Pages

TRANSLATION ,

Sunday, October 26, 2014

LA Times - The LAUSD's possible classroom morale problem

Deasy's departure was not marred by disgrace or devastating consequences for his conspicuous Misis Crisis , costly conflicts of interest , an unresolved iPad fiasco that still has yet to be considered in any concrete details when it comes to wifi infrastructure  contracts one assumes  are in the works and likely with silicon valley tech contractors like Dave Welch. The  carcinogenic concerns that caused the BOE ban a few years ago are no longer afforded any consideration despite the very real threat we recently saw when a teacher began bleeding from her nose and ears when her schools system was installed. LAUSD provided accommodations without the usual frustrations but became a little agitated when the story got leaked in blogs and small news sites, demanding we remove the court documents . We only abided this request to spare the teacher from the district's wrath, but are troubled LA Times and other news venues are unwilling to put the safety of children before the whims of crony capitalism, 
The wasted iPads still provoke outcry as parent's demand the contract be carried out as it clearly costs more to break it than to move forward without the burden of Deasy and his tantrums derailing any potential for success . That potential is viable and can be exploited to the advantage of students and taxpayers if text books are uploaded on them at year round schools before the start of the next term, then made ready for all schools that have the devices before the next school year. 
To leave the iPads unused in so many schools is an affront to everything teachers believe in and sacrifice to serve students. Some teachers have had remarkable success using the iPads on their own and I have laid out plans that would correct the errors. His  urgency and arrogance undermined a truly inspired tool that can cut costs drastically if the district actually uses it the way it was meant to be used . Ebooks replace text books and cut costs by approximately 90% To my knowledge no efforts are underway to realize these savings or accommodate schools without wifi, which is not  essential or necessarily an advantage in classrooms. LAN is installed and highly reliable at almost every campus. Synching, charging , uploads, downloads and monitoring the iPad damage, glitches and losses is easily addressed by student aids, part time tech assistance and a schedule that allows for bi weekly. . There are some concessions to creating each schools systems and assigning these duties , not to mention marking the units with the same label used on other expensive items like Monitors and teevees. When the new lower priced models are introduced Apple and LAUSD can be ready to deal with theft prevention, appropriate use policy,  liability, allowing students to keep iPads that survive, which is more likely to happen if students consider the iPad their property .
Becoming obsolete, needing wif, keyboards, silicon sleeves , and other matters can be death with  in an economically sound and simple fashion. All it requires is a little creativity and a grasp of how iPads and schools work. I can lay out a plan that saves a lot of money and requires little more than school leaders who will be willing to adopt routines and schedules that serve their needs while protecting and assessing this investment. I need nothing for my time or energy because I have vision as an educator and a commitment to a mission Deasy and the suits downtown have forsaken 
With iPads Art Class is possible with the cost of supplies or the messy aftermath l photography class , music lessons, typing practice and applications, power points, word processors, educational games, homework, notebooks, audio and video recording/edition, book publishing, animating , research and documentation, dictionaries, foreign language, calculators, literature , text books, alarm clocks, stop watches, exercise, video viewing,  interior design, instant access to assignments grades , deadlines and skills that need work are readily available. 
Not of these amazing features has been addressed much less put to use. Instead the BOE is talking about another deal with an inferior device as it defer's to Deasy's despicable unilateral decision to delete the Apple deal without considering the costs and loss connected to breaking a deal that will become quite sweet soon enough because the price is set at $200 if I am reading the contract right. 
The iPad is the best bet , Deasy got that much right . I cannot shake the feeling that he intended for this deal to fail . It would likely topple Apple's dominance of the education market and offer Amplify, google pad and Microsoft surface more than the 10% they presently share. Tech blogs have aptly deconstructed why the roll out was such an unmitigated disaster . I cannot defend the acts of those who brokered the deal with Deasy. Clearly, greed got in the way of ethics . These consultants and the district officials who colluded to cut this contract should be terminated and advised their future employment is compromised by this misconduct . Consequencescurn corrupt impulses.
Whatever truly went on, teachers with oppressive and impossible circumstances they constantly transcend are being savagely purged and replaced by interns LAUSD has finished the first of 3 apartment complexes it will house TFA recruits in during two year stints as teachers. If it wasn't for the collateral damage ,collapse of  campus culture and the damage it already wreaks on  communities , the set up appears mutually beneficial to the interns as well as the district. The problem is what will these collaborations mean on campus to children who can not be condemned by standards or what is cost effective and convenient to "managers"appeasing profiteering philanthropists hell bent on making what little the public has its property.
To assume these take overs will better serve the public and save the people from poverty is like putting faith in Deasy based on desperate editorials that allude to data driven by the whims rather than objective measurement . VAM adds no value to scores that have little more than subjective formative purposes , 
We cannot comprehend the magnitude of mankind's depravity Much less conquer our propensities to serve it but this in no way makes it less than real .LAT editorialists can convince themselves covering Deasy is not a concession to corruption. But the ethical compromises are severe in a rag Judge Treu sights repeatedly as evidence that supports the case against tenure.
This is a very daunting darknesswprking in concert with individuals who boast about creative disruption in schools . How can anyone condone that kind of behavior? 
Are those editorialists comfortable with saboteurs and vandals operating against their best interests? By overloading teachers, overcrowding classes, constantly confounding the course work with new curriculums, constant concessions to testing and cunning policy that bans disciplne for students and assigns all  accountability upon the senior teachers ;with decades invested in their schools . They literally paid their dues only to discover their union decided it did not want to pay for the legal insurance it has kept up forever. It is arguably an inherent part of the contract , but UTLA discontinues it just in time for the with hunts Cortunes kicked off and Deasy drove into high gear. As teachers were forced out, abused , jailed displaced, exiled, humiliated ABD denied dignity along wth due  process, everyone of the last three presidents ignored the horrtor visited upon the rank and file. Duffy, Fletcher, Pearl colluded, conspired, cheated, connived, concealed and condemned innocent teachers to broken lives and scarred us because even if this is just business , we take schools, students and what we do personally. 

