Archive for the ‘UTLA’Category

LAUSD & UTLA- IS CLASS SIZE REDUCTION THE BEST YOU CAN DO?

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In 1939 the famous Yiddish actor Boris Tomashefsky dies just before going on stage for the opening night of King Lear. The understandably distraught manager of the theater goes out on stage to break the news to the awaiting eager audience that the show will not go on because of Tomashefsky's has died. The manager offers them their money back. From way in the back of the theater an old lady yells out, "Give him an enema." The whole theater goes silent. "Madam," says the manager, "I don't think you understand. Mr. Tomashefsky is dead from a heart attack." The old lady pauses for just a moment and then says, "Well, it couldn't hurt."

12

11 2014

LAUSD and UTLA Collude to End Collective Bargaining and Civil RIghts for Teachers Part 1

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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 are a teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) you have no civil rights and no union rights. LAUSD may target you for removal, because you either refuse to go along with the longstanding and highly profitable financial scam they have been running for generations now called public education, aka minority daycare. It is being played against predominantly students of color in a school district that Whites abandon long ago (only 6% left in LAUSD), making it more segregated that it was prior to Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. Or if you are just "guilty" of having a great deal of seniority, which puts you high on the salary scale, you can be removed from teaching with no collective bargaining rights and especially no arbitration as guaranteed by the LAUSD/UTLA Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is now systematically ignored, even if UTLA voted for it. By merely adding a gratuitous morals charge under California Education Code 44939.odt, a teacher can even be stripped of their Collective Bargaining rights to grievance and arbitration. This war against teachers started in 2006 when present chief LAUSD attorney David Holmquist was director of the LAUSD Office of Risk Management and Insurance Services. With 2006 Retiree Health Actuarial info.pdf, it became open season on older high-seniority and better paid teachers who either suffer from good teaching or honesty in the face of endemic LAUSD/UTLA corruption.

31

03 2014

LAUSD and UTLA Collude to End Collective Bargaining and Civil RIghts for Teachers Part 2 ( LAUSD y UTLA coluden para poner fin a la negociación colectiva y los derechos civiles de los profesores parte 2 )

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) As somebody who went to law school and taught constitutional law at both the secondary and university levels, I had always operated under the delusion that one was innocent until proven guilty by a preponderance of the evidence in a civil case and beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case. In the corrupt world created by the Los Angeles Unifed School District (LAUSD) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), nothing could be further from the truth. From the moment you are targeted for removal from teaching for what quickly becomes a never ending sequence of fabricated charges based on reasons mentioned in Part 1 of this article, you are presumed guilty by virtually everybody you deal with. And even those few people who see clearly that you are being railroaded by LAUSD and UTLA do nothing to intervene on your behalf, because they are terrified of losing their own jobs...or privileges While there are some pretty awful teachers within LAUSD, ironically, they will be the last to be harassed, attacked, and removed, because they play ball with corrupt LAUSD or UTLA administrations. None of this could take place if UTLA did its job and the law firm of Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad didn't help in facilitating your removal from teaching by LAUSD. Here is the way it is done:

HAS UTLA RANK-AND-FILE BEEN TOLD THAT I'M SUING UTLA? WHY NOT?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) As the pro forma United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) elections move into their final round of insider trading, why is it that the teachers these jokers have already failed to represent for the last 3 years aren't demanding their heads...or at the very least, some answers? With a voter turnout of less that 25% of those eligible to vote, the answer is simple: LAUSD teachers are so demoralized from past tolerated abuse by LAUSD and UTLA that they don't think anything else is possible and don't believe that the corruption in UTLA can ever be turned around. Hopefully what I have to say might change their minds and get them behind the legal action necessary to finally compel their union to act on their behalf. Clearly, this is a sine qua non to being an effective teacher at LAUSD- knowing your union's got your back.

24

03 2014

Tired of Being Sold Out to LAUSD by UTLA?- Try TeacherLaw-LA.com

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LAUSD continues to target teachers without any concern for their constitutional rights and more specifically in complete derogation of their right to timely due process of law in a legal system that presumes their innocence with LAUSD having the burden of proving them guilty of anything that would justify their being forced out of the teaching profession.

11

03 2014

RAMPANT CHEATING IN L.A. TEACHER'S UNION, CITY WIDE ELECTIONS

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The union power slate has been visiting campuses since September of last year, ok? These same individuals had a dinner "meeting" with LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, although what they talked about, no one knows for certain.... While its purely speculation on my part, its possible that the Superintendent met with these people to voice his dissatisfaction in Warren Fletcher---and to encourage these people to run for office, but the bottom line is playing those running for office at UTLA only strengthens Deasy's position...and weakens necessary union and teacher resolve to confront Deasy's witch hunt now and in the future.

The Great Boyle Heights UTLA Election Breakdown

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You can read a summary of the candidate responses provided by Educators 4 Excellence at http://www.educators4excellence.org/utla2014/candidate-responses, but of course, it'll be free of the fireworks. However, a podcast of the event is also available at this site, which may be free of editing. One thing for certain, if those who conquer their apathy and bother to vote feel even remotely like those who were in attendance at the event in Boyle Heights, the longstanding stink that has for far too long emanated from UTLA leadership might finally be allowed to dissipate and come to a long overdue end. In mustering up the resolve to conquer their apathy and vote, rank-and-file should be aware that only 25% of rank-and-file are expected to vote. That and the fact that Deasy's Fetcher only received 17% of the vote when he ran for UTLA president 3 years ago, just might be the first step toward reconstituting a professional teachers' union no longer capable of LAUSD intimidation or the duplicity of its present entrenched truth challenged leadership.

7

03 2014

UTLA ELECTIONS- REAL CHANGE OR THE USUAL SUSPECTS?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) It would appear that Fletcher may have lost Deasy's favor as his union president of choice. For Solkovitz, where else is there to go? Certainly not to a lesser office. For Caputo-Pearl, is he heir apparent over Fletcher to Deasy's good graces? Was there some kind of deal cut at Dragos? In fact, you might just ask yourself if the Iris Stevenson rehousing might just be a district manipulated scenario to afford Caputo-Pearl the chance to play the hero. Notice how Deasy is covering all his bases to insure future chaos in UTLA- his preferred UTLA reality. So are there any real alternative choices. If you believe in proof, then David Garcia might be that man. Garcia ran for the presidency in 2011. He was one of the first to protest cheating on behalf of Warren Fletcher in form of false candidates like Leonard Segal who used their time to declare their support for Fletcher. He has been active speaking out against union corruption ever since then. During his current campaign, he has promised to address union corruption, suggested a reconstitution of the union which would drive out careerists all the way from elected offices to area reps and members of the major committees like the BOD, the HOR, PACE..... He's promised to seek to lower the salaries of union officers and area reps to those of classroom teachers. He has sworn to seek the reinstatement of teachers who have fallen to the RIF and displacement. He promises to put an end to the illegal rehousing of teachers and to address previous victims. So he might be your man. The Union Power Slate certainly thinks so since it has devoted substantial time and effort attempting to malign his reputation.

4

03 2014

LAUSD'S IRIS STEVENSON- GUILTY OF TEACHING WHILE BLACK...AND BEING AT THE TOP OF THE SALARY SCALE

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Veteran LAUSD Crenshaw High School teacher teacher Iris Stevenson has been cooling her heals in teacher jail at LAUSD for the crime of having taken her students to an event out of state without having signed LAUSD permission slips. Although she had parent permission and the prestigious trips she has taken her students on in the past have always been approved, this time she has been put in "teachers' jail" since December 2013, because she failed to get pro forma permission. This is a completely unjustified use of incarcerating a teacher, since housing teachers should only be used when the teacher represents a threat to student safety and this form of isolation is necessary to allow a timely investigation to take place to determine if in fact the teacher threatens student safety as per the California Education Code. This was not the case with Ms. Stevenson nor is it the case with the vast majority of teachers who are being "housed" around LAUSD for the sole purpose of intimidating them into retirement.

8

02 2014

The UTLA Pay Raise Rally and Beyond: Harsh Realities and Challenges By Dr. John Fernandez

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) The UTLA "It's About Time for a Raise" Rally--On November 13, 2013, I attended UTLA's "It's About Time for a Raise" Rally at the District headquarters. Although UTLA provided free transportation to and from the rally, and sent out robo calls and emails to UTLA members, only about 600 hundred teachers and community supporters showed up. In the November issue 15th issue of the United Teacher, UTLA president Warren Fletcher described the rally as a "powerful first step" towards obtaining a pay raise for teachers. Fletcher also emphasized and that teachers must be willing to engage in a series of escalating actions for a pay raise to occur. Clearly, after going seven years without a pay raise, teachers definitely deserve a raise. But what was is so troubling about the pay raise rally was the low turnout by teachers. This clearly indicates a lack of interest and commitment on their part, even when it comes to something as serious as a pay raise. Of course, UTLA's leadership was there: citywide officers, Board of Directors, House of Representatives, chapter chairs, and hundreds of proactive teachers. But, UTLA's membership is about 32,000. With such a low turnout, it would not surprise me if the District offers no pay raise at all.

17

12 2013

MAYBE LAUSD CAN'T TEACH CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS BECAUSE IT DOESN'T USE THEM

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) It is virtually impossible to have an intelligent discussion of what needs to be done to finally fix the Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) generationally failed public education system, if those in power and addressing the problem continue to accept without any critical analysis the unsubstantiated, misleading, and often downright dishonesty claims, demands, and policies of Superintendent John Deasy and his predecessors and likely successors. It is disheartening to see a virtuoso like Deasy playing the intellectually challenged LAUSD Board where in every interaction they lose by uncritically buying into everything he says without any relevant questioning. As regrettable as this is, after so many years of watching this one-sided process, it is not surprising because the LAUSD Board is not alone in their failure to apply any critical analysis to what Deasy spouts without any factual support.

30

10 2013

WHY DOES UTLA CONTINUE TO SUPPORT LAUSD'S VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA TEACHER DISMISSAL PROCESS?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) After being placed in the District's North Teacher Detention Center (teacher Jail), although he faced no charges by the local policing authority, the teacher, Jim Hill, was subject of an administrative review conducted by Linda Del Cueto, the former local superintendent and highest-ranking official in the San Fernando Valley, who recently was demoted and reassigned to an administrative post in the Central Office of Curriculum and Instruction. While Superintendent in the South Area, Del Cueto was informed by parents that teacher Robert Pimentel was molesting their daughters at George De La Torre Elementary School, but did nothing. She allowed a known child predator to be taken by a crony administrator from school site to school site, where he continued to molest students. Yet, in this case, based on no credible evidence, Del Cueto issued a recommendation of dismissal for a teacher who had never received any prior negative parent complaints or poor performance evaluation.

24

10 2013

CHIEF LAUSD ATTORNEY DAVID HOLMQUIST- ABOVE THE LAW?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) I feel like I'm living in The Twilight Zone when LAUSD's Chief Attorney David Holmquist can get away with the following statements and neither Reporter Barbara Jones of the Daily News, UTLA, or any other entity charged under law with defending the legal rights of teachers takes any exception with Holmquist putting LAUSD above the law by irrevocably determining that a teacher once charged by LAUSD who has been found innocent by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) can never go back to teaching: http://www.dailynews.com/social-affairs/20131005/lausd-firings-mount-since-miramonte-scandal

8

10 2013

LAUSD AS PRESENTLY CONSTITUTED HAS TO GO

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as presently constituted has to go. After generations of squandering the potential and destroying the lives of its predominant poor and minority student populations, those opposed to it have to finally understand that even hiring the best people to work at LAUSD as presently constituted is an exercise in futility for those of us who want real and quantifiable change and not mere disingenuous rhetoric in public education. When the United States went into Germany and Japan after the Second World War, it did not leave the Nazis in power or their militarist counterpart in Japan to run things, rather it set up a democratic from the bottom up governance, where those at the top could no longer coerce, while sabotaging real change. Such a Marshal Plan at LAUSD that centered the power of public education in the classroom and the individual school could achieve the same success that Finland and other countries have attained, where excellence and not money is allowed to be the primary motivator of public education.

16

09 2013

UTLA ACCUSES LAUSD OF RETALIATING AGAINST TEACHERS- WHO KNEW?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) In a performance reminiscent of Claude Raines in Casablanca, United Teacher Los Angeles (UTLA) President Warren Fletcher came out today on KNX News Radio and seemed "SHOCKED." " When LAUSD maintains a culture in which teachers are afraid to speak up, where people feel cowed, UTLA has to step up to the plate. UTLA has to use whatever resources we have, whatever legal authority we have, to reverse that." Are we supposed to believe that Fletcher was surprised to find out that retaliation has been going on here at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), when literally thousands of teachers have already been hounded out of the teaching profession by Superintendent Deasy and his morally challenged predecessor Ramon "Snuggles" Cortines?

