever scheme to sell burials in space, where he can clear the cemetery land at the same time that he is making a fortune selling high priced funerals that rocket the deceased into space.

20

01 2011

LAUSD, UTLA, Public Education, and Race- A Fable for the 21st Century (LAUSD, UTLA, Educación Pública, y la raza-Una fábula para el siglo 21)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Many years ago in Africa before I Love Lucy was on television and the Amos and Andy radio show's White performers were not considered racist. And long before doo rags were a sign of Black pride, but rather a sign that Blacks had not as yet appreciated how beautiful they were, there lived only two races on the face of the earth. There were the Neanderthals and the Cro-Magnons. The Cro-Magnons were a truly superior people of not only higher intelligence, but also a high level of rare human empathy and a keen sense of fashion that is clearly lacking in 21st century America and elsewhere as humanity strives to see if it can assure its own extinction over the next 15 to 20 years by continuing to strip mine the earth, while irreparably maiming large segments of its population in public schools.

19

01 2011

LAUSD and Complicit UTLA: Listen Today 1/18/11 at 8 a.m. on KPFK to The Silenced Majority(UTLA LAUSD y cómplices: Escuche hoy 1/18/11 a las 8 am en KPFK de Los Mayoría silenciada)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, January 18-20 KPFK's Uprising Show with Sonali Kolhatkar will talk about issues of real public education reform that are presently blacked out in the mainstream media. Listen live at 90.7 FM if you are in Los Angeles or podcast at: http://www.kpfk.org/listen-live.html If you want to listen later, the shows will be archived at: http://archive.kpfk.org/parchive/ January 18th show on KPFK: What happens to teachers who stand against LAUSD endemic corruption Public education as LAUSD and UTLA see it are about adapting to failure, rather than positing a pragmatic and viable model that addresses the subjective needs of students, teachers, and their families to insure an environment where learning is not the exception and 50% of teachers do not quit within the first 5 years because of the untenable environment they are required to teach in with no administrative support for either good teaching or the minimal level of discipline it requires..

18

01 2011

OPINION: John Deasy a disappointing choice for LAUSD superintendent by David Lyell

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) I'm disappointed by the appointment of John Deasy as the superintendent to the LAUSD School Board. The school board didn't even bother to consider any other candidates, which is very strange. The public needs to remember that the mayor, who celebrated this appointment, after recently attacking UTLA, was also handed a vote of "no confidence" by teachers at eight of the 10 schools he takes credit for operating. The reality is that the teachers at those school sites operate those schools. The mayor, who rarely shows up, only operates them on paper, and dismally at that. We need to remember that this is the same mayor who, in 2009, spent 15 times as much as his nearest opponent on his campaign, then refused to debate him.

17

01 2011

Is LAUSD Another Bell? by Stuart Goldurs (Es LAUSD Un Otra Bell?)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) LAUSD never reveals its line budget. LAUSD has departments and highly paid administrators that have no effect on education at the schools. LAUSD has lobbyists and outside contracts. LAUSD cuts from the lowest ends of the payroll. LAUSD blames the teachers for everything and maintains an adversarial relationship with them. LAUSD spends "$100 million per year on non-mandated assessments -- that is, testing not required by law -- and $43 million on mini-districts." LAUSD looks for ways to treat teachers poorly--especially those who speak out, those who keep difficult classes in order but do not produce strong test scores, and those that school administrators do not like.
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14

01 2011

From LAUSD to New York City Public School and everything in between: A NATIONAL SCANDAL OF EPIC PROPORTIONS by Susan Lee Schwartz Part 2