The LAUSD's possible classroom morale problem

The teachers in Los Angeles who write to The Times — and I may be understating the intensity of their views here — are no fans of John Deasy. So when the embattled former superintendent resigned from the Los Angeles Unified School District last week, one might have expected a collective sigh of relief from our educator letter writers.

Hardly. Though a handful of teachers celebrated Deasy's departure, the vast majority who wrote us expressed continued anxiety and frustration over their jobs. If letters are any indication of broader opinion, it's safe to say there may be a morale problem in L.A. Unified classrooms.

Melanie Panush Lindert of Los Angeles takes the pulse of teachers: at several campuses:

I thought it couldn't get worse, but indeed it has: LAUSD teachers are even more stressed than last school year.

As an itinerant dance teacher, I work with several dozen teachers a year. I trudge to a different school every day. The teacher inferno has reached epic proportions this year, with no relief in sight. We must remember that what befalls our teachers trickles down to our children.

We have the endless flow of testing. One fourth-grade teacher explained how frustrated she was because there was no opportunity to prepare her children for a math test. Teachers must know the new Common Core curriculum, terminology, objectives and how to record data on computers.

Parents and principals are demanding more. There is a new, complex system for evaluating teachers, and teachers are required to take workshops to comply with this new system.

Teachers are serious, responsible, caring, creative, resourceful and patient. Why haven't these professionals been part of the team to create the very best system for our kids?

Rancho Palos Verdes resident Michael Whittemore gives credit to his fellow teachers for gains in achievement:

I am a retired teacher (30 years of experience), and I am amazed by the arrogance of education "talking heads" claiming credit for student achievement.

They don't teach; teachers do. It is the joy of that nexus that brings progress. Teachers love teaching.

Giving us decent class sizes, materials (most teachers spend their own money on classroom materials) and administrative support will result in even greater achievement.

Jim Wakeman of Long Beach says education reforms are driving away teachers:

Deasy's sympathizers give him credit for reducing the number of student suspensions and raising students' test scores.

Well, when teachers are required to keep students in class in spite of their behavior, yes, there will be fewer suspensions. And when teachers' jobs may be threatened by low student test scores, some teachers, understandably, will "teach to the test." Then, yes, test scores will improve.

