Archive for May 2011

George Carlin Understood Why LAUSD Does Not Educate (George Carlin entendido por qué el LAUSD no educa)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) While the ongoing corruption, incompetence, and programmed failure of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as an educational institution is bad enough, when one measures the continuing abysmal results that this purposefully failed system has had with those unlucky enough to have no alternative for their education, what is far worse are the archaic values it promotes that continue to be touted and unquestioningly accepted by the majority of our society, who themselves are a product of this public education system where critical thinking is not abided.

31

05 2011

If It Takes a Song To Reform LAUSD and UTLA, Then Bring It On by Mark Hemphill

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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's left of experienced staff are being coerced with the idea of an invalid Value Added System of evaluation. Other veterans are being accused of any wrongdoing necessary to get them out of the system by principals under pressure to drive them out or lose their own jobs in the face of a $408 million deficit. While this is happening as you read, the notion of a union, the UTLA, nods its head in acquiescence and obedience to it "collaborative partner," the Los Angeles Unified School District, of the past twenty years or more. Latest union election results of last March represent unprecedented and unaddressed cheating on the parts of the victors who are now certainly not interested in fair play and honesty. Those same victors have remained almost silent about their plans to address the issues previously cited. They suggest a strike when they don't enjoy the confidence of a membership willing to support them given less than 17% of the qualified voters participated in the first round of the last election and less than 25% in the second and final round. But yet the same union which opposes anything effective such as student boycotts or holding the district accountable for attendance frauds because they and their partner, the district, would have no control over such proceedings. So when you listen to the music, focus on the lyrics and maybe, just maybe, get motivated. Queue the music.
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The Best Defense Against LAUSD Corruption Might Just Be The California False Claims Act (La mejor defensa contra la Corrupción del LAUSD podría ser la de California Ley de Reclamos Falsos)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Rather than let this corruption go unchecked, I encourage you to become a little proactive and send me any documentation you might have of where the State of California has been defrauded in either the aforementioned examples or in any other manner you might be privy to: Lenny@perdaily.com I will work will attorneys specialized in this California False Claims Act, which includes qui tam provisions enabling the recover of such money. California's law, which was passed in 1987 was modeled after the Federal False Claims Act, but since LAUSD is a public entity, they are immune from prosecution under the federal False Claims Act qui tam proceeding, but not immune from state action. The reason LAUSD administrative corruption is at epidemic proportions is because those running the district have had no consequences for ripping off LAUSD. Even if somebody is tenacious enough to stick with a clearly less than objective judicial system for the years necessary, it is clear that California's courts are loathe to hold corrupt officials at LAUSD responsible. And even in the unlikely situation where you do win a case, LAUSD and not the then retired corrupt official gets left holding the bag.

26

05 2011

Are The PEAC and NewTLA "Opposition" Within UTLA Really An LAUSD 5th Column?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Yesterday, I was drawn to the 8th floor of the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) building on Wilshire Boulevard, because I was intrigued by the email I had received about the meeting, which said it was going to be about trying to define alternative and truly effective ways to deal with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) corruption and dysfunction that has continued undaunted to assure that predominantly Latino (73.4%) and Black students (10.2%) of LAUSD student population do not get the public education they are entitled to and which would allow them to be productive member of society. When I arrived, I saw David Rapkin and several other people from the self-proclaimed "activist" teacher faction of UTLA called PEAC. I had had a run in with them 14 months ago as Rapkin immediately pointed out at one of their meetings, when I pointed out that we were now 40 years after the student walkouts in E.L.A. and that Latino education at LAUSD was now worse than it was then, to which I was told, "It takes time to build a union movement." As I left that meeting, I pointed out that 40 years of "radical organizing without results seemed a bit much, given the desperate conditions that LAUSD Latino students continue to face that are now even worse than they were back then." I went on to say that my students didn't have the luxury like they did to sit around in what strongly resembled a faculty staff development- which also never seem to go anywhere- talking about revolution in public education, but never actually doing something that might bring it about.