6

09 2013

LAUSD "RUBBER ROOM" TEACHERS MEET AT UTLA

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Last Wednesday, August 28th, housed teachers came together at the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) to finally try and address their targeting by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Upon arriving at UTLA to attend this meeting I had been invited to, I was told that I was on a security list that barred my entry into the building. This is probably due to the fact that I am in the process of suing UTLA and their attorneys at Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad for doing worse than nothing to stop the coordinated attack on the teachers they are paid by teachers' dues to defend. After some intervention on my behalf, I was finally allowed in, but only go up to the 9th floor to attend the meetings. I was told never to go to the UTLA office.

4

09 2013

The UTLA Election Season is Upon Us by Dr. John Fernandez

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Anyone running for UTLA President or any other UTLA city-wide office should have a platform and how he/she is going to implement it. I remember Warren Fletcher's big campaign promise was that he was going to hire a professional negotiator--which he did not do--and appointed Betty Forrester Chief UTLA Negotiator, what a mistake! Forrester was completely out negotiated by the likes of the District's Dick Fisher. Forrester/Fletcher produced three disastrous TAs: The local School Initiative (2011), which virtually gives no power to parents--but gives some power to teachers and most of the power to principals. In this TA, there is no grievance provision for teachers. The Local schools Initiative model gives automatic waivers of most the Collective Bargaining Agreement to Local Initiative Schools. Sounds good on the surface--but a Local Initiative School can waive seniority among teachers for assignments and election of deans and department chairs and can eliminate lead teachers. Parents only have two representatives on a Local Initiative School Council of eight.

6

08 2013

ILLINOIS TEACHER ELLIE RUBENSTEIN QUITS ELOQUENTLY- SHE NAILS IT (VIDEO)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) The following post was taken directly from the Huffington Post. Let me know if your situation at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) sounds disturbingly the same. At perdaily, we are getting teachers from Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Riverside, Sacramento, and all over the United States telling us the same story as Ellie Rubenstein of Illinois. And yet, teachers and their unions remain in denial, while LAUSD administrators are "only following orders."

28

05 2013

LAUSD'S BOARD'S A MODEST PROPOSAL TO FURTHER DISMANTLE WHAT'S LEFT OF SCHOOL DISCIPLINE

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) One of the main reasons approximately 50% of initially idealistic teachers quit the profession within 5 years of starting is their complete and utter failure to receive reasonable discipline support from administration in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). While there was a time when LAUSD administrators supported teachers as a matter of course and served as a buffer between parents and students, now in the age of dismantling schools in favor of charters and privatization, the campaign to force out professional and fairly compensated teachers is in high gear with administrators putting a target on teachers with the clear message to students and parents that you don't have to take responsibility for your actions, you can just blame your teacher.

17

05 2013

IS UTLA UNWITTINGLY HELPING LAUSD GET RID OF TEACHERS?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) On April 26, 2013 the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) sent out a letter to all of the hundreds of teachers who are presently "housed" in LAUSD offices, their homes, or who have been put on protracted administrative leave with no pay or benefits in a process that normally goes on for years until the teacher is starved into accepting a nominal settlement to resign. What this letter requested was the permission of these targeted teachers to allow LAUSD to give United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) information as to where the teacher was physically and procedurally in terms of their incarceration status leading to inevitable dismissal from LAUSD. What most impressed me about this letter when I received it was the fact that it seems as if up until April 26th nobody at UTLA was concerned enough about the thousands of teachers who are either in the process of being removed or who have already been removed from their jobs without due process of law. Why didn't UTLA inquire before now?

6

05 2013

Deasy's 30 Percent Teacher Evaluation Victory: UTLA's Capitulation and its Consequences By John Fernandez

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Coward: A man in whom the instinct of self-preservation acts normally.--Sultana Zoraya On January 19, 2013, teachers in the LAUSD approved a comprehensive evaluation system that will include student school wide test data and a host of other measurements, such as attendance rates, suspension rates, English Language Learner (ELL) progress and reclassification rates, and Graduation/Drop-out rates to determine their effectiveness in the classroom. The total vote was 16,892, of which 11,185 (66 percent) voted "yes", while 5,707 (34 percent) voted "no". Only about 50 percent of teachers eligible to vote did so. On February 12, 2013, the Los Angeles Board of Education ratified the 7-page LAUSD-UTLA Evaluation Procedures Supplement (Tentative Agreement). It will go into effect for the 2013/14 school year.

30

04 2013

WHAT TO DO WITH THE MONKEYS RUNNING LAUSD AND UTLA

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) If you start with a cage containing five monkeys and inside the cage, hang a banana on a string from the top and then you place a set of stairs under the banana, before long a monkey will go to the stairs and climb toward the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, you spray all the other monkeys with cold water. After a while another monkey makes an attempt with same results.. all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

21

04 2013

EVER WONDER WHY UTLA DOES NOTHING TO PROTECT TEACHERS? WHY NOT POSE THAT QUESTION TO UTLA'S DISBARRED CARL JOSEPH

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Ask yourself what kind of organization, let alone teachers' union, would hire a disbarred lawyer like Carl Joseph who had his license to practice law revoked for moral turpitude? Who would hire and pay an estimated $160,000 a year plus generous benefits to such a person and then trust them with the professional lives of its teachers? Given these circumstances and other showing equally questionable judgement, Is it any wonder that UTLA continues to roll over for LAUSD by passively sitting by and doing nothing to stop the targeting and removing of what now amount to thousands of teachers without cause. In re Joseph (1989) 49 Cal.3d 430 , 261 Cal.Rptr. 407; 777 P.2d 180

13

03 2013

WHY DO TEACHERS PERSIST IN TRYING TO CONVINCE LAUSD OF THINGS THAT NOT EVEN LAUSD BELIEVES ARE TRUE?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Educated teachers, parents, and even most students knows that 2 + 2 = 4 and yet the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) keep insisting that it equals 5...or sometimes even 3. Then why do teachers continue arguing with them, since to do so only gives the irrational credibility through teachers and others entering into this stupid argument with a district and union that know 2 +2=4, but only insist it doesn't, because it is to their advantage in terms of money and uncontested power- think Broad, Gates, Walton, privatization and dumbing down of America to a place where few have the intellectual ability to question authority. This was George Orwell's prescient view of his future and our present that you might be aware of, if LAUSD hasn't already taken its toll on your higher brain function.

22

02 2013

CAN LAUSD UTLA REPRESENTED TEACHERS LEARN FROM GERMAN TEACHERS???

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Mensaje se repite en Español) German teachers begin nationwide strike MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 201319:29:26 EPA/MAURIZIO GAMBARINI / POOL German teachers begin nationwide strike http://www.neurope.eu/article/german-teachers-begin-nationwide-strike FEBRUARY 18, 2013 - 4:06PM | BY STANISLAVA GAYDAZHIEVA

19

02 2013

UTLA BACKS DOWN ON SURVEY ON LAUSD SUPERINTENDENT DEASY- PERDAILY COMES TO THE RESCUE

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United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) has backed down on their plan to poll rank-and-file on the effectiveness of Superintendent John Deasy, so we at perdaily would like to take on this function. In addition to the following questions designed to ascertain the qualifications, honesty, and effectiveness of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in general and Superintendent John Deasy more specifically, we would like you to use the comment section below to propose your own questions, which we will add to this survey. Then, copy and paste your answers to the survey into an email and send it to: Lenny@perdaily.com and we will publish the results, if we get enough of a response. What does the 99% really think?

15

02 2013

LAUSD & UTLA - A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR QUANTIFIABLE ACCOUNTABILITY

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(Mensaje se repite en Español). LAUSD seems to really understand the mentality of teachers- we keep preaching to the choir, while it- with the help of UTLA leadership and bureaucracy- do nothing to stop the dismantling of the teaching profession and the decimation of our students and their families. My mantra is that if what we do and what we say can be ignored by LAUSD/UTLA with impunity, then it's not worth doing. With that in mind, there are several areas where we can do things that cannot be ignored, if we are willing to do something more than talk in what has amount up until now as one long staff development- and we all know that they too never come to fruition:

14

02 2013

UTLA & TEACHER JAIL - WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG? WHAT SPECIFICALLY ARE YOU DOING TO STOP LAUSD?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) From LAUSD's point of view, what is the downside they face from screwing teachers? It is now close to 3 weeks since Scott Mandel wrote in a letter reproduced below that "UTLA President Warren Fletcher was actively working on your plight." So, other then staff-development-like rhetoric, what has been accomplished to address the exigencies of this longstanding and yet UTLA ignored teacher jail reality that has been openly destroying innocent teachers' lives for years? And UTLA officers and staff didn't know about this? UTLA not only knew, they consistently told innocent teachers, "You should resign, you've got a bad case." UTLA has given credibility to this LAUSD witch hunt by taking part in it, while never actually doing anything to defend teachers or hold LAUSD accountable. If you were LAUSD, would you stop the witch hunt under these circumstances? Why would you, when you got rid of 853 teachers last year without not even one getting their job back? They're batting a thousand.

24

12 2012

WHY TEACHERS SHOULD VOTE NO ON THE LAUSD-UTLA DECEMBER 2012 EVALUATION PROCEDURES SUPPLEMENT By Dr. John Fernandez

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Dr. John Fernandez submitted the following to Perdaily as reasons to not vote for the Tentative Agreement on teacher assessment. Perdaily thinks there are already several more basic reasons to vote against the TA: 1. The TA tacitly presupposes that students are at grade level and capable of being educated at grade level by any teacher, when the vast majority of students have been socially promoted without basic prior grade-level standards that are a prerequisite for a single-subject credentialed secondary teacher without remedial skills to be able to successfully teach them. Given this reality, which neither LAUSD nor UTLA ever took the trouble to explain to the judge in the pending case, it is irrational to make a teacher's assessment and teaching career dependent on how students years behind grade level do in their classes. 2. Minimal discipline is not enforced by administration to allow an environment where education can take place. Worse, students are given the clear message that they will receive a receptive ear from LAUSD administration, if they make false allegations against a teacher, instead of attempting to do their work or seek remediation in order to improve. 3. LAUSD already doesn't follow prior agreements with UTLA, its own Bulletin Policies or state and federal law. Therefore, there is no reason to believe they will follow this TA.

13

12 2012

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

LAUSD: PUNISHMENT WITHOUT CRIME OR DUE PROCESS

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Hundreds of teachers are either being "housed" without work in "rubber rooms," already been forced to resign, or are in a protracted stall process that LAUSD with the present complicity of UTLA drag on for years to starve out falsely charged teachers before they get their day in a neutral forum. I've been waiting for 3 years now with no end in sight. Other teachers have been buried alive in this kafkaesque nightmare for far longer.

27

11 2012

ARE LAUSD TARGETED TEACHER STILL UTLA UNION MEMBERS WITH RIGHTS?

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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 is an interesting practice that UTLA engages in vis a vis teachers that have been targeted on bogus charges for removal by LAUSD, e.g. rubber room and others. This practice consists of UTLA depriving teachers put on "unpaid administrative leave" by LAUSD- pending a hearing- of all rights as union members. During the last election of UTLA officers, I was able to vote in the initial election, which took place before LAUSD put me on "unpaid administrative leave," but UTLA would not let me vote in the runoffs, even though there had been no adjudication of my culpability of any of the bogus charges that LAUSD had brought against me. I can understand this kind of reprehensible behavior from LAUSD, but why is UTLA rubber stamping LAUSD action against its members without any due process of law or the assumption that one is innocent until proven guilty in a neutral forum. It is now 2 years since I was put on unpaid administrative leave and I have yet to have my day in court, which LAUSD with the help of Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad continue to stall by asking for continuance after continuance.

2

11 2012

COMMUNITY TO RESIST LAUSD MOVE TO RECONSTITUTE INNER CITY SCHOOLS

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Last night community members from Dorsey and Crenshaw High Schools got together in the Dorsey gymnasium to organize resistance to the planned imminent reconstitution of their schools by Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent John Deasy. Deasy plans to reconstitute Dorsey, Crenshaw, and many other predominantly low income, minority, and traditionally low-functioning schools in what it is no longer politically correct to call South Central Los Angeles. What most of those present did not seem to understand is that Superintendent Deasy has already made the decision to reconstitute there schools. What reconstitution means is that all staff are removed and new staff are hired from the bottom all the way up to the principal. The fact that school reconstitution has no statistical success seems of little interest to Deasy and LAUSD, since their real aim is the privatization of these schools and the profit it will bring to their corporate masters.

