1(Mensaje se repite en Español) The only justification that I have ever heard for the continued existence of LAUSD is the economics of scale. Simply stated, this is the notion that larger organizations can buy goods and services for significantly less money than smaller organizations, because of the quantity and consequential discounts they are able to get because of their size.You can see this principle in practice in a companies like Costco or Home Depot, where these companies abilities to buy larger quantities for less gives them a significantly lower unit cost, which ultimately gives them a market advantage over smaller businesses whose unit costs are higher. At LAUSD, the second largest school district in the country, where economics of scale should thrive, nothing could be further from their daily reality, since the majority of what they purchase is acquired from "agreed upon vendors," whose status as such insulates them from market competition that might ultimately have given them lower costs in educating students. In addition, not only does LAUSD not benefit from the economics of scale, they rather incorporate the worst ills of any too-large organization that suffers from the lack of coordinated management that comes from being so very large, cumbersome, and unaccountable. Cue the dinosaur business model.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Not only has LAUSD administration continued to sweep these scandals under the carpet for years, they do so while allowing the sexual harassment and bullying of teachers and others as well. When a female reported that she was being sexually harassed at her school, not only was nothing done, but charges where brought against her that have lead to her removal from the classroom and her livelihood. This woman is only one of hundreds of teachers that have been subjected to this treatment as a matter of standard operating procedure at LAUSD.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) On October 11, 2011, Mr. Art Zeidman, Regional Director of the United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, in San Francisco send Superintendent Dr. Deasy a sixteen page letter (Case No. 09-10-5001) that outlined civil rights protections that LAUSD had agreed to remedy. The full text of that letter may be read and/ or downloaded at www.ed.gov/. (In the top right corner Search box enter either "Los Angeles Unified School District" or "Case No. 09-10-5001" and the website's internal search will take you there.) Those federal civil rights include protections against race, color, age, disability, and national origin discrimination. What laws and federal protections were looked at in their one and a half year audit of LAUSD? Discrimination based on race, color, and national origin as prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI. Sex discrimination including sexual harassment as prohibited by the Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX. Disability discrimination as prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its recent amendments. Age discrimination as prohibited by the Age Discrimination Act of 1975.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) LAUSD reports that its change of menu for its students has not been received with much success. Maybe this has something to do with a complete and longstanding inability by LAUSD leadership to create the requisite culinary knowledge and taste that it must build in the communities where it schools exist in order for students to want to eat a wholesome diet. Poor diet is just another indicator of an educational and social system designed to destroy instead of nurture minority and poor children. Eating wholesome food is a learned characteristic of any society that completely educates - in the broadest sense of the word - all its children. In French society from birth babies are TAUGHT to eat healthy food that is presented as part of the country's distinct cultural identity as early as baby daycare (creche) from the time their mothers have to go back to work when their babies are 3 months old. In addition, those mothers had already received prenatal care to insure that their prenatal diet while carrying the child maximized the possibility to fulfill the genetic potential of their child.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) While it requires only a rudimentary education to spot the daily blatant distortions that Fox News KTTV 11 puts out in lieu of any real, truthful, and unbias reporting, the fact that Fox News successfully continues to get away with this travesty passed off as the "news" is a powerful testament as to just how far the average America has gone down from being educated in a manner that LAUSD students and their parents of the 1950s and 1960s took for granted. As I described in the prior post about Fox 11 KTTV News concerning morally challenged "Reporter" Daniel Leighton, what Fox does is pander to the deep seeded ignorance and prejudices of its listening audience, while requiring no critical analysis of itself or of its audience that seems incapable, because of its own LAUSD "education," replete with not even basic skills of critical analysis, to make them aware of the rational contradictions of virtually everything Fox 11 KTTV says. It is not out of the realm of the possible to imagine a Fox ad campaign with the slogan, "Fox News, well thought and objective analysis never gets in the way.(en español después) Who is more likely to rip off a poor person of color? A person with a middle class background who has never suffered the deprivation the majority of people of color have experienced as a by-product of the post-Columbus world they live in or people of color who are logically more tempted by finally being given access to a 6 figure salary and benefits for going along with a system of exploitation they have never had access to?Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) In discussing my own case with Mr. Lapekis and LAUSD's desire to deprive me of my lifetime health benefits under the "Rule of 80" (where my age and service time add up to 80 to give me lifetime health benefits), Ron points out that LAUSD already has approximately $15 billion in fixed unfunded lifetime health benefits for those who have already vested and is doing everything- legal and illegal- to stop as many teachers like myself from vesting.LAUSD and Superintendent John Deasy should listen to Diane Ravitch and the majority in this putative democracy that want the excellent public education that LAUSD has stood against for generations. The Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation want to privatize public education and if successful will condemn our democracy to the junk heap of history if they are successful in taking education away from "We the people," who have to be educated in order to function as the arbiters of power that keeps politicians and their corporate masters in check.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Language has often been a political issue in the United States whenever there have been large waves of immigration. As an antidote for this national xenophobia, speaking a different language has been discouraged through social intimidation, violence, and attempts to establish English as the official language, or simple refusal of services to those that don't speak English. In the not to distant past, non-English speaking students were forced to abandon their native language or were subjected to punishment in school for speaking it.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) What's left of experienced staff are being coerced with the idea of an invalid Value Added System of evaluation. Other veterans are being accused of any wrongdoing necessary to get them out of the system by principals under pressure to drive them out or lose their own jobs in the face of a $408 million deficit. While this is happening as you read, the notion of a union, the UTLA, nods its head in acquiescence and obedience to it "collaborative partner," the Los Angeles Unified School District, of the past twenty years or more. Latest union election results of last March represent unprecedented and unaddressed cheating on the parts of the victors who are now certainly not interested in fair play and honesty. Those same victors have remained almost silent about their plans to address the issues previously cited. They suggest a strike when they don't enjoy the confidence of a membership willing to support them given less than 17% of the qualified voters participated in the first round of the last election and less than 25% in the second and final round. But yet the same union which opposes anything effective such as student boycotts or holding the district accountable for attendance frauds because they and their partner, the district, would have no control over such proceedings. So when you listen to the music, focus on the lyrics and maybe, just maybe, get motivated. Queue the music.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Rather than let this corruption go unchecked, I encourage you to become a little proactive and send me any documentation you might have of where the State of California has been defrauded in either the aforementioned examples or in any other manner you might be privy to: Lenny@perdaily.com I will work will attorneys specialized in this California False Claims Act, which includes qui tam provisions enabling the recover of such money. California's law, which was passed in 1987 was modeled after the Federal False Claims Act, but since LAUSD is a public entity, they are immune from prosecution under the federal False Claims Act qui tam proceeding, but not immune from state action. The reason LAUSD administrative corruption is at epidemic proportions is because those running the district have had no consequences for ripping off LAUSD. Even if somebody is tenacious enough to stick with a clearly less than objective judicial system for the years necessary, it is clear that California's courts are loathe to hold corrupt officials at LAUSD responsible. And even in the unlikely situation where you do win a case, LAUSD and not the then retired corrupt official gets left holding the bag.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) While LAUSD remains about building half-billion dollar plus R.F. Kennedy Learning Centers at a time of declining enrollment or spending obscene amounts of money on books that students cannot read or expensive outside analysts to tell them that they are continuing to fail, and in the process, to destroy the lives of students, teachers, and others that are trapped in this long-failed system of public education that has no pragmatism or introspection to try and do otherwise, along come Salman Khan who started out by just putting some videos on You Tube to help his cousins in Texas with their school work. Because he was from the financial industry and not public education, he had no problem with being pragmatic in his approach as to what would work in teaching and no problem with being self-critical in aid of succeeding in with his cousins. What resulted is the KhanAcademy.org with over 900 videos covering a myriad of courses, where he has been succeed by taking a different approach that LAUSD or other tradition and long failed public education system.