Archive for the ‘Lenny’Category

IS KNBC STARTING TO QUESTION LAUSD IN OTHER AREAS BECAUSE OF MIRAMONTE? BY MARK HEMPHILL (VIDEO)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) If you were watching KNBC Los Angeles news coverage last night, you may have seen a report by Conan Nolan titled, Where Do Problem Teachers Go? The "Rubber Room." It served as a sort of one minute and fifty three second limited spot summary of Leonard Isenberg's last article, "LAUSD & UTLA: THEIR PROBLEMS ARE STRUCTURAL NOT PERSONNEL," in which Lenny articulates the many levels of accountability due to LAUSD and UTLA for the conditions which permit disasters like the events at Miramonte Elementary School and the archaic detentions centers called rubber rooms.

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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14

09 2010

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

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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.

21

06 2010

Calling A Spade A Spade

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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.

Pali Charter... The Rich Getting Richer

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Tipster: At the meeting of the Board of Directors of Palisades Charter High School on June 5, 2010, the outgoing Executive Director Ms. Dresser-Held presented a new salary schedule for school administrators. Now their salaries will grow by $ 5,000 each year plus the same annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) raise that the faculty might subsequently get. Thus, in five years, an administrative salary from the starting amount of $ 99,000 goes to an impressive 129,000, after which regular career increments and COLA will continue to apply. Isn't it a betrayal of the charter goals in the school that proclaimed that it would change the LAUSD paradigms, focus on the needs of classrooms and teachers, set new priorities, and do things differently?

Send LAUSD A Message By Voting NO On Measure E

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It is very difficult for us to recommend a NO vote on Measure E because we are aware of the teachers jobs and programs from the arts to maintaining librarians that hang in the balance. However, giving LAUSD more money under the circumstances smacks of extortion, while the well being of students and teachers are the human shield to try and make just one more withdrawal from the taxpayers by the money junkies at the District. If their was any credibility in LAUSD one might offer even a more expensive tax measure, but without the ability to first restructure LAUSD's corrupt and self-serving bureaucratic leadership, it is unacceptable to give them more money to waste without LAUSD first showing that they would do something different with it than they already have done. Does anybody give YOU more money for failure?

Online "Learning" Revisited

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Tip: "...The unaddressed lax security allows for students to cheat at any time. Some students have friends complete the assessment portion. Some students even have their parents complete that portion, several admit to it. Students with decent computer skills keep the lessons open and search for answers. While a majority of the students use trial and error, knowing that a majority of the questions will be repeated."
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3

06 2010

Bilingualism, The American Advantage

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For me, one of the most interesting expressions of the conflicting approach to maintaining American viability as a society, with the knowledge that every other previous society has declined, is what I think of as the inherently American process of cultural co-optation, while at the same time allowing our identify as American to be changed by the different human combinations and permutations that are forever changing the face of this country.

2

06 2010

Why It Doesn't Matter Who's Running Your Charter/Public School...

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In fixing public education in LAUSD and elsewhere I must confess that I am more concerned with what people actually do than who is doing it. In the first round of deciding who was going to get a chance to run certain failed LAUSD schools that were up for grabs there was a tremendous amount of media coverage about the battle between charter operators and groups headed by teachers and administrators, but little or no discussion of what they would actually do to accomplish this herculean task of trying to turn around long failed LAUSD schools.

Waste A Lot, Always Want More...

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Tipster :"... i thought you should know about the waste. i'm sure you've heard about the cameraman who takes pictures for the LAUSD webpage and how the job pays over $100k. For years now, lurking in the local district offices theres an admin with the same pay range who is referred to as the "data guy" that position is being extended as a coordinator position on campuses. case in point: at garfield high school there is a data guy, at the top of the pay scale, who is the coordinator in charge of "data." whatever the qualifications are, i'm going to assume the individual should be skilled with math, statistics, and the Student Information System. the guy sits in his cave, with a B.A. in geology, and makes about 150k with all the overtime he is alloted..." READ THE REST
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24

05 2010

Merit Pay Isn't The Answer

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In "Teachers, Performance Pay, and Accountability: What Education Should Learn from Other Sectors", researchers Scott J. Adams, John S. Heywood and Richard Rothstein examine the evidence that underlies these assumptions, concluding that the use of merit pay systems has negative consequences that often block the larger goal of improving the quality of services. Daniel Pink, author of the best selling book, "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us", has a great presentation discussing what motivates skilled labor people to do excellent work and surprisingly, it isn't money.

40 Years Later, It's Time For Another Latino Walkout

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New Pew Hispanic Center Report released this week shows that Latinos once again are behind their white and black peers when it comes to educational certification after dropping out of high school. Dropping out of high school is horrible enough, but only one in ten Hispanic high school dropouts has obtained a GED. And unfortunately, the problem isn't just limited to immigrant Hispanics.

