Teachers: You Will Never Change LAUSD Until You Change UTLA - Voter Guide

Warren Fletcher.jpeg
For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post

A professional teachers' union promulgates what it stands for, it does not say like Past UTLA Presidents Day Higuchi, John Perez, and now A.J. Duffy, "Let's see what the District says." If you play that game as I told these three years ago - sometime you don't want to be right - LAUSD will move to destroy the union when it gets 150 charters.

Higuchi, Perez, and Duffy refused to address this and now the chickens are coming home to roost with professional unionized teachers targeted for extinction in the not too distant future in favor of a neo-liberal vision of privatized education of all public schools with teaching to the 7th grade level - sufficient to work at Walmart, the largest employer in the country - and low paid, no benefit instructors who teach for a few years out of college before moving on.

This privatized vision of public education is worth between $280-350 billion a year for the same folks who brought you credit default swaps and the sub prime meltdown. And they will leave the state and the taxpayers holding the bag for debt laden charters, when they have doubled their money in 7 years, while getting huge federal and state tax benefits in addition.

This will come to pass if you don't conquer your apathy long enough to vote for UTLA leadership that will take the union in a different direction than Julie Washington and her LAUSD friendly colleagues in UTLA will continue to do.

With 8 candidates for president, if Julie Washington can be stopped from winning on the first ballot, the unified opposition of her 7 opponents can come behind whoever makes it to a runoff.

The following candidates are not together on a slate, but represent the best voices in UTLA to bring much needed change to our union.

Only 20% of all members vote. So even if you do not vote for any of these candidates, please vote! Part of the reason we get kicked around so much by the school district

is because we are not actively involved, and we do not make our voices heard in elections.


President: Warren Fletcher

NEA Vice President: M.J. Roberts

AFT Vice President: John Cromshow

Elementary Vice President Juan Ramirez

Secondary Vice President: Frances M. Copeland

Treasurer: Scott Johnson

Secretary: David Lyell

Board of Directors:

NEA Central Area: Catherine R. Proctor

NEA Valley East Area: Erika Jones

AFT Valley East Area: Lisa Karahalios

NEA Valley West:  Colleen Schwab

NEA Harbor Area: Haidee Fierrro, Elgin Scott, Aaron Bruhnke,

Candidate for Special Education:  Tim Delia

Candidate for Substitutes: Dave Peters

If you do not receive a ballot in the next few days, please call and/or email Tara Thomas at UTLA to request a ballot. 

You can reach Tara at 213.637.5165 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              213.637.5165      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              213.637.5165      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              213.637.5165      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              213.637.5165      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              213.637.5165      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or by email at tthomas@utla.net


Jo Scott Coe Riverside, California
Excellent Video Interview about Professor Coe

Assistant Professor of English at Riverside Community College and former high school English teacher. She is the author of Teacher at Point Blank and has been a teacher of English and literature in California since 1991. Her writing on intersections of gender, violence, and education has appeared in the Los Angeles Times as well as literary venues including Hotel Amerika, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, Ninth Letter, Memoir(and), Bitter Oleander, and Green Mountains Review. Her essay, "Recovering Teacher," won the NCTE 2009 Donald Murray Prize, and other selections of her work have received a Pushcart Special Mention as well as Notable listings in Best American Essays 2009 and 2010. As an independent researcher, Jo authored and published the most extensive study to-date of Adams v. LAUSD, a nearly 10-year legal case of student-on-teacher sexual harassment, in (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women's Experience (Cambridge Scholars Press). Jo values the aesthetic, political, and socially transformative powers of literary narrative--especially to dispel unhealthy silences and witness cultural blindspots. She works currently as an assistant professor of English at Riverside Community College in SoCal, and her book, Teacher at Point Blank (Aunt Lute 2010), has been selected as a Great Read for Fall 2010 by Ms. Magazine. Punk rock? Yes. Hockey games? Yes. Coffee? Always black. Find Jo on the web at joscottcoe.com and on Twitter @joscottcoe.

Betsy Combier New York, New York
Betsy Combier's blog http://www.parentadvocates.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleID=488
is a jewel that chronicles the corruption in NYC's Dept of Educations (DOE)  . She has accomplished a wonderful piece of journalism, and created one of the rare places where corrupt educational governance is chronicled and revealed

Professor Samuel Culbert Los Angeles, California
is a professor at the UCLA Andersen School of Business who also teaches in the Education Department's Principals' Leadership Institute. Check out the following 3 minutes on ABC News

Stuart Goldurs Los Angeles, Califonia

Dear Superintendent Deasy of LAUSD,

Is LAUSD another Bell?

Antiteacher LAUSD propaganda as reported by The Times and The Daily News is everywhere

It's the tests, the pacing plans, and don't forget increased class sizes which means each child gets less time with the teacher.