28

09 2012

LAUSD: TEACHER QUALITY (REMOVAL) SPECIALIST

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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 the 1960 movie The Magnificent Seven, the bandit Calvera, played by Eli Wallach, tries to get the gunfighter, played by Yul Brenner, to help him rob the poor peasants in a small Mexican village by telling him, "If G-d did not want them shorn, he would not have made them sheep." As more and more teachers are targeted for removal from their jobs, while United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) does nothing to defend them, I must confess that Calvera's line runs through my mind again and again as I see my fellow teachers continue to seek redress from a union that continues to clearly show them that they will not lift a finger to help them get anything but shorn by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

25

09 2012

UTLA: WHAT KIND OF A TEACHER DO YOU THINK I AM?

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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 guy goes out with a girl and at some point toward the end of the evening he asks her, "Would you go to bed with me for a million dollar?" Without hesitation the girl says, "Sure." So the guy, reflecting on her response and his limited financial assets says, "How about fifty bucks." Irate, the girl replies, "What kind of a girl do you think I am?" To which our fellow answers, "I thought we'd already determined that. Now we're just dickering on the price." The same thought occurred to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD): Why should we pay close to $80,000 a year plus benefits, when we could just get rid of high priced teachers by a combination of intimidation and false charges. Of course, key to the success of this war against teachers is the now proven assumption that the teachers' non-union United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) will do absolutely nothing to stop LAUSD's reign of terror against UTLA rank-and-file dues paying member teachers.

23

09 2012

UTLA TEACHERS: THERE'S SOMETHING SPECIAL GOING ON AT THE CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION

Strike Continues as Chicago Teachers Mull Contract's Gains and Losses Theresa Moran | September 17, 2012 Striking Chicago teachers will remain out of the classroom until Wednesday at least, as union members debate their tentative contract. The agreement makes gains on key issues while accepting concessions on health care and job security. Photo: CTU. http://labornotes.org/2012/09/strike-continues-chicago-teachers-mull-contracts-gains-and-losses Striking Chicago teachers will remain out of the classroom until Wednesday at least, after delegates decided to give union members time to debate the tentative contract negotiators brought to them on Sunday.

18

09 2012

DISPLACED, "RIFed" or SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS - LAUSD PLAYS BY ITS OWN RULES

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PRINCIPAL'S PET??? (Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) As thousands lose their teaching positions, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is supposed to make teacher cuts while abiding by its Collective Bargaining Agreement with United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). These decisions are supposed to be made exclusively based on the credential you have and your seniority determined by date-of-hire lists. So why is Central High School Emergency Credentialed, maximum 30-day substitute Jesse Williams still working? Is this a mere oversight OR an easily documented phenomenon throughout the District, where teachers - whatever their credential or seniority status is - keep their jobs based on being "tight" with their principal. While those with high seniority and clear credentials are either "riffed"(reduction in force), displaced or targeted, because their principal doesn't like them OR the principal has been ordered to get rid of teachers at the top of the salary scale or about to vest in lifetime health benefits.

14

09 2012

UTLA: LAUSD's JUDAS GOAT

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Cattle can be very dangerous if they realize their own power and use it in a concerted effort to be free. This is why slaughterhouses use Judas goats to calm the sheep or other cattle, so that they can be calmly lead to their demise. Much the same technique is used by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and its in-house union United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), which employees 7 out-of-classroom union officers to pacify union rank-and-file into believing that their union will protect them as more and more teachers are culled from the herd on the way to a total elimination of unionized teaching as a profession at LAUSD. By the time most of them realize what is going on, the boom has already been lowered and they are out of a job, while also having LAUSD move to have their credentials lifted by California Teacher Credentialing, so they will never again be able to find a job anywhere in California. What makes this system work is that the teachers, like the cattle lead by the Judas goat, remain incredulous until it is too late.

13

09 2012

LAUSD vs. LEONARD ISENBERG - WRITTED TO SUPERIOR COURT

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) So, rather than play in this rigged game framed by LAUSD with the tacit support of UTLA, where my rights and the rights of thousands of targeted teachers to basic due process of law continue to be ignored, I decided to writ my case to the Los Angeles Superior Court, not based on the facts of my case, but rather based on the notion that the legal process to remove me as a teacher from LAUSD has completely ignored my due process rights and should be dismissed as a matter of law, irrespective of any underlying case based on completely and obviously fabricated hearsay - if anybody bothered to look. If I am not successful in Superior Court, I will writ my case into the Appellate Court and beyond into the federal court system. While I have no guarantee that I can get a fair hearing based on the uncontroverted facts of my case showing a complete and utter lack of due process, I will continue to fight, if only to recapture my status as an adult, who cannot be institutionally bullied by LAUSD and UTLA. In the final analysis, I have no guarantee that I will receive justice, but I would rather continue to fight until I get a clear and unequivocal message that the game is rigged. Even if that is the case, I will still have my self-respect, base on the notion that I did everything within my power, which is more than most of the people on both sides of this witch hunt presently have have done.

10

09 2012

A BIG LAUSD TEACHER LABOR DAY SALUTE TO STRIKING CHICAGO TEACHERS (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 one dispassionately asks what is the defining difference between how teachers and students are allowed to be treated in Los Angeles as opposed to Chicago, one immediately focuses on the dynamic Chicago Teachers' Union (CTU) and its President Karen Lewis, which is in marked contrast to the in-house company union that United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) President Warren Fletcher presides over and fiddles with as the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) burns teachers and students UTLA is paid by dues to protect. While the LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy clearly has no respect for Fletcher and UTLA leadership, last week he couldn't help but publicly lamenting the fact that he has "no partner" in UTLA to negotiate with.

3

09 2012

SAYS BULLYING LAUSD, " WHY NOT TARGET INNOCENT TEACHERS FOR REMOVAL? UTLA WONT STOP US"

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Here's a story we hear more and more often from teachers and other Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) employees, since the Miramonte sex abuse scandal, who have been caught completely off-guard, when LAUSD hits them with trumped up charges and moves for their dismissal. "I cannot believe this is happening to me." Well it is time to believe and move to take legal action independent of your either corrupt, collusive, or just plan inept union, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). Or, the concept of a fairly compensated profession teacher corp will go the way of the dinosaur in the not too distant future. No, the vast majority of you will not last long enough to make it to retirement.

29

08 2012

LAUSD'S WITCH HUNT AGAINST VETERAN TEACHERS BY PAULA HURDLE

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) As a 25+ teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), I find the educational environment today extremely hostile and dangerous to veteran teachers. Where there used to be respect and appreciation for working and surviving in a system that provided little support or financial incentive, there is now ridicule, abuse and disdain for what we do and our profession as a whole.

24

08 2012

WHEN IT COMES TO INTEGRATED RACISM, LAUSD IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER (CUANDO SE TRATA DE RACISMO INTEGRADO, LAUSD ES UN EMPLEADOR CON IGUALDAD DE OPORTUNIDADES)

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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 it wasn't okay for White people to exploit people of color for hundreds of years to assure continued White social dominance. Then why should it be okay for a now fully integrated administration at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) of Black, Asian, Latino, White, and whatever to continue to do so?

23

08 2012

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE LAUSD BOARD REGARDING REED vs. LAUSD

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Before giving Superintendent John Deasy authorization to ask the California Supreme Court to reverse the recent appellate decision overturning the Reed vs LAUSD decision, I think the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Directors should consider the following regrettable facts:

21

08 2012

UTLA "LITIGATES" TO LAUSD'S STANDARDS- A FORMULA FOR DISASTER

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Criminals have more rights than dismissed teachers. If you think this is hyperbole, take a moment and go through what teachers are subjected to that no self-respecting criminal would have to endure.

LAUSD - REED VS. UTLA OVERTURNED ON TECHNICALITY - WILL UTLA NOW FINALLY MAKE ITS STRONGEST ARGUMENT?

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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 a split decision, 2 out of 3 justices of the California 2nd District Court of Appeal reversed Reed vs. United Teachers Los Angeles solely on a technical aspect of the case, while not addressing the lower court's primary holding that compromises teacher seniority. The majority only agreed that United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) had "a right to a trial where the merits of the case can be examined more fully." Therein lies the problem: UTLA as well as the majority of teachers they represent find it almost impossible to frame the issues of a conversation or a lawsuit, even when their very future as teachers or as a union hangs in the balance. In taking on LAUSD, UTLA has seemed incapable in recent memory of arguing rationally in a manner that reflects the reality of the situation and not the gospel according to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). UTLA seems to ALWAYS tacitly accept LAUSD's position as a point of departure. By asking just one question and insisting on a logical answer, UTLA could turn this discussion of supposed student and teachers rights in inner city schools around.

13

08 2012

LAUSD TERRORIZES 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) After initial denial, if you ever come to the regrettable realization that you have been targeted by your principal for removal and that the institutional bullying orchestrated by him or her at the behest of their superiors at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)- aka Beadry- is not going away, you might think of giving me a call...but I wouldn't tell anybody if you do. The first thing I tell the ever increasing number of people that contact me is that at least for now it will do you absolutely no good to let it be known that you have contacted me. To do so will only raise the harassment and retaliation level immediately and assure that LAUSD will all the more quickly move to submit your name to the LAUSD Board for dismissal, because those in power at LAUSD know I will not be intimidated into backing down, like the 853 teachers they got rid of last year. Guilt by association? You bet!

8

08 2012

CLEARLY LAUSD/UTLA HAVE NO INTEREST IN ASKING WHY THE VALUE ADDED MODEL (VAM) DOESN'T WORK

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Why should single-subject credentialed teachers with a substantive course to teacher, little time to do it, and no remediation skill set have to address the substantial deficits of their students as a prerequisite to being able to understand the teacher's class? Is this realistic? These students arrived in these teachers classes already hopelessly behind. Why should Value Added Model assessment be used to hold teachers exclusively responsible for the predictable after the fact failure of these students on their annual student assessment?

6

08 2012

LAUSD AND THE INSTITUTIONAL BULLYING OF 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) Doing your job in deference to LAUSD culture of going along to get along is the best way to get yourself targeted for removal. Only some of the hundreds of examples reported to perdaily of reasons LAUSD is pursuing dismissal of teachers are: Reporting that you have been sexually harassed by co-workers; As a mandated reporter, reporting that a child is being molested, when the principal doesn't want you to do so for fear that it might affect Average Daily Attendance; You are at the top of the salary scale and LAUSD could hirer more than 2 teachers for what thy are paying you; You are about to vest in lifetime health benefits under the Rule of 80, where your age and years of serve equal 80. This will force LAUSD to declare another $300,000 in unfunded lifetime health benefits in addition to the $13 billion they already owe to already retired teachers; In a district that is 73% Latino, you advocate for these students and their parents right to an education, instead of the glorified daycare system, where Latino students are actually worse off by every measure than they were 44 years ago during the E.L.A. Student Walkouts; You have reported that you or one of your students is being bullied; Charged with invasion of privacy for having taken pictures of your class at P.E. having a tug-of-war; Sent a student to the nurse without a note; Put your arm around a student after they did well in class; Charged with cheating on periodic assessment, because your students did well in a normally low-functioning school; Your are disabled and the District not only doesn't accommodate you as they are legally mandated to do, they do everything they can to get you to quit; You reported a female assistant principal going into the boys' locker room when they were changing; You were accused of putting your hand underneath the blouse of a female student in front of the class, but none of the students saw this other than the female student and her friends who had been habitually truant in your class; You had a stroke after getting no support for discipline; Lifted a disabled student "forcibly" off the carpet; You were assaulted by students and subsequently charged with child abuse; Reported the fixing of attendance; Reported the high school graduation of students with very low English and Math skills; You are one of several Asian math teachers in predominantly Latino schools who refused to socially promote students incapable of working at grade level; Reported that program was illegally cut, so they cut you; Discussed middle school social studies standard dealing with Abrahamic religions; "Walked too close to another teacher in a threatening manner;" Testified that another teacher fixed grades and attendance; Charged with "inappropriate contact" and terminated even though police investigation found no evidence and dropped case; Complained that you had 42 students in an Honors English class; Presently in an LAUSD "rubber room" without any charges.

3

08 2012

More UTLA and LAUSD Collusion? The De Facto Tenure Scandal by Anonymous

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Now we have a theoretical situation in which a teacher who has taught with the District for 15 years at under 18 hours could be bumped by a rookie teacher who taught only 2 years but was somehow able to secure more than 18 hours.

24

07 2012

LAUSD & UTLA: A POSITIVE VISION OF WHAT COULD BE?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) As we at perdaily go into hiatus for the summer to prepare for the next academic year and the litigation it will bring to hopefully redress the longstanding yet clearly avoidable failure of LAUSD and their facilitators at United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), I thought I would end this year on a positive note by giving you a description of what a public education system that might just work would look like. It is my contention that all factions be they administrative, certificated, classified, students, parents, and the union would have a much, dare I say happier and more productive, less depressing time of it, if the real implemented excellence of public education was pursued in something more than mere rhetoric.

