3(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Last night at the Center for the Junior Blind in Baldwin Hills, Congresswoman Karen Bass and Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali spoke about fixing public education as "the most important civil rights issue of our generation." And yet, In laying out where we stand now and the Obama administration's ambitious goals for fixing public education by 2020 Assistant Secretary Ali tried the impossible task of trying to reconcile her optimism with her equally honest assessment that there was not only no money to fix public education, but the rather extreme likelihood that there would be even less in the future.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) If you have been targeted for dismissal as a teacher by LAUSD, there is one way that you might be able to defend yourself, which United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) and their attorneys at Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad seem to avoid at all costs. California Education Code Section 44944 requires: (a) (1) In a dismissal or suspension proceeding initiated pursuant to Section 44934, if a hearing is requested by the employee,the hearing shall be commenced within 60 days from the date of the employee's demand for a hearing. This provision is presently ignored by LAUSD, UTLA, and Trystad, Schwab & Trygstad to the detriment of the teacher being brought up on charges and facing dismissal.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) As perdaily approaches its two year anniversary this November of writing about all the news that's fit to print about the inept Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), that somehow never seems to see the light of day with the Los Angeles Times or any other mainstream media outlet - or Broad and Gates Foundation financially dependent National Public Radio outlets for that matter. In moments of self-doubt, one wonders whether we are making a difference? With the excellent self-critical educational skills that I developed as a student from an LAUSD of a different era during the 1950s and 1960s, I reflected as we post our 300th blog post as to whether what I am reporting makes any difference in the unceasing and purposeful decline of public education at LAUSD and the rest of predominantly minority filled public school districts throughout this country. After all, it's hard to stay a racist without LAUSD and its compadres throughout this country continuing to cultivate stereotypes of Black and Latino stupidity from the naive optimism of Black and Latino children and their parents who continue to pursue the American dream, when they should know better by now.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) When I read Mr. Isenberg's blog about the rubber rooms, I thought the District's process was, at worst, simply stupid. This morning, I had an opportunity to visit one of these teachers at his temporary assignment. Teachers call these temporary assignments "rubber rooms", apparently due to the similarity to holding facilities at mental hospitals that have walls made of rubber to prevent patient self-injury. What I observed was appalling - and what I heard was even worse. Teachers are required to sit in separated cubicles that are more reminiscent of jail visiting facilities than of a school site. I also confirmed that the District has given them absolutely nothing to do - not even "busy work". Having been required to work at an empty desk during my own whistleblowing experience, I know that being required to do nothing while being watched constantly is an extremely stressful and totally punitive procedure.(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) If you were a school district like the Los Angeles Unified School District that had a $408 million budget shortfall for the academic year 2011-2012 and $15 billion in unfunded and already vested lifetime medical benefits, what would you do? Here's a little gambit that would make Bernie Madoff or John Gotti proud. The scintillating intellects at LAUSD and their new Superintendent John Deasy straight from the Gates Foundation with his mandate to privatize public education, tells his underlings to target teachers with the following characteristics:(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) Several years ago Green Dot Schools then CEO Steve Barr did a video interview for a documentary on public education that I was working on. In it he said, "We can turn around Locke High School in a year." It occurred to me at the time that if you could make up for all the damage that had been done to these students in South Central (I'm not politically correct, since changing the name hasn't changed the reality for the better in this area), then none of us would have to go to 13 years of K-12 education. It is now years later, where only 14 of the original 500 student class graduated and only 85 of a recent 1400 student class graduated. This does not mean that even those who graduated were college ready with A-G requirements. Rather than think and ask why this is happening and finally address student deficits in a timely manner, before it is too late for most students by the time they get to high school without Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) or basic math skills, people still refuse to address the underlying faulty reasoning that tries to fix the damage after the fact and then implicitly accepts race and poverty as the explanation as to why students don't succeed.