Archive for April 2012

LAUSD'S DEASY- ABOVE THE LAW? 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) It is already clear from Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) Superintendent John Deasy that he considers the law a mere formality that he can dispense with at will. In continuing to act in complete derogation of teachers' contractual and civil rights, Deasy has place himself above the law, while placing teachers officially beneath it. He suggests we are worthy of universal contempt and expects us to concede our civil rights. And let's face it, up until now we have. This bully may be meaner than a rattle snake in a heat wave, but to let him strike again and again without fighting back is based on fallacious reasoning. Maybe our union United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) is a Judas, but we can still stand as unified teachers, unless you are willing to join the teachers who have already been targeted and removed or forced into retirement in numbers far beyond anything State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) has ever seen in its history.

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04 2012

LAUSD CREATES EXPANDED TEACHER POOL FOR OAH?

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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 have been following the events at LAUSD, you know that many teachers are being targeted for dismissal for trivial and non-existent reasons. This has led to an increase in disciplinary hearings at the Office of Administrative Hearings. I have become aware of a serious problem faced by teachers who choose to challenge their dismissals: It is extremely difficult for teachers to find a panel member so they must take "pot luck" with whomever the Los Angeles County Office of Education provides. This means that the only information the teacher has about the panel member he or she "selected" is their name, address, and phone number. LAUSD, on the other hand, has both access and resources to locate a teacher who may be more to LAUSD's liking before he or she is appointed as a panel member. I believe that the playing field should be leveled so that attorneys and teachers representing themselves can locate and evaluate the qualifications of the panel member they choose to appoint.

26

04 2012

LAUSD DUMPS TENURED TEACHERS WITHOUT VALID SKELLY HEARINGS

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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 the present feeding frenzy that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) administration is engaging in as it dumps hundreds of teachers without anything even remotely resembling due process of law that is required by the landmark case of Skelly vs. State Personnel Board (1975), teachers need to be aware of what they and the District should really be doing, if they have any hope of keeping their jobs. One need only look at the rules under which these mandatory Skelly Hearings for the removal of tenured teachers are supposed to be run to know that they are completely ignored by the District. Everyone who is now being subjected to the Skelly Hearing process by LAUSD should be aware of the following:

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04 2012

LAUSD: SCHOOL DISCIPLINE AS A PREREQUISITE FOR EDUCATION (VIDEO #3)

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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 failure to follow LAUSD's own bulletins, the LAUSD/UTLA Collective Bargaining, and state and federal are only part of the reason that LAUSD remains such an unmitigated failure when it comes to educating predominantly minority students that make up the vast majority of its student body. At to this LAUSD policy of social promotion and a system of non-discipline that does whatever it takes to continue to collect Average Daily Attendance (ADA) money from the state and you get a rather clear and uncontradicted picture of why LAUSD has failed in its mandate to educate for generations with nothing on the horizon that can improve this dismal situation without the complete reconstitution of LAUSD into a more pragmatic organization with checks and balances designed to hold all students, teachers, administrators, and parents accountable. Check out the following video and share your comments with us at the end.

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04 2012

REASONS NOT TO SIGN GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN'S TAX INITIATIVE PETITION

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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 the bleak reality of coordinated political and corporate siege against public education, one is tempted to grasp at straws in trying to stop this continued onslaught against teachers and the ever worsening degradation of the essential democracy formative institution of public education. While one would hope that Governor Jerry Brown might throw us a lifeline in our struggle to salvage what was once the great public education system that his father Edmund G. "Pat" Brown left us, a close analysis of Jerry Brown's proposed tax initiative finds it hopeless lacking. Check out the following reasons we think so:

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04 2012

LAUSD: THE DEVIL AND JOHN DEASY 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) No, this is neither a parity nor a satire based on Steven Vincent Benet's, The Devil and Daniel Webster. In that story, the Devil met his match. Rather it's about how John Deasy managed to turn his own little witch hunt into a full blown reign of terror. This all started with the first reports of allegations against several teachers at Miramonte Elementary School. That has yet to be sorted out but it did initiate an entire series of allegations of sexual misconduct against teachers at other schools which the news media eagerly reported while the shock and awe effect was in full force - if it bleeds it leads.