19

06 2012

AN ANALYSIS OF THE 2012-13 JOBS AND SERVICES RESTORATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN LAUSD AND UTLA By Dr. John Fernandez

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Not only is the Agreement misleading, tentative, and conditional, the Agreement fails to support the claim that 4,149 jobs will be restored and does not give an exact number of all pending Reduction in Forces (RIFS) and job loses that will take place after June 30, 2012. For instance on page 4 of the Agreement, Section 5a, the subheading states: "Total Estimated FTE Position Restorations is 4,149." Thus, the 4,149 is an estimate and not an absolute number.

18

06 2012

UTLA/LAUSD Tentative Agreement: WHY WE'RE VOTING NO By Area Chairs Aaron Bruhnke, Jose Lara, Dan Barnhart, and Gillian Russom

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) (Perdaily salutes the intelligence of the teachers who wrote this - take heed or continue to suffer the consequences) We cannot support this Tentative Agreement, because doing so would mean endorsing a process that accepts huge concessions without an organized fight, and feeds the RIF cycle that has destabilized our schools for four years. We are voting "No" because:

12

06 2012

IF UTLA PRESIDENT, WARREN FLETCHER, CAN'T GUARANTEE TRANSPARENCY, INTEGRITY AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY, EVERYTHING ELSE IS JUST A CIRCUS by John Dixon

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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 UTLA constitution has no meaning unless the membership guarantees that the Constitution is upheld by all means by all of us. How many times has our Constitution been violated? In reality, one violation is more than enough to realize that there is a problem. It is not a matter of how many times ---it's actually a matter of whether our constitution can be violated or not. If we agree that the Constitution was put together to represent every member's interests equally, then there is not one reason to validate wrong doing, specially by those who hold high elected positions of power. In other words, if a violation of our constitution is tolerated, then it is clear that someone's rights is being violated. In that case, any violation -major or minor--represents the same level of damage of the union's integrity. Now, if the HOR, which is the body that represents every teacher of this Union, can not regulate what itself can do, how do we expect it to regulate what everyone else does? If this can not be achieved, then I can strongly argue that our House Of Representatives has become irrelevant.

31

05 2012

WILL UTLA EVER UNDERSTAND THAT LAUSD IGNORES THEM?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Albert Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. By this definition, the leadership of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) must be insane. Today UTLA staged yet another demonstration. This time in front of Manual Arts High School supposedly to express their objection to the planned reconstitution of the school by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in supposed derogation of an agreement they had with UTLA. Although these demonstrations, that resemble a football pep rally NEVER have any impact on decisions LAUSD has already decided to take, this never seems to stop President Warren Fletcher, Secretary David Lyell, and the other passive leadership of UTLA from staging yet another meaningless exercise in futility, which only seeks to further demoralize an already demoralized UTLA teacher rank-and-file for what amounts to nothing more than a photo-op for UTLA leadership. Worse yet, these actions serve to show LAUSD how inept UTLA is in failing to organize their rank-and-file so they might offer a credible threat of striking or other job actions, which are the ultimate litmus test of any organization that dares to call itself a union.

30

05 2012

LAUSD'S FINAL SOLUTION FOR EXPENSIVE HIGH SENIORITY 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) The biggest problem with bringing about change in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is that most people of good will find it impossible to believe that people running a school district could actually be so malevolent. In what now amounts to the hundreds of calls I have received from teachers being targeted by LAUSD for dismissal from their jobs on completely fabricated charges is these teachers steadfast belief that there must be a misunderstanding and all they have to do is explain themselves to somebody higher up at LAUSD. If not vindicated by LAUSD, then at least those charged with defending them at their union United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) will have to intercede on their behalf. Of course this misunderstanding or the isolated improper behavior of their principal will ultimately be set right by those in power, who will reverse the actions taken to remove them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

17

05 2012

Attacking Teacher Seniority in Court is Misguided Non-Solution (Video #9)

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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 press conference today in a courtyard at 1451 Wilshire Blvd. in front of an LAUSD "rubber room," where the people listed below either naively or maliciously attempted to make the litigation to eliminate teacher seniority the key issue for fixing everything wrong with LAUSD.

MIRAMONTE TEACHERS SPEAK OUT AGAINST LAUSD TREATMENT- UTLA DOES NOTHING (VIDEO)

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SEE VIDEO OF THE EVENT (Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Yesterday at the new and as of yet unopened Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Augustus Hawkins High School on 60th Street, the teachers of Miramonte Elementary School, who have spent the last 3 months incarcerated there without even minimal due process of law, final spoke out against how they were being treated by LAUSD, which, in derogation of their civil rights, has presumed them guilty instead of innocence and has flagrantly trampled over their civil right. In the fear laden environment that permeated the well-orchestrated gathering, some of these teachers anonymously read eloquent statements about the unjust manner in which they have been treated, while clearly indicating the continuing damage that they have been allowed to sustain from LAUSD and their union United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), some of whose officers did not miss this photo opportunity to show physical solidarity with teachers, even though they have turned a blind eye to them over the last 3 months.

4

05 2012

UTLA's Failure and Why (Video #4)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) While no union wants to go on strike, it must be the real threat of a strike that causes management- in this case LAUSD- to bargain in good faith. The fact that UTLA has never organized its rank and file and sees itself as an adjunct of LAUSD makes it a de facto non-union that adds insult to injury by collecting monthly dues for services as a union it never has fulfilled. With no positive adversarial relationship between LAUSD and UTLA, LAUSD has been and continues to savage teachers without an concern of consequences from demoralized teachers who have the misfortune of being "represented" by this non-union UTLA. Several years ago, then UTLA President A.J. Duffy placed empty chairs in front of LAUSD headquarters on Beaudry to illustrate how many jobs were in jeopardy. What he illustrated to then LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines was that he could not get his rank and file in the streets and out of the classroom. The last 5 presidents of UTLA saying, "Let's see what the District has to say," illustrates the subservient position UTLA has always taken in dealing with LAUSD. It is no wonder that the very future existence of UTLA as a union is now at stake.

1

05 2012

THE UNCHALLENGED FRAUD OF LAUSD AND WHERE IT HAS LED

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The supposed operating premise of Superintendent John Deasy and his predecessors at LAUSD that has been accepted without question by the mainstream media has been that they want the best possible public education for all students. What the reality of LAUSD continues to tell us is that Nothing could be further from the truth. The shameful state of public education in general, and minority filled inner-city schools in particular, is that no good faith attempt has been made over the last 58 years - since Brown vs. Board of Education - to address these inherently "separate and unequal" public schools that are clearly and by any reasonable measure, worse off today - and even more segregated - then they were in 1954. Whether it is the purposeful or negligent failure of our leaders to address this long festering and potentially mortal wound to our democracy, the reality in 2012 is that failed public education is more responsible than any other factor for the increasing polarization of American society between rich and poor, haves and have nots. Like the great societies that have preceded us, this continuing present failure to address this inequity in the face of what we say we stand for as a people, if it remains unaddressed, will lead in the not so distant future to the disappearance of "one nation, under god, with liberty and justice for all."

10

04 2012

LAUSD: WE WILL NOT SCREW TEACHERS..."EXCEPT AS REQUIRED BY LAW"

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But this is not the worst of what LAUSD is doing. My phone has come off the hook this week with teachers calling in desperation with variations of the same story. They have been hit with fabricated charges to encourage them to resign from the District. They are told by LAUSD Staff Relations that their names will not be reported to California Teacher Credentialing for further action if they do this. What they are not told is that the limitation of further action being taken against them by LAUSD or CTC, if they resign, has the clearly stated exception, "Unless required to do so by law." Of course, the law requires LAUSD to file against all these teachers with CTC, given that the gambit LAUSD is running against most targeted teachers starts by hitting them with trumped up morals charges under California Education Code Section 44939 , that are followed up by suspensions of more than 10 days. This leapfrogs over any UTLA-LAUSD Collective Bargaining Agreement rights to file a grievance or seek arbitration on these phony charges, (Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) But most importantly, morals charges and suspensions over 10 days require LAUSD to file with CTC.

15

03 2012

LAUSD'S WILL MAKE FINAL BUDGET CUTS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WITHOUT PROMISED PUBLIC INPUT

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Tomorrow, March 6th, LAUSD's Board of Directors will make final decisions behind closed doors in complete derogation of their promise last month to reconsider the proposed draconian cuts with parent and other stakeholder input. These cuts, if allowed to go through, will decimate adult education and many other vital programs throughout LAUSD, which the LAUSD Board was unwilling to do last month, when confronted by sustained resistance from parents.

5

03 2012

LAUSD & UTLA: THEIR PROBLEMS ARE STRUCTURAL NOT PERSONNEL

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) It is much easier to point a finger at the latest incarnation of LAUSD institutional failure, Superintendent John Deasy, then to finally realize that the problem isn't Deasy per se, but the way LAUSD is set up to fail. Once we understand this we can take the time and effort necessary to reconfigure LAUSD into a viable form that finally allows this critically necessary institution of public education to get it right. What hangs in the balance is whether or not we will remain a nation that honestly aspires to being "One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice [and education] for all."

21

02 2012

KUDOS TO UTLA PRESIDENT WARREN FLETCHER, SHAME ON LAUSD'S JOHN DEASY (FELICITACIONES A UTLA PRESIDENTE WARREN FLETCHER, LA CULPA A JOHN DEASY DE LAUSD)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) It is important for the credibility of this blog to recognize when those we have rightfully criticized in the past finally stand up and speak truth to power. Today, February 9th, on the Pat Morrison radio show on 89.3 KPCC, UTLA President Warren Fletcher finally lived up to his responsibility as the head of a union charged with the protection of predominantly innocent teachers in a a school environment that is safe for all. This was in marked contrast to what LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and his predecessors have done in their longstanding abysmal treatment of teachers, which in the context of the Miramonte tragedy, LAUSD has been seeking to lay exclusively at their feet.

10

02 2012

LAUSD'S MIRAMONTE GUILT BY ASSOCIATION? by Mark Hemphill (LAUSD ESCUELA MIRAMONTE CULPABILE POR ASOCIACIón?)

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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've been watching the news, reading the papers or listening to talk radio at all during the past week, you've heard of the events at Miramonte Elementary School. Two longtime male teachers have been accused of the most reprehensible acts against children and recently a female teacher has been accused of acting in concert with them. To make matters even worse, over the past few days it has been revealed that complaints of the same nature were made against another teacher several years ago, which were never addressed. Needless to say, this story has gone ballistic and has easily been disseminated across the country by now. Parent reactions have been justifiably severe. They include soliciting the services of attorneys, withholding attendance, demonstrating outside the school and making further inquiries. The immediate result has been what's described as an "unprecedented" action by the district superintendent of LAUSD, John Deasy. He has moved the entire staff, both certificated and classified off the campus and by this Thursday, February 9th, he'll have replaced them entirely. So what we should now be asking ourselves is what exactly brought these events about and what are the motivations in the steps taken thus far by the district.

8

02 2012

LAUSD: AN UNSEEMLY CULTURE THAT PERVERTS EVERYTHING IT SHOULD STAND FOR

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Not only has LAUSD administration continued to sweep these scandals under the carpet for years, they do so while allowing the sexual harassment and bullying of teachers and others as well. When a female reported that she was being sexually harassed at her school, not only was nothing done, but charges where brought against her that have lead to her removal from the classroom and her livelihood. This woman is only one of hundreds of teachers that have been subjected to this treatment as a matter of standard operating procedure at LAUSD.

6

02 2012

LAUSD: BLIND OBEDIENCE AND INSTITUTIONAL BETRAYAL (LAUSD: obediencia ciega y la traición INSTITUCIONAL)

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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 actual task of fixing public education would be rather straight forward - if honestly addressed. There are several factors that continue to purposefully confound the process by substituting platitudes for any in depth and pragmatic program that would define itself by the student and their families actual existence and needs. Initially. we would have to pragmatically address the engrained subjective needs and deficits of those already in the system to whatever extent still possible, with the clear knowledge that the longer they have been in the present system, the more immutable the damage.

30

01 2012

LA schools agreement to give unions greater role in imposing cuts By David Brown and Dan Conway (LA escuelas acuerdo para dar a los sindicatos un papel más importante en los cortes imponer por David Brown y Dan Conway)

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Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) When is a union not a union? Affected schools under the stabilization and empowerment initiative will be automatically waived from the district policy of giving priority placement to recently laid off teachers in newly vacant positions. District officials claim that this will ensure the placement of teachers who are the most "proper fit." In practice, however, districts and schools will have a free hand to replace experienced veterans with their younger and lower paid counterparts, if the positions are filled at all.

