1(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) It is much easier to point a finger at the latest incarnation of LAUSD institutional failure, Superintendent John Deasy, then to finally realize that the problem isn't Deasy per se, but the way LAUSD is set up to fail. Once we understand this we can take the time and effort necessary to reconfigure LAUSD into a viable form that finally allows this critically necessary institution of public education to get it right. What hangs in the balance is whether or not we will remain a nation that honestly aspires to being "One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice [and education] for all."(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) It was 19th century British historian Lord Acton who said, "All power tends to corrupt, absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." You'd think by the 21st century we might have learned this lesson, but the purposefully failed Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which absolutely refuses to share power with any of its shareholders- teachers, parent, or students- has continued to exemplify this quote and there doesn't seem to be any governmental entity willing to bring it to any end, even though so doing is the clear prerequisite of finally having a well run and pragmatic public school system capable of dealing with the problems LAUSD continues to cause and is clearly incapable of addressing.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Probably the greatest irony of purposefully failed public education at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) - with the active longstanding complicity of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) leadership - is the complete lack of imagination exhibited by these two entities in carrying on self-serving business as usual to the ongoing determent of predominantly Latino and Black students who have been and continue to be sold short on the public education that is their right. A testament to just how long this pernicious system has been in place is that most educators - whatever their ethnicity - have no real expectation that minority children can learn. In an old television police show, the intro would always say, "The names have been changed to protect the innocent." At LAUSD, the names of their latest "education reform" scam are always changed from Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now (LEARN) to Charter to Small Learning Community to ESBMM and now to Local Initial School (LIS), but if you review previous incarnations of supposed education reform, that is all that has changed and the innocent students and teachers are never protected . The present Memorandum of Understanding that LAUSD and UTLA leaderships are trying to rush through as an early Christmas present for themselves is exactly like earlier reforms that never pragmatically address the dismal reality of LAUSD schools with anything other than edspeak rhetoric, instead of a specific plan that lays out what you do with students who have been socially promoted from grade to grade without having fulfilled grade level standards until they quit, disrupt the class because they are no longer capable of being engaged, or "graduate" with a diploma that isn't worth the paper it is written on.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Last night I attended a United Teachers Los Angeles House of Representatives meeting at the UTLA headquarters. For those of you with better things to do with your life, I will give a less in depth analysis of why this tentative agreement is a disaster for teachers - and by logical extension - students, parents, or anybody else that actually wants real public education reform. Simply stated: It's business as usual On tomorrow's post I will go into a more details analysis - if you are still not convinced - of the specific terms of the proposed contract that are problematic to say the least.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) LAUSD and UTLA have announced that they have reached a tentative agreement UTLA President Warren Fletcher is either suffering from early onset Alzheimer's or he has totally capitulated to LAUSD leadership either out of being in over his head as UTLA president, stupidity, or concern about maintaining his recent personal good fortune of having his annual salary and benefits phenomenally augmented over his measly teachers salary and a manner not too dissimilar to LAUSD administration that also have forgotten that they started their careers in education as teachers and then got as far away from the purposefully cultivated insanity of the average LAUSD classroom.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) If you were a school district like the Los Angeles Unified School District that had a $408 million budget shortfall for the academic year 2011-2012 and $15 billion in unfunded and already vested lifetime medical benefits, what would you do? Here's a little gambit that would make Bernie Madoff or John Gotti proud. The scintillating intellects at LAUSD and their new Superintendent John Deasy straight from the Gates Foundation with his mandate to privatize public education, tells his underlings to target teachers with the following characteristics:Check out what follows as a clear explanation of how the fix is in with public education at the Los Angeles Unified School District and elsewhere throughout this country in the move to privatize public education. See what mainstream media blacks out and what should be part of the discussion on real public education reform.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) LAUSD's new Superintendent John Deasy spoke with members of NewTLA and other LAUSD teachers at the Santee Learning Center today after school. What impressed me the most was when he acknowledged the fact that he, "Didn't have the answer to many of LAUSD's problems." While he is clearly an intelligent man who wants to tap into and facilitate the talents of all LAUSD employees, he still doesn't realize that the culture of LAUSD is a top-down bureaucracy that has steadfastly fought any notion of two-way accountability that might allow Deasy to implement his goal. Just ask Professor Charles Kerschner, who wrote a book about LAUSD, how LAUSD bureaucracy destroyed LEARN reforms in the 1990s. When President Barack Obama first got into the White House, he fought to keep his own Blackberry, because he didn't want to be wholly dependent on the White House inner circle for all of his information. He wanted to be able to access friends and dissident ideas that might have great value, simply because they were not filtered through his bureaucracy.