Archive for March 2014

LAUSD and UTLA Collude to End Collective Bargaining and Civil RIghts for Teachers Part 1

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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 are a teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) you have no civil rights and no union rights. LAUSD may target you for removal, because you either refuse to go along with the longstanding and highly profitable financial scam they have been running for generations now called public education, aka minority daycare. It is being played against predominantly students of color in a school district that Whites abandon long ago (only 6% left in LAUSD), making it more segregated that it was prior to Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. Or if you are just "guilty" of having a great deal of seniority, which puts you high on the salary scale, you can be removed from teaching with no collective bargaining rights and especially no arbitration as guaranteed by the LAUSD/UTLA Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is now systematically ignored, even if UTLA voted for it. By merely adding a gratuitous morals charge under California Education Code 44939.odt, a teacher can even be stripped of their Collective Bargaining rights to grievance and arbitration. This war against teachers started in 2006 when present chief LAUSD attorney David Holmquist was director of the LAUSD Office of Risk Management and Insurance Services. With 2006 Retiree Health Actuarial info.pdf, it became open season on older high-seniority and better paid teachers who either suffer from good teaching or honesty in the face of endemic LAUSD/UTLA corruption.

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03 2014

LAUSD and UTLA Collude to End Collective Bargaining and Civil RIghts for Teachers Part 2 ( LAUSD y UTLA coluden para poner fin a la negociación colectiva y los derechos civiles de los profesores parte 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) As somebody who went to law school and taught constitutional law at both the secondary and university levels, I had always operated under the delusion that one was innocent until proven guilty by a preponderance of the evidence in a civil case and beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case. In the corrupt world created by the Los Angeles Unifed School District (LAUSD) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), nothing could be further from the truth. From the moment you are targeted for removal from teaching for what quickly becomes a never ending sequence of fabricated charges based on reasons mentioned in Part 1 of this article, you are presumed guilty by virtually everybody you deal with. And even those few people who see clearly that you are being railroaded by LAUSD and UTLA do nothing to intervene on your behalf, because they are terrified of losing their own jobs...or privileges While there are some pretty awful teachers within LAUSD, ironically, they will be the last to be harassed, attacked, and removed, because they play ball with corrupt LAUSD or UTLA administrations. None of this could take place if UTLA did its job and the law firm of Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad didn't help in facilitating your removal from teaching by LAUSD. Here is the way it is done:

HAS UTLA RANK-AND-FILE BEEN TOLD THAT I'M SUING UTLA? WHY NOT?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) As the pro forma United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) elections move into their final round of insider trading, why is it that the teachers these jokers have already failed to represent for the last 3 years aren't demanding their heads...or at the very least, some answers? With a voter turnout of less that 25% of those eligible to vote, the answer is simple: LAUSD teachers are so demoralized from past tolerated abuse by LAUSD and UTLA that they don't think anything else is possible and don't believe that the corruption in UTLA can ever be turned around. Hopefully what I have to say might change their minds and get them behind the legal action necessary to finally compel their union to act on their behalf. Clearly, this is a sine qua non to being an effective teacher at LAUSD- knowing your union's got your back.

24

03 2014

HAVE REPORTERS BECOME POLI-TICKS- THE MEDIA PARASITES OF THE BODY POLITIC?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Whenever I start to believe there is no rhyme or reason to anything I experience in my daily life, serendipity pops up its coincidental head and throws me for a loop. I mean at first examination, what does fundraising at national public radio station KPCC have to do with George Orwell of 1984 fame and an essay he wrote entitled Politics and the English Language? In Orwell's essay, he clearly describes how "political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible." What occurred to me is that the only thing that has changed since he originally published this essay in 1946 is that those in the government and the media have only become more adept at obfuscating reality. Thank G-d for an occasional Ed Snowden to let us know what time it is.