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04 2012

LAUSD TOP-HEAVY ADMNISTRATION (VIDEO #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) The following video examines the dysfunctional top-down administrative culture of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the blind obedient anti-intellectual culture of generationally failed public education it has created in Los Angeles and throughout California and the rest of the country It is our motivating belief here at perdaily that the continuation of this system where the interests of vendors, contractors, and corporations over those of our future citizens is a formula that will lead in the short-term to the dissolution of this country as anything that even remotely resembles a democracy, since power vested in the people under a constitution has little meaning if those people do not have the education necessary to hold government and the corporations that dominate it in check.

18

04 2012

IS LAUSD HELPING TO BANKRUPT WORKERS' COMPENSATION?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) When I finally got up to testify, I took a different tact. I told the panel about how LAUSD was systematically targeting and driving innocent teachers out of the classroom, whose only crime was they made too much money at the top of the salary scale, were about to vest in lifetime health benefits, or were just good teachers trying to maintain high public education standards in a system that had long ago degraded into a glorified daycare system. What I tried to show in my three minutes of testimony was that LAUSD's assault on its teachers had a clear and measurable impact in the number of teachers from LAUSD and other school districts around the state that were being subjected to an unrelenting and protracted campaign designed to terrorize them sufficiently to give up their livelihood as teachers. Physical and mental disability under these conditions that LAUSD administration systematically subjects targeted teachers to is a logical and yet avoidable consequence of initially giving teachers no support for discipline in their classes and then attacking teachers with false charges while continuing to subject these teachers to highly abnormal levels of stress where physical and emotional breakdown are the logical and yet avoidable results. All LAUSD has been interested in in facing its budget deficits over the last few years is getting high-on-the-salary-scale teachers off their books at any cost. If they should wind up on Workers' Comp, LAUSD could care less, since such claims, which LAUSD continues to fight through Sedwick risk management are much cheaper than the vested rights teachers have under collective bargaining.

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04 2012

HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED... ONCE YOU'VE BEEN MARKED FOR ELIMINATION by Mark Hemphill (¿Cómo se juega el juego ... Vez que haya sido marcados para la eliminación 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've been reading the posts from perdaily.com over the past year or so, you doubtlessly know that Lenny Isenberg has written endlessly about the use of accusations and detention by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as means to end the careers of veteran teachers at the top of the pay scale before they vest in lifetime health coverage. He's also been diligent about reporting the lack of effective defense provided these teachers by the United Teachers of Los Angeles. Most of these teachers crack under the pressure and never return to the classroom. But a few do.

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04 2012

VIDEO #1 Does Seniority and Tenure Really Exist at 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) Seniority and tenure of teachers is becoming more and more a dead issue as thousands of teachers around the country are removed from their top-of-the-salary-scale jobs in total derogation of their contract and union rights by school districts trying to deal with huge budgetary shortfalls in something less than an honest manner. In accomplishing this under the pressure of ever tightening budgetary constraints, LAUSD is clearly engaging in a witch hunt where the fabrication of charges against completely innocent teachers is common place. Under the added cover of the Miramonte child molestation scandal the speed at which LAUSD administrators are being encouraged to target, charge with false charges, and removed perfectly innocent teachers has hit a rather feverish pace. Watch the following video and see for yourself. Feel free to comment below or get in touch with us at perdaily, if you would like to tell your own story.

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04 2012

LAUSD: THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN (LAUSD: EL mundo al revés)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) When I hear a story one time, I think it might be an anomaly, but when I get numerous calls over the last several months saying exactly the same thing, my interest is peeked. It hardly seems surprising that students have figured out that administrators at LAUSD are targeting teachers at the top of the salary scale, about to vest in lifetime health benefits under the Rule of 80, or who are just trying to actually teach students and not go along with the purposefully dumbed down LAUSD culture that moves students from grade to grade, whether or not they pass the previous grade. This has inspired students that have been socially promoted without foundational skills or the work habits necessary to do any work to go after their teachers with threats that if they persist in demanding reasonable discipline in class or requiring that the students actually do their classwork or remedial work that these teachers have given them, they will report the teacher to the school administration for having verbally or physically abused them.