25

01 2012

DIANE RAVITCH AND THE DEMORALIZING NO DIRECT ACTION PUBLIC EDUCATION AGENDA

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) One year ago Diane Ravitch spoke at Immanuel Presbyterian Church across from the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) headquarters. Her analysis of how the corporate agenda was proceeding unimpeded for privatizing public education and in the process getting rid of a professional teacher corp was impeccable. Again yesterday she made another insightful speech on the abysmal state of American public education, which she offered without honorarium in solidarity with teachers and in recognition of the fact that there is no rational basis for anything that the educational establishment and their political and corporate supporters continue to do in complete derogation of the public education reality Ravitch knows so well. That being said, I must say that her presentation only succeeded in depressing me even more than I already was about the prognosis for public education, because it offered no suggestion of "direct action" to impede the charter school privatization juggernaut. Lined up on one side in the approximately 30 minute presentation she made was the obscene amounts of money from folks like the Gates, Walton, and Broad Foundations, the print and electronic media parroting privatization party line, and the governors of many states, along with other local, state, and federal politicians eager to feed at the $370 billion a year ed biz trough.

19

01 2012

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION- REALLY FIX PUBLIC EDUCATION- IT'S REALLY NOT THAT DIFFICULT IF YOU WANT TO

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Probably the great malaise that continues to infect all those involved with public education is a sense of apathy and hopelessness. Whether explicitly expressed by those who have given up and are just hanging on until retirement or implicitly stated by those who continue to mouth platitudes on public education success in the face of their own continuing failure, there is not only no belief in or implementation of a plan for fixing public education, but conveniently no belief that it can actually be accomplished. In reality, nothing is further from the truth nor more indicative of the fact that racism is still very much alive and well in America for those of all ethnicities that continue to profit from the status quo.

3

01 2012

$$$ CONTRIBUTE TO PERDAILY ADVOCACY ON YOUR BEHALF $$$ ($ $ $ CONTRIBUIR A LA DEFENSA EN SU NOMBRE PERDAILY $ $ $)

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A small gift to perdaily made by clicking on the "Donate" button on the right will give us the financial power to confront and change public education in Los Angeles and throughout the United States.

15

12 2011

LAUSD'S IMPERIAL SUPERINTENDENT JOHN DEASY DISES DAC (DISTRICTWIDE ADVISORY COMMITTEE) PARENTS

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) It was 19th century British historian Lord Acton who said, "All power tends to corrupt, absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." You'd think by the 21st century we might have learned this lesson, but the purposefully failed Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which absolutely refuses to share power with any of its shareholders- teachers, parent, or students- has continued to exemplify this quote and there doesn't seem to be any governmental entity willing to bring it to any end, even though so doing is the clear prerequisite of finally having a well run and pragmatic public school system capable of dealing with the problems LAUSD continues to cause and is clearly incapable of addressing.

13

12 2011

TENTATIVE LAUSD/UTLA AGREEMENT IS A DISASTER Part 2TENTATIVA LAUSD / UTLA acuerdo es una DESASTRE Parte 2

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Probably the greatest irony of purposefully failed public education at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) - with the active longstanding complicity of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) leadership - is the complete lack of imagination exhibited by these two entities in carrying on self-serving business as usual to the ongoing determent of predominantly Latino and Black students who have been and continue to be sold short on the public education that is their right. A testament to just how long this pernicious system has been in place is that most educators - whatever their ethnicity - have no real expectation that minority children can learn. In an old television police show, the intro would always say, "The names have been changed to protect the innocent." At LAUSD, the names of their latest "education reform" scam are always changed from Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now (LEARN) to Charter to Small Learning Community to ESBMM and now to Local Initial School (LIS), but if you review previous incarnations of supposed education reform, that is all that has changed and the innocent students and teachers are never protected . The present Memorandum of Understanding that LAUSD and UTLA leaderships are trying to rush through as an early Christmas present for themselves is exactly like earlier reforms that never pragmatically address the dismal reality of LAUSD schools with anything other than edspeak rhetoric, instead of a specific plan that lays out what you do with students who have been socially promoted from grade to grade without having fulfilled grade level standards until they quit, disrupt the class because they are no longer capable of being engaged, or "graduate" with a diploma that isn't worth the paper it is written on.

9

12 2011

TENTATIVE LAUSD/UTLA AGREEMENT IS A DISASTER Part 1TENTATIVA LAUSD / UTLA acuerdo es una DESASTRE Parte 1

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Last night I attended a United Teachers Los Angeles House of Representatives meeting at the UTLA headquarters. For those of you with better things to do with your life, I will give a less in depth analysis of why this tentative agreement is a disaster for teachers - and by logical extension - students, parents, or anybody else that actually wants real public education reform. Simply stated: It's business as usual On tomorrow's post I will go into a more details analysis - if you are still not convinced - of the specific terms of the proposed contract that are problematic to say the least.

8

12 2011

LAUSD TEACHERS: VOTE NO ON TENTATIVE LAUSD/UTLA AGREEMENT...IF YOU CAN

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) LAUSD and UTLA have announced that they have reached a tentative agreement UTLA President Warren Fletcher is either suffering from early onset Alzheimer's or he has totally capitulated to LAUSD leadership either out of being in over his head as UTLA president, stupidity, or concern about maintaining his recent personal good fortune of having his annual salary and benefits phenomenally augmented over his measly teachers salary and a manner not too dissimilar to LAUSD administration that also have forgotten that they started their careers in education as teachers and then got as far away from the purposefully cultivated insanity of the average LAUSD classroom.

30

11 2011

THE LAUSD BOARD GAME: KIND OF LIKE MONOPOLY...ONLY DIFFERENT (EL LAUSD tablero de juego: algo así como MONOPOLY ... sólo diferente)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) New for the holiday season for those of you who are looking for the gift that keeps on taking. It is called the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board Game, it has very little to do with education and everything to do with making obscene amounts of money at whatever the cost. For those of you who have played Monopoly in the past, the transition to the LAUSD Board Game should be rather straight forward. Like Monopoly, it's all about money, but adds the crucial function of reinforcing negative racial and ethnic student stereotypes, while bring to the game world the leading edge media favorite of applying these negative stereotypes to teachers and anyone else who gets in the way of the ultimate goal of the game: The privatization of public education and the dumbing down of as much of the 99% as possible

28

11 2011

LAUSD's DEEPEST FEAR

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) As one clueless superintendent after another is anointed by the forces of public education privatization and the mass media to implement revolutionary public education reform that never seems to come about in our public schools, nobody in a position of power questions or seems willing to hold accountable a non-system of public education where predominantly Black and Latino students have the continued and generational misfortune of being sold out with a one-way ticket to the underclass..

16

11 2011

THE SUCCESS OF FOX NEWS IS A LIVING TESTAMENT TO FAILED LAUSD PUBLIC EDUCATION (EL ÉXITO DE FOX NEWS es un testimonio vivo de LAUSD FALLÓ LA EDUCACIÓN PÚBLICA)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) While it requires only a rudimentary education to spot the daily blatant distortions that Fox News KTTV 11 puts out in lieu of any real, truthful, and unbias reporting, the fact that Fox News successfully continues to get away with this travesty passed off as the "news" is a powerful testament as to just how far the average America has gone down from being educated in a manner that LAUSD students and their parents of the 1950s and 1960s took for granted. As I described in the prior post about Fox 11 KTTV News concerning morally challenged "Reporter" Daniel Leighton, what Fox does is pander to the deep seeded ignorance and prejudices of its listening audience, while requiring no critical analysis of itself or of its audience that seems incapable, because of its own LAUSD "education," replete with not even basic skills of critical analysis, to make them aware of the rational contradictions of virtually everything Fox 11 KTTV says. It is not out of the realm of the possible to imagine a Fox ad campaign with the slogan, "Fox News, well thought and objective analysis never gets in the way.

LAUSD and California Education Code Section 44944 (LAUSD y de Educación de California Sección 44944 del Código)

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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 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.

19

09 2011

LAUSD "Honors" Perdaily.com

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(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.

16

09 2011

An Attorney's Observations of LAUSD's Rubber Rooms by Ron Lapekas, esq. (Observaciones de un abogado de habitaciones de goma LAUSD por Ron Lapekas, esq.)

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(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.

15

09 2011

Advice to LAUSD "Rubber Room" Teachers to Overcome Siege Mentality (Asesoramiento a LAUSD "Rubber Room" Los maestros para superar la mentalidad de asedio)

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(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..

9

09 2011

LAUSD, UTLA, & California Education Code Section 44939 - How to Get Rid of "Bad Teachers" (LAUSD, UTLA, y Código de Educación Sección 44939 - ¿Cómo deshacerse de los "malos maestros")

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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 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:

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

Ask LAUSD and UTLA IF THE REAL DAVID LYELL WILL PLEASE STAND UP (Pregunte LAUSD y UTLA si el verdadero Lyell DAVID SE favor ponerse de pie)

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(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?

5

08 2011

Seven Other Acronyms For the SS: LAUSD, UTLA, PAC, PEAC, HOR, LASUBS and STC by 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) 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).

13

06 2011

LAUSD IS ONLY A COG IN THE WHEEL THAT SILENCES DISSENT (LAUSD ES SOLO UN DIENTE EN LA RUEDA QUE DISENSO SILENCIOS)

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(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

3

06 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

Are The PEAC and NewTLA "Opposition" Within UTLA Really An LAUSD 5th Column?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Yesterday, I was drawn to the 8th floor of the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) building on Wilshire Boulevard, because I was intrigued by the email I had received about the meeting, which said it was going to be about trying to define alternative and truly effective ways to deal with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) corruption and dysfunction that has continued undaunted to assure that predominantly Latino (73.4%) and Black students (10.2%) of LAUSD student population do not get the public education they are entitled to and which would allow them to be productive member of society. When I arrived, I saw David Rapkin and several other people from the self-proclaimed "activist" teacher faction of UTLA called PEAC. I had had a run in with them 14 months ago as Rapkin immediately pointed out at one of their meetings, when I pointed out that we were now 40 years after the student walkouts in E.L.A. and that Latino education at LAUSD was now worse than it was then, to which I was told, "It takes time to build a union movement." As I left that meeting, I pointed out that 40 years of "radical organizing without results seemed a bit much, given the desperate conditions that LAUSD Latino students continue to face that are now even worse than they were back then." I went on to say that my students didn't have the luxury like they did to sit around in what strongly resembled a faculty staff development- which also never seem to go anywhere- talking about revolution in public education, but never actually doing something that might bring it about.

25

05 2011

LAUSD "You Can't Get There From Here" (LAUSD "No se puede llegar desde aquí")

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) I have been publishing perdaily for about a year and a half now. Maybe some of you wonder why I continue to show LAUSD and UTLA administrative corruption and incompetence no quarter, while constantly seeking to illustrate the all too often depressing reality that these self-serving and dishonest administrators have made in Los Angeles and elsewhere by building a system of public education that accommodates to failure, instead of pragmatically demanding the best from every student and teacher. While some of you might think my fight involves the harassment, bogus charges, suspensions, and ultimate dismissal proceeding that LAUSD with the help of UTLA is still trying to hang on me and other innocent teachers throughout the district, you would be wrong as I am not vindictive no matter how egregious and malicious the crimes of the those at LAUSD and UTLA are.

17

05 2011

THE FORCE TO RECKONED WITH, THE BOYCOTT by Mark Hemphill (La fuerza a tener en cuenta, El Boycott)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) For any reader who hasn't taken out the time to spend five minutes devoted to the articles recently appearing in perdaily.com suggesting the power of a parent and student boycott, you may be missing one of your last chances to save public education and the noble profession of teaching. In fact, before reading any further here, you may wish to go back and first read LAUSD vs. REBELS WITHOUT A CAUSE-BOYCOTT?, WILL BLACK AND LATINO PARENTS SUPPORT A BOYCOTT OF LAUSD? and LAUSD BOYCOTT. The language herein is quite colorful but not merely rhetoric. You have to understand the essential principle at work, What's stated are facts and events unfolding even as you read this - if you choose to do so. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that you may know most of it already as do many others and especially if you're in the teaching profession. But that's also the problem. While the feds, the state, and district go about their business of shaving expenses by reducing education to a series of cheaply packaged programs - that only vendors profit from - and teaching to a rating scale of performance against the criteria of these programs, we all stand by waiting for someone else to do something about it because we correctly realize that others see what we see.

27

04 2011

Will Black and Latino Parents Support a Boycott of LAUSD? ( Los padres Negro y Latino Apoyar a un boicot del LAUSD?)

