Archive for the ‘LA Times’Category

DAILY NEWS REPORTER BARBARA JONES "REWARDED" FOR NOT DEVIATING FROM LAUSD PARTY LINE

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) It's hard to get angry at the American public for doing nothing to stop the dismantling and privatization of public education for profit and the further dumbing down of the electorate, when freedom of the press- and the 4th estate that is supposed to insure it- has already been completely dismantled. If you had any doubt about the press being completely co-opted, the hiring of Daily News Reporter Barbara Jones as Chief of Staff for Los Angeles Unified School Board Member Tamar Galatzan should finally put that to rest.

9

12 2013

LAUSD: YOU CAN'T LEGISLATE MORALITY- BUT YOU CAN TEACH IT

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) A rigorous public education is not a luxury. Rather it is an absolute necessity for any society that has pretensions of being a democracy in something more than just rhetoric. With the more affluent and predominantly White population having escaped to the suburbs or private schools to avoid the Supreme Court's judgment that "separate but equal education is inherently unequal" in the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education case, what we are left with is not only a public education daycare system that has no academic rigor, but the reality that this purposefully failed public education system has been going on for so long now that even those who have been charged to run it- and are themselves a product of it- do so without either the education or historical vision necessary to succeed in this now daunting task.

3

12 2012

NOTHING LIKE A SEX SCANDAL TO COVER A TEACHER WITCH HUNT

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) The reason Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) "officials failed to promptly report nearly 150 cases of suspected teacher misconduct- including allegations of sexual contact with students- to state authorities as required by law" is not as Howard Blume uncritically goes along with in his Los Angeles Times article yesterday. Rather, the reason that LAUSD was busy trying to intimidate mostly innocent teachers into resigning or retiring was to balance its in the red budget from 2004 until the present. The LAPD has cleared the vast majority of rubber room teachers in a timely manner, but that isn't enough for LAUSD or the media, who continue to have a feeding frenzy continuing to persecute innocent teachers. Those like Mark Berndt, where there is probable cause to hold them wind up in real not teacher jail. What is really going on is te wonks at LAUSD figured out that they could get a great deal of the red out of the district budget, if they got rid of teachers at the top of the salary scale, who also disproportionate availed themselves of medical coverage- 8% of all LAUSD medical claims were coming from an older teacher demographic that was accounting for 49% of total medical costs.

1

12 2012

LAUSD: COURT TO RULE IF STULL CAN BE USED TO SCAPEGOAT GOOD TEACHERS

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) According to a recent Los Angeles TImes article, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant will rule today on requiring the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to use student test scores in teacher STULL evaluations, which are supposed to determine if the teacher is doing a good job or should be placed in a category of teachers ultimately facing dismissal. LAUSD, specifically this case engage in the post hoc fallacy when they try to scapegoat teachers for the failure of students simply based on the fact that they were in the teacher's class and, therefore, the teacher must be responsible if they are now failing.

11

06 2012

LAUSD and UTLA's A.J. Duffy - Truly a Man for All Seasons (LAUSD y UTLA AJ Duffy - Verdaderamente Un hombre Para Todas Las Estaciones)

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(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.

6

09 2011

LAUSD, Teaching, And The Road To Extinction by Mark Hemphill (LAUSD, la enseñanza, y camino a la extinción por Mark Hemphill)

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(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.

2

06 2011

LAUSD- The Bloodletting Continues (LAUSD-continúa el derramamiento de sangre)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) There was a time when doctors believed that bad blood made people sick and that all you needed to do was let out some of the bad blood and the patient would get well. At some point after many years of using this technique, somebody finally took notice of the fact that an inordinate number of patients were dying and that the ones who were getting well were doing so in spite of this ill-advised treatment. Finally, members of the medical profession stopped bleeding people. Alas, it seems that although clear and unequivocal evidence shows that value added assessment has at least a 43-45% margin of error, according to academics like Professor Diane Ravitch of New York University and others according to all relevant data on the subject, militantly ignorant people in administration at LAUSD and the lemming reporters at the L.A. Times and other mainstream media outlets of print and electronic media around the country continue to follow LAUSD over the cliff in trying to lay their own blame on teachers whose blood they have no problem in continuing to let.

10

05 2011

No Accountablity for LAUSD Or Denver Public Schools When L.A. Times Carries On It's Long History of Union Bashing (No Accountablity de Escuelas Públicas de Denver O LAUSD Cuando Los Angeles Times continúa Es larga historia de la Unión Bashing)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Let me take this opportunity to welcome Nicholas Riccardi to the L.A. Times Staff. His article in Saturday, January 29th's Los Angeles Times entitled A school's triumphant rise continues that most hallowed of Los Angeles Times traditions of irrationally attacking labor - in this instance teachers - while giving LAUSD and Denver public school administrators a pass for corrupt and failed public education systems that they are the architects of. If administrators of Denver's Bruce Randolph School are the admitted architects of failed public education as Superintendent Ray Cortines and his predecessors are the architects of failed LAUSD schools, then why would destroying a unionized professional teachers corp in any way address the structural failures in design that teachers had no say in implementing in the first place? Ironically, the only teachers it will get rid of are those who refuse to complement the emperor on his new clothes.