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) One of the advantages of having a long and purposeful failed public education system, where abysmal English language skills are only matched by equally atrocious math skills is that the Los Angeles Times reporter Jason Song can write an article entitled, "L.A. schools chief cuts his own pay" and fewer people are left with enough critical thinking skills to question either the linguistic sophistry or fuzzy math that Song uses to arrive at his conclusion in complete derogation of what has actually taken place. The fable goes something like this: Gates Foundation's John Deasy is given the job of Superintendent of LAUSD to replace Ramon Cortines at $330,000 a year with no other candidates for the position. Ramon Cortines has been paid $250,000 a year, if you don't count his generous benefits package and the $150,000 a year he also made from Scholastics for 10 years in a clear conflict of interest that LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia told him not to worry about, even though LAUSD had $16 million a year in contracts with Scholastics. As we have seen elsewhere lately, it just seems like some people are above the law.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Something important took place today at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles. Students at the highly successful magnet school with excellent Humanities, Music, and Drama Magnets as well as 6 small learning communities who were threatened last week with the loss of 22 of their teachers decided to fight back. Using Facebook and other social media they organized thousands of their fellow students, parents, and supporters to stage a walkout from the school to say in the clearest of possible terms that they were not going to passively roll over and allow their educations and futures to be compromised by politically inspired manipulations throughout this state and country that were trying to impose draconian cuts to education that really had no rational justification. As one of the organizers of the event student Olivia Natt said in some of her remarks addressed to the whole student body, which had walked out of Hamilton High School in an orderly manner at 9:00am, "Children should not be used as leverage by politicians for their partisan political goals."(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Several years ago, Patti Stonesifer the president of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was speaking at the Los Angeles Central Library about the Gates Foundation's using its vast wealth in addressing the deplorable state of American public education. In attendance were LAUSD Board Member Marlene Canter, Steve Barr of Green Dot Schools, and many other movers and shakers in public education, who had come to pay homage to the power that Ms. Stonesifer personified. At some point while I was sitting there, it dawned on me that Ms. Stonesifer, although she seemed very bright and had a personal fortune of over $350 million made working for Microsoft, was really in no better position to fix public education than I was. In fact, I actually might stand a better chance of succeeding than she did, because of what I knew from being on the inside as a teacher that she and the other people of good will present that evening did not know: After all, there point of entry into the public education reform arena was through the same corrupt and self-serving bureaucracy that was responsible for the long term and premeditated destruction of public education in the first place, which was not likely to give them anything but a distorted picture of what was really going on.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) I'm disappointed by the appointment of John Deasy as the superintendent to the LAUSD School Board. The school board didn't even bother to consider any other candidates, which is very strange. The public needs to remember that the mayor, who celebrated this appointment, after recently attacking UTLA, was also handed a vote of "no confidence" by teachers at eight of the 10 schools he takes credit for operating. The reality is that the teachers at those school sites operate those schools. The mayor, who rarely shows up, only operates them on paper, and dismally at that. We need to remember that this is the same mayor who, in 2009, spent 15 times as much as his nearest opponent on his campaign, then refused to debate him.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) LAUSD never reveals its line budget. LAUSD has departments and highly paid administrators that have no effect on education at the schools. LAUSD has lobbyists and outside contracts. LAUSD cuts from the lowest ends of the payroll. LAUSD blames the teachers for everything and maintains an adversarial relationship with them. LAUSD spends "$100 million per year on non-mandated assessments -- that is, testing not required by law -- and $43 million on mini-districts." LAUSD looks for ways to treat teachers poorly--especially those who speak out, those who keep difficult classes in order but do not produce strong test scores, and those that school administrators do not like.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) What also struck me by sharp contrast right next to it was the face of presumptive LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, who was smiling in much the same manner as his predecessors Admiral Brewer and Ramon Cortines had while doing absolutely nothing during their tenures of office to change the long-failed culture of LAUSD. A culture where ignorance is still allowed to maintain racial fantasies that cause predominantly minority young people to pass through 13 years of education - if they don't drop out first - completely unscathed by the formation that would make them less susceptible to this useless waste of our nation's greatest asset. It also occurred to me that the images of Black and Latino incomprehensible grief has become so common place as an image in our society that people hardly pause in appreciating the catastrophic effect that such indifference to human grief has specifically on these communities, but also on all of us in this society. It is not just the Whites that have no expectation of Black and Latino youth living better, but it is also the Black and Latino communities themselves that have been forced to live in the L.A. version of Baghdad or Kabul for so long that they too have lost any hope for a better future.
Results tagged “John Deasy”
TENTATIVE LAUSD/UTLA AGREEMENT IS A DISASTER Part 2TENTATIVA LAUSD / UTLA acuerdo es una DESASTRE Parte 2
TENTATIVE LAUSD/UTLA AGREEMENT IS A DISASTER Part 1TENTATIVA LAUSD / UTLA acuerdo es una DESASTRE Parte 1
LAUSD, UTLA, & California Education Code Section 44939 - How to Get Rid of "Bad Teachers" (LAUSD, UTLA, y Código de Educación Sección 44939 - ¿Cómo deshacerse de los "malos maestros")
LAUSD's John Deasy and the L.A. Times Jason Song Teach You How to Make More Money Less - New Math? (Deasy de LAUSD y Jason Song del LA Times te enseñan cómo hacer más dinero menos - Matemáticas nuevo?)
The Gates Foundation and The Broad Foundation: Militant Reformers of LAUSD and Public Education or Militantly Ignorant(La Fundación Gates y la Fundación Broad: Reformas militante de Educación del LAUSD y público o militante Ignorante)