Results tagged “LAUSD”

Nuggets? Fries? Pizza? School Lunches Are Doing More Harm Than Good...

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On several recent posts and comments to people have wondered how our view of public education might differ from that which is presently being proposed. While a variety of our prior posts have given major dos and don'ts of such a viable plan for education reform, today I would like to take a microcosm look at only one aspect of what should go on in an American public school that would have a profound effect on the students being educated, even though it is not normally given the important place it should have in a discussion of school reform.

Where Does Reform Go From Here?

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We have about as much chance of fixing public education in this country with the mass firing of teachers and administrators in Rhode Island and elsewhere as we would if we threw a virgin into a volcano. This type of post hoc fallacy thinking would rather create a causal relationship between teachers and student failure, then look at the immutable structure of all public education reform over the last 100 years that fails to address the underlying student problems and deficits that are brought to the system. In listening to President Obama's endorsing of Rhode Island's simplistic pogrom-like solution to solve its public education problem, he fails to take into account that the town of Central Falls, like many of our educational failing communities in Los Angeles, was "one of the poorest districts in Rhode Island" long before the teachers did their level best to try and fix it.

Today's Protests: All The Info + Thoughts

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EVERYTHING you need to know about today's protests. LOCATIONS, RALLY TIMES, MAPS and FLYERS as well as thoughts and advice.

Let's Talk About Charter Schools And Race

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A major theme that we have tried to address in several of our posts is the idea that virtually all public education reform in the United States adapts to the continuing existence of urban predominantly minority filled school districts that have failed for generations. In California and elsewhere, states have taken over individual schools and sometimes entire school districts, but there appears to be an irrational taboo to not even consider dismantling/reconstituting these school districts. It is the very continued existence of these districts in their present form that requires public education reform in the first place. These districts as presently constituted will keep sabotaging any real educational reform that they see as threatening their present interests.

LAUSD: Fixing Public Education One Door At A Time

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Frequent contributor Rez of Babble submits another tale of life in the top-down world of LAUSD, where no good act goes unpunished. It seems rather bizarre that not only is the intellectual competence of teachers likely to get an administrator(s) on your case, but highly competent craftspeople fear punishment, if they dare to do their work with the creativity and skill that years of experience has given them. This is why it took six crews, seven visits and almost two weeks to fix a door. Workers who wish to expedite the process without infuriating the District are known to whisper "We'll fix it, but you can't let anybody know that I did". One wonders how long it would have taken if the door did not belong to an administrator? READ THE EMAIL...

23

02 2010

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.

5 Ways I Can Still Help LAUSD + Perdaily Mentioned In LA Weekly Blog

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While I am happy to be away from the toxic and administratively sanctioned unhealthy environment that physically and mentally continues to do damage to my fellow teachers, I'm saddened by not being allowed to work at my profession as an idealistic, honest, and motivated teacher. While a proper independent venue will ultimately decide the disputes I continue to have with LAUSD, there is no reason why I can't still be allowed to at least earn my salary and benefits, even if the District doesn't seem to care about my trivial pay in light of an over $640 million hole in it's budget. LA Weekly even mentions it HERE.

18

02 2010

You Should Help Us... Help You (Which Helps Us)

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Let me brag for a second... it was a little over three months ago that Lenny and I launched perdaily. Did I mention we have had no idea what we were doing? Fast-forward from December to now and it's incredible to think we started out with just three or four visitors -- mostly sympathetic family and friends -- and now we're averaging anywhere from 200-400 people a day. We could do even better though, we just need YOU to tell us how!

17

02 2010

Let Me Propose A Wager With Superintendent Ramon Cortines

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Here's the deal: I bet Cortines my whole salary against his, approximately 3 to 1 odds -- since I am obviously the long shot here (without considering the $150,000 a year he gets from Scholastics) -- that I can balance LAUSD's budget without firing or laying off any employees necessary in the actually rather straight forward process of teaching students. In the group think world of public education where Superintendent Ramon Cortines has spent his 50 year career, he has become so accustomed to accommodating to this failed system that it is unrealistic to think that he could ever implement the difficult changes that must be put into place if we are to finally create a successful 21st century education model.

