Results tagged “LAUSD”

The Professional Wrestling of LAUSD and UTLA (La Lucha Libre Profesional del LAUSD y UTLA )

There is a false dichotomy in seeing UTLA and LAUSD as two separate entities. Whether it is UTLA past presidents Day Higuchi, John Perez, or now A.J. Duffy, UTLA has never promulgated an independent position on matters of education that "professionals" would have done long ago. Rather, UTLA always reacts to LAUSD dysfunctional behavior while stifling any rank and file input that might truly posit a more viable and professional system of public education in opposition.
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09 2010

Rigoberto Ruelas: Ya Basta!

Rigoberto Ruelas.jpeg
Why is it that we only take notice of a gross injustice after it has taken place? I guess because it is much easier to glorify somebody in death while never really addressing the things that killed him and continue to threaten his colleagues and students. The tentative suicide of 39-year-old 5th grade Miramonte Elementary School teacher Rigoberto Ruelas should more truthfully be attributed to something more than the simplistic and convenient answer of just the poor performance ratings that this dedicated teacher received and which were callously published in the Los Angeles Times with the false implication that this exceptional man who himself beat the odds in what continues to be the LAUSD stacked deck against Latino education in this city.
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09 2010

Advice to LAUSD Rubber Room Teachers and Others (Asesoramiento a los maestros del LAUSD Sala de caucho y otros)

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As I prepare for my pro forma meeting with LAUSD Chief Academic Officer Judy Elliott with the awareness the decision as to recommending my dismissal from LAUSD employment as a teacher has probably long since been made, I share with you my response to the following email I received this morning from another one of the many teachers - estimates are between 80 and 200 teachers - under paid administrative leave at LAUSD Local District offices or their homes (aka rubber room/teacher jails).
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09 2010

Diane Ravitch: "The Dominant Narrative" (La Narrativa Dominante)

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What I found myself wishing while she talked was that she and many of her colleagues who share unique knowledge and beliefs about what real public education reform should look like (Charles Kerchner, Lois Weiner, Pablo Noguera, Jonathan Kozol, and others) would escape the ivory tower long enough to use their combined and fleeting celebrity to help organize a national public education reform movement. Such a movement, driven by data and the real life daily experience of "4 million classroom teachers supported by their families" would no longer be a topic or constituency that the presently hijacked media in this country could continue to ignore.


09 2010

Waiting for Superman: "Mild-Mannered" LAUSD Superintendent Cortines Has Never Aspired To Be Superman ("Afable" Cortines Superintendent LAUSD Nunca ha aspirado a ser Superman)

(en español después) On Monday night I went to the premiere of Waiting for Superman at Paramount Studios. Afterward I briefly talked with both Harlem Children's Zone Geoffrey Canada and the film's makers Davis Guggenheim and Lesley Chilcott at the reception following the screening. Apropos of being aware of my own lack of knowledge about public education reform on the macro American and multinational level, I keep coming back to the naive black and white polemics that seem to dominate the discussion of public education reform here in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Having been in the motion picture industry for many years prior to getting into education, I am well aware of how creativity can distort and manipulate emotions to justify something that in reality is quite different and maybe even reprehensible. I guess this is why I prefer the color gray which attempts to take the valid points from black and white positions to formulate a better and more comprehensive solution for what is wrong with public education. Of course, this tends to put me in the middle of a battlefield where I take fire from both sides, but that's maybe why I'm a teacher and maybe also a reason for teacher tenure as a necessary shield against the reprisals for telling the truth that I am presently being subjected to by LAUSD.


09 2010

Grandfather of Waiting for Superman - The Prequel - "Just the facts"

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(en español después) Davis Guggenheim and Lesley Chilcott's Waiting for Superman opens on Friday and perdaily will devote our post to reviewing it tomorrow. To bring the vast minions of perdaily readership up to speed on the film and the furor it is creating with my colleagues in education, I would like to give you a sneak preview today of some of the facts the film presents and/or spins as the case may be. As one of my childhood heros LAPD Sgt. Joe Friday as portrayed in the television series Dragnet used to say, "I am interested in the facts, just the facts:":

Dealing With The Global Assault On Public Education And Teaching While At The Same Time Dealing With The Same Dysfunction In LAUSD

Teaching and Learning in a Global Community.jpeg
(en español después) There is a certain irony to the fact that the same technology that is presently threatening continued human existence on the earth is also something that might offer us the best weapon in combating the tyranny of its more destructive tendencies as expounded by corporations running out of control. If we are able to evolve our natural inclination to live and perceive locally into a global perspective, then corporate power, which presently reigns supreme, will finally be held accountable by a world community that is finally empowered by the knowledge, power, and accountability that the Internet has the potential to offer..


09 2010

"It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"(Es un cuento contado por un idiota, lleno de ruido y furia, significando nada)

(en español después) In reading through Steve Lopez's article in the Sunday, September 19, 2010 Los Angeles Times entitled Sitting down with A.J. Duffy, I couldn't help but think that Mr. Lopez and his colleagues at the L. A. Times should take the advice offered to Duffy to "join the discussion" on improving public education in L. A. instead of engaging in sanitized discussions that conspicuously leave out vast amounts of relevant information crucial to finally giving all students the public education they are entitled to and which is an essential prerequisite for any putative democracy.