25

05 2011

Benjamin Netanyahu Hasn't Any Common Sense (Hot nicht kein sechel)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) The ultimate hypocrisy of Netanyahu's position comes when he asserts that Palestinians who have been in diaspora for 63 years have no right to a right of return, but an American Jew like myself does 1876 years after the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 A.D. against the Romans, who expelled my distant ancestors from Israel.

LAUSD Non Sequitur Education Reform Needs A Boycott (LAUSD Reforma Educativa Es "Non Sequitur" que necesita un boicot)

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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 teachers, parents, students, Osama bin Laden, and the Tooth Fairy have been blame for what is wrong in public education the corrupt and incompetent leadership of LAUSD is always given a pass, when it comes to what changes would definitively and finally fix public education, even though they are the ones clearly response for our present long-failed public education system. Logic should dictate that you cannot put Count Dracula in charge of a blood bank, an arsonist as the fire chief, or people who have shown for generations that they don't have a clue as to what will work. They have never once succeeded in improving big city minority filled public school districts with their non sequitur reforms. What I find fascinating, although a bit depressing, is what people do when faced with this public education system that is built on accommodating to failure with no expectation of ever succeeding in turning itself around. In the present discussion of the captive silenced majority that really wants something better, I find that they tend to talk about factors that have either nothing to do with public education reform or factors that would not be present at all if a decent public education system was being implemented, which it is not.

20

05 2011

WHAT LAUSD COULD DO IF IT DIDN'T FIND FAILURE SO PROFITABLE (QUÉ PUEDE HACER LAUSD SI NO ENCONTRó ASI TAN RENTABLE)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) While LAUSD remains about building half-billion dollar plus R.F. Kennedy Learning Centers at a time of declining enrollment or spending obscene amounts of money on books that students cannot read or expensive outside analysts to tell them that they are continuing to fail, and in the process, to destroy the lives of students, teachers, and others that are trapped in this long-failed system of public education that has no pragmatism or introspection to try and do otherwise, along come Salman Khan who started out by just putting some videos on You Tube to help his cousins in Texas with their school work. Because he was from the financial industry and not public education, he had no problem with being pragmatic in his approach as to what would work in teaching and no problem with being self-critical in aid of succeeding in with his cousins. What resulted is the KhanAcademy.org with over 900 videos covering a myriad of courses, where he has been succeed by taking a different approach that LAUSD or other tradition and long failed public education system.

LAUSD "You Can't Get There From Here" (LAUSD "No se puede llegar desde aquí")

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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 have been publishing perdaily for about a year and a half now. Maybe some of you wonder why I continue to show LAUSD and UTLA administrative corruption and incompetence no quarter, while constantly seeking to illustrate the all too often depressing reality that these self-serving and dishonest administrators have made in Los Angeles and elsewhere by building a system of public education that accommodates to failure, instead of pragmatically demanding the best from every student and teacher. While some of you might think my fight involves the harassment, bogus charges, suspensions, and ultimate dismissal proceeding that LAUSD with the help of UTLA is still trying to hang on me and other innocent teachers throughout the district, you would be wrong as I am not vindictive no matter how egregious and malicious the crimes of the those at LAUSD and UTLA are.

17

05 2011

LAUSD Teachers- Who Do You Trust, Arne Duncan or 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) The reform of the evaluation process is the first step in honoring teachers. The criteria and the methods for GENUINE, AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT of performance exists and can be found in The American Educator and education periodicals and forums. Diane Ravitch and Randi Weingarten are just two of the voices of reform that discuss GENUINE EVALUATION there, and in education forums. We do not need your cockamamie schemes and cynical words. American teachers do not need you to invent 'reform.' Your ideas have dishonored us for too long, to be fooled by your rhetoric now. You sir, are not an educator but a politician who can say what you will, but we teachers know the truth of what you stand for. We see all that you have done toward the goal of privatizing education.

