Results tagged “Lenny”

It's Not What You Say, It's Where You Say It

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Last Thurday, June 17th, I went to the California Endowment to hear Professor Pedro Noguera speak on the topic The Trouble With Black Boy: Pedro Noguera on Race Equity and the Future of Public Education. While I do not consider myself to be in Professor Noguera's league intellectually, it became clear while he was presenting his ideas that we both saw eye to eye on what it would take to finally reform public education and the aspects of this failed system that he was focusing on in his talk as they related specifically to Black youth and their continued failure in public education. My epiphany came in the realization that if you talk about what Professors Noguera, Diane Ravitch, Charles Kerschner, Alan Singer, and other academics address in universities as respected academicians, you will be given a six-figure salary, book deals, and consulting jobs, while if you say the same things that these erudite teachers are saying at the K-12 level, you will be put on paid administrative leave at best, to make sure you do not infect others with you ideas, or more likely hounded out of public education.

21

06 2010

LAUSD Still Wishing We Would Go Away...

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When I bumped into LAUSD Office of the Inspector General investigator John Metcalf, I was initially gratified when he told me that my harvesting of fellow employees email addresses and sending them a flyer about education reform and www.perdaily.com did not violate the District's Acceptable Use Policy. However, my joy was short lived because he cited the following Employee Code of Ethics policy that he was assured by LAUSD's attorneys I had violated..READ THE REST

Lydia Gutierrez For State Superintendent Of Public Instruction

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Last night I went to Green Dot Charter run Locke High School for a candidates' forum with some of the people running for the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Of the 12 candidates for the office Larry Aceves, Karen Blake, Alexia L. Deligianni, Leonard James Martin, Faarax Dahir Sheikh-Noor, and front runner Tom Torlakson did not show up. This was understandable since there were less than 50 people in the audience after a strong email campaign by Parents' Revolution to get parents to show up. For those of us who have taught in inner city schools, we are used to poorly attended back-to-school nights and other school events, because parents have justifiably lost the belief that anybody in LAUSD or government and politics really cares about the terror that they and their children have to deal with on a daily basis.

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...

The Same Old (Jason) Song: Maybe He Should READ The LAUSD Fine Print

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California Government Çode 821.6:

"A public employee is not liable for injury caused by his instituting or prosecuting any judicial or administrative proceeding within the scope of his employment, even if he acts maliciously and without probable cause."

UTLA = LAUSD Not So Lite

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UTLA gives credibility to LAUSD by making the advocacy process look real when in reality it isn't. When UTLA gets a complaint from a member and files a grievance, they treat it as if they have never had a complaint like this before. When in reality, they might have had or presently have the same kind of complaint against the same principal who is doing the same thing to another teacher - they just will not share that information with you.
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7

05 2010

The Annotated Tourist's Glossary To Modern Edspeak

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With all the concern over the failure of public education, those of us within the Tower of Babel called public education forget that the orwellian language spoken here in our hollowed (sic) halls is not intelligible to those on the outside. LAUSD and other big city school districts have created a linguistic reality that is really most akin to the facades of a Hollywood back lot that gives the appearance of substance while being devoid of it, while allowing ease of dismantling for the next reform remake that will be constructed in its place. Districts like LAUSD have become more emboldened in their dysfunction, because they clearly know that nobody -- or mere minorities -- are left minding the store.
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LAUSD Taskforce On Teacher Policy Reform

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On Tuesday, April 27, 2010, the report of a 50 person task force of "local teachers, administrators, parents, academics and union leaders" that was set up last year will submit its report to the LAUSD Board. So let's go through Reporter Connie Llanos' article from the Contra Cost Times -- she also writes for the Daily News -- and point out the glaring omissions that no one seems willing to address:

Thomas Jefferson VS Alexander Hamilton: The Battle For Sex Education

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"...In focusing on the specific issue of sex education in schools, one can see how an unrealistic inner-city curriculum is designed to avoid the subjective realities that exist in poor communities and holds little or no relevancy for communities that have none of the conditions in place that would make successful education possible..."

16

04 2010

Democracy In American Public Education

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In the final analysis, the only advantage that democracy has over a much more efficient totalitarian system is the ability to teach its citizens to think out of the box by ensuring everyone has access to a great public education. The present glaring contradiction between attaining the pragmatism necessary for maintaining a viable democracy and our present education system is that it has not been able to fulfill the function of sufficiently educating the future citizens of this country for a long time. The only reason that it was able to get away with it for so long is that we only reached the physical boundaries of this incredibly rich country during the massive westward migration during and after WWII. Finally, waste of this country's most vital resource -- it's youth -- can no longer continue in what is becoming more and more a highly competitive world...

13

04 2010

What Does It Mean To Be American?

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Yesterday was my 63rd birthday and after spending the last 5 months writing posts for perdaily, I would like to reflect on why education reform is so important to me. When I used to teach history, I always started out class by having the students read the front page of the Los Angeles Times while I took the roll and did the our mundane classroom maintenance tasks. In confronting student reticence about the relevance of reading today's newspaper in a World or American History course, I would respond that if I could not connect what was on the front page of the paper to what we were studying, I would not have them read the front page of the newspaper anymore.

26

03 2010

Social Promotion Vs Retention

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Dr. Shane R. Jimerson of the University of California at Santa Barbara, seems to have spent a considerable portion of his professional life studying the companion issues of grade retention and social promotion to see if either approach is better than the other in helping to assure ultimate student success. After a cursory view of the data he has gathered on his website, one comes to the conclusion that there is not a nickels worth of difference between the two failed approaches that have shown little or no success over the years in turning around students who for one reason or another have been allowed to fall behind their peer group in school without appropriate intervention. Professor Jimerson, "encourages researchers, educational professionals, and legislators to abandon the debate regarding social promotion and grade retention in favor of a more productive course of action in the new millennium."

25

03 2010

The Illusion Of A Teachers' Union

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Throughout my life I have always been a supporter of unions, although I have never been the member of a union that really looked out for its rank-and-file. As a kid growing up in Los Angeles, I was a member of the projectionists union, Local 150 of the IATSE, which had the distinction of turning down a cost of living increase. When I drove cab in New York, our union was headed by an electrician who had never driven a cab. And now as a teacher, I am a member of UTLA, which is headed by staff and administration that will never see the inside of a classroom again and whose president A.J. Duffy controls access to the UTLA newspaper, so that rank-and-file are unable to express their ideas.

24

03 2010

Executive Director At PALI Charter Resigns

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Amy Dresser-Held has announced that she is leaving Palisades Charter High School in June of this year for a start up charter. She was initially given the position by a Pali Board of Directors that included her father-in-law Richard Held and his business partner Jim Suhr in what remains an undisclosed conflict of interest that should have disqualified them in this selection process. Now somebody else gets to clean up the mess she left behind.

Detroit To Ban Social Promotion... Unless It Costs Too Much

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Detroit, which already has a $219 million deficit is about to find out if the social promotion issue can be effectively addressed. Detroit Public Schools "Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb signed an executive order Friday immediately banning teachers from passing students who are not proficient at their grade level to the next grade -- to the outrage of Detroit school board members who called it a political ploy in the midst of a court battle between Bobb and the board over academic control of the district. It is estimated that Bobb's edict will effect 20,000 students...nearly a quarter of the district's 84,600 students."

Prez Of Detroit Public Schools Can't Write A Coherent Sentence

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The president of the Detroit Public Schools (DPS), Otis Mathis, is condemned to "waging a legal battle to steer the academic future of 90,000 children, in the nation's lowest-achieving big city district," without himself having the basic English language skills that would make his job a whole lot easier. Mr.Mathis "acknowledges he has difficulty composing a coherent English sentence". Unlike many of his counterparts, Mathis never had the possibility to address his deficits in even a moderately rigorous educational environment. He got through college by simply waiting out the system until the graduation requirement for minimal English competence was dropped. The following is an example of one of his emails to colleagues...
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18

03 2010

The LA Compact Gives A 'Dollop' Of Hope

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If the Los Angeles Compact's public education reform proposals that Professor Charles Kerchner talks about in his Huffington Post article or any other proposed public education reform has any chance of bringing a "dollop of hope" to public education, it must concentrate on causal factors of present public education failure and not monitoring the effects one at a time after the fact when the horse is already out of the barn. The "parochialism and pettiness" will not be stopped unless the soil in which it has flourished for generations is treated to make it toxic for such counter productive behavior.

17

03 2010

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 Reason We Love Teaching

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At perdaily, we had hoped to balance all the negativity out there with articles about the commitment and idealism that got us into teaching in the first place. While the last 60 stories we have put up on the site needed to get said and had an incredibly salutary effect on ourselves and hopefully our readers, we need to do something more than just respond the LAUSD dysfunction. Rather we need to posit our vision of who we are as educators and remember that most of us still love those moments when real learning takes place.

26

02 2010
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