Archive for September 2012

COMMUNITY TO RESIST LAUSD MOVE TO RECONSTITUTE INNER CITY SCHOOLS

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Last night community members from Dorsey and Crenshaw High Schools got together in the Dorsey gymnasium to organize resistance to the planned imminent reconstitution of their schools by Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent John Deasy. Deasy plans to reconstitute Dorsey, Crenshaw, and many other predominantly low income, minority, and traditionally low-functioning schools in what it is no longer politically correct to call South Central Los Angeles. What most of those present did not seem to understand is that Superintendent Deasy has already made the decision to reconstitute there schools. What reconstitution means is that all staff are removed and new staff are hired from the bottom all the way up to the principal. The fact that school reconstitution has no statistical success seems of little interest to Deasy and LAUSD, since their real aim is the privatization of these schools and the profit it will bring to their corporate masters.

28

09 2012

LAUSD: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CRITICAL SHORTAGE OF TEACHERS?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Five years ago, there was serious concern about the critical shortage of teachers that would take place over the next ten years as the Baby Boomer generation- 4 times larger than any previous generation- reached retirement age and left the profession. This was projected to create a 50% loss of all teachers throughout the country. How would we be able to replace so many teachers in such a short period of time, given the already existing reality that 30% of new teachers quit teaching within their first 3 years and 50% leave within 5 years? So now here we are already 5 years into the projected mass teacher exodus spawned by Baby Boomer retirement and, if that wasn't already bad enough, we have added to this natural attrition the concerted effort of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)- and other districts like it around the country- to force even more top-of-the-salary-scale high seniority teachers out of the profession to lessen salary costs in bad budgetary times. This is being done by hitting hundreds of teachers with clearly fabricated and unverified charges, followed by putting these teachers on unpaid status, and then using dilatory legal tactics against teachers designed to draw these proceedings out for years to starve teachers into resigning or retiring.

26

09 2012

LAUSD: TEACHER QUALITY (REMOVAL) SPECIALIST

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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 1960 movie The Magnificent Seven, the bandit Calvera, played by Eli Wallach, tries to get the gunfighter, played by Yul Brenner, to help him rob the poor peasants in a small Mexican village by telling him, "If G-d did not want them shorn, he would not have made them sheep." As more and more teachers are targeted for removal from their jobs, while United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) does nothing to defend them, I must confess that Calvera's line runs through my mind again and again as I see my fellow teachers continue to seek redress from a union that continues to clearly show them that they will not lift a finger to help them get anything but shorn by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

25

09 2012

UTLA: WHAT KIND OF A TEACHER DO YOU THINK I AM?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) A guy goes out with a girl and at some point toward the end of the evening he asks her, "Would you go to bed with me for a million dollar?" Without hesitation the girl says, "Sure." So the guy, reflecting on her response and his limited financial assets says, "How about fifty bucks." Irate, the girl replies, "What kind of a girl do you think I am?" To which our fellow answers, "I thought we'd already determined that. Now we're just dickering on the price." The same thought occurred to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD): Why should we pay close to $80,000 a year plus benefits, when we could just get rid of high priced teachers by a combination of intimidation and false charges. Of course, key to the success of this war against teachers is the now proven assumption that the teachers' non-union United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) will do absolutely nothing to stop LAUSD's reign of terror against UTLA rank-and-file dues paying member teachers.

23

09 2012

UTLA TEACHERS: THERE'S SOMETHING SPECIAL GOING ON AT THE CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION

Strike Continues as Chicago Teachers Mull Contract's Gains and Losses Theresa Moran | September 17, 2012 Striking Chicago teachers will remain out of the classroom until Wednesday at least, as union members debate their tentative contract. The agreement makes gains on key issues while accepting concessions on health care and job security. Photo: CTU. http://labornotes.org/2012/09/strike-continues-chicago-teachers-mull-contracts-gains-and-losses Striking Chicago teachers will remain out of the classroom until Wednesday at least, after delegates decided to give union members time to debate the tentative contract negotiators brought to them on Sunday.

18

09 2012

LAUSD: THIS AMERICAN LIE

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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 listening to the This American Life show entitle Back to School, it finally dawned on me what I dislike most about the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and public school districts like it around the United States: Vacuous rhetoric aside, those running these failure factories have no expectation that all students can learn. What Ira Glass and the crew at This American Life do is show why a disproportionate number of poor and minority student don't learn in public school and how to fix it.

17

09 2012

DISPLACED, "RIFed" or SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS - LAUSD PLAYS BY ITS OWN RULES

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PRINCIPAL'S PET??? (Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) As thousands lose their teaching positions, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is supposed to make teacher cuts while abiding by its Collective Bargaining Agreement with United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). These decisions are supposed to be made exclusively based on the credential you have and your seniority determined by date-of-hire lists. So why is Central High School Emergency Credentialed, maximum 30-day substitute Jesse Williams still working? Is this a mere oversight OR an easily documented phenomenon throughout the District, where teachers - whatever their credential or seniority status is - keep their jobs based on being "tight" with their principal. While those with high seniority and clear credentials are either "riffed"(reduction in force), displaced or targeted, because their principal doesn't like them OR the principal has been ordered to get rid of teachers at the top of the salary scale or about to vest in lifetime health benefits.