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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 a school district like the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) with a combined Latino and Black student population of close to 90%, several important questions were brought up when we met last Friday, April 22nd to explore whether Latino and Black students and parents would support a boycott of LAUSD in an attempt to finally hold corrupt and self-serving LAUSD administration and the politicians and corporate interests that keep them in power accountable to this majority constituency.

26

04 2011

LAUSD Boycott

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) You have no expectation that criminals act rationally, so why would you think that the logic of firing one principal instead of 3 teachers would make any sense to the not so petty criminals running LAUSD and public school districts like it around the United States. These people could never have gotten or continued to maintain their corrupt power over generations of students and their parents, if they were not protected by politicians at both the state and federal level, who are themselves put in power by corporations that want to privatize public education to monetize the potential $250-370 billion a year business of public education, while dumbing the citizenry down to eliminate dissent.. Google Professor Lois Weiner and neo-liberal agenda. Maybe after you read this you will not expect to be treated fairly and might finally decide to do something before it is too late.

25

04 2011

LAUSD- Teachers, once they start coming after you, it never stops (Los maestros del LAUSD, una vez que empiezan a llegar después de ti, que nunca se detiene)

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JOHN GOTTI - NYC OR LA's NEXT SUPERINTENDENT? - "HIGHLY QUALIFIED" (Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) In the last couple of months, emboldened by "the dominant narrative" of the corporate media blaming teachers for for their own longstanding incompetence, LAUSD has significantly augmented the number more teachers - especially those at the top of the salary scale - it is going trying to force out of the profession on bogus charges. My email at perdaily has exploded with desperate teachers who have come under attack and don't know what to do. This appears to be motivated by a desperate effort at LAUSD to balance their $408 million deficit, before lower echelon administrators start losing their jobs. The teachers who contact me at perdaily all tell a strikingly similar story of having ridiculous fabricated charges brought against them to try and force them into quitting or early retirement, rather than face the costly hearing process, appeals, and exorbitant lawyers fees and protracted court costs over years on unpaid administrative leave of trying to save their jobs.

14

04 2011

LAUSD ENCOURAGES CHEATING ON ASSESSMENT- AND THEY ARE NOT ALONE (LAUSD ALIENTA TRAMPAS DE EVALUACIÓN Y no están solos)

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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 Teacher Paulette Jackson supposedly did not turn in her lesson plans on time, even though she often stayed at school until 10pm preparing for the next day, she was put on unpaid administrative level without benefits and LAUSD moved for her removal as a teacher in complete derogation of a 14 year exemplary career. Dave Peters goes to a school as a substitute and winds up being fired, when a man with an LAUSD visitor's pass on his shirt allegedly touches two of his students. Where was the school's administration? How is a sub supposed to know who is supposed to be on campus? Sorry, not relevant in LAUSD Mike Bujko reports a female assistant principal going into the Boys' Locker Room while the boys were changing and Bujko is harassed and forced into early retirement. Roz Press gets sprayed with a toxic fire extinguisher and has been sick for the last 10 years, but LAUSD goes after her and not the student.

Candari vs. LAUSD - Where you remain guilty even if proven innocent (Candari vs LAUSD - Cuando usted sigue siendo culpable aunque se demuestre lo contrario)

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(Mensaje se repite en Espanol) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) A belated happy birthday to the late Dr. Martin Luther King. Still fighting to make your wisdom and insight a reality in our America. While injustice of any kind is reprehensible, it is my belief that the greatest injustice possible takes place when government authorities abuse there vast power to attack individuals without even the slightest good faith belief that they have done anything wrong. After sitting through the teacher Paulette Jackson's inquisition that was held two weeks ago in the Office of Administrative Hearings, I was curious to find out if the way she had been treated in complete and utter derogation of her civil and property rights was an exception or the rule. Regrettably, what I uncovered was a consistent and undeviating pattern of complete and total disregard of individual LAUSD teachers and classified staff rights. Mampre Polmakian was the LAUSD attorney representing the District against Ms. Jackson in a matter that by all rights should have been handled by UTLA grievance under the LAUSD/UTLA Collective Bargains Agreement, if UTLA leadership wasn't so clearly in collusion with LAUSD against its own members.

7

04 2011

MAINSTREAM MEDIA DISTORTS REALITY TO JUSTIFY THE FAILURE OF LAUSD AND UTLA HAS GONE ALONG FOR THE RIDE (Los Principales de Media distorsiona la realidad para justificar el incumplimiento del LAUSD y UTLA HA IDO adelante para el paseo)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) What is very popular in the mainstream media these days is using the false dichotomy to misdirect the reader or listener away from other possibly more viable alternatives by failing to acknowledge that they even exist. A relative simple and straight forward example of this phenomenon could be seen on the March 30, 2011 Patt Morrison show on KPCC where the topic had to do with whether half-day or full day kindergarten was better for young students, who came most likely from lower socio-economic families where standard English (or Spanish for that matter) was not the language spoken in the home. Throughout the 20 minutes or so devoted to this segment Patt Morrison carefully steered the conversation between the supposedly exclusive positives and negatives of either option without ever addressing whether some other factors might also be at play.

1

04 2011

UTLA Makes Dysfunctional LAUSD Possible: A Landmark Year For Union Election Corruption by Mark Hemphill (UTLA hace disfuncional LAUSD posibles: un año clave para la Corrupción Electoral del Sindicado 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) (As I get read to post this 3rd article in a series about corruption at UTLA by Mark Hemphill at perdaily, the UTLA election results are in and Warren Fletcher has been elected president with David Lyell as Secretary. While Fletcher was able to take the top spot at the union, he did not carry all of his slate. Given the low turn out in the run-off, allegations of gross irregularities, and general teacher apathy, Fletcher does not have much time to posit a clear and specific plan to rally support from rank and file, before UTLA is made irrelevant by the incessant outrageous actions by LAUSD that have gone unanswered by A.J. Duffy and the exiting cabal that have continued to run things at UTLA into the ground. Whatever you thoughts are at this time, the least effect thing that teachers and other LAUSD employees can do is to continue to fight among ourselves instead of coming together behind Warren to keep him focused on what needs to be done for us to become a force to be reckoned with as the silenced majority at LAUSD - majority needs to rule. Notice that the minority who continue to run things at LAUSD still face no consequences for their dishonesty. Any teacher can tell you what happens in a classroom when there are no consequences and clearly the same is true for LAUSD administration - care to give them consequences? Warren deserves at least a chance to see if he represents anything other than the same capitulation to LAUSD that has gone on for the last 4 administrations of UTLA. Clearly, whether you choose to accept it or not, Warren will either reestablish a fair balance of collective bargaining with LAUSD or he just might be the last president of this union)

31

03 2011

UTLA Makes Dysfunctional LAUSD Possible: A Landmark Year For Union Election Corruption by Mark Hemphill (UTLA hace disfuncional LAUSD posibles: un año clave para la Corrupción Electoral del Sindicado 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) Part 2: The Roles of Ambitious Bit Players If you had the patience to read through part 1 on this subject, you now have a good idea of just how rife with corruption the first round the UTLA election was. You also know the main offenders and how all attempts to hold them accountable have met with less than enthusiasm by the union or generally ignored. Nevertheless, the reader deserves to know the depth to which the corruption has reached. Chiefs are of little impact without braves to do their bidding. The same applies here. To compromise this election to the level reported, it took great cooperation from smaller players with origins where it would have never been expected. There isn't the time or the space to cover every one of them, but the following is a representative example.

30

03 2011

UTLA- A Landmark Year For Union Election Corruption by Mark Hemphill (UTLA-un año clave para la Corrupción Electoral del Sindicato 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) Part 1: Where It All Began Unless you're a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District teaching community, you probably didn't know that round one of the elections for offices within the United Teachers of Los Angeles union has come and gone and round two comes to a conclusion March 29 between the two surviving virtually indistinguishable runoff slates to decide the remaining offices. However, even if you're a member of the teaching community, you may not know of these events, given that estimates of the voter turnout ran as low as 15% and no higher than 17%. Pretty sorry for the second largest teacher's union in the country. At some school sites, teachers didn't even know there was an election, and if they did, they couldn't identify the candidates much less separate them by their positions on issues. But even if you're not a teacher, Keep this in mind. What happens here will dramatically effect all teachers, public education and you by transference. So read on if you want to know what's really going on.
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29

03 2011

LAUSD's John Deasy and the L.A. Times Jason Song Teach You How to Make More Money Less - New Math? (Deasy de LAUSD y Jason Song del LA Times te enseñan cómo hacer más dinero menos - Matemáticas nuevo?)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) One of the advantages of having a long and purposeful failed public education system, where abysmal English language skills are only matched by equally atrocious math skills is that the Los Angeles Times reporter Jason Song can write an article entitled, "L.A. schools chief cuts his own pay" and fewer people are left with enough critical thinking skills to question either the linguistic sophistry or fuzzy math that Song uses to arrive at his conclusion in complete derogation of what has actually taken place. The fable goes something like this: Gates Foundation's John Deasy is given the job of Superintendent of LAUSD to replace Ramon Cortines at $330,000 a year with no other candidates for the position. Ramon Cortines has been paid $250,000 a year, if you don't count his generous benefits package and the $150,000 a year he also made from Scholastics for 10 years in a clear conflict of interest that LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia told him not to worry about, even though LAUSD had $16 million a year in contracts with Scholastics. As we have seen elsewhere lately, it just seems like some people are above the law.

28

03 2011

LAUSD, UTLA, AND THE NEO-LIBERAL "FINAL SOLUTION" FOR PROFESSIONAL TEACHERS(LAUSD, UTLA, y los neo-liberal "SOLUCION FINAL" PARA PROFESORES PROFESIONALES)

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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 the Warsaw Ghetto, a young zionist came back, after following the trains filled with Jews, to tell the Jewish leaders about Auschwitz and the extermination camps. The leaders, who had been supplying lists to the Nazis of the people in the ghetto to be "relocated" refused to believe what the young zionist was telling them about the "ultimate solution." They continued to fight among themselves, while offering their tacit support to the enemy, because that had allowed them to survive in the past. In the end, they were either killed in Auschwitz or in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. These folks didn't have a choice, teachers, students, and parents in LAUSD do.

24

03 2011

LAUSD- Egypt, Wisconsin, and Now The Walkout at Hamilton High School

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Something important took place today at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles. Students at the highly successful magnet school with excellent Humanities, Music, and Drama Magnets as well as 6 small learning communities who were threatened last week with the loss of 22 of their teachers decided to fight back. Using Facebook and other social media they organized thousands of their fellow students, parents, and supporters to stage a walkout from the school to say in the clearest of possible terms that they were not going to passively roll over and allow their educations and futures to be compromised by politically inspired manipulations throughout this state and country that were trying to impose draconian cuts to education that really had no rational justification. As one of the organizers of the event student Olivia Natt said in some of her remarks addressed to the whole student body, which had walked out of Hamilton High School in an orderly manner at 9:00am, "Children should not be used as leverage by politicians for their partisan political goals."

18

03 2011

LAUSD BLINDLY CLOSES RANKS WITH THEIR PRINCIPALS NO MATTER WHAT (LAUSD CIEGAMENTE CIERRA FILAS CON SUS DIRECTORES NO IMPORTA LO QUE)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) When I first started teaching back in the late 1980s, somebody told me that principals were Gods and I was foolish enough to believe that they did not mean this literally. Today I spent another day in the surrealistic world of the Office of Administrative Hearings at 320 W. 4th St. in Downtown Los Angeles in "courtroom" number 9 on the 6th floor, where I got another object lesson in just how unquestioningly LAUSD administration will support its principals no matter what they do. What I saw again was an expensive process where LAUSD Attorney Mampre R. Pomakian, Staff Relations or Human Resources Ira Berman (he can't seem to make up his mind) and an expensive cast of judge, commissioners, court reporter, paralegal, and a stellar supporting cast spent their time trying to prove that when it comes to teachers: IF IT DOESN'T FIT, YOU MUST CONVICT

17

03 2011

LAUSD and the Office of Administrative Hearings - Just Us Without Justice ( LAUSD y la Audiencia Administrativa - Sólo nosotros sin Justicia)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) From the first day of this farce, the judge and two retired teacher were given LAUSD's book of "evidence" against Ms. Jackson, even before the judge decided as to whether it was admissible or not. Even after the judge had ruled that some document could not come in or other documents of questionable origin could, there was no attempt made to limit what access these two retired teachers would have to "the evidence" presented by LAUSD. While a professional judge might be able to limit his ultimate deliberation to admissible evidence, one could not reasonable expect two retired teachers to not be impermissible swayed. However, even with LAUSD's failure to comply with discovery of documents requested by Dr. Michael Wells, who was helping Ms. Jackson in her defense, based on a claim of sovereign immunity, the rank incompetence of LAUSD shown through. One witness who had written Ms. Jackson up for alleged improper behavior admitted that he had never observed her firsthand and had only written her up "as a favor" to somebody else at LAUSD who asked him to do so and yet this proceeding was allowed to go on.