13

05 2011

California Teacher Credentialing Corruption Ignored In Favor Of Teacher Bashing (Corrupción Acreditación de Maestros de California ignoradas en favor de Maestro Bashing)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Kathleen Carroll was supposed to testify on Monday, May 9th before a committee of the California State Legislature looking into these allegations of impropriety at CTC about corruption within this agency, but when I turned on the coverage of the hearing by local Sacramento CBS affiliate channel 13 with the Internet link Ms. Carroll sent me, I couldn't believe my eyes at the distortion Sacramento CBS affiliate Channel 13 had the dishonesty to air as "news." What these disreputable "reporters" had done was front load the piece with a totally unrelated and unsubstantiated introduction about "bad teachers," who were accused of having shown "pornography to their students" or another teacher, who had "committed rape...off campus." The introduction went on further to talk about "thousands of teachers," that had done bad things, but which CTC had never even bothered to investigate. None of this had anything at all to do with Attorney Kathleen Carroll's testimony about CTC corruption within the CTC and had nothing to do with "bad" teachers, other than the fact that teachers had been denied due process in CTC's sloppy handling of files presented by districts like LAUSD's in their attempts to railroad these teachers out of the profession without cause or with highly suspect documentation of allegations that might justify removing a teacher's teaching credential and with it their livelihood..

12

05 2011

Are You Able And Willing To LEARN Why LAUSD Does Not Work? (¿Es usted capaz y dispuesto a aprender ¿Por qué el LAUSD no funciona?)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) While the mainstream media is willing to continue irrationally vilifying teachers for what is wrong in public education and continuing to ignore the proverbial 850 lb. gorilla of LAUSD administrative incompetence and corruption that really has always had the power to bring about change, but consciously chooses not to, I am not. Clearly the not-so-clever folks running LAUSD who continue to run public education into the ground for their own benefit and that of their corporate patrons, who seek the privatization and monetization of public education, could not do so unless they got some help from respected academics, politicians, and others whose judgment might just be colored by their own egos and financial self-interest. Case in point, I just got off the phone with Professor William Ouchi from UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management, who not only was the chairman of LEARN (Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now) back in May 1999, but wrote an article entitled Education Reform Lessons from the Trenches, where he sings the praises of this now destroyed public education reform program that was designed to "increase accountability and strengthen reading instruction."

11

05 2011

LAUSD- The Bloodletting Continues (LAUSD-continúa el derramamiento de sangre)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) There was a time when doctors believed that bad blood made people sick and that all you needed to do was let out some of the bad blood and the patient would get well. At some point after many years of using this technique, somebody finally took notice of the fact that an inordinate number of patients were dying and that the ones who were getting well were doing so in spite of this ill-advised treatment. Finally, members of the medical profession stopped bleeding people. Alas, it seems that although clear and unequivocal evidence shows that value added assessment has at least a 43-45% margin of error, according to academics like Professor Diane Ravitch of New York University and others according to all relevant data on the subject, militantly ignorant people in administration at LAUSD and the lemming reporters at the L.A. Times and other mainstream media outlets of print and electronic media around the country continue to follow LAUSD over the cliff in trying to lay their own blame on teachers whose blood they have no problem in continuing to let.

10

05 2011

If LAUSD Doesn't Change, Maybe You Should - Ten Signs that You Need to Find a Different Kind of Education for Your Child by Jerry Mintz (Si el LAUSD no cambia, tal vez debería - Diez señales de que es necesario encontrar un tipo diferente de educación

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) For those of you who haven't realized it yet, the dysfunction and corruption of purposefully failed public education is not just limited LAUSD, but rather is a nationwide disgrace and scandal. In the months to come, perdaily will connect you to others around the state and country that refuse to accept purposefully corrupt and failed public education. The following post was written by Jerry Mintz of the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO). For those of you who feel trapped, when it comes to viable education options for yourself or your kids, think about connecting with his site and the other we list daily at the end of the article: Jerry Mintz, Director Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) 417 Roslyn Rd., Roslyn Hts., NY 11577 www.EducationRevolution.org info@EducationRevolution.org 800-769-4171 (domestic) 516-621-2195 (international)