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04 2012

LAUSD: RECALL MONICA GARCIA...IT'S A GOOD START

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Recall Monica Garcia F O R I M M E D I A T E R E L E A S E WHAT: Recall Monica Garcia Campaign Launch WHERE: LAUSD Headquarters, 333 S. Beaudry Ave, LA, CA 90017 (in front of Board of Education entrance) WHEN: Wednesday, April 11, 2012. 11:30AM (Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education President Mónica García has consistently ignored the voices and needs of our parents, students and communities, employing repression to stifle legitimate dissent.

THE UNCHALLENGED FRAUD OF LAUSD AND WHERE IT HAS LED

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The supposed operating premise of Superintendent John Deasy and his predecessors at LAUSD that has been accepted without question by the mainstream media has been that they want the best possible public education for all students. What the reality of LAUSD continues to tell us is that Nothing could be further from the truth. The shameful state of public education in general, and minority filled inner-city schools in particular, is that no good faith attempt has been made over the last 58 years - since Brown vs. Board of Education - to address these inherently "separate and unequal" public schools that are clearly and by any reasonable measure, worse off today - and even more segregated - then they were in 1954. Whether it is the purposeful or negligent failure of our leaders to address this long festering and potentially mortal wound to our democracy, the reality in 2012 is that failed public education is more responsible than any other factor for the increasing polarization of American society between rich and poor, haves and have nots. Like the great societies that have preceded us, this continuing present failure to address this inequity in the face of what we say we stand for as a people, if it remains unaddressed, will lead in the not so distant future to the disappearance of "one nation, under god, with liberty and justice for all."

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04 2012

LAUSD: EXCLUSIVELY DISCIPLINING TEACHERS AND NOT STUDENTS IS A FORMULA FOR DISASTER (LAUSD: La disciplina exclusivamente para los maestros y non para los estudiantes es una fórmula para el desastre)

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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 is a certain sick irony to LAUSD's being so concerned at this time with teacher discipline, because in the last 10 years they have had little concern with student discipline for fear it might have cost them in Average Daily Attendance (ADA) funds from the State of California. If this has meant that teachers get no support for reasonable discipline as a necessary component for maintaining a classroom environment where education can actually take place, so be it. With no discipline of anybody but teachers, who try to maintain rigor in the academic process, the predictable result is that students get little or no education and either drop out or are given diplomas or high school equivalency certificates that are not worth the paper they are written on.

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04 2012

CHANGING EDUCATION PARADIGMS by RSA Animation

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In what is rapidly becoming a post literate American society, I thought you might want to take a few minutes and watch an exceptional video that puts the present lack of an excellent and relevant 21st century model for public education into an historical and philosophical context, while offering a few suggestions as to how we might survive this fundamental crisis of American society. After viewing it, you might comment on whether or not you share my belief that the very future of this country as anything that even remotely resembles a democracy will be determined by whether or not we meet this challenge and succeed in educating all of our people to their highest potential.. In so doing, I would hope that you might better assume the requisite and imperative role of a citizen of a democratic society to comprehend, contribute, and be part of the aggregation of all people's wisdom that is the real strength of any democracy.

LAUSD: TEACHING DOWN INSTEAD OF RAISING THE BAR (LAUSD: ENSEÑANZA hacia abajo en vez de subir el listón)

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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 average it is an undisputed fact that African American and Latino students at LAUSD fail to achieve to their potential. Taking cognizance of this reality should not get one labeled as a racist, but it does, since doing otherwise would actually require substantive changes to the feudal top-down model of public education that is still entrenched at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and elsewhere in this country to assure that Black, Latino, and poor students never reach their potential. Given the innate curiosity of all human beings, LAUSD and fraudulent school districts like it around this country - that Whites and other affluent people avoid like the plague - can only continue to achieve programmed mediocrity and failure with students of color by continuing to implement a clearly failed model of segregated public education that the Supreme Court of the United States said was inherently unequal 58 years ago in Brown vs. Board of Education.

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04 2012