1

02 2011

Forget Seniority: LAUSD Teachers No Longer Safe From L.A. Times Distortion of Reality (Olvídese de antigüedad: Los maestros del LAUSD que ya no están a salvo de Los Angeles Times, Distorsión de la Realidad)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) In Jason Felch and Jason Song's latest piece of yellow journalism for the L.A. Times entitled "Teachers no longer safe in seniority," one cannot help being astounded at the ability of these two journalistic aparatchiks to say so much while consciously leaving out critical information that might allow their readers to come up with exactly the opposite conclusion The Two Jasons want them to. What makes this all the more reprehensible is that anybody with the access to LAUSD of The Two Jasons and their other job threatened colleagues at the Times undoubtedly know that what they "report" are scripted talking points of a neo-liberal agenda to destroy the remnants of real public education and the knowledge and empowerment our Founding Fathers counted on public education for to give the citizens of this country as the repository of power under the constitution- no education, no democracy.

24

01 2011

LAUSD and Complicit UTLA: Listen Today 1/18/11 at 8 a.m. on KPFK to The Silenced Majority(UTLA LAUSD y cómplices: Escuche hoy 1/18/11 a las 8 am en KPFK de Los Mayoría silenciada)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, January 18-20 KPFK's Uprising Show with Sonali Kolhatkar will talk about issues of real public education reform that are presently blacked out in the mainstream media. Listen live at 90.7 FM if you are in Los Angeles or podcast at: http://www.kpfk.org/listen-live.html If you want to listen later, the shows will be archived at: http://archive.kpfk.org/parchive/ January 18th show on KPFK: What happens to teachers who stand against LAUSD endemic corruption Public education as LAUSD and UTLA see it are about adapting to failure, rather than positing a pragmatic and viable model that addresses the subjective needs of students, teachers, and their families to insure an environment where learning is not the exception and 50% of teachers do not quit within the first 5 years because of the untenable environment they are required to teach in with no administrative support for either good teaching or the minimal level of discipline it requires..

18

01 2011

LAUSD, UTLA, The L.A. Times and Yellow Journalism

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) On Sunday, November 7th Mitchell Landsberg of the Los Angeles Times wrote an article entitled "Teachers unions clout in question," which is a completely and utter distortion of everything that he knows from having daily and intimate access to the highest echelons of LAUSD, which he once described to me as resembling a "MASH triage unit in Superintendent Ramon Cortines's offfice," where they are running from brush fire to brush fire without a clue as how to deal with any of the issues they face in a logical and definitive manner. Mitchell Landsberg, Jason Song, Howard Blume, and other journalists that limit themselves to publishing what Diane Ravitch ironically calls "the dominant narrative" party line that is parroted all the way down the line from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines, who all know the reality of public education's programmed failure that has gone on for generations, but choose for what must be their own career security to write articles that incessantly mention dominant narrative talking points without the slightest critical analysis which should be the hallmark of real journalism.

9

11 2010

LAUSD's Strategic Roadmap Development On A Collision Course With Reality (Mapa de desarrollo estratégico del LAUSD en curso de colisión con la realidad)

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(en español después) Is there anybody else out there that realizes there has never been any substance to anything LAUSD proposes as public education reform? When you finish what amounts to the halftime pep talk from Head Coach Ramon Cortines, you as teachers and classified staff, administrators, and students and parents have to get back in the arena and get your brains beat out by the reality that LAUSD leadership and their masters in Sacracmento and Washington steadfastly refuse to specifically address in anything but edspeak platitudes that don't give you a clue as to how to finally turn things around, before the decay of American society becomes as irreversible as the equally ignored phenomenon of global warming.

15

10 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.

27

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)

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(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.

21

09 2010

UTLA: Where's the union I pay $60 a month for? Donde esta el sindicato que yo pago $60 cada mese?)

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(en español después) As long as the queue at UTLA to succeed Duffy resembles the queue at LAUSD to follow Cortines, nothing will change- especially when Duffy thinks there is nothing wrong about getting into the queue at LAUSD after he terms out next year.
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15

09 2010

The Same Old (Jason) Song: Maybe He Should READ The LAUSD Fine Print

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California Government Çode 821.6:

"A public employee is not liable for injury caused by his instituting or prosecuting any judicial or administrative proceeding within the scope of his employment, even if he acts maliciously and without probable cause."

How Testing And Choice Are Undermining Education

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In what more and more appears like a reverse Renaissance -- aka self-inflicted Dark Ages -- those in power seem to be seeking the destruction of public education, so that the reflective thought necessary to question and hold accountable the greedy leadership of this country will no longer exist. In The Death and Life of the Great American School System - How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, Diane Ravitch concisely analyzes the very real threat to a viable constitutional democracy that consciously chooses to vest power in an educated citizenry. Beyond the strength of the arguments she makes in questioning the much touted educational reform we constantly hear about in the media is the fact that this politically conservative educator is coming up with the same critiques that politically progressive people have leveled at constantly changing public education reforms that never seem to come to fruition in any measurable way, except in the profits that these reforms seem to generate for everyone except the students.

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.

We're Working Over Here

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Just because you don't see anything new right now doesn't mean we aren't trying. Quite the opposite. We're actually working on something gigantic. So gigantic, in fact, that we'll probably get in some sort of trouble (to be determined at a later date). In the meantime we'll distract you  with this list of stories the LA Times won't cover -- no matter how many times we ask.

7

01 2010

Bar Set Low For Lifetime Teaching Jobs... Thoughts And Highlights From Yesterday's LA Times Article

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Yesterday the LA Times ran a story about the LAUSD tenure-mill system. While it explains how an unqualified teacher can easily aquire tenure, what the article really demonstrates is the overall lack of oversight within the bloated and often woefully incompetent LAUSD administrative bureaucracy. Before I say told you so, let me elaborate on some of the highlights.