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Ordinary people who believe in the law of the land are incredulous and say, "How can our public school systems across the country be so corrupt? SIMPLE -with the help of the media and the complicity of the union. You see, while the media focuses and points the finger at those "bad teachers," at the 'dead-wood" the union mishandles tens of thousands of cases. THE WAY IT WORKS: • The crucial point where the contract would prevent charges based on abusive, false allegations from being IS AT THE SITE! • But, the union's rep on-site is a teacher who depends on the principal for everything: the student load, the duties, the materials, the program. Collusion with administration has become epidemic here and grievance procedures are abandoned or subverted. IT IS SO SIMPLE! To bypass the grievance procedure MANDATED in a contract, the principal tells a parent to complain directly to the CHANCELLOR or superintendent, with one of several SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS which mean the teacher can be REMOVED immediately. • CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IS A FAVORITE , and teacher comments can be interpreted as threatening, and used to charge a teacher with corporal punishment. (Education law is clear that THIS is illegal.) • Sexual abuse " there has been a three -fold increase in these allegations interpreted from the ASSOCIATED PRESS release to mean that thirty percent of our teachers are abusive to students, when in truth, this charge is just a ploy to remove a teacher, in most of the cases. • Theft or misuse of funds: which is ironic, since it is administration that that often robs the school blind. • Drug Abuse: any allegation can doom a teacher.

13

01 2011

From LAUSD to New York City Public School and everything in between: A NATIONAL SCANDAL OF EPIC PROPORTIONS by Susan Lee Schwartz Part 1

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Thus, across the country, a corrupt bureaucratic system has put into in place a procedure that circumvents the union contract, education regulations and basic civil rights laws, in order to remove any teacher. This process is the total abrogation of the civil rights of Americans... who just happen to be teachers! This "process" has so infiltrated our school systems, that now our teachers' careers, reputations, health care and financial security are destroyed and there is ABSOLUTELY NO RECOURSE TO THE LAW! Teachers have difficulty finding lawyers to represent them, because few lawyers have the deep pockets to litigate against an entity whose deep pockets are filled by your tax dollars. Litigation, in any case is a financial nightmare. Moreover, the judicial system is stacked against the teachers, as judges routinely rule in favor of the administrations. Teachers lose.

12

01 2011

LAUSD: Connect the dots between business as usual and terror in the communities it fails to serve

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) What also struck me by sharp contrast right next to it was the face of presumptive LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, who was smiling in much the same manner as his predecessors Admiral Brewer and Ramon Cortines had while doing absolutely nothing during their tenures of office to change the long-failed culture of LAUSD. A culture where ignorance is still allowed to maintain racial fantasies that cause predominantly minority young people to pass through 13 years of education - if they don't drop out first - completely unscathed by the formation that would make them less susceptible to this useless waste of our nation's greatest asset. It also occurred to me that the images of Black and Latino incomprehensible grief has become so common place as an image in our society that people hardly pause in appreciating the catastrophic effect that such indifference to human grief has specifically on these communities, but also on all of us in this society. It is not just the Whites that have no expectation of Black and Latino youth living better, but it is also the Black and Latino communities themselves that have been forced to live in the L.A. version of Baghdad or Kabul for so long that they too have lost any hope for a better future.

11

01 2011

A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO END ENDEMIC CORRUPTION IN LAUSD AND ALL EQUALLY INCOMPETENT MINORITY FILLED BIG CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO FAIL (Un CAMPAÑA NACIONAL PARA PONER FIN A la corrupción endémica en el LAUSD...

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) It is my New Year's resolution for 2011 to finally develop and publicize a clearly stated and specific platform for real and accountable public education reform by bringing together people from all over this country to share their collective and remarkably similar insights as to the real nature of the purposefully failed and the endemically corrupt present public education system as well as a rather straight forward way it can be dealt with. This is the first of many blogs from myself and an initial list of insightful educators, parents, students, writers, and others from all of the United States whose views have been systematically excluded from the mainstream media and the present carefully controlled monologue of bogus public education reform that will continue until we the people stop and replace it with a truly functional public education system. The links to these tenacious heroes who continue to posit a positive views of excellent public education for all will be posted and linked to on a daily basis on this site and increased as they are joined by others from around the country until we reach the critical mass necessary to achieve the pragmatic and effective implementation of public education that we are entitled to. Browse through their links to see the stark similarities of the present corrupt public education system around this country and their clear vision of what has to replace it if we intend to survive as a democracy that vests power in its highly educated citizens.

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01 2011