18

05 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."

The Hand And Glove Relationship Between LAUSD And UTLA

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No, the teachers' union and LAUSD have not decided to offer proctological exams at Beaudry or Berendo, but sometimes it just feels that way.

11

05 2010

An Educated Proposal For Immigration

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The color that interests me most is gray. I do not see it anywhere in most of the discussions regarding education or other important issues that are profoundly effecting our society. Since Arizona passed its racial profiling predisposed law to address the presence of undocumented workers in this country, all I have heard is that it is racist -- which it most surely is. Whether a law is ill-conceived or not, I think one must also raise some of the following points if one ever hopes to find a fair solution to immigration that remains highly problematic.

10

05 2010

The 12 Education MYTHS

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Rather then design an academic program that specifically address the subjective needs of the student population, those in power propose ideas that are non sequiturs that have no chance of success, because those in power know that successful public education means their demise and an end to the obscene waste that public education continues to incur throughout this country with no significant positive results. Most programs and reforms today accommodate to failure rather than address it.

Are Textbook Publishers Too Big To Fail? I Think Not.

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If school districts published their own books with chapters written by those teachers who had the writing talent and desire for some extra money, the districts as owners of the copyright could print up as many copies of these books as they needed at a fraction of the present cost, while paying the teachers a continuing royalty for their work. School district generated textbooks would not only cover national issues, but would be more easily adaptable to local issues by having built in links to other data on the Internet that is far richer than any single textbook could ever hope to be.

UTLA = LAUSD Not So Lite

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UTLA gives credibility to LAUSD by making the advocacy process look real when in reality it isn't. When UTLA gets a complaint from a member and files a grievance, they treat it as if they have never had a complaint like this before. When in reality, they might have had or presently have the same kind of complaint against the same principal who is doing the same thing to another teacher - they just will not share that information with you.
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7

05 2010

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

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:

Education Is Not A Luxury

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War in the United States during WWII was waged by citizen soldiers that represented a cross-section of our citizens taken by the draft from all social classes. During the Vietnam War this changed and those who got drafted tended to come from the lower classes, so that Black and Latino soldiers represented twice the percentage of soldiers that they groups represented in the general population, while predominantly White students were able to avoid the draft by staying in school with a II-S student deferment. It is no accident that the Vietnam War came to an end shortly after the draft lottery was brought into existence to create more equity in the draft by finally subjecting all men 18 and over -- irrespective of school status -- to being drafted.
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27

04 2010

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

Thomas Jefferson VS Alexander Hamilton: The Battle For Sex Education

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"...In focusing on the specific issue of sex education in schools, one can see how an unrealistic inner-city curriculum is designed to avoid the subjective realities that exist in poor communities and holds little or no relevancy for communities that have none of the conditions in place that would make successful education possible..."

16

04 2010

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

What Does It Mean To Be American?

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Yesterday was my 63rd birthday and after spending the last 5 months writing posts for perdaily, I would like to reflect on why education reform is so important to me. When I used to teach history, I always started out class by having the students read the front page of the Los Angeles Times while I took the roll and did the our mundane classroom maintenance tasks. In confronting student reticence about the relevance of reading today's newspaper in a World or American History course, I would respond that if I could not connect what was on the front page of the paper to what we were studying, I would not have them read the front page of the newspaper anymore.

26

03 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

The 'Jihad' Against Diversity In Education

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Last Monday, March 16, 2010, radio and podcast Democracy Now with Amy Goodman spent an hour with Debbie Almontaser, the former principal of the Kahlil Gabran International Academy in Brooklyn, New York. Almontaser was forced out of her position  in 2007 by Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott upon orders of Mayor Bloomberg. Mayor Bloomberg succumbed to pressure from bigots in New York and elsewhere who had launched a smear campaign against Principal Almontaser

Prez Of Detroit Public Schools Can't Write A Coherent Sentence

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The president of the Detroit Public Schools (DPS), Otis Mathis, is condemned to "waging a legal battle to steer the academic future of 90,000 children, in the nation's lowest-achieving big city district," without himself having the basic English language skills that would make his job a whole lot easier. Mr.Mathis "acknowledges he has difficulty composing a coherent English sentence". Unlike many of his counterparts, Mathis never had the possibility to address his deficits in even a moderately rigorous educational environment. He got through college by simply waiting out the system until the graduation requirement for minimal English competence was dropped. The following is an example of one of his emails to colleagues...
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18

03 2010

Revisionist History 101: Texas Edition

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The mistake that most intelligent people make is failing to factor into their logic the transitory nature of almost everything we encounter during our brief sojourn on the face of the earth. An Indian Rajah once asked his wise man for an answer to all the thorny problems that constantly plagued him, to which the wise man responded, "And this too will pass." This is not just true of our problems, but it is also true for the wealth of human knowledge that countless generations of homo sapiens have acquired since the dawn of their existence in Africa about 1 million years ago. Can someone tell that to the school board in Texas?