09 2010

A National Perspective On Corporate Plans To End Public Education ( Una perspectiva nacional sobre Planes Corporativos Para Fin de Educación Pública)

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(en español después) The immediacy created by the personal attack that many LAUSD teachers are being subjected to has caused main of us to lose sight of the concerted and coordinated national attack on public education that many predominantly minority filled school districts are being subjected to. Karen Lewis, the newly elected head of the Chicago Teachers' Union along with Professor Los Weiner lay out how this is playing out in the United States and how it has already played out in countries like Chile under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

LAUSD's Ramon Cortines: The Chauncey Gardner of Public Education Reform (LAUSD Ramón Cortines: El Chauncey Gardner de Reforma de la Educación Pública)

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(en español después) When I was still in the film business and pitching projects, I was always told that a good pitch came down to being able to express the main idea of the film you were trying to sell in one sentence. In the film Being There with the late Peter Sellers that one sentence might have come down to: Moron Chance the gardener is revered and becomes a media-made guru solely because of his proximity to his late and fabulously wealth employer. It occurs to me that the same sentence could be used to describe LAUSD's Superintendent Ramon Cortines and the ersatz public education reform he continues to echo from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Like Chance the gardener the patently offensive and implausible drivel that Cortines continues to spout are a series of platitudes without substance that seeks to blame teachers for what Cortines his administration and predecessors are clearly responsible for.


09 2010

KPFK Local Station Board Elections and LAUSD KPFK Elecciones Locales Estación Junta y el LAUSD

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(en español después) KPFK represents the only voice I know of in the greater Los Angeles area with the most powerful transmitter west of the Rockies that is not afraid of speaking truth to power without the corporate agenda that seems bent on the privatization of public education for profit while silencing dissent by dumbing down the literacy necessary to meaningfully exercise the control of power envisioned by our constitution in a manner anticipated by George Orwell's 1984 prescient view of the future we now seem to be living.
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09 2010

LAUSD: We're Back (Estamos de vuelta)

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(en español después) If you make teachers' jobs dependent on how well students do in their classes (irrespective of the fact that huge numbers of LAUSD students are far below below basic) and yet continue to socially promotion them into higher and higher grades without the skills necessary to do the work, then you create the temptation to cook the results of the assessments as has been recently discovered in New York City and Atlanta where the much touted improvement on assessments of traditional low achieving Black and Latino students was found to have never taken place. As if tampering with the assessments was not bad enough news, it turns out that NYC minority students are doing actually worse than their terrible showing 7 years ago.
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09 2010

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

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.


06 2010

Calling A Spade A Spade

In the L.A. Beez -- Hive For Hyper Local Ethnic News -- article entitled Feds Eye African-American Performance Gape in L.A. Schools, the predominantly African Americans readership are feed the foolish arguments that the habitual failure of Black children in LAUSD has something to do with "the ongoing budget crunch," seniority of teachers, or the preference of good teachers to go to "affluent neighborhoods." Nothing could be further from the truth. The painful reality is that our society -- whether Black, White, and/or Brown -- we have allowed a coat of endemic ignorance, not stupidity, to be used in defining education without rigor for children of color in this system. While a patina of colored folks have been co-opted into this racist system to give it visual credibility, it is still the American beehive that continues to give children of color the royal shaft instead of the royal jelly.

Rhee(constitution) In D.C - Harbinger Of Things To Come In LAUSD

The reconstitution of a school by making teachers reapply for their jobs or by replacing administrators is to education reform what blood letting is to good health. For the most part, it is not who is doing the teaching of administrating, but rather what they are administering. If I had a mechanically perfect car, but decided to put polluted old gasoline in it as its source of energy, I would have performance problems no matter how many parts on the car I decided to change.


06 2010

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.

How Should LAUSD Be Structured?

I don't know if I have the possibility of another stint at the university in me, but if I did, I would like to write a doctoral thesis on the idea that has been going through my mind over the last couple of years that all societies plant the seeds of their own demise when they fail to recognize that the well-being of the haves in any society is contingent on the well-being of those with less. When the disparity of wealth in terms of possessions and knowledge become too great, the citizens clearly have lost the historical awareness that should have been transmitted through education as to what the costs to both the haves and the have nots will be without education. Unlike Karl Marx, I look to the haves in Los Angeles and elsewhere to redress dysfunctional education that they have misguidedly abandon, because its continued failure will take them down as much as those who remain the direct victims of this system.


06 2010

UTLA - Adaptation To LAUSD Failure Is Not A Viable Policy

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.


06 2010

LAUSD Still Wishing We Would Go Away...

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 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

Public Education's Forgotten Excellence

In the Professor Stanley Fish's New York Times blog today entitled A Classic Education: Back to the Future, Professor Fish reminisces about Classical High School in Providence, Rhode Island where he went over 55 years ago. The academic rigor he describes from that time seems much further removed than its actual 55 years, when juxtaposed with an LAUSD of today which doesn't see this level of academic excellence as even a possible goal in anything but rhetoric. Much like LAUSD of today, Classical High was "A student body made up of the children of immigrants or first generation Americans; many, like [Professor Fish], the first in their families to finish high school with nearly a 100 percent college attendance rate."
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