LAUSD wants to change the bureaucracy--again

Is the profession of teaching nearing its death?

Has been a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 30 years. He is greatly aware of the district waste, large bureaucracy, and other major issues of the time. He started his blog with the sole purpose of informing the world about the truths of education in LAUSD. E-mail him at: StuartComputers@gmail.com.
LAUSD has selected a new Superintendent of Schools

Karen Horwitz Chicago, Illinois
Teacher Activist forced out of teaching on trumped up charges. Started NAPTA to expose the reality of teacher harassment and terrorization  maintain corruption and mediocrity 
NAPTA- National Association for Prevention of Teacher Abuse
Graduated with honors in 1963 from Oak Park River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois, and with honors from the University of Illinois, Champaign where she earned a B.A. in Elementary Education in 1966. She taught elementary school for four years in Berwyn and Hillside, Illinois as well as Phoenix, Arizona, before starting a family. She felt a calling to teach elementary students so that she could share her strength in preparing children to succeed as students and as citizens, goals that she believes require talented teachers to be realized. When teaching jobs were scarce during the 1970's, she worked in business as a sales representative and as a marketing director for an educational film company. However, teaching always was her first love. She eagerly returned to elementary teaching in her forties after earning an M. Ed in Reading at National Louis University in Evanston, Illinois in 1992. She has raised three children and has grandchildren who inspire her to do the work of exposing the truth about Education; she believes that they, as well as all children, deserve better - much better.

David Lyell Marina del Rey, California


He grew up in Palo Alto, California, the youngest of four children to two college professors. David attended public schools before graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a B.A. in English, and The American Film Institute with an M.F.A. in Screenwriting. He likes to work, and has had a variety of jobs along the way. He has done things as varied as ghost-writing a screenplay to washed dishes, working as a food server, dish washer, helper in a warehouse where farm equipment was being liquidated, free-lance reporter and photographer, undercover diner in high-end restaurants, candy vendor at sporting events, proofreader, typist, data entry clerk, and Substitute Teacher. He has 13-years teaching experience with LAUSD and has also worked as an educator in The Palo Alto Unified School District. David is very active in UTLA (United Teachers Los Angeles). In 2010, as part of the March for California's Future, he was one of six core activists to make the 352-mile journey from Bakersfield to Sacramento to protest the lack of funding for education, and essential public services. With California having the 8th largest economy in the world, he believes it is pathetic that we are 46th in the nation in per pupil spending and would like to see more spent for teachers and other educational support professionals. He believes this might be better accomplished if corporations pay their fair share in taxes. David's blog can be viewed at www.davidlyell.blogspot.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY1NCnk_tZI

Susan Ohanian Charlotte, Vermont
She is a longtime public school teacher who, after 20 years, became staff writer for a teacher magazine and then went freelance. I've maintained a website of activism for nearly 9 years--ever since the passage of NCLB. People can subscribe to the website and then they get updates about new content. I answer all the mail I get through the website and with the answer, people have my e-mail.  I also try to stir things up on Twitter, though I find this medium frustrating. I have a Facebook page--just so people can find me. I don't initiate anything on it, The website keeps me busy.

Susan Lee Schwartz Suffern, New York

Susan studied literacy education, English literature, and fine arts and holds a BA ('63) and MS ('65) from Brooklyn College, and has the equivalent of two master's degrees, earned in graduate studies of literacy, arts and education. She taught literacy skills and art, for four decades in NYC in elementary and secondary school.  In 1998 she won the New York State English Council (NYSEC) Educator of Excellence Award  for her successful teacher practice, studied by Harvard  and the LRDC at the University of Pittsburgh for the New Standards research. At the end of her research, her unique curriculum was selected by the LRDC to be used in their national staff development seminars for school superintendents. She was among six teachers -- from among the thousands across the nation-- observed during the research project, and her teaching practice met all the  principles of learning. In the nineties, she rose to prominence in national educational circles, while teaching at a new magnet school, East Side Middle School. The reading scores of her seventh grade students were at the top of the city, and on the first ELA, which two thirds of city students failed, her former students (then in the eight grade) were TENTH IN THE STATE.

 She writes often about what she learned about the genuine standards for learning, in an attempt to begin a national conversation about the authentic standards, so that there can be genuine reform. Her experience that ended her fine career in the NYC Public Schools has led her to write about the process that removed the top educators, silencing the voices of the classroom practitioners who would not accept anti-learning policies. Her essay here on Perdaily,  is one that describes this process. Read more as she talks about education, literacy  and learning on her site, from the perspective of the experienced teacher-practitioner of pedagogy. She is the voice of dedicated and talented classroom teachers who know why the schools are failing.