16

03 2011

UTLA- ADDING INSULT TO INJURY... IF ONLY YOU HAD THE RIGHT TO VOTE TO STOP THEM

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(For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) (This post keeps getting more and more surreal as the day goes on in terms as to what LAUSD and UTLA can do without due process of law or maintaining even basic civil rights having to do with the property rights involved in employment. I just received the following email from Tara Thomas at UTLA) "Thank you, I received your email. You didn't receive a ballot this time around because the eligibility is based upon paying Union dues as of February 4th payroll. Our records indicate that you have not paid union dues since December 2010. You are on Inactive status at this time. In Unity, Tara R Thomas UTLA Business Office Phone 213-637-5165  fax 213-368-6231 tthomas@utla.net" So it seems that all LAUSD would have to do to eliminate UTLA as a union is to put us all on unpaid administrative leave in complete derogation of the LAUSD/UTLA Collective Bargaining Agreement and applicable law, because by so doing, teachers - according to Tara Thomas of UTLA - would lose their right to vote at UTLA in any attempt to confront LAUSD corruption in the illegal dismissal of teachers or UTLA complicit in these illegal actions. So what happened to the legal presumption of being innocent until shown guilty by a preponderance of the evidence with the burden of so proving on the alleging party???

Understanding the National Context of LAUSD, UTLA, and NEA Corruption - To Understand, Read Idaho Teacher Daniel Geery's Post(Entender el contexto nacional del LAUSD, UTLA, y la corrupción NEA - Para Entender, Leer Post Geery Idaho Daniel Maestro)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) How You Can Expect to be Treated by the National Education Association (when you need them most) by Daniel Geery Following negotiations of our Master Agreement, in 1989, the Shelley School District hired a new superintendent, Val Edrington, well-known for his militaristic approach to things. Edrington was not pleased with my active role in the IEA and NEA. Shortly after his arrival that I was placed on probation, based on a long list of nonsensical allegations, such as "dominating grade level meetings," being absent when I was present, getting "blacktop smudges on PE balls," having inadequate lesson plans (though for seven years the previous administration commended my teaching and lesson plans), and for the content of a letter that was never published, wherein I questioned the superintendent's questionable history and activities in our district. Specifically, I had composed a draft of a letter about the shenanigans of the superintendent, took it to a local paper to see what one of the reporter's thought might need to be changed for it to be published. He kept a copy and took it to the school district's lawyer. To my surprise and horror, a termination hearing was scheduled in May, 1991. I asked the Idaho Education Association and its Executive Director to send a lawyer to assist me. "We can't," they claimed--such an action, they said, would be "too costly." A kangaroo court proceeding ensued. No record was made that was suitable for review, I was fired, with no income and no recourse.It is difficult to convey in words how demoralizing and depressing this situation was. In this small community, social support evaporated. The mere firing of an educator meant to many that I must have done something horribly wrong to be terminated from a tenured teaching position (several of my peers, aware of what was going on, were deeply concerned, but at a loss as to what to do).

14

03 2011

LAUSD and UTLA- CONNECTING THE DOTS OF BLATANT CORRUPTION (LAUSD y UTLA-CONEXIÓN DE LOS PUNTOS DE LA CORRUPCIÓN DESCARADO)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Before the hearing began, Judge Nafarrette said, "I haven't even reviewed the file," which Administrative Law Judge Scarlett had only given him at 8:40am that same morning. But as I listened to the testimony, I realized this was only the last step of a seamless system of endemic incompetence that started with the unwarranted harassment and removal from teaching of Ms. Jackson by novice Principal Kendra Wallace of Daniel Webster Middle School with the blind support of LAUSD administration that not only offered no critical analysis of the completely false charges brought against Ms. Jackson, but actually helped in the fabrication of evidence against her.

LAUSD: Understanding Workplace and Educational/Academic Bullying/Abuse by Lorna Stremcha © 2006 (LAUSD: Comprender el lugar de trabajo y de la Educación / Intimidación Academia / Abuso de Lorna Stremcha © 2006)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Bullying/abuse in the workplace and educational/academia setting deprives families and society of security; financial stability, emotional balance and can result in debilitating health for the victim/target and or their family members. Those that abuse/bully others in the workplace, in the schools, in the boardrooms are destroying intelligent and talented people from living productive and quality lives. Workplace and educational/academia bullies/ abusers are obliterating lives. THERE IS NO INTERVENTION IN 85% OF THE CASES Workplace abuse/bullying is two to three times more prevalent than illegal discrimination. In most cases, it is sub-lethal and non-physical. According a Zogby Poll approximately one in six workers have directly experienced workplace abuse.
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4

03 2011

LAUSD: LOOK WHAT THEY ARE SAYING IN PHILLY- SOUND FAMILIAR? ( LAUSD: MIRA LO QUE DICEN EN FAMILIAR PHILLY-SONIDO?)

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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 is no way that public education throughout this country can be as bad and corrupt as it presently is without the willing collusion of teachers' unions like UTLA and those in Philadelphia, NYC, and elsewhere with their dysfunctional school districts. If you would like to try and turn it around, you must conquer your LAUSD/UTLA purposefully cultivated teacher apathy and vote for new leadership in the UTLA runoff elections. This is the first step to change and accountability for everyone at LAUSD and UTLA, along with the politicians who empower them and look the other way while they systematically dismantle meaningful public education in this country. Key to fulfilling the clear corporate agenda of ending democracy in this country is eliminating a publicly educated citizenry that is capable of understanding the ramifications of what is being done to them and their children in public schools that has made them incapable of having sufficient education to operate as a repository of power and oversight as anticipated by our Founding Fathers.

2

03 2011

Duffy's Long Term Capitulation to LAUSD (A largo plazo capitulación de Duffy a LAUSD)

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THE NON-IDENTICAL TWINS? (Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) Duffy, Over the last 6 years, it has been hard to distinguish any difference between what you and Julie Washington do. Now, if you have your way, I will not have to. If Julie Washington gets in to continue your disastrous regime's approach to dealing with LAUSD, in another 3 years there likely will not be a UTLA to stand up for our rights. It takes a great deal of chutzpah to accuse others of "lying by omission," when that is what your regime has done for two terms and a total of 6 years. As I have mentioned several times on this site, I was a teacher for 23 years with excellent Stulls and not a mark against me, until I reported the fraudulent graduation of 79 students from my school with valid diplomas, even though they had low elementary school reading abilities on the STAR Reading Assessment with some as low as 2nd grade. You also know that teachers are giving assessments that they have the answers to, even though they are not supposed to grade them. But, with bogus value added assessment with a 45% margin of error, these teachers are not supposed to "help their students do well," when they know their very jobs may hang in the balance?

25

02 2011

OPINION: Value-added assessments: has the data been cooked? by David Lyell (OPINIÓN: las evaluaciones de valor agregado: los datos ha sido cocinado? por Lyell David)

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By David Lyell (left), LAUSD teacher (Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) A report published this month by UC Berkeley economist Jesse Rothstein raises serious ethical questions about the objectivity of an analysis of "value-added" models by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In his report, "Review of Learning About Teaching," Rothstein concludes that The Gates Foundation's "Measures of Effective Teaching" (MET) Project contains, "troubling indications that the Project's conclusions were predetermined." Rothstein asserts that "the Gates Foundation has widely circulated a stand-alone policy brief (with the same title as the research report) that omits the full analysis, so even careful readers will be unaware of the weak evidentiary basis for its conclusions."

UTLA 1ST ELECTION ROUND OVER - NOW THE REAL FIGHTING BEGINS (RONDA 1 DE ELECCIÓN UTLA - AHORA LA LUCHA REAL COMIENZA)

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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 first round of the UTLA Election have now been tallied with 6186 union member voting out of an approximate 45,000 members for a dismal 13.75% turnout. While UTLA can continue to call itself a union for a little while, until LAUSD finishes dismantling it with the help of UTLA leadership, a real union has the ability to get rank and file into the street to shut down LAUSD, before LAUSD succeeds in shutting down teaching as a fairly compensated profession in Los Angeles. This is a big part of the neo-liberal agenda for the privatization of public education and the dumbing down of curriculum and is going on all over this country. UTLA can only succeed by doing something more than just reacting to the latest outrage proposed by LAUSD. It requires UTLA leadership to actively organize rank and file under a clearly stated and specific alternative plan for real public education reform that concentrates on reforming LAUSD and not teacher, which UTLA leadership presently stands by and allows to be harassed, dismissed, and scapegoated for the crimes of this district that A.J.Duffy and his cronies have allowed to continue while taking no action.

21

02 2011

UTLA Election Fraud?- You Can't Have A Corrupt LAUSD Without A Little Help From UTLA(No se puede tener un LAUSD corruptos, sin un poco de ayuda de UTLA)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) As of this writing, I have received no ballot and was wondering how many of you are in the same situation, which seems designed to maintain the same cabal of Duffyesque control at UTLA in the person of Julie Washington et al, who Duffy has taken every opportunity to push to the rank and file, while denying other candidates and slates equal access. Today at perdaily, we received allegations that there was "beginning to emerge election mail tampering, possible fraud with packets of opposition candidate flyers, supposedly mailed out, by firm hired by UTLA." In addition, we receive other claims that "many dues payers received packets of candidate flyers only AFTER they voted!" What further added to what is more and more seeming like a concerted effort to thwart Opposition candidates and an honest election is that the, "Flyers were also either double stuffed or sent on duplicate packets so even more dues payers got NO flyers of some opposition candidates at all with their packets."

11

02 2011

So You Thought This Nonsense Only Went On at LAUSD or NYC Public Schools?(Así que tú que pensabas que este disparate sólo pasaba en las Escuelas Públicas del LAUSD o Nueva York?)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) While the rational mind tells you that the harassment, intimidation, and bullying you see at LAUSD are not just happening to you and 200 teachers deposited in rubber rooms around the District, there is something very empowering about realizing that there is nothing personal about these despicable acts that are practiced around this country to silence the majority of excellent teachers who dare to stand up for what they know to be right. It is rather sad that our unions seem equally tainted by the same corruption that exists in these purposefully failed school districts, where money and power have long ago supplanted the desire to give all students the public education they are entitled to. What follows is Lorna Stremcha's story in her own words. See how much of her Montana reality is exactly the same as what you or one of your colleagues has experience in Los Angeles Unified, NYC Public Schools, or the vast majority of purposefully corrupted school districts in between that continue to maintain power at any cost by savaging teachers and ignoring the needs of students.

Teachers: You Will Never Change LAUSD Until You Change UTLA - Voter Guide

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(For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) The following candidates are not together on a slate, but represent the best voices in UTLA to bring much needed change to our union. Only 20% of all members vote. So even if you do not vote for any of these candidates, please vote! Part of the reason we get kicked around so much by the school district is because we are not actively involved, and we do not make our voices heard in elections. Officers: President: Warren Fletcher NEA Vice President: M.J. Roberts AFT Vice President: John Cromshow Elementary Vice President Juan Ramirez Secondary Vice President: Frances M. Copeland Treasurer: Scott Johnson Secretary: David Lyell Board of Directors: NEA Central Area: Catherine R. Proctor NEA Valley East Area: Erika Jones AFT Valley East Area: Lisa Karahalios NEA Valley West: Colleen Schwab NEA Harbor Area: Haidee Fierrro, Elgin Scott, Aaron Bruhnke, Candidate for Special Education: Tim Delia Candidate for Substitutes: Dave Peters If you do not receive a ballot in the next few days, please call and/or email Tara Thomas at UTLA to request a ballot. You can reach Tara at: 213.637.5165

7

02 2011

The National Association to Prevent Teacher Abuse (NAPTA) by Karen Horwitz (La Asociación Nacional para la Prevención del Abuso de Maestros (NAPTA) por Karen Horwitz)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) As we have said many times over during the last year on this site, the unquestioned fallacy that remains the exclusive mantra of mainstream media is that the longstanding failure of public education is the responsibility of teachers, when nothing could be further from the truth. In the following comment, meant to address this purposeful distortion of who is really responsible for failed public education, Karen Horwitz, the founder of NAPTA, talks about who should really be held responsible for the ongoing and premeditated failure of public education in this country. My voice, the voice of Karen Horwitz, and those of the silenced majority - which is never given space in mainstream media - is really the dominant narrative that must be heard, if we ever expect to reconstitute an uncorrupted public education system as the sine qua non of this country's continuation as a philosophically and economically vital democracy, where the interest of the majority take precedence over those who continue to pervert the system for their own self-interest:

4

02 2011

KPFK's Shows the National Scope of LAUSD White Chalk Crime (KPFK muestra el alcance nacional del Delito del LAUSD tiza blanca)

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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 January 18th, 19th, and 20th, Sonali Kolhatkar dedicated three segments of her daily morning show Uprising on KPFK - 90.7FM at 8a.m. - to the endemic corruption that continues to be allowed in the running of public education at LAUSD and elsewhere throughout the United States. She focused on the systematic harassment of any teacher that stands against this corruption in defense of honest and rigorous public education for all in a country that is now more segregated than it was pre-Brown vs Board of Education.