KILROY WAS HERE AND RETRIBUTION WASN'T FAR BEHIND

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) How do you pick a title for a story that's so preposterous? You might call this one , The Curious Story of Lorcan Kilroy or The Truth Won't Set You Free. But, alas, it's all true. As it now stands, Kilroy, who was an art teacher at Van Nuys High School, finds himself excluded from his classroom, and in a letter (Link A (1).pdf) dated Feb 28, 2014, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing has revoked his credential. Kilroy claims they listed "significant publicity" in connection with his harsh letter to parents featured on NBC and his interview on "The Morning Answer" KRLA a few months ago. Click here to view the NBC spot. Kilroy states he sent the harsh letter on Jan 17 2012 because LAUSD School deans would not respond to his referral of his student for a slur- the student called him a "faggot," because they were retaliating against him for a civil rights complaint he already filed. That civil rights complaint was about his special education students not letting to choose their electives.

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03 2014

IS LAUSD DE FACTO SEGREGATION BETTER THAN DE JURE?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) In 2014, we will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the landmark desegregation decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, but with a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) that remains close to 90% Latino and Black, we are not only no closer to Dr. King's dream, but by every objective standard, we are much further away from it with an LAUSD today that is more toxic to students of color than it was in 1954. According to Michelle Alexander in her book The New Jim Crow, there were 380,000 people behind bars in 1978. Today there are 2.4 million and 60% are Latino and Black. So why isn't the connection between long purposefully failed public education and mass incarceration of poor youth of color ever addressed publicly or reported in the media? While the following liberal politicians, experts, and groups are admirably always willing to have a symposium on the catastrophic effects and how to deal with them of over-incarcerate colored folks, the cause of no timely public education that deals with kids at their subjective level is never addressed- no one seems willing to address the 850 lbs. LAUSD gorilla that continues to reek havoc on our youth with no public objection or outrage

15

03 2014

LAUSD's 30 Million Dollar "Killer" Ipad Deal

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) In the Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, the pauper passing as a prince uses the powerful Great Seal of England to open walnuts, because he doesn't know its power or how else to use it. The issuance of obscenely overpriced IPads to all LAUSD students is reminiscent of this joke, because it presupposes that generationally deprived and socially promoted students have sufficient mastery of enough prior grade-level standards to take meaningfully advantage of the exceptional potential that these devices have. Alas, nothing could be further from the truth. Putting a glitzy IPad bandage over the festering sore that is LAUSD yet again begs the question of just how long can these fools running this school district be allow free reign before somebody with the authority to intercede notices that Emperor Deasy has no clothes.

14

03 2014

Tired of Being Sold Out to LAUSD by UTLA?- Try TeacherLaw-LA.com

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LAUSD continues to target teachers without any concern for their constitutional rights and more specifically in complete derogation of their right to timely due process of law in a legal system that presumes their innocence with LAUSD having the burden of proving them guilty of anything that would justify their being forced out of the teaching profession.

11

03 2014

RAMPANT CHEATING IN L.A. TEACHER'S UNION, CITY WIDE ELECTIONS

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The union power slate has been visiting campuses since September of last year, ok? These same individuals had a dinner "meeting" with LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, although what they talked about, no one knows for certain.... While its purely speculation on my part, its possible that the Superintendent met with these people to voice his dissatisfaction in Warren Fletcher---and to encourage these people to run for office, but the bottom line is playing those running for office at UTLA only strengthens Deasy's position...and weakens necessary union and teacher resolve to confront Deasy's witch hunt now and in the future.

JIMMY STEWART REALLY SCREWED AMERICA...POLITICALLY

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Over the last seven years as I have become more and more embroiled in conflict with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the reaction to my allegations of endemic corruption of this public education bureaucracy has consistently been met from my American friends and colleagues with the same response, "I can't believe." It usually stays this way until the non-believing teacher or somebody they know or love is themselves targeted for early expiration by the morally challenged people purposefully running public education into the ground for money and the further dumbing down of America- it's hard to rule, as opposed to govern when citizens actually have an education and know their rights and obligations under the constitution.

10

03 2014

The Great Boyle Heights UTLA Election Breakdown

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You can read a summary of the candidate responses provided by Educators 4 Excellence at http://www.educators4excellence.org/utla2014/candidate-responses, but of course, it'll be free of the fireworks. However, a podcast of the event is also available at this site, which may be free of editing. One thing for certain, if those who conquer their apathy and bother to vote feel even remotely like those who were in attendance at the event in Boyle Heights, the longstanding stink that has for far too long emanated from UTLA leadership might finally be allowed to dissipate and come to a long overdue end. In mustering up the resolve to conquer their apathy and vote, rank-and-file should be aware that only 25% of rank-and-file are expected to vote. That and the fact that Deasy's Fetcher only received 17% of the vote when he ran for UTLA president 3 years ago, just might be the first step toward reconstituting a professional teachers' union no longer capable of LAUSD intimidation or the duplicity of its present entrenched truth challenged leadership.