Her website is: 


Joel Shatzky: Brooklyn, New York
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/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."
 "The Lessons": www.youtube.com/watch?v=D712J1V2Jsg&feature=player_embedded
"Numbers Lie": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57BRNLviVTQ
"The Charter Starters": www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnrrw5CV3Gw<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnrrw5CV3Gw>

Lorna Stremcha Havre, Montana




"I know first hand the financial, personal, emotional and physical damage that can result when school administrators, the Montana Education Association and the National Education Association put their own interests above the students, teachers and the taxpayers of the State of Montana My files contain mountains of paperwork including depositions, declarations of truth, notarized documents and exhibits resulting from an arduous legal process that finally ended when the Havre (Montana) School District settled two lawsuits - a Federal suit and one filed in State District Court. These documents also include a letter from a union representative stating, " This is nothing more than a witch hunt." Yet the union continued to allow the school administration to harass, bully and bring harm to me.
These two lawsuits resulted from a single incident that, had it been handled differently and under the light of public scrutiny, would not have snowballed into awards of more than $200,000 worth of damages. Funds that eventually came from the taxpayers' pockets. Ironically, as a taxpayer in Hill County, my family and I are helping to pay for the damages awarded to me. This covered the attorneys' fees. The settlement did not include my attorney fees, however the district, insurance and taxpayers paid the defendants attorney bills, which exceeded mine. The settlement was made on March 2, 2006."

Sabrina Stevens Shupe Denver, Colorado
"I went into teaching because I (mistakenly) believed the hype about bad teachers in our worst-performing schools, and I wanted to Be the change I wished to see in the world. When I was rushed to the hospital after fainting from exhaustion in my classroom, I started to suspect that the situation might be more complicated than the conventional wisdom on education reform would have us believe."
Excellent Colorado teacher who was forced out of the profession for being a dedicated and conscientious teacher.
@TeacherSabrina on Twitter

Jim Taylor, Ph.D., Psychology San Francisco, California
email: mailto:jim@drjimtaylor.com
web site: www.drjimtaylor.com

Jim Taylor is an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco. He is the author of three parenting books and speaks regularly to students, parents, and educators around the U.S. He blogs on education issues for psychologytoday.com, huffingtonpost.com, sfgate.com, seattlepi.com, and other web sites around the country, as well as on his own web site.

Lois Weiner Jersey City, New Jersey
Professor, Elementary and Secondary Education
New Jersey City University
2039 Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, New Jersey 07305
Democracy Now
Impact of urban school characteristics on teachers' classroom practice
How race, class, and gender mediate academic achievement
Teachers' work and the school as a workplace
Effects of changes in global political economy on teaching, teachers, and schools.


02 2011


Wow. I hope you don't use this tone with your students. Frankly, being mean spirited & petty is much more disturbing than poor spelling---the rote memory thing says very little about about human intelligence. It is also worth noting that standardized spelling is rather a new phenomenon, which started in the later part of the 20th century. William Shirer in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich points out that Adolph Hitler's family used several variations of spelling the last name.

You are right. Think Bill Gates has gremlins in Microsoft because I constantly lose letters! But I should have checked my work.

More of the same for UTLA and LAUSD


My bad.
pardon my revision.
it says a lot that utla spends so little time encouraging us to participate in the democratic process, but it does send us mail-in ballots, so it is NOT a huge hassle to do so.
we need to VOICE our opinions so sacrafice a bit of fb time, teevee, grading at home, whatever, and let's have a look at the prospects. post what you find on this page and express your opinions. nothing like good old fashioned SOCRATIC discourse!
some things are classic because they work.
like lenny

it says a lot that utla spends so little time encouraging us to participate in the democratic process, but it does send us mail-in ballots, so it is NOT a huge hassle to do so.
we need to VOICE our opinions so sacrafice a bit of fb time, teevee, grading at home, whatever, and let's have a look at the prospects. post what you find on this page and express your opinions. nothing like good old fashioned discourse!
some things are classic because they work.
like lenny

Maybe you should spend more time learning to spell...or figuring out spellcheck. "Sacrafice"? Disturbing that this is supposedly a teacher's post. And he even revised it!

I apologize for my misspelling and would happily correct it, if you gave me the exact citation. Working all day to defend myself and others from the unconscionable attacks of corrupt LAUSD and other corrupt and incompetent public school districts does not leave me as much time as I would like to write my blog post or to edit those of others around the country who are also contributing to perdaily. What concerns me most about you "Reader" is that you would rather point out a typo than the substantive crimes that you see engaged in by LAUSD and UTLA- Why is that? Social promotion and a dropout rate of over 50% from 9th to 12th grade seems consistent with LAUSD's edspeak platitudes that everybody is going to college? While you have every right to post anonymously,what does it say about your own justifiable fear of retaliation by LAUSD, if you dared to speak the truth you undoubtedly know?

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