Crosby, Stills, Nash.jpg
(For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post)

There was a No On Proposition 32 concert by Tom Morello and The Nightwatchmen opening for Crosby, Stills, & Nash last night at Nokia Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. On its face Proposition 32 purports to change state campaign finance laws "to riestrict state and local campaign spending by: public and private sector labor unions, corporations, and government contractors. What it does not tell you is that it is sponsored by billionaire special interest groups that are specifically exempted from the terms of Proposition 32. And many of people like Gloria Romero, who are behind it, are precisely the same people crippling public education. It doesn't take much of an education to see what Proposition 32 is trying to do, if you have three basic skills: the ability to read, the ability to sequence facts, and the desire to do so. In a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as presently constituted, these are precisely the skills that the vast majority of students leave school without.

As I was standing in front of the Nokia waiting for the doors to open, I started talking with a young Latino Nokia Theater employee and recent LAUSD graduate. Did he know what Proposition 32 was? No. Was he planning to vote? No. As we talked further, the young man told me that he wanted to go into law enforcement. When I asked him why he thought the schools we so bad, he blamed the families and the students and showed absolutely no interest in questioning why the vast majority of Latino students never reach their potential. For him the immutable truth is the problem is the people and not the system. In short, he was content with his LAUSD "education" to blame the victims for this purposefully failed system where by his own acknowledgement there was no rigor in his school, which for him was just about spending enough time to get a diploma that clearly is not worth the paper it is written on. Did he know when WWII was no. Who did he think had the power to declare war? According to him, the president and not the Congress as clearly laid out in the constitution. These and even more basic facts and ideas were nowhere to be found in this high school graduate.

Later on during the Crosby, Stills & Nash concert, when they did the song Teach Your Children Well, it brought tears to my eyes thinking of the young man in front of the theater
when they sang the line "Don't you every ask them why, if they told you, you would cry." The vast majority of young people leave LAUSD after 12 years of being taught not to ask why, unless they want to get into trouble. This is precisely the type of citizen an exclusively for profit driven corporate America wants as the end-product of their education system. One who will place the needs of the corporate over the needs of the citizens by accepting a hierarchy with them on the bottom that is the antithesis of what this country is supposed to be about..

So here is our future policeman who without even basic knowledge of a citizen's constitutional rights will do exactly what he is directed to do by those in power, which will never include him or his community, that just happen to make up the majority of this society in California. Systematically, corporate America is identifying and neutralizing anything that might question or challenge it exclusively for profit driven agenda. This will allow the continued emasculation public education by removing effective professional teaching or it might be a Proposition 32, to insure that unions and others trying to assert individual rights against corporate will never be heard.

As I watched the aging Crosby, Stills & Nash toward the end of their concert, they did a cover of the Buffalo Springfield song There's Something Happening Here whose now old and prescient vision is of greater and greater repression we are now experiencing. Where people like my young Latino Nokia worker neither question authority nor have the tools derived from education to do so, even if they subsequent want to.

If you or someone you know has been targeted and are in the process of being dismissed and need legal defense, get in touch:


LA Progressive

Dick Price and Sharon Kyle
Dick and Sharon
Dick and Sharon are a pair of citizen journalists and information activists who were fed up with mainstream media. Rather than just kvetch about the media, they decided to try to become the media. So, together they founded the LA Progressive. Dick is the editor and Sharon is the publisher and webmaster, handling all technical aspects of the site.

This site was launched in March 2008, with Dick and Sharon doing most of the writing. Today, a host of gifted writers contribute to the LA Progressive's daily offering which typically amounts to about 45 articles a week. Dick and Sharon continue to write for as well as edit and publish the LA Progressive and distribute its daily e-news each morning.

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 and on Twitter @joscottcoe.

Betsy Combier New York, New York
Betsy Combier's blog
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
Don't send LAUSD Librarians to the Inquisition, send the downtown bureaucrats
Tests, What Are They Good For? Absolutely Nothing!
LAUSD students to attend school on contaminated land, again!
Some schools teach only to the tests, so how are the students being prepared for the next grade and for life?
New LAUSD superintendent adds six-figure positions to management team

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:

LAUSD has selected a new Superintendent of Schools

Karen Horwitz Chicago, Illinois

Former award winning teacher who co-founded NAPTA, National Association for the Prevention of Teacher Abuse, and wrote the book White Chalk Crime: The REAL Reason Schools Fail to expose how teacher harassment and terrorization maintains a system of deeply hidden corruption. Disposing of dedicated teachers forms the core of the White Chalk Criminal's agenda since dedication and white collar crime do not mix. Given that all agree that good teachers are essential to good teaching, a system that cannot tolerate good teachers is worthless. This is what we have in place. With Bernie Madoff-like leaders - he was as much about investing as our school leaders are about educating - anointed with unlimited power, including the ability to fill the airwaves with propaganda, education is no longer about education. It is about money and power for those who play a very corrupt game and with an agenda of privatizing schools so their power will increase. (Privatization may have merits. NAPTA does not take a position on that. But privatizing a system that is rotten to its core - where quality teaching cannot survive, where a cover up of pretense that they do not know this despite so many of us reporting these truths prevails - documents that those advocating privatization cannot be trusted! It shows they want our schools for their own interests, not the children, nor the community.)  NAPTA welcomes parents, teachers, students, citizens or anyone who understands that without a real system of education, we no longer have a democracy. Membership is free. Go to:  or Become educated about what is going on.

Jerry Mintz Director
Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO)
417 Roslyn Rd., Roslyn Hts., NY  11577

For those of you who cannot wait for corrupt public education to be turned around, AERO offers an excellent source to get connected with viable alternatives right now.
                                                                                                                         800-769-4171                                                              (domestic)
                                                                                                                         516-621-2195                                                              (international)

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:
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":
"Numbers Lie":
"The Charter Starters":<>

Here's Joel's latest post about the low percentage of "college ready" high school graduates.

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."

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 school


10 2012

1 Comment

I really enjoy the depth and width of the information in your e magazine. I would love to support your efforts. I am a former LAusd teacher with a masters in Telecommunications and film. After batlling the district for five years and being subjected to their unethical, immoral and unconstitutional disciplinarian tactics, I left due to the damage it had done to my health. Part of their attack was based on the fact that I had a chronic condition, actually two, which they used against me. I had connected the dots in regards to their policies around teacher illness and special ed. They targeted me bacause I was referring students who needed special ed. and infoming teachers of their rights in regards to illness. Let me know what I can do. I have written a book and produced a film for children. Please contact me if I can be of help
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