1(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) New for the holiday season for those of you who are looking for the gift that keeps on taking. It is called the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board Game, it has very little to do with education and everything to do with making obscene amounts of money at whatever the cost. For those of you who have played Monopoly in the past, the transition to the LAUSD Board Game should be rather straight forward. Like Monopoly, it's all about money, but adds the crucial function of reinforcing negative racial and ethnic student stereotypes, while bring to the game world the leading edge media favorite of applying these negative stereotypes to teachers and anyone else who gets in the way of the ultimate goal of the game: The privatization of public education and the dumbing down of as much of the 99% as possible(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) As one clueless superintendent after another is anointed by the forces of public education privatization and the mass media to implement revolutionary public education reform that never seems to come about in our public schools, nobody in a position of power questions or seems willing to hold accountable a non-system of public education where predominantly Black and Latino students have the continued and generational misfortune of being sold out with a one-way ticket to the underclass..(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.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) LAUSD continues to incarcerate more and more innocent teachers in "rubber rooms" (usually Local District Offices) in a desperate attempt to either balance their budget or get rid of competent teachers who have balked at going along with LAUSD corruption and long failed business as usual policies that administrators without imagination haven't a clue how to change. In a culture that finds daycare in lieu of the excellent public education preferable, these teachers were foolish enough to believe that they could implement against LAUSD & UTLA incompetent self-dealing, something better and consistent with the ideals that got them into teaching in the first place. These teacher are tortured on a daily basis by LAUSD administrators who would have no trouble working a Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo..(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) H.L. (Henry Louis) Mencken, like recently termed out UTLA President A.J. Duffy eschewed the use of a first and middle name throughout his career, which I am sad to say is about all these two men have in common. Mencken, who was known at the "Sage of Baltimore" for his satire, wit, and journalistic excellence would have had a field day in examining the blatant hypocrisy of A.J. Duffy and his mercenary proclivities for never being fettered by any belief that he wasn't willing to sell out...for the right price.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) David Lyell's political aspiration are his exclusive motivation. The well-being of his fellow teachers has nothing to do with anything he says or does. Before David ran for UTLA Secretary, he blogged for me at perdaily to advance his candidacy, while doing the same at NYC teachers, and anywhere else he could to promote himself, his career, and his candidacy for UTLA Secretary - his first step toward the political career he so covets - think LAUSD Board member Jose Huizar for a comparable plan. Predictably, after being pursued for access to perdaily and other sites where I blog, II haven't heard much from David since his election. I wonder why?(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) 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) 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) For any reader who hasn't taken out the time to spend five minutes devoted to the articles recently appearing in perdaily.com suggesting the power of a parent and student boycott, you may be missing one of your last chances to save public education and the noble profession of teaching. In fact, before reading any further here, you may wish to go back and first read LAUSD vs. REBELS WITHOUT A CAUSE-BOYCOTT?, WILL BLACK AND LATINO PARENTS SUPPORT A BOYCOTT OF LAUSD? and LAUSD BOYCOTT. The language herein is quite colorful but not merely rhetoric. You have to understand the essential principle at work, What's stated are facts and events unfolding even as you read this - if you choose to do so. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that you may know most of it already as do many others and especially if you're in the teaching profession. But that's also the problem. While the feds, the state, and district go about their business of shaving expenses by reducing education to a series of cheaply packaged programs - that only vendors profit from - and teaching to a rating scale of performance against the criteria of these programs, we all stand by waiting for someone else to do something about it because we correctly realize that others see what we see.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) In a school district like the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) with a combined Latino and Black student population of close to 90%, several important questions were brought up when we met last Friday, April 22nd to explore whether Latino and Black students and parents would support a boycott of LAUSD in an attempt to finally hold corrupt and self-serving LAUSD administration and the politicians and corporate interests that keep them in power accountable to this majority constituency.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Here is a riddle for you: What does all opposition to LAUSD endemic corruption have in common? Answer: It only responds to LAUSD's malicious and premeditated incompetence and harassment and never makes LAUSD administrative leadership face the consequences for their bad acts. As you have heard me say before, and which any teacher knows in dealing with their students, if there are no consequences for bad actions, either from students, teachers, or LAUSD's arrogant leadership, then nothing will change. A MODEST PROPOSITION TO TURN THIS SITUATION AROUND- What if students at all schools around LAUSD decided to stage a walkout on the same day, much in the manner that students at Hamilton High School recently did?(Mensaje se repite en Espanol) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) A belated happy birthday to the late Dr. Martin Luther King. Still fighting to make your wisdom and insight a reality in our America. While injustice of any kind is reprehensible, it is my belief that the greatest injustice possible takes place when government authorities abuse there vast power to attack individuals without even the slightest good faith belief that they have done anything wrong. After sitting through the teacher Paulette Jackson's inquisition that was held two weeks ago in the Office of Administrative Hearings, I was curious to find out if the way she had been treated in complete and utter derogation of her civil and property rights was an exception or the rule. Regrettably, what I uncovered was a consistent and undeviating pattern of complete and total disregard of individual LAUSD teachers and classified staff rights. Mampre Polmakian was the LAUSD attorney representing the District against Ms. Jackson in a matter that by all rights should have been handled by UTLA grievance under the LAUSD/UTLA Collective Bargains Agreement, if UTLA leadership wasn't so clearly in collusion with LAUSD against its own members.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) What is very popular in the mainstream media these days is using the false dichotomy to misdirect the reader or listener away from other possibly more viable alternatives by failing to acknowledge that they even exist. A relative simple and straight forward example of this phenomenon could be seen on the March 30, 2011 Patt Morrison show on KPCC where the topic had to do with whether half-day or full day kindergarten was better for young students, who came most likely from lower socio-economic families where standard English (or Spanish for that matter) was not the language spoken in the home. Throughout the 20 minutes or so devoted to this segment Patt Morrison carefully steered the conversation between the supposedly exclusive positives and negatives of either option without ever addressing whether some other factors might also be at play.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Part 1: Where It All Began Unless you're a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District teaching community, you probably didn't know that round one of the elections for offices within the United Teachers of Los Angeles union has come and gone and round two comes to a conclusion March 29 between the two surviving virtually indistinguishable runoff slates to decide the remaining offices. However, even if you're a member of the teaching community, you may not know of these events, given that estimates of the voter turnout ran as low as 15% and no higher than 17%. Pretty sorry for the second largest teacher's union in the country. At some school sites, teachers didn't even know there was an election, and if they did, they couldn't identify the candidates much less separate them by their positions on issues. But even if you're not a teacher, Keep this in mind. What happens here will dramatically effect all teachers, public education and you by transference. So read on if you want to know what's really going on.(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) In the Warsaw Ghetto, a young zionist came back, after following the trains filled with Jews, to tell the Jewish leaders about Auschwitz and the extermination camps. The leaders, who had been supplying lists to the Nazis of the people in the ghetto to be "relocated" refused to believe what the young zionist was telling them about the "ultimate solution." They continued to fight among themselves, while offering their tacit support to the enemy, because that had allowed them to survive in the past. In the end, they were either killed in Auschwitz or in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. These folks didn't have a choice, teachers, students, and parents in LAUSD do.(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."