Archive for March 2012

LAUSD TEACHER WITCH HUNT GOES INTO HIGH GEAR

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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 hardest thing to understand for LAUSD teachers targeted for dismissal is that there doesn't have to be any rational justification why their principal is moving to get rid of them. During the last couple of weeks my phone has been ringing off the hook with teachers telling me the most surrealistic tales of how they have been accused of the most outlandish administratively fabricated actions against them that are being used to build a case for their dismissal.

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03 2012

LAUSD: CONTINUES TO IGNORE CHEATING & CORRUPTION AT CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL/TRI-C

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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, March 27th, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) will send out a team to see how Central High/Tri-C Continuation High School with its 27 stand-alone classroom sites scattered throughout the city is doing 3 years after WASC gave this school a 6 year accreditation. This accreditation is supposed to serve to validity for colleges and universities the high school diploma that this continuation school gives its students. The problem is that the vast majority of the students at this school do not even have rudimentary skills in English and Math, which are the foundational skills they would have needed to do high school level and subsequent academic or trade school work. If, unlike LAUSD administration, you are curious as to how this could be true, realize that even a cursory examination of Central High School/Tri-C classrooms, records, and their practices would substantiate my claims. Alas, up until now, nobody has bothered to look as Central High/Tri-C, which continues to collect Average Daily Attendance money for what amounts to glorified daycare - that is if the students even bother to show up, which many of them do not. So a fair question might be: How did a continuation school where the vast majority of students are far below basic pass and qualify to get a diploma that WASC says meets grade-level and high school graduation standards, when these students lack even rudimentary skills? The simply answer is that they didn't. Worse yet, LAUSD administration has made no attempt to address this continuing fraud that is the rule, rather than the exception, at most LAUSD schools.

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03 2012

LAUSD SURVEY: EITHER THEY DON'T HAVE A CLUE OR THEY DON'T CARE - YOU DECIDE (ENCUESTA LAUSD: YA NO TIENEN UNA PISTA O no les importa - USTED DECIDE)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Until March 23rd, you have the dubious honor of taking an LAUSD survey online at the LAUSD website dealing with homework, A-G requirements, and standards based promotion. Regrettably, what this survey shows is that LAUSD administration not only doesn't have a clue as to what the problems are, they don't even know what questions to ask to determine how to proceed in a manner that might actually improve things. For starters, the survey presupposes student abilities that are not there, because of a longstanding LAUSD policy of socially promoting students irrespective of their mastery of prior grade-level standards. This while doing little or no remediation to actually address these deficits, before they become conclusively undermining to the education process at the secondary level (middle and high school). Here single-subject credentialed teachers have neither the training nor time to address these permissive deficits that LAUSD administration is responsible for never having addressed earlier.

20

03 2012

LAUSD: WE WILL NOT SCREW TEACHERS..."EXCEPT AS REQUIRED BY LAW"

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But this is not the worst of what LAUSD is doing. My phone has come off the hook this week with teachers calling in desperation with variations of the same story. They have been hit with fabricated charges to encourage them to resign from the District. They are told by LAUSD Staff Relations that their names will not be reported to California Teacher Credentialing for further action if they do this. What they are not told is that the limitation of further action being taken against them by LAUSD or CTC, if they resign, has the clearly stated exception, "Unless required to do so by law." Of course, the law requires LAUSD to file against all these teachers with CTC, given that the gambit LAUSD is running against most targeted teachers starts by hitting them with trumped up morals charges under California Education Code Section 44939 , that are followed up by suspensions of more than 10 days. This leapfrogs over any UTLA-LAUSD Collective Bargaining Agreement rights to file a grievance or seek arbitration on these phony charges, (Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) But most importantly, morals charges and suspensions over 10 days require LAUSD to file with CTC.

15

03 2012

What UTLA and LAUSD Must Do: Some Solutions to Our Current State of Affairs in the LAUSD by Dr. John Fernandez (Lo que UTLA y el LAUSD debe hacer: algunas soluciones para nuestro actual estado de cosas en el LAUSD por el Dr. John Fernández)

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After being in office for over seven months, UTLA President Warren Fletcher finally came out swinging. He denounced the move by L.A. Unified to transfer Miramonte Elementary School teachers--not only are all faculty at Miramonte being transferred-- but every Miramonte employee from the principal to the janitor. In today's Los Angeles Times (02-10-2012),UTLA President Warren Fletcher is qouted as saying, "When teachers were told that they were being transferred, dozens of teachers were in tears." Union President Fletcher went on to say that "They[the teachers] are part of the fabric of this community." What is troubling about the teacher transfers is that UTLA accepted them on the condition that they would be temporary and would not damage an innocent teacher's employment record. However, the transfers are not temporary and deemed to be administrative, which is considered disciplinary.

14

03 2012

Teacher Firings Conflict With LAUSD "Wake Up Call" By Patrick Healy, Jason Kandel and Olsen Ebright

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Within the past year, LAUSD has terminated 853 teachers, and only a fraction are pursuing appeals. Records show that since 2009, no fired teacher who went through the entire appeals process to a ruling has been reinstated.

13

03 2012

LAUSD: BOUND, BLINDFOLDED AND BUTTERED BY RENE DIEDRICH

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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 is, if nothing else, predictable. We may not fully comprehend the reasons for the way it operates, but most of those who deal with the second largest school district in the nation have come to expect weirdness, waste and surreal circumstances coupled with chaos and strange logic like the recent announcement that in response to the Miramonte scandal, the district has banned blind folding students, which is part of a reading program that helps develop an ability to explicate sensory details that are not perceived with one's eyes. I have to admit, this seems like an inspired almost esoteric lesson.