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) With a $15 billion shortfall in presently vested and yet unfunded lifetime health benefits and a present $408 million current budget deficit, LAUSD administrators are highly motivated to get rid of as many teachers with high seniority and at the top of the salary scale, along with those teachers who are about to vest with lifetime health benefits. Those teachers with both a great deal of seniority and who are about to vest in lifetime health benefits, either by longtime service or the "Rule of 80," where the combination of their age and years of service equals 80, are prime candidates for removal from their jobs with LAUSD by any means- legal or illegal. If you are presently being targeted for removal as either a certificated or classified LAUSD employee, you need to file immediately with the following agency, before the statute of limitations runs - there is strength in numbers: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Los Angeles District Office 255 E. Temple St. 4th floor Los Angeles, California 90012 (213) 894-1096 TTY (213) 894-1121 FAX (213) 894-1118(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?When the Q&A period commenced, Lenny was the first to be called. He related the recent test fixing scandals in New York, D.C, and now Atlanta and asked Cortines to respond to similar allegations that Lenny reported to Cortines 2 years ago along with physical evidence that Lenny has about the same test fixing going on at LAUSD. Immediately, the smile departed from Cortines face and he became ostensibly defensive. But Lenny went on to relate his personal experience as a teacher long aware of these "fixing" issues - as most teachers are - and how he had been targeted and terminated for his refusal to stand by silently, but rather attempting to report it to the Los Angeles Times Reporter Mitchell Landsberg, who although reporting this scandal to Cortines, never wrote a word about it in the Times. As of this writing, the L.A. Times continues to blackout this topic and many others dealing with LAUSD corruption.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) For 23 years I was an acclaimed teacher who taught school with excellent teaching evaluations and no negative marks of any kind against me. Only when I dared to say that cheating on student assessments was rampant in my school and throughout LAUSD (for which I have documentary proof) was I subjected to a well orchestrated campaign of harassment, highly defamatory false charges, and ultimate dismissal from LAUSD which is now pending before an expensive and protracted legal process that LAUSD seems content to endlessly throw money at even though they have no evidence against me that has not been fabricated.. I guess I should be flattered that they recently engaged the toney outside law firm of Bergman and Dacey to continue the assault. This is why I was not surprised by today's revelation about the fixing of student assessments in Atlanta, Georgia. "Rampant, systematic cheating on test scores in this city's long-troubled public schools," is a mirror image of the scam that continues to go on unchecked at LAUSD.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) There is a disturbing trend that is becoming more and more prevalent in various aspects of American society, which has come to have much more in common with the fanaticism it derides in Muslim fundamentalism than in a rich history of free thinking that derives strength from and protects the ideas of those who question authority. Irrational orthodoxy that eschews fact, logic, and reason, while taking exception with this same type of aberrant behavior in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan, sees no problem with imposing their right reasoning against parallel intellectual traditions in these countries and the United States of rational social order and accomplishment.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Given the unrelenting decline of American public education and the war-failed economy which is being used to justify its continuing premeditated destruction, one often hears in description of this sick farce: "The definition of insanity is to continue implementing the same failed policies with the expectation of a different result. While that seems to be a pretty good explanation of the militant ignorance that continues to drive public education policy into the ground, there now seems to be even a better definition: "The definition of insanity is to continue using the same people whose failed policies destroyed public education in the first place to try and fix it." Case in point, Richard Riordan, Caprice Young, and Judy Burton to name just a few of the usual suspects that continue unquestioned by the corporate controlled mainstream media to implement the corporate agenda to privatize the $250-370 billion "business" that public education represents, while dumbing down the public education foundation of this democracy to assure that corporate actions motivated solely by greed/profit will go unquestioned.