Results tagged “LAUSD”

LAUSD: The Original LOST

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Given the surreal aspect of LAUSD reality that I was finally able to substantiate during my my trial yesterday on the 25th floor of edspeak central, I immediately thought of the 1967 popular British television series with Patrick McGoohan called The Prisoner, and with misguided egocentricity and a touch of feeling sorry for myself, I planned on making myself the hero of this bizarre daytime soap that teachers might crowd around to watch in the faculty lounge at nutrition or lunch. The folks at the studios in Hollywood always like to greenlight projects with a built in audience and what could have a higher TV quotient than the neverending story that is LAUSD -- the original Lost.

5

05 2010

Can I Get A Witness???

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Today I had the long rescheduled appeal hearing on the two Notices of Unsatisfactory Acts and the two Suspensions of 8 and 11 days respectively. While I am not permitted to talk about the substance of the charges against me, which could have lead to my cause for firing if I had done so up until June of 2009, I am now at least permitted to mention the existence of the case without going into the details of the case, which now can be used by LAUSD to find against me, if it is not for the specific purpose of trying to get witnesses to help me defend myself. So let me start by saying that I am writing this post to see if there are any witnesses out there. It is my belief that some of my fellow teachers might be willing to come forward and share what they know, when they hear what I found out today at the appeal hearing of the charges against me.

Long Standing LAUSD Reform Policy: And This Too Shall Pass

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Reforming public education at LAUSD or throughout the United States is really not that difficult. While there are heated arguments for and against charter schools, small learning communities, magnet schools, teacher competency, student deficits, and parent involvement, the clear answer without minimizing the difficulty of the task involved is that its not rocket science to give students an excellent public education. As Charles Kerchner points out in his book Learning From L.A. - Institutional Change in American Public Education, there was a clear path to academic excellence pointed out on many occasions during the long history of LAUSD that he discusses. So why didn't it work?
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3

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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Where Reform Should Start

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It can be rather tedious writing day after day about what oblivious LAUSD administration continues to do wrong in the face of incontrovertible evidence. Therefore, I would like to make one of what I hope will be many suggestions put forth in the next few months by perdaily and others who come to the site as to what might be better approaches to accountable public education reform that has a likely chance of succeeding because it is based on an approach that is specific enough and grounded in an historical context as to what needs to be in place in order for success.

29

04 2010

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:

LAUSD'S Latest Pyrrhic Victory

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I thought by waiting over a week before addressing the furlough deal between LAUSD and UTLA that I might feel differently, but time -- when dealing with anything rotten -- has only made it stink more. I had a dream last night where Ramon Cortines had replaced Monty Hall as MC of the once popular Let's Make A Deal, with always stylish A.J. Duffy bringing that Jimmy Cagneyesque charm to assisting Ray the same way Vanna White brought it to make Monty shine. In my dream/nightmare, instead of having three doors to choose from, teachers had only two.

Bowdon's Documentary "The Cartel": A Busman's Holiday For Teachers

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Any of you curious as to what a guy who writes at least 5 posts a week for www.perdaily.com does during his weekend? Saturday night, I went to the Laemmle Sunset 5 to see The Cartel, a film about the corruption of public education in New Jersey, a state that has the distinction of spending more money per pupil than any forty-seven other states in the union, while having little or nothing to show for it. There is a definite East coast flavor -- cue The Godfather theme music -- to this story of premeditated public education failure that the producer, writer, director Bob Bowdon masterfully brings to his telling of the pervasive and astronomically expensive corruption that hold public school children and their parents hostage, while ultimately releasing them into society as illiterate and unable to do simple math. Anyone familiar with LAUSD will recognize all the cast of platitude quoting educriminal characters who continue to run public education and the future of this country into the ground.

20

04 2010

THIS BATHROOM HANDRAIL COST LAUSD $2,785!!

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A tip we received from an LAUSD insider accompanied with project cost files once again demonstrates that these people should be prosecuted for the magnitude of their corruption... or incompetence. The source of our tip uses just two seemingly small projects -- shade canopies ($218,000) and bathroom handles ($2,785) -- to prove a point.

Nobody Minding The Store At LAUSD

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I was initially heartened by the indictment of an LAUSD construction supervisor who was not only making over a quarter of a million dollars a year by working for the District, but was also making a similar amount through his privately owned company that he is alleged to have funnel business to by ensuring that LAUSD hired his company's employees as consultants. However, on looking into this matter more thoroughly, it became clear that this prosecution posed more questions than it sought to address...

Jaime Escalante, Non-Conformist And Craftsman

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Good teachers are one of a kind. Teachers like my old Government teacher Marvin Katz and English teacher Eugene Friedman from my days at Monroe High School. Good teachers who individually configured their own nuanced approach to teaching courses in a way that wasn't just going through the motions. What I have always found to be true is that students -- even the students that don't try -- definitely know the difference between a good teacher who is trying to inspire them and a teacher that is just phoning it in and watching the clock with them.

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

Wikileaks Reminded Me That Most Teachers Are Cowards

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With the furlough days and more job insecurity, maybe the CIA should offer a summer special ops job training program for teachers, since it seems clear that the federal government would have a much better chance to keep the lid on nasty little scenes like the murder WikiLeaks reported, if teachers were in the chain of command.The CIA could rest assured that they would say 'nuthin' to nobody'. It has become clear to me over the last few years that almost without exception, organizational leadership reflects rank-and-file mentality and commitment.

7

04 2010

If Parents Were Required To Come To Class, Behavior Would Get Better

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So here's a little fix that not only costs little or nothing, but stands an excellent chance of bringing down many of the collateral costs to the State of California for the failure of LAUSD and other school districts throughout the state. Any inner city teacher or school administrator will tell you that it is difficult, if not impossible, to address the needs of an academically challenged student population if student discipline cannot be maintained. In difficult economic times, administrators marching orders from LAUSD are to maintain attendance at any cost, because funding for LAUSD is exclusively a function of in seat attendance or ADA. In perusing the California Education Code, one comes up with the following section...READ MORE

5

04 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

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."

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

Feds Wonder Why LAUSD Students Can't Do Anything In Proper English

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As I write this post, I am cautiously optimistic that at least one major aspect of fraud and malfeasance at LAUSD might finally be addressed by the Civil Rights Office of the federal Department of Education. After Secretary of Education and President Obama made speeches and appearances on how existing civil rights laws would be used to gain compliance from districts like LAUSD that have little concrete results to show in dealing with their predominantly Latino and African American population, I didn't expect that they would move so fast.

11

03 2010

The Four Day School Week (Or When Thursday Becomes The New Friday)

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I sure hope ignorance is bliss, because the awareness that comes from being educated creates nothing but pain when confronted on a daily basis with the short-sighted thinking that is rapidly sending this country up a certain creek without a paddle. The latest panacea for fixing education -- in what more and more seems akin to the way one fixes a dog -- is to have a 4 day school week to balance the budget of many school districts throughout the country. As yet this hasn't been proposed by Superintendent Cortines at LAUSD, but it is early yet and the $640 million shortfall this year is only a harbinger of the cuts already being proposed for the next two years.
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