Meet Professor Joel Shatzky from Brooklyn, New York , who could just as easily be describing LAUSD or any of the other purposefully failed public school districts in between (Conocer el Profesor Joel Shatzky de Brooklyn, Nueva York, que podría fácilment

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post Although Professor Joel Shatzky's writing and videos are about New York City public schools, can you see your own purposefully failed public school in the following three videos he has written or in the many articles and Huffington Post blogs he has written? Joel Shatzky:Brooklyn, New York Joel.Shatzky@cortland.edu Professor of English Emeritus--SUNY, College at Cortland (1968-2005) Adjunct instructor-Kingsborough CC (CUNY) 2006-- ) Regular contributor to the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joel-shatzky/educating-for-democracy-l_1_b_809924.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/searchS/?q=Joel+Shatzky Author of "The Thinking Crisis" with Ellen Hill (Authors Choice Press: New York, 2001) Numerous articles on education in Jewish Currents. Script-writer for three YouTube satires on educational "reform."

Whistleblower Teacher at LAUSD Board of Education Meeting

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) I was a teacher for LAUSD for 32 years with good evaluations until I and 2 other colleagues (P.E. Teachers) reported a female Asst. Principal entered the boys' locker room when the football team was changing for a game. As "mandatory reporters, we reported the incident and the administration as a whole started various kinds of harassment and retaliation as a result of that reporting. It got to the point where it became unbearable to continue working for LAUSD, which forced me to retire 2.5 years earlier that I had intended. I filed a lawsuit against the LAUSD and the individuals involved and am currently in the Appeals process. During the trial 5 employees and administrators perjured themselves while giving false testimony even thought there was direct evidence from the LAUSD itself that there were boys dressing in the locker room when the AP went into it. The LAUSD has used every trick in the book to try to get this case dismissed and was unable to do so. We are moving forward with the hope that a positive result for us in this case may open up Pandora's box against the LAUSD and many more teachers may come forward with similar lawsuits. Call me, if you like. I am in Rio de Janeiro 1.954.671.0279

25

01 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

OPINION: John Deasy a disappointing choice for LAUSD superintendent by David Lyell

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) (For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post) I'm disappointed by the appointment of John Deasy as the superintendent to the LAUSD School Board. The school board didn't even bother to consider any other candidates, which is very strange. The public needs to remember that the mayor, who celebrated this appointment, after recently attacking UTLA, was also handed a vote of "no confidence" by teachers at eight of the 10 schools he takes credit for operating. The reality is that the teachers at those school sites operate those schools. The mayor, who rarely shows up, only operates them on paper, and dismally at that. We need to remember that this is the same mayor who, in 2009, spent 15 times as much as his nearest opponent on his campaign, then refused to debate him.

17

01 2011

A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO END ENDEMIC CORRUPTION IN LAUSD AND ALL EQUALLY INCOMPETENT MINORITY FILLED BIG CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO FAIL (Un CAMPAÑA NACIONAL PARA PONER FIN A la corrupción endémica en el LAUSD...

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) It is my New Year's resolution for 2011 to finally develop and publicize a clearly stated and specific platform for real and accountable public education reform by bringing together people from all over this country to share their collective and remarkably similar insights as to the real nature of the purposefully failed and the endemically corrupt present public education system as well as a rather straight forward way it can be dealt with. This is the first of many blogs from myself and an initial list of insightful educators, parents, students, writers, and others from all of the United States whose views have been systematically excluded from the mainstream media and the present carefully controlled monologue of bogus public education reform that will continue until we the people stop and replace it with a truly functional public education system. The links to these tenacious heroes who continue to posit a positive views of excellent public education for all will be posted and linked to on a daily basis on this site and increased as they are joined by others from around the country until we reach the critical mass necessary to achieve the pragmatic and effective implementation of public education that we are entitled to. Browse through their links to see the stark similarities of the present corrupt public education system around this country and their clear vision of what has to replace it if we intend to survive as a democracy that vests power in its highly educated citizens.

10

01 2011

LAUSD/UTLA : In a fit of PEAC

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) On November 5th last week, I received the following terse email from David Rapkin of Progressive Educators For Action (PEAC), the self-proclaimed progressive activist arm of UTLA: "At a certain point, people and groups need to disagree forthrightly on principle and part ways clearly. It is the decision of the PEAC leadership that your posts are no longer welcome nor permitted on the list." David Two days later after sending the following incendiary comment to David: Enjoy the cool aid (reference to Jim Jones, Guiana, and the cult-like adherence to doctrine to the point of adamantly refusing to hear or deal with anything outside accepted dogma, i.e. fanatic.
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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 Teachers Cannot Stand Up Without A Strong And Independent UTLA - Part 2 (Los maestros del LAUSD no pueden hacer frente sin una UTLA fuerte e independiente)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) The engine driving LAUSD administrative harassment of teachers is the fact that administrators up until now have faced no consequences for harassing teachers to the point of their actions qualifying as a criminal conspiracy that not only fabricates testimony, but also offers witnesses incentives if they are willing to perjure themselves in LAUSD's mindless campaign to get rid of any teacher willing to stand up for the educational values that could truly reform public education at LAUSD. These administrators continue to go into retirement with no personal responsibility for their illegal actions in violation of teachers civil rights and at worst leave a financially strapped LAUSD holding the bag for any future liability in the unlikely event that the harassed teacher's rights should ultimately be vindicated in the judicial system.

22

10 2010

LAUSD Teachers Cannot Stand Up Without A Strong And Independent UTLA - Part 1 (Los maestros del LAUSD no pueden hacer frente sin una UTLA fuerte e independiente)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) In writing this blog over the last year, the reality I have had the hardest time accepting is the silence of teachers in the face of conscious and premeditated malfeasance and outright criminality within LAUSD leadership. Today I would like to explain why teachers who surely know what I do about endemic corruption at LAUSD steadfastly refuse to stand up against this corruption. In order to do this I would like to describe what happens to any teacher who dares to question the ill-conceived policies of LAUSD that objectively have no chance of improving public education in Los Angeles. In so doing, I will use my own case and those of many of the several hundred teachers who had the temerity to take exception to LAUSD's failed and self-serving policies and are presently suffering the consequences and have had the guts to talk openly with me about their regrettable situation.

21

10 2010

UTLA Acquired Independence Deficiency Contracted From LAUSD ( UTLA Deficiencia Adquirida Independencia contratados de LAUSD)

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) UTLA is designed to fail, because it sees itself as subservient or at the very least deferential to LAUSD. If you know that LAUSD is a failed culture, any organization like UTLA which only reacts and never posits its own definition of what professional teachers should stand for is doom to failure along with LAUSD, because it has no specific program around which it can organize its rank and file. Is there any wonder that most teachers are profoundly apathetic or depressed? Without a proactive approach, Superintendent Cortines or his successors will never respect UTLA President A.J. Duffy (nor were his predecessors John Perez or Day Higuchi respected). They have all had the same motto, "Let's see what the District says." Do any of you think Julie Washington is going to be any different if she is elected to replace Duffy? Don't get me wrong, I don't blame any of them. It's just impossible for this union to reach its potential as a good advocate for the teachers in this passive position. :It takes $57 a month from us to talk in the same generalized platitude we are all too familiar with from staff development, which also never gets implemented.

20

10 2010

LAUSD: How The Minority Continues To Control The Majority? (LAUSD: Cómo La minoría sigue controlando la mayoría?)

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(en español después) The simple answer to this question is that no LAUSD administrator has ever been held personally liability for their egregious actions no matter how malicious they are as long as they are protecting the status quo at LAUSD. The basis of LAUSD's strength requires no intelligence, but rather is in its willingness to brutally stiffle any opposition to the self-serving business as usually policy of the District administration that has gone on now for generations, while continuing to decimate mostly minority youth.

13

10 2010

My End At LAUSD: Now On To A Neutral Forum (Mi Terminar en el LAUSD: Ahora en un foro neutral)

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(en español después) On Friday, October 8, 2010 LAUSD Chief Academic Officer Judy Elliott sent me a letter saying that she was going to submit my name to the LAUSD Board for dismissal as a teacher. In retrospect and in culmination of more then a year long campaign of harassment against me, the following facts are surprisingly undisputed: - My fate was sealed with LAUSD from the moment I stood up against endemic LAUSD fraud. - Nobody in LAUSD administration has ever read my responses to the completely fabricated charges against me or ever reviewed any of the rather conclusive evidence I have submitted on various occasions that none of the charges against me ever took place. LAUSD administrators have even admitted they have never read or done any independent investigation at meetings with myself and UTLA representatives.

12

10 2010

LAUSD Snooker OR Sustainable Public Education (LAUSD Snooker O Educación Pública Sostenible)

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(en español después) If you have ever watched a professional billiards or pool tournament, you come to a realization about those who are best at the game; they know how to play shape. While they are capable of making the impressive difficult shot, they only do so when a prior miscalculation has left them in a difficult position. No great pool player would ever put themselves in a position where they had to make a difficult shot every time. They play shape, so that they can make it look relatively easy as they run the table against their opponent. In public education our formidable opponent is ignorance and it behooves us to also play shape, so that we can best use our limited resources in a manner that gets the best return on our investment. Sadly, what we have done is set up a system of public education that makes it even more difficult, if not impossible, for educators to achieve success. The hostile school work environment and apathy that infects all levels of public school functioning plays all of us that are involved against each other.
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11

10 2010

LAUSD: The Banality of Evil (LAUSD: La Banalidad de Mal)

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(en español después) When Adoph Eichmann, one of the main architects of the "final solution," was being tried in Israel for his crimes, Hanna Arendt said that one had the rational expectation of seeing a Count Dracula or some other image of quintessential evil, but what one saw at the trial was an old man who looked like an accountant. Thus she coined the phrase, "The Banality of Evil." On Monday, October 4th I was given one hour to make my case before LAUSD Chief Academic Officer Judy Elliott as to why she should not have Ira Berman of LAUSD Staff Relations take my name to the next LAUSD Board meeting for my immediate suspension without pay and subsequent dismissal from employment as a teacher for LAUSD. This pro forma "Skelly meeting," which would allow LAUSD to leapfrog over the LAUSD/UTLA Collective Bargaining required next step which would have given me access to neutral arbitration of the 4 Notices of Unsatisfactory Acts and 4 pending Suspensions totaling 49 days, gave me 1 hour to defend myself against an unceasing 2 year campaign of harassment by Principal Janet with the aid of LAUSD administrators all the way up the food chain at LAUSD to the superintendent's office where it got tacit approval.
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6

10 2010

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

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There is a false dichotomy in seeing UTLA and LAUSD as two separate entities. Whether it is UTLA past presidents Day Higuchi, John Perez, or now A.J. Duffy, UTLA has never promulgated an independent position on matters of education that "professionals" would have done long ago. Rather, UTLA always reacts to LAUSD dysfunctional behavior while stifling any rank and file input that might truly posit a more viable and professional system of public education in opposition.
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30

09 2010

Rigoberto Ruelas: Ya Basta!

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Why is it that we only take notice of a gross injustice after it has taken place? I guess because it is much easier to glorify somebody in death while never really addressing the things that killed him and continue to threaten his colleagues and students. The tentative suicide of 39-year-old 5th grade Miramonte Elementary School teacher Rigoberto Ruelas should more truthfully be attributed to something more than the simplistic and convenient answer of just the poor performance ratings that this dedicated teacher received and which were callously published in the Los Angeles Times with the false implication that this exceptional man who himself beat the odds in what continues to be the LAUSD stacked deck against Latino education in this city.
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29

09 2010

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

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As I prepare for my pro forma meeting with LAUSD Chief Academic Officer Judy Elliott with the awareness the decision as to recommending my dismissal from LAUSD employment as a teacher has probably long since been made, I share with you my response to the following email I received this morning from another one of the many teachers - estimates are between 80 and 200 teachers - under paid administrative leave at LAUSD Local District offices or their homes (aka rubber room/teacher jails).
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28

09 2010

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

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

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