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) When we think of those who collaborated with Nationalsozialismus or Nazism and the Third Reich during World War II, we usually have quite appropriate visions of Vichy France. But early on, the Nazis had sympathizers in many other countries organizations including in America and some moved on to becoming allies and collaborators. It may be surprising to realize but some of these were even Jews themselves who went so far as to help in the selection of other Jews who would go to the camps. Most noteworthy and vile among the many features of Nazism was racism, assassination and genocide. But the Nazis also opposed liberalism, democracy, capitalism, industrialization and, of greatest interest to us, trade unionism. The most powerful unit within Nazi corps was the Schutzstaffel or the SS which faithfully enforced the policies listed above. They did the dirty work. So the issue to be addressed here is the similar nature of certain organizations and their working committees who are taking over the field of education within our own Los Angeles community. For any of you who have done any time with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) the comparisons to Nazi Germany are more than apparent. The totalitarianism and suppression of freedom of expression are commonplace and daily ordeals. Teacher intimidation and roundups grow in frequency. The loses of protections under tenure, permanency, and seniority are recent. The end of careers or the threat of it is a constant presence. And what makes these conditions so much worse is the ever reliable collaborative relationship the district holds with its partner, the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA).(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) It is a difficult thing to say - and it would seem from what I read - a difficult thing to comprehend, but there is very little that can be done within the existing power structure at both the state and federal level. Having said this, you must understand that I am not "so negative," as I have been labeled, but rather a realist who would like to act in a way that is likely to REQUIRE a response from the corrupt power structure that presently ignores us at no cost to themselves. You can file an action with Public Employees Review Board and the likely result with be that you will lose...two years from now in an action decided by the same type of political appointees that are as much in the pocket of LAUSD as is the California Teacher Credentialing, where 43% of the employees are afraid for their jobs if they report the nepotism and corruption that is rampant in these and other state and federal agencies. You can demand that LAUSD, UTLA, and other corrupt entities treat you in a manner the complies with law and your rights to equal protect and due process, b(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) The lost city of Petra in modern day Jordan, which was popularized in Spielberg-Lucas classic film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was inhabited from 7000 B.C., before fading into oblivion. The vibrant society of Easter Island, off the coast of South America, also built a flourishing civilization made famous by massive stone faces that remain to this day starring out to sea long after this civilization responsible for them disappeared. The Mayan culture of Southern Mexico and Central America also thrived from 2000 B.C. until 900 A.D. and then, like its predecessors went into decline and irrelevance. In all these civilizations, what brought them down was a failure to adapt and a total disregard for the exigencies demanded by their changing environment. With a public education system at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) that harkens back to the failed pseudo-science of Social Darwinism from which it defined itself and the subjective needs of those in power to justify their own fragile power in defiance of necessary adaptation, we have arrived at the same tipping point for our civilization, where we will have to decide in the next few years whether we want to join the people of Petra, Easter Island, and Mayan civilizations as another also ran. Is the immutable nature of civilization such that no civilization can endure and reinvent itself with an amalgamation of the ideas it was founded on and those adaptations that will allow it to continue.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) In trying to understand how the magnitude of such complete and utter gross incompetence or just plain old fashion corruption can go on for so many years at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) without anybody in a position of government authority taking action to stop it, it occurred to me that maybe the shear magnitude of the stupidity might have made it difficult for the average person to get their mind around it, especially if their own public school education taught them to follow orders and avoid critical thought whenever possible.. So lets look at a another more comprehensible mini-LAUSDesque boondoggle that recently occurred at Palisades Charter High School, where the same type of downright militantly ignorant actions of their board voted to not offer long term administrator Ann Davenport a renewal of her contract, even though she has always had excellent performance evaluations and the support of the faculty, while representing the greatest continuity and institutional knowledge that has not as of yet been driven from the school.(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) While the ongoing corruption, incompetence, and programmed failure of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as an educational institution is bad enough, when one measures the continuing abysmal results that this purposefully failed system has had with those unlucky enough to have no alternative for their education, what is far worse are the archaic values it promotes that continue to be touted and unquestioningly accepted by the majority of our society, who themselves are a product of this public education system where critical thinking is not abided.