14

09 2012

UTLA: LAUSD's JUDAS GOAT

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Cattle can be very dangerous if they realize their own power and use it in a concerted effort to be free. This is why slaughterhouses use Judas goats to calm the sheep or other cattle, so that they can be calmly lead to their demise. Much the same technique is used by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and its in-house union United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), which employees 7 out-of-classroom union officers to pacify union rank-and-file into believing that their union will protect them as more and more teachers are culled from the herd on the way to a total elimination of unionized teaching as a profession at LAUSD. By the time most of them realize what is going on, the boom has already been lowered and they are out of a job, while also having LAUSD move to have their credentials lifted by California Teacher Credentialing, so they will never again be able to find a job anywhere in California. What makes this system work is that the teachers, like the cattle lead by the Judas goat, remain incredulous until it is too late.

13

09 2012

LAUSD: DOING ITS PART IN "THE UNRAVELING" OF AMERICA INTO PAKISTAN?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Over the years I have kept in touch with my old Indian school chum Madukar Shah from my days in the late 1960s and 1970s at UCLA. While I didn't know it until I visited him in India several years ago, Madukar is the Maharajah of the Indian state of Madya Pradesh, even though this no longer means what it once did to his powerful ancestors, which he can trace back with absolute certainty to about the year 1000. He has lived in New Delhi most of the time, since we were in school together more than 40 years ago. All splendid images of old Errol Flynn movies and Light Brigades aside, Madukar is really the caretaker of a dead civilization with empty castles like Birsing-Deo, that he no longer has the money or inclination to pay for the 150 servants necessary to open it. Could Shah's ancestors have ever imagined the decline of the earthly paradise India once was? Is such a decline possible here in America for many of the same reasons?

12

09 2012

HOW CAN JONATHAN KOZOL REMAIN "MORALLY OUTRAGED" ABOUT PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR 45 YEARS?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) With 13 books to his credit, Jonathan Kozol is surely one of the most insightful progressive voices dealing with what continues to be wrong with poor and/or minority public education in the United States. So why did I find myself getting angrier and angrier as I sat in the audience at the toney private Willows school in Culver City last night listening to Kozol regaled the audience with colorful stories from his 45 year career in public education?

11

09 2012

LAUSD vs. LEONARD ISENBERG - WRITTED TO SUPERIOR COURT

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) So, rather than play in this rigged game framed by LAUSD with the tacit support of UTLA, where my rights and the rights of thousands of targeted teachers to basic due process of law continue to be ignored, I decided to writ my case to the Los Angeles Superior Court, not based on the facts of my case, but rather based on the notion that the legal process to remove me as a teacher from LAUSD has completely ignored my due process rights and should be dismissed as a matter of law, irrespective of any underlying case based on completely and obviously fabricated hearsay - if anybody bothered to look. If I am not successful in Superior Court, I will writ my case into the Appellate Court and beyond into the federal court system. While I have no guarantee that I can get a fair hearing based on the uncontroverted facts of my case showing a complete and utter lack of due process, I will continue to fight, if only to recapture my status as an adult, who cannot be institutionally bullied by LAUSD and UTLA. In the final analysis, I have no guarantee that I will receive justice, but I would rather continue to fight until I get a clear and unequivocal message that the game is rigged. Even if that is the case, I will still have my self-respect, base on the notion that I did everything within my power, which is more than most of the people on both sides of this witch hunt presently have have done.

10

09 2012

Contribute to the Chicago Teachers Union Solidarity Fund posted by Roy Nitzberg

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http://www.unionbook.org/profiles/blogs/contribute-to-the-chicago-teachers-union-solidarity-fund?xg_source=activity The Chicago Teachers Union is currently on the front lines of a fight to defend public education. On one side the 30,000 members of the CTU have called for a contract that includes fair compensation, meaningful job security for qualified teachers, smaller class sizes and a better school day with Art, Music, World Language and appropriate staffing levels to help our neediest students.

THE REAL COST OF PURPOSEFULLY FAILED PUBLIC EDUCATION 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) One problem that most progressive intellectuals seem incapable of understanding or factoring into their analysis of the decline and fall of the American Empire is that predominantly poor and/or minority filled public schools have been failing for so long now that there "graduates" no longer understand enough English to realize how clever these intellectuals are.

6

09 2012

LAUSD- A COMPLETE AND UTTER LACK OF INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY (VIDEO)

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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 amazes me just how quickly people forget their own history. Back in 1952 when I first went to Laurel Elementary School in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) was a completely different and a measurably better reality than it is today. There were no school police and the structure of LAUSD was not based on accommodating itself to failure and the violence it generates, while attack anybody who dares to question this insane approach to education.

5

09 2012

NYC TEACHER BRIAN JONES DESCRIBES LAUSD? (VIDEO)

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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 describing the blatant corruption and targeting of teachers by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) over the last 3 years, people outside of public education- and even many within- have remained incredulous as to the severity of what we have described at perdaily, which remains nowhere to be found in the mainstream or public media. Even teachers, who themselves have been targeted for removal on completely fabricated charges, when told of another targeted teacher, always ask the same question, "What did they do" Even though they know from their own experience that you don't have to do anything. These teachers still don't want to believe just how corrupt LAUSD is and how openly complicit or just plain stupid their union United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) remains.

A BIG LAUSD TEACHER LABOR DAY SALUTE TO STRIKING CHICAGO TEACHERS (VIDEO)

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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 one dispassionately asks what is the defining difference between how teachers and students are allowed to be treated in Los Angeles as opposed to Chicago, one immediately focuses on the dynamic Chicago Teachers' Union (CTU) and its President Karen Lewis, which is in marked contrast to the in-house company union that United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) President Warren Fletcher presides over and fiddles with as the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) burns teachers and students UTLA is paid by dues to protect. While the LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy clearly has no respect for Fletcher and UTLA leadership, last week he couldn't help but publicly lamenting the fact that he has "no partner" in UTLA to negotiate with.

3

09 2012