Archive for December 2013

It's A No-Brainer -Two Languages Are Better Than One

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) The strength of the United States is that it has never been a homogeneous culture, but rather continues to redefine its unique and highly successful world view by taking that which exists already and generously mixes it with the contributions of the latest to immigrate here. While one would logically think that the immigrant and their culture and language would be embraced as a necessary source and part of this continuing American pragmatic vitality, both the immigrant and native American in the past have continued to circle their respective wagons trying to "protect" who they are, instead of what they both might become. Having spent a great deal of time in Europe, I have seen first hand the advantages of bi or multlingualism. Contrary to how it is for the most part treated here, it is not a disease that should be "phased out." Rather, both Anglos and Latinos would benefit significantly from walking a linguistic mile in the others shoes, not just in appreciation of the other's language, but also in appreciation of their own. More than mastery of another language as part of an additive model of language acquisition, both Anglo and Latino would see the unique color that each language offers that somehow is lost in translation.

The UTLA Pay Raise Rally and Beyond: Harsh Realities and Challenges By Dr. John Fernandez

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) The UTLA "It's About Time for a Raise" Rally--On November 13, 2013, I attended UTLA's "It's About Time for a Raise" Rally at the District headquarters. Although UTLA provided free transportation to and from the rally, and sent out robo calls and emails to UTLA members, only about 600 hundred teachers and community supporters showed up. In the November issue 15th issue of the United Teacher, UTLA president Warren Fletcher described the rally as a "powerful first step" towards obtaining a pay raise for teachers. Fletcher also emphasized and that teachers must be willing to engage in a series of escalating actions for a pay raise to occur. Clearly, after going seven years without a pay raise, teachers definitely deserve a raise. But what was is so troubling about the pay raise rally was the low turnout by teachers. This clearly indicates a lack of interest and commitment on their part, even when it comes to something as serious as a pay raise. Of course, UTLA's leadership was there: citywide officers, Board of Directors, House of Representatives, chapter chairs, and hundreds of proactive teachers. But, UTLA's membership is about 32,000. With such a low turnout, it would not surprise me if the District offers no pay raise at all.


12 2013


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(Mensaje se repite en Español) It's hard to get angry at the American public for doing nothing to stop the dismantling and privatization of public education for profit and the further dumbing down of the electorate, when freedom of the press- and the 4th estate that is supposed to insure it- has already been completely dismantled. If you had any doubt about the press being completely co-opted, the hiring of Daily News Reporter Barbara Jones as Chief of Staff for Los Angeles Unified School Board Member Tamar Galatzan should finally put that to rest.


12 2013