7

03 2014

ISRAEL-PALESTINE: A THREE STATE SOLUTION?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Although I am at best an agnostic, I find the biblical notion of Armageddon a fair explanation for what humanity now faces in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world. However, I don't see the annihilation of humanity as inevitable, but rather as a choice that G-d has always offered us between making life on earth either heaven or hell. Since I've had a relatively good time on this rare green orb and would like our children to have the option of doing the same, let me make a modest proposal for achieving peace in the Middle East. While one has heard a great deal about a "two-state solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that never seems to go anywhere, I think a three-state solution would be more appropriate: one state for crazy Palestinians; one state for crazy Jews; and the third far large state for the vast majority of Arabs and Jews who can live together in peace, salaam, or shalom. When the anachronistic interests of Arab monarchies coupled with Western oil hungry neo-colonists- who remain oblivious to global warming- is taken out of the picture, an equitable solution for all concerned is more than possible. For those Jews and Arabs that want to continue threatening the majority on both sides that want peace, I would offer a solution suggested by the tongue in cheek 1965 Italian film, The 10th Victim, starring Marcello Mastroanni. In it, a bellicose socially destabilizing minority bent on destruction are allowed to make a financially incentivized war game among themselves, where the first to kill 10 others playing the game wins- the rest of their society is left in peace. Although Israel-Palestine is small, we might set aside a piece of presently desolate land in the Negev desert where these testosterone driven games might take place in a more unobtrusive manner. Clearly the television ratings would be awesome, but at the very least, it might weed out some of the more violent tendencies from the respective Israeli and Palestinian gene pools.

UTLA ELECTIONS- REAL CHANGE OR THE USUAL SUSPECTS?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) It would appear that Fletcher may have lost Deasy's favor as his union president of choice. For Solkovitz, where else is there to go? Certainly not to a lesser office. For Caputo-Pearl, is he heir apparent over Fletcher to Deasy's good graces? Was there some kind of deal cut at Dragos? In fact, you might just ask yourself if the Iris Stevenson rehousing might just be a district manipulated scenario to afford Caputo-Pearl the chance to play the hero. Notice how Deasy is covering all his bases to insure future chaos in UTLA- his preferred UTLA reality. So are there any real alternative choices. If you believe in proof, then David Garcia might be that man. Garcia ran for the presidency in 2011. He was one of the first to protest cheating on behalf of Warren Fletcher in form of false candidates like Leonard Segal who used their time to declare their support for Fletcher. He has been active speaking out against union corruption ever since then. During his current campaign, he has promised to address union corruption, suggested a reconstitution of the union which would drive out careerists all the way from elected offices to area reps and members of the major committees like the BOD, the HOR, PACE..... He's promised to seek to lower the salaries of union officers and area reps to those of classroom teachers. He has sworn to seek the reinstatement of teachers who have fallen to the RIF and displacement. He promises to put an end to the illegal rehousing of teachers and to address previous victims. So he might be your man. The Union Power Slate certainly thinks so since it has devoted substantial time and effort attempting to malign his reputation.

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03 2014

LADWP'S SOLAR ECLIPSE

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Why is the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) limited by regulation as to how much residentially produced solar electricity it can buy from residential customers like you and me? Although my house correctly configured with sufficient solar panels could produce approximately 4 times as much electricity as I consume- with most of it being produced during peak commercial electricity demand hours between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.- LADWP is limited by regulation to only giving me a credit toward future use- never cash. This leaves LADWP in the position where it is forced to buy predominantly fossil fuel generated electric on the open market at a significantly higher price than what they would have to pay to local environmentally friendly residential solar producers like myself. After contacting LADWP, the Mayor's office, and the City Council, I am no closer to getting any rational explanation for this apparent misguided policy.

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03 2014