Neither of these predictable results will improve student learning, but they will drive more teachers away from the profession.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion



rd

The John Deasy Years: Important Announcements but Alienated the Foot Soldiers

The John Deasy Years: Important Announcements but Alienated the Foot Soldiers

The John Deasy Years: Important Announcements but Alienated the Foot Soldiers

EDUCATION POLITICS-The symbolism of last Friday's press conference by the recently embattled and newly ex-superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, John Deasy, couldn't have been more explicit. Speaking for the first time as a private citizen, Deasy spoke to reporters on a conference call hosted by Students Matter 

The Silicon Valley-backed, Menlo Park nonprofit has paid the legal bills for the Vergara lawsuit, which challenged teacher job protections in the state earlier this year by successfully suing the California Department of Education and LAUSD. Deasy became a star witness — for the plaintiffs — when he testified against the state and his own district's teachers. 

For a man who had been brought by LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa from the Gates Foundation in 2010 to LAUSD as the top deputy to then-superintendent Ramon C. Cortines, and who was a graduate of the training academy financed by billionaire education privatizer Eli Broad, the Students Matter conference call seemed to signal Deasy's hope that Vergara would be the enduring legacy of a contentious three-and-a-half-year tenure. It was a term marked by political squabbles with the LAUSD's Board of Education and an increasing hostility toward the district's union workforce. 

United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) president Alex Caputo-Pearl, who often found himself at loggerheads with the superintendent over Deasy's penchant for blaming teachers for outcomes beyond their control, described Deasy's philosophy to Capital & Main as "basically an adherence to a corporate-turnaround style of school improvement." 

Ironically, Cortines took office on Monday as LAUSD's interim superintendent — his third time in the city's top education post — while the board begins the process of finding a long-term successor.

Deasy's resignation last Thursday and Cortines' return this week capped a dramatic month that saw lingering questions over the debacle of Deasy's $1.3 billion iPad procurement from Apple and the education curriculum giant Pearson — the so-called the Common Core Technology project — threaten to boil over into a full-blown scandal. 

It also comes on the heels of the former superintendent's disastrously premature August rollout of the district's MiSiS student data computer system, which gave students the wrong classes and continues to threaten student college admissions. 

Making matters worse, Deasy took the unusual step of again testifying against the state this month without the board's knowledge or support in Cruz v. California, after attorneys added the MiSiS-plagued Jefferson High School to the list of defendants in a class action lawsuit alleging the state has ignored its responsibility to give all California students an adequate level of instruction. 

For his part, the ex-superintendent appeared to admit during Friday's press call that the impatience for change represented by such missteps might have come at a cost to LAUSD students. 

"I wish I could have found a better balance," he reflected, "between my feeling of urgency in my observation of overwhelming peril and poverty for kids and the ability to have built a more unified will to move quickly to do that. And I was not successful at that piece. I think I own a great deal of that. You own that and you own the results." 

Deasy, whose separation agreement with the district forbids him from ever working for Los Angeles Unified again, also said he is mulling over a possible run for public office. 

LAUSD board member Steve Zimmer, for one, agrees that Deasy's laudable concern over the students most in peril in the district was too often offset by his obliviousness to the importance of consensus-building and the precipitate speed with which he attempted to implement controversial policies. 

"Dr. Deasy was moving with a velocity that had the effect of alienating the foot soldiers who would need to complete the mission that he was so urgently leading," Zimmer told Capital & Main. "So the result in some way was less impactful than the announcement. Announcements can be very important, as are changes in policy, but what really changes lives and outcomes is the implementation on the ground, and that takes everybody working collaboratively together." 

Teachers union president Alex Caputo-Pearl gives the ex-superintendent high marks for cutting student suspensions and expulsions, and for backing initiatives like the Arts Equity Index, a tool to identify impoverished schools most underserved by arts instruction. On the deficit side, Caputo-Pearl also cited Deasy's taste for policy headline-making without following it up with what was needed for proper implementation – and a reliance on standardized tests and attacks against educators and the union. 



Find out what's happening on CityWatchLA.com before everyone else. Register for your FREE twice weekly email alerts now.


"You had him supporting this community movement that had been brewing for about 10 years around positive behavior support and restorative justice," said Caputo-Pearl, "but he didn't invest resources into the staffing, training or school reform that would be needed to really bring those things into practice." 

The task now, Caputo-Pearl and Zimmer agree, is to correct the lack of transparency and inclusion of all