12

03 2012

CTC Whistle Blower Attorney Kathleen Carroll's Disturbing View of the Future of Public Education (VIDEO)

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What follows is a 17 minute overview given by California Teacher Credentialing whistle blower Attorney Kathleen Carroll that lays out the master plan for the privatization of public education at LAUSD, California, and throughout the United States. It is my belief that a functioning democracy that vests power in its presumptively educated people through the constitution is totally inconsistent with a privatized public education system, where the electorate is purposefully dumbed down for profit. For a comparable scam? Think credit default swaps and the sub prime meltdown. What do you think? Or do you?

11

03 2012

STOP JOSEPH KONY IN 2012

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) While this site is dedicated to stopping the criminality that keeps public education in this country from fulfilling its promise, now and then we have to stop and give a forum to a cause, that if successful, will change the way we deal with evil in our world. If we are successful in bring Joseph Kony to justice after 26 years of terrorizing children and families in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa, we might just be building a different paradigm for ultimately reaching the banality of evil at the Los Angeles Unified School District that continues to survive due to the same lack of awareness that has let Joseph Kony continue his campaign of terror for so long.

LAUSD BOARD PROPOSED CHANGES TO TEACHER DISMISSAL PROCEEDINGS A COMPLETE SHAM

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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 proposed changes to the teachers' dismissal process in light of the Miramonte and other child abuse scandals that have recently rocked LAUSD are based on patent falsities. The reality is that the present legal structure for teacher dismissal proceedings would have been more than adequate, if LAUSD administration had not been completely derelict in its duty. Sadly, reporters like KPCC's Tami Abdollah who covered this story only parrot the false statements feed to her, while exercising no independent journalistic investigation that even a cursory examination of the facts would have shown to be untrue. Regrettably, this seems to have become standard operating procedure in virtually all mainstream media. The real reason LAUSD is seeking to streamline the teacher dismissal process has more to do with getting rid of expensive teachers at the top of the salary scale, teachers about to vest in lifetime health benefits under the Rule of 80, or simply to get rid of teachers like myself who had the temerity to question overt and longstanding administrative fraud by LAUSD administration in assessments, attendance, promotion of students, and graduation, where no honest standards have been maintained by LAUSD administration for years. Next stop: privatized public education.

8

03 2012

LAUSD'S WILL MAKE FINAL BUDGET CUTS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WITHOUT PROMISED PUBLIC INPUT

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Tomorrow, March 6th, LAUSD's Board of Directors will make final decisions behind closed doors in complete derogation of their promise last month to reconsider the proposed draconian cuts with parent and other stakeholder input. These cuts, if allowed to go through, will decimate adult education and many other vital programs throughout LAUSD, which the LAUSD Board was unwilling to do last month, when confronted by sustained resistance from parents.

5

03 2012

Brave New World No Public Education, No Democracy! by SIMONE HARRIS

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) But we were talking about vultures. These corporations are poised to supply the artificial heart of learning to a wounded public school system they fully intend to finish off. But they won't succeed. No they won't because our communities are going to fight for our beloved schools, we teachers are going to fight for our students, and our students are going to demand the education they deserve!

The Guerilla Teacher's Handbook Part 4 by Espiritu Makiguchi

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Next, you will have a meeting with your principal. They will have formal written charges and you will sign that you received the document (your signature does not mean you agree to the contents--this should be printed under your signature). There is nothing you can say that will help the situation. They have their mind made up. You didn't know it, but your outspoken behavior or desire to improve things put a huge target on your back. In the economic downsizing, principals get target practice. They find a way to formally remove you from the classroom and if they can, charge you with immoral conduct to skip over your collective bargaining rights to grievance and arbitration.

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03 2012

The Guerilla Teacher's Handbook Part 3 by Espiritu Makiguchi

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(For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post Diisciplinary meetings These meetings are for purposes of discussing something someone believes you have done wrong. It is important that a witness or most specifically, a union representative attend that meeting with you, unless the UTLA Chapter Chair is in the pocket of the principal, which is becoming all too common. Anything said during this meeting can be used against you. You will not be allowed to tape record anything unless you do it in secret. Be aware, in California it is a felony for them or you to secretly record a conversation. During this meeting, you should say only one thing, "I have done nothing wrong. I have followed the district guidelines and I will continue to follow them."

The Guerilla Teacher's Handbook Part 2 by Espiritu Makiguchi

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Let the administration continue with its attacks, however, create a notebook, in chronological order and keep an accurate account of each event and all communications. Do not use school email, these communications can be used against you. If you are given a school computer, give it back. If they find or put pornography on it, this will become a charge against you. You have no right to privacy on their property. In fact, do not communicate verbally anymore. Verbal communications are ambiguous and your principal could later bold face lie and negate her verbal information. He/she could claim you didn't understand or you misinterpreted. Insist that any directives be put in writing so you can accurately understand what it is you are being asked to do. This leaves a very important paper trail which helps in your enemy defeating itself.

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03 2012

The Guerilla Teachers Handbook Part 1 by Espiritu Makiguchi

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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 tactics employed by guerrillas date back to the ideas of Sun Tzu who wrote The Art of War. In this book he demonstrates how your small group could beat a larger army. He argued that you use your carefully planned and timed strength to exploit the weakness of the enemy. In our case, it is the small cadre of teachers versus the vast resources of LAUSD and school districts like it throughout the country. This is intended to give you a heads up regarding the disgusting tactics public school administrators utilize to harass, push you out, stress you out and eventually, if they have their way, terminate your employment (taking your long earned benefits away from you). This knowledge will give you power, especially if you find yourself in a "housed" aka rubber room status.

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03 2012