LAUSD- "I Don't Have to Show You Latinos No Stinking Education" (LAUSD: "No tengo para demostrar que los latinos no apesta Educación")

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) At the root of public education's generational failure to educate Latino and Black students in this country is the unrelenting not so subliminal message that these young people are inferior and cannot learn. While it was bad enough when this kind of pernicious racism was practiced exclusively by Whites against Latinos and Blacks, what now makes it worse are institutionally de facto racist entities like the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which have succeeded in co-opting elements within the Latinos and Blacks communities to work in for it in sustaining this failed system by continuing to offer only the rhetoric of quality public education, while few within this institution - whatever their ethnicity - actually have a good faith belief in the inherent ability of these students to succeed like their more affluent peers of a lighter persuasion.

6

05 2011

Conference For Education This Saturday At Pasadena City College

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Education is a Right! Saturday, May 7, 12 noon - 4pm Pasadena City College, Creveling Lounge 1570 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena 91106 Creveling Lounge is near the corner of Colorado & Hill

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05 2011

Mainstream Media's Inability To Tell The Truth About LAUSD (Incapacidad principales medios de comunicación a decir la verdad sobre el LAUSD)

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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 talked with Connie Llanos today of the Daily News. She is an excellent reporter and could be much better, if she was allowed to do any story she has knowledge of. Given the time, research, and access she has already achieved covering the topic of public education, it is clear to me that she knows a hell of allot more than she is actually allowed to report.

4

05 2011

LAUSD - The Making of a Trojan Horse by Mark Hemphill (LAUSD - La realización de un caballo de Troya por Mark Hemphill)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) If you're expecting a retelling of Homer's Iliad here, you're going to be disappointed. For that I'd suggest the local library where any number of translations are available to help you wade through all ten thousand ponderously repetitive lines. Or maybe you could rent that awful movie with Brad Pitt. No, this is all rather about supposed reformers in public education, the politicians who support such well publicized reformers, and the "liberal press" which stands behind them. But I promise you that we'll get back to that Trojan Horse before it's all over. Let's start briefly here with statement about the political party which always boasts of the need for reform in education while paradoxically defunding it at every opportunity. And, no, by referring to one political party I don't mean to make reference to either Democrats or Republicans. I mean specifically "one" singular political party, because, if you haven't caught on yet or if you've been in a coma for the past thirty years or so, you may not know that, aside from language and logos, there's no tangible difference between either Democrats or Republicans. In this same sense, there's equally no distinguishable difference between neo-liberals and neo-cons. They're all the same and particularly on education policy.

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05 2011

LAUSD'S GRANADA HILLS CHARTER HIGH WINS ACADEMIC DECATHLON- IT'S ALL ABOUT EXPECTATIONS...OR THE LACK OF THEM (Granada Hills Charter High School of LAUSD Gana Decatlón Académico - ES TODO SOBRE EXPECTATIVAS ... O LA FALTA DE ELLOS)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) My take on Granada Hills Charter High School's national victory in the Academic Decathlon last Saturday, April 30th, is quite different than that of Reporter Rick Rojas of the Los Angeles Times in his article "Granada Hills wins top decathlon tiltle." I have two questions and one answer that seems to me to focus on and explain the apparent contradiction in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) being so successful in the Academic Decathlon over the years and yet such an abysmal failure when it comes to educating the lion's share of its students. - How can students in a school district where close to 50% of the students quit school in frustration or indifference, just between the 9th and 12th grade, be able on a regular basis to win the National Academic Decathlon 12 times? - Why it is that in a school district like LAUSD where the total enrollment in 2010 was 73.4% Hispanic/Latino and 10.2% Black and only 5/9% Asian and 9.5% White, that the predominant make up of the 12 LAUSD teams that have won the National Academic Decathlon are predominantly Asian and White?

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05 2011