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) I have been publishing perdaily for about a year and a half now. Maybe some of you wonder why I continue to show LAUSD and UTLA administrative corruption and incompetence no quarter, while constantly seeking to illustrate the all too often depressing reality that these self-serving and dishonest administrators have made in Los Angeles and elsewhere by building a system of public education that accommodates to failure, instead of pragmatically demanding the best from every student and teacher. While some of you might think my fight involves the harassment, bogus charges, suspensions, and ultimate dismissal proceeding that LAUSD with the help of UTLA is still trying to hang on me and other innocent teachers throughout the district, you would be wrong as I am not vindictive no matter how egregious and malicious the crimes of the those at LAUSD and UTLA are.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) The reform of the evaluation process is the first step in honoring teachers. The criteria and the methods for GENUINE, AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT of performance exists and can be found in The American Educator and education periodicals and forums. Diane Ravitch and Randi Weingarten are just two of the voices of reform that discuss GENUINE EVALUATION there, and in education forums. We do not need your cockamamie schemes and cynical words. American teachers do not need you to invent 'reform.' Your ideas have dishonored us for too long, to be fooled by your rhetoric now. You sir, are not an educator but a politician who can say what you will, but we teachers know the truth of what you stand for. We see all that you have done toward the goal of privatizing education.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) While the mainstream media is willing to continue irrationally vilifying teachers for what is wrong in public education and continuing to ignore the proverbial 850 lb. gorilla of LAUSD administrative incompetence and corruption that really has always had the power to bring about change, but consciously chooses not to, I am not. Clearly the not-so-clever folks running LAUSD who continue to run public education into the ground for their own benefit and that of their corporate patrons, who seek the privatization and monetization of public education, could not do so unless they got some help from respected academics, politicians, and others whose judgment might just be colored by their own egos and financial self-interest. Case in point, I just got off the phone with Professor William Ouchi from UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management, who not only was the chairman of LEARN (Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now) back in May 1999, but wrote an article entitled Education Reform Lessons from the Trenches, where he sings the praises of this now destroyed public education reform program that was designed to "increase accountability and strengthen reading instruction."(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) There was a time when doctors believed that bad blood made people sick and that all you needed to do was let out some of the bad blood and the patient would get well. At some point after many years of using this technique, somebody finally took notice of the fact that an inordinate number of patients were dying and that the ones who were getting well were doing so in spite of this ill-advised treatment. Finally, members of the medical profession stopped bleeding people. Alas, it seems that although clear and unequivocal evidence shows that value added assessment has at least a 43-45% margin of error, according to academics like Professor Diane Ravitch of New York University and others according to all relevant data on the subject, militantly ignorant people in administration at LAUSD and the lemming reporters at the L.A. Times and other mainstream media outlets of print and electronic media around the country continue to follow LAUSD over the cliff in trying to lay their own blame on teachers whose blood they have no problem in continuing to let.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) For those of you who haven't realized it yet, the dysfunction and corruption of purposefully failed public education is not just limited LAUSD, but rather is a nationwide disgrace and scandal. In the months to come, perdaily will connect you to others around the state and country that refuse to accept purposefully corrupt and failed public education. The following post was written by Jerry Mintz of the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO). For those of you who feel trapped, when it comes to viable education options for yourself or your kids, think about connecting with his site and the other we list daily at the end of the article: Jerry Mintz, Director Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) 417 Roslyn Rd., Roslyn Hts., NY 11577 www.EducationRevolution.org info@EducationRevolution.org 800-769-4171 (domestic) 516-621-2195 (international)(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) At the root of public education's generational failure to educate Latino and Black students in this country is the unrelenting not so subliminal message that these young people are inferior and cannot learn. While it was bad enough when this kind of pernicious racism was practiced exclusively by Whites against Latinos and Blacks, what now makes it worse are institutionally de facto racist entities like the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which have succeeded in co-opting elements within the Latinos and Blacks communities to work in for it in sustaining this failed system by continuing to offer only the rhetoric of quality public education, while few within this institution - whatever their ethnicity - actually have a good faith belief in the inherent ability of these students to succeed like their more affluent peers of a lighter persuasion.