A Quick Word On School (Fore)closures

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As a moderately well-educated remnant of the bygone LAUSD era of the 1950s and 60s, I always try to rationalize what I read in the news to see if I can make sense of what initially appears to be a contradictory 2010 American reality. In reading an article yesterday morning in the Los Angeles Times in which a Kansas City superintendent says closing half its schools is painful but the 'right thing to do' I immediately tried to put this event in a global and historical context that might allow us to make the best of what initially seems to be a bad situation.

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

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.

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.

The Reason We Love Teaching

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At perdaily, we had hoped to balance all the negativity out there with articles about the commitment and idealism that got us into teaching in the first place. While the last 60 stories we have put up on the site needed to get said and had an incredibly salutary effect on ourselves and hopefully our readers, we need to do something more than just respond the LAUSD dysfunction. Rather we need to posit our vision of who we are as educators and remember that most of us still love those moments when real learning takes place.

26

02 2010

ADA At Central High: By Any Means Necessary

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On February 12, 2010 at the Central High Beverly Classroom site a Latino student was dumped into this site without adequate screening. This Latino student subsequently stabbed and almost killed a Black student, because Principal Seary was in such a hurry to get her numbers up, adequate screening that considered things such as conflict in gang affiliation or propensity for violence was not sufficiently taken into consideration. While regular schools have metal detectors, Central High School/Tri-C -- which gets the most problematic students that have been thrown out those regular high schools with metal detectors and other forms of security -- has no daily process in place to protect either the teachers or students. What is more important to Principal Seary is what she said in a faculty meeting several years ago, "The students may come and go, this is about our jobs."

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.

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

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.

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

Reporting Live From The 'Rubber Room'

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In the spirit of the Academy Awards, I would like to thank my Principal Janet Seary, her boss Janice Davis, Superintendent Ramon Cortines and his chief of staff Jim Morris for becoming unofficial patrons of perdaily.com, and our campaign to propose and institute real change and consequences for all those that continue to undermine LAUSD for their own personal gain. Being able to sit for 6 ½ hours a day and write about what's wrong with LAUSD is, to quote Hamlet, "a consummation devoutly to be wish'd."

9

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.

An Open Letter To Raymond Johnson (Chief Inspector, LAUSD Office Of The Inspector General)

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The only passage from this letter you need to read:
"When I referred to what I have been put through as a kafkaesque reality, as an intelligent graduate of Dorsey High School, you did not understand the reference to the writer Franz Kafka. Alas, this deficit in your education is precisely what must be eliminated in the future of inner city public education, if we expect to maintain this country as an educated and viable democracy."
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18

01 2010

"I Don't Get No Respect" -- Rodney Dangerfield, UTLA

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I once asked Day Higuchi what was done with all the things that were discussed and voted on by the UTLA House of Representatives. He said, "They go into a big book that we keep -- pause -- we really should do something with that book."
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15

01 2010

The 8 Simple Rules For Fixing LAUSD Overnight

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With all the brouhaha about fixing public education, people are left with the false impression that this is some herculean and incredibly complicated task that borders on the impossible. In actuality, nothing could further from the truth. What is hard is maintaining archaic disproved models of public education that only serve to maintain the relatively small number of people who benefit under the present regime. Instead of reconstituting teachers in failed schools, try reconstituting administration. Instead of accommodating teacher and student dysfunction, look at why they fail and stop lying to yourselves -- enforce objective standards for all. Stop adapting to failure and assaulting those who complain. Create independent oversight instead of blind loyalty to failure. Here are 8 ways to solve the education problem literally overnight.

10

12 2009

Why I'm not qualified to be a principal

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The first step to becoming an LAUSD principal is understanding how the administration works, or doesn't work. The administration is a closed bureaucracy that spares no expense in stifling reform it sees as threatening its privileged position. In order to accomplish this dubious end, school administrators establish many prerequisites of questionable significance in determining who will be allowed to join their ranks.
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8

12 2009

The real secret to choosing a school in Los Angeles

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As desperate parents seek some sort of viable alternative to the dearth of options they have in LAUSD, the district's imperfectly run CHOICES Program remains one of the few possibilities that offers even the slightest chance of their children receiving an adequate education in a public school.

5

12 2009

About that time I paid $80 to attend UCLA

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My UCLA education cost less than yours. And yours will cost less than your children's. And theirs will cost less than your grandchildren's. Repeat until no one on earth can afford to attend UCLA.

20

11 2009