Results tagged “Bad Ideas”

Reed vs. California

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Reed vs. California is just the latest attack on hard earned union rights like seniority, where the truth about the case as mentioned before is that it has less to do with seniority than it does with a failed school where those in LAUSD who made it fail and with the power to change the culture of the school to something that would be more attractive to experienced teachers refuse to do so. Even administrators don't want to be in these schools for anything more than the 2 or 3 years necessary to flesh out their resumes in their attempt to get a big job at the LAUSD Beaudry headquarters where they can assure that the policies that keep these schools failing year after year will never change in a manner that might threaten their privilege.

UTLA - Adaptation To LAUSD Failure Is Not A Viable Policy

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UTLA finally needs to have a discussion as to what is the mandate of the union. It is either an entity that spends its limited resources on playing a game defined by LAUSD in which it clearly cannot win or it needs to finally define and spend its limited resources toward expressing a clear platform with which they can galvanize support among its rank-and-file and the community -- it cannot do both. Not only does UTLA's present course change nothing, worse yet, it gives credibility to LAUSD's misguided and self-serving programs and policies that are antithetical to everything that must exist in order for excellent public education to exist in Los Angeles.

10

06 2010

Failing Schools Take The Show Online...

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This joint venture of City of Angels Continuation School, the LAUSD Office of Curriculum and Instruction, Beyond the Bell, and the Education Technology departments will join with Ms. Elliot as the latest unrealistic panacea for addressing longstanding abject failure of public education at LAUSD. It has LAUSD's surrealistic modus operandi all over it...

There's Gold In Them Charters!

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VIA Democracynow: "Wealthy investors and major banks have been making windfall profits by using a little-known federal tax break to finance new charter-school construction," Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzalez write in the New York Daily News. "The program, the New Markets Tax Credit, is so lucrative that a lender who uses it can almost double his money in seven years."

11

05 2010

The Hand And Glove Relationship Between LAUSD And UTLA

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No, the teachers' union and LAUSD have not decided to offer proctological exams at Beaudry or Berendo, but sometimes it just feels that way.

Teacher 'Coaches' Get Paid To Do Nails, Talk On Phone Or Just Disappear

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Does anyone have a good coaching story? Reader 'Resident of the Land of Babble' describes just how elusive -- and unnecessary -- coaches seem to be. As a matter of fact, the coaching program would be the first item they would scrap from the LAUSD budget, and it's hard to argue otherwise when most of the scenes our reader describes sound like an episode of The Office. Read the email and you'll easily understand why...

The 'Jihad' Against Diversity In Education

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Last Monday, March 16, 2010, radio and podcast Democracy Now with Amy Goodman spent an hour with Debbie Almontaser, the former principal of the Kahlil Gabran International Academy in Brooklyn, New York. Almontaser was forced out of her position  in 2007 by Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott upon orders of Mayor Bloomberg. Mayor Bloomberg succumbed to pressure from bigots in New York and elsewhere who had launched a smear campaign against Principal Almontaser

Revisionist History 101: Texas Edition

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The mistake that most intelligent people make is failing to factor into their logic the transitory nature of almost everything we encounter during our brief sojourn on the face of the earth. An Indian Rajah once asked his wise man for an answer to all the thorny problems that constantly plagued him, to which the wise man responded, "And this too will pass." This is not just true of our problems, but it is also true for the wealth of human knowledge that countless generations of homo sapiens have acquired since the dawn of their existence in Africa about 1 million years ago. Can someone tell that to the school board in Texas?

A Quick Word On School (Fore)closures

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As a moderately well-educated remnant of the bygone LAUSD era of the 1950s and 60s, I always try to rationalize what I read in the news to see if I can make sense of what initially appears to be a contradictory 2010 American reality. In reading an article yesterday morning in the Los Angeles Times in which a Kansas City superintendent says closing half its schools is painful but the 'right thing to do' I immediately tried to put this event in a global and historical context that might allow us to make the best of what initially seems to be a bad situation.

The Four Day School Week (Or When Thursday Becomes The New Friday)

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I sure hope ignorance is bliss, because the awareness that comes from being educated creates nothing but pain when confronted on a daily basis with the short-sighted thinking that is rapidly sending this country up a certain creek without a paddle. The latest panacea for fixing education -- in what more and more seems akin to the way one fixes a dog -- is to have a 4 day school week to balance the budget of many school districts throughout the country. As yet this hasn't been proposed by Superintendent Cortines at LAUSD, but it is early yet and the $640 million shortfall this year is only a harbinger of the cuts already being proposed for the next two years.

A Parcel Tax Is The Best You Could Come Up With? Seriously?

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In a school district with a poverty rate of 80%, during a time of economic downturn, where 91% of the 30% Whites that remain within LAUSD's boundaries have chosen to go to private or parochial school, why would you think a two-thirds majority of taxpayers would support a $100 a year property tax for 4 years to sponsor a failed school system that many don't use and more wish they could escape from -- if they weren't so poor?

What Does Every Plan For Reforming Education Have In Common? Big Goals, No Specifics.

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One of the greatest hurdles to overcome in creating a vibrant education system out of LAUSD is the realization that the difficult work necessary to undo generations of poor public education can't take place until greater specificity is given to the catchy phrases that continue to be proposed as reform. Sadly, much of LAUSD administration is also the product of the same educational system that many years ago failed to give them the analytical skills necessary to sufficiently define and implement a reform model to address complex problems, many of which require something more than just money and "yes or no" answers.

LAUSD Shaking Teacher Down For $500

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Teacher Nathan MacAinsh didn't notice anything different about his paycheck back in December, but according to a letter he recently received from LAUSD, a sick time error means he owes the district $521. He's now been given ten days to respond or they'll deduct the entire amount from his next paycheck -- adding further insult -- if he chooses to dispute the error it could will take months to resolve, and he'd still have to cough up the money in the meantime. So... LAUSD makes payroll mistake... LAUSD waits two months to admit payroll mistake... LAUSD blames you for their payroll mistake. READ THE EMAIL...

12

02 2010

My Principal Janet Seary: "This Is War...I Like War" (Read Our Emails)

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Via Lenny: About 2 years ago, I applied for an out-of-classroom position at Central High School, which required a cleared teaching credential and tenure with LAUSD. Nonetheless, my Principal Janet Seary gave this position to Nestor Albert Vargas, who at the time of his appointment had only an expired emergency credential, which only allowed him to work as a substitute. Because I didn't accept this unjust action in clear violation of the LAUSD/UTLA Collective Bargaining Agreement and subsequently filed a PERB action against my principal and LAUSD for allowing it to take place, all hell broke loose.

3

02 2010

Teachers Getting Paid To Do Nothing. Welcome To The "Must Place" Club.

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A source from White Middle School, in Carson, writes to us about a problem. Like many schools in LAUSD the staff has been forced to take in a "must place" teacher. What's a "must place"?
It's sorta like -- remember when you were in fifth grade and the teacher divided everyone into partners for a science project, and someone always got stuck with the boy who ate paste and couldn't even tie his shoes yet, so you just knew you'd have to do ALL the work but he'd still get credit for nothing? That was your "must place" lab partner. Now imagine that kid grew up and became a really bad teacher. Read the email....

31

01 2010

MAIL from PALI Charter: Building A "Pool To Nowhere", Nepotism, Waste

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A few people in the know at PALI Charter dropped us a note a little while ago... something about a "swimming pool to nowhere", piss-poor spending choices and a well-connected daughter-in-law that somehow became CEO of the whole thing.

30

01 2010

LAUSD Safety Engineer Writes Us: Teachers Harassed For Reporting Rodents... Schools In "Depressingly Poor Physical State"

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When a Safety Engineer says LAUSD is good at running "one two or ten schools out of 900", there might be a problem. Free-range rats? Millions of dollars wasted on inefficient and "rag tag" renovations? Count the times "management" and "mismanagement" appear in this letter and then ask yourself, what does a Safety Engineer really know anyway? Read the email.

12

01 2010

Cortines On Fremont High: "Whoops, Do-over"

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It takes a lot of nerve to be an integral part of failed public education policy in this country, as Superintendent Ray Cortines has been during his 50 year career, and rather than own up and take responsibility for his part in this failed system, he instead blames the teachers.

New UC admissions policy in 2012: Less Blacks, Asians and Latinos

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A change in UC admission policy that was supposedly designed to increase diversity on California campuses will have the opposite effect -- according to the UC Regents own internal study (using a 2007 model) African-American admittance would fall 27%, Asian-Americans drop 12% and Latinos 3%. Doesn't matter much though, as they've voted to adopt the new policy anyway. As the UC President Mark Yudof says it's about "fairness".

7

12 2009

CSU needs quarter for payphone

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Well this is sad. CSU Long Beach is looking to save money by shutting off phone service -- I repeat -- phone service. Phones and lights are now a luxury amidst the massive cuts in UC and CSU budgets. With so many schools looking to close the gap, budget committees are being forced to get very creative. Furloughs, layoffs, trimming programs, raising tuition or simply begging for donations. CSULB President F. King Alexander says in 2001 California covered 50% of his school's budget. Now? Somewhere near 30%. Side note: California prison budget = $15.4 billion, education budget = $15.3 billion. The CSU President remains confident, however, as the multimillion dollar, state-of-the-art Spare Change and Advanced Beggar Training Facility was built to cope for just such emergencies.

6

12 2009
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