The Secret Life of Words.jpg
(Mensaje se repite en Español) 

(For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post)

As Superintendent John Deasy and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) receive no real opposition from United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) nor the city, state, or federal authorities, the war against teachers continues, not only unabated, but increasing in intensity. This past Sunday I received 5 calls from terrified teachers who were telling the now all too familiar story of being targeted by their LAUSD administrator on completely fabricated charges. I must confess a strange curiosity to see how long LAUSD will be allowed to savage its teachers before anybody in authority will do something about it. I have taken the liberty of removing the teacher's name from the following post to assure that she does not suffer more harassment from LAUSD for speaking out. I will do the same for others who are willing to add their voice to the growing chorus asking for justice. Those of you who remain silent will have nobody to blame but yourself, when it is your turn to be targeted and removed. Oh, but you don't believe that.

Mr Isenberg,
 I took your earlier advice and spent a week away from LAUSD and discussing its madness. Now I need to get back to business. I contacted Michael Wells. I keep nothing in my room, but it is possible I may forget something. Not only do I need help with my game plan, but I need people willing to meet with my principal. She calls me in to meetings that can lead to discipline at least once a week.
Currently, the principal has me overloaded with excessive directives, the stull, documenting evidence against her, and maintaining what I need to do to teach effectively, which is a full time job without this other nonsense. Nobody could get all of this done within the working day, and I shouldn't have to sacrifice exercise, keeping a clean house, and getting 8 hours sleep each nite. I need it for my sanity.
I think you said they are trying to degrade us teachers by treating us like children. They are definitely trying to demoralize us using all methods possible. Some of which are illegal. Yet we can't stop them. 
I do not remember signing anything that requires me to give up my rights as a human for choosing teaching as my career. I never signed anything that said people should overlook death threats against me because I am a teacher. I never signed anything saying its alright to undermine my authority with parents and students and use the results to claim I am a problem teacher. I am a free citizen who should have the right to work in a non-hostile environment which allows me to provide a safe and productive learning environment for my students. This should not be a battle. It should be a given. 
Unfortunately, it is a battle. Can we talk on the phone some time? Assuming I can carve out the time.
Now I also have to add time to research new careers. Heaven help me if this stress leads to a serious illness that will further limit the time I have to devote to defending myself against the principal's relentless and false accusations of me being a poor teacher. She is well able to do that using our own contract which gives huge leeway for interpretation.

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.

o 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 practicemet 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 schools.

En Español

Como Superintendente John Deasy y el Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) no reciben ninguna oposición real a partir de Maestros Unidos de Los Ángeles (UTLA), ni la ciudad, el estado o las autoridades federales, la guerra contra los maestros continúa, no sólo sin disminuir, sino aumentar en intensidad . El domingo pasado recibí 5 llamadas de los maestros aterrorizados que estaban diciendo la historia ahora todo demasiado familiar de ser el blanco de su administrador LAUSD por cargos totalmente inventados. Debo confesar una extraña curiosidad de ver cuánto tiempo LAUSD podrán salvajes a sus maestros antes de que alguien con autoridad a hacer algo al respecto. Me he tomado la libertad de eliminar el nombre del maestro en el siguiente post para asegurar que no sufra más acoso por parte de LAUSD por hablar. Voy a hacer lo mismo con otros que están dispuestos a sumar sus voces al creciente coro pidiendo justicia. Aquellos de ustedes que guardar silencio tendrá nadie a quien culpar sino a sí mismo, cuando es su turno para ser dirigida y eliminado. Oh, pero no lo creo.

Sr. Isenberg,
 Seguí tu consejo anterior y pasó una semana del LAUSD y discutir su locura. Ahora tengo que volver al trabajo. Me puse en contacto Michael Wells. Guardo nada en mi habitación, pero es posible que se olvide algo. No sólo Necesito ayuda con mi plan de juego, pero necesito gente dispuesta a reunirme con mi director. Ella me llama para reuniones que pueden llevar a la disciplina al menos una vez a la semana.
En la actualidad, el director me ha sobrecargado con las directivas excesivas, el Stull, documentación de pruebas en su contra, y mantener lo que tengo que hacer para enseñar con eficacia, que es un trabajo de tiempo completo sin que ello otras tonterías. Nadie podía conseguir todo esto hace dentro de la jornada de trabajo, y no debería tener que sacrificar el ejercicio, mantener la casa limpia, y obtener 8 horas de sueño cada noche. Lo necesito para mi salud mental.
Creo que dijo que están tratando de degradar por los maestros nos tratan como niños. Ellos son sin duda tratando de desmoralizar utilizando todos los métodos posibles. Algunos de los cuales son ilegales. Sin embargo, no puede detenerlos.
No me acuerdo de firmar cualquier cosa que me obliga a renunciar a mis derechos como ser humano para elegir la enseñanza como mi carrera. Yo nunca firmó nada de lo que dijo que la gente debe pasar por alto las amenazas de muerte contra mí, porque yo soy un maestro. Yo nunca firmó nada decir su bien a socavar mi autoridad con los padres y estudiantes, y utilizar los resultados para afirmar que soy un maestro problema. Soy un ciudadano libre que debe tener el derecho de trabajar en un entorno no hostil que me permite proporcionar un ambiente seguro y productivo de aprendizaje para mis alumnos. Esto no debería ser una batalla. Debería ser un dado.
Por desgracia, es una batalla. ¿Podemos hablar por teléfono alguna vez? Suponiendo que pueda labrarse el tiempo.
Ahora también tengo que añadir el tiempo para investigar nuevas carreras. Dios me ayude si este estrés conduce a una enfermedad grave que limitará aún más el tiempo que tengo que dedicar a defenderme de las acusaciones implacables y falso del director de que yo sea un mal profesor. Ella es muy capaz de hacer que el uso de nuestro propio contrato que da margen de maniobra amplio para la interpretación. 


12 2012


Really hate to see professional people treated in this way. Is the union doing enough to protect us, absolutely not. We need to fight this bullying, harassment, intimidation by the district and its administrators. Every dog will have its day and the district is overdue. Teachers have to stand up to these bullying tactics and be proactive for themselves. If the union does not help you, seriously consider getting your own attorney or paralegal. If enough suits are brought against the district, they'll understand teachers are not going to silently take this mistreatment.

Excellent advice until the end. LAUSD could not be carrying on the witch hunt against teachers without either the open complicity or downright incompetence of UTLA. How is it that UTLA President only acknowledged the terror campaign against last week- he didn't know about it before then? Why has UTLA done nothing to aid its targeted rank and file? What will it do not that it knows? Absolutely nothing. Asking UTLA, given this reality,should only be done to memorialize evidence for your ultimate legal action against them as well as LAUSD.

This all sounds too familiar. You need to be strong and be true to yourself. Keep in mind that the "facts" are not as important as the big picture here, which sounds like you are being bullied, harassed, abused and targeted.

You are not alone, but having gone through the same nightmare, there will be time and opportunities for you to challenge what these people are doing to you. Remember to document everything, write a narrative as to what is happening and when, and know that in the end, these predators will get what they deserve.

If you are not being well represented, you need to contact UTLA and request for support. Be persistent, do not be afraid to speak out, and do not trust anyone. We are here for you.

What about when teachers are also forced to take a directive to meet with a medical doctor? Are these medical doctors who refer these good teachers to psychologists and psychiatrists for evaluations also committing a crime? If they are colluding with LAUSD and UTLA to destroy these teacher's lives then they are doing harm to their patients, to say the least. Would the AMA or APA be interested in this?

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