Teacher: I've Been Waiting For Classroom Repairs... For FIVE Years

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How would you like to teach in a class with broken baseboards and ceiling tiles, graffiti and rats? Not only is the room dilapidated, but it's been burglarized one...two...three...FOUR times. Don't worry though, our teacher says repairmen have been to the class on a few occasions over the last half-decade -- they just aren't allowed to fix anything. Sorry, district rules! READ THE EMAIL...

15

02 2010

My Last Lesson From The Rubber Room: Edspeak 101

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As sort of a nostalgic bon voyage to the ethereal reality of the almost empty 2 floors of rented space that is Local District 6, I thought you might enjoy my translation of the Orwellian edspeak that was posted on the wall for the Leadership Labs that were taking place that day.

12

02 2010

LAUSD Says I Should Just Stay Home From Now On...

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Guess where my new office is? I'll give you a hint: it's quiet, centrally located, and only steps away from my kitchen, bedroom and living room. Job Requirements: Must be able to make two phone calls a day to my principal. Two! Job includes full salary and benefits. And this is supposed to be my punishment for starting a website?

An International School In Los Angeles -- Why Not?

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VIA Lenny: Several years ago, when LAUSD acquired and demolished the old Ambassador Hotel site in the Mid-Wilshire area, I proposed an international school like the one I had been involved with for 7 years, when I lived in France. Although my proposal was included in the environmental impact report, nobody ever contacted me about the proposal nor did I ever have the feeling that LAUSD was open to ideas on what to do with the site. I must emphasize that my proposal was not something that was untried, but rather a vibrant multilingual and multicultural system of education that has been up and running in France since shortly after the Second World War. I guess LAUSD had a better idea...

10

02 2010

Yesterday I Was Removed From Class In Handcuffs...

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Although I was removed from my classroom today -- after being put in handcuffs in front of my students -- I had an excellent day of teaching to go out on. Nobody has ever really tried to teach my students. Rather, they have been moved through grade after grade, where they have been allowed to copy out of books that they don't understand or spend hours doing graffiti to occupy themselves. So today, I decided to do LAUSD pedagogy and state standards for real. Class started with reading Richard Conan's The Most Dangerous Game, and ended with me almost being arrested.

A Day In My Life As A Teacher At Central High

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After yesterday's battle for the hearts and minds of America's youth at LAUSD, I shouldn't have been surprised when AP Rene Martinez came gliding through the door at 8:30 this morning to stull me. Even though I have always had excellent stulls or teaching evaluations in the past, when I saw AP Martinez, who has become a regular fixture around my class, since I reported the fraudulent graduation in June 2009, I already knew this wasn't going to be a friendly visit. The fact that I now had the audacity to publish part of an interview and reading test results for one of my ex-students made it only a matter of time before Principal Seary, AP Martinez, or AP Janine Antoine would show up to stull me again. I don't know, there is just something about being stulled that sounds obscene and the non-stop harassment that I continue to be subjected to only seems to support this meaning of the word. Frankly, I'm not really sure what it is supposed to mean.

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

BREAKING: LAUSD Internal Memo 'Layoffs, Budget Cuts, Pay Reductions' For Classified Workers (View Memo)

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Is it possible for LAUSD to declare bankruptcy? It is hard to imagine that some Chapter 11 like reorganization of the District wouldn't be better than what presently exists and continues to cause loss to students, teachers, and now Central Office and Facilities staff who can expect a 20% personnel reduction and a 50% operational budget reduction. View the memos...

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

Berkeley High: Academic Success Versus Racial Equity Is A False Dichotomy

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About eight years ago when I was still teaching at relatively high achieving Palisades Charter High School, I was invited to a well funded program at UCLA, where we were asked, "What can we do in high school to improve the achievement of Black and Latino students, so that they might have greater success in post secondary education." The answer I gave at that time is still as political incorrect as it was then, because most politicians and educators refuse to accept the fact that the failure to assure appropriate physical and mental stimulation to the developing brains of Black and Latino children at the appropriate time in their development does immutable damage that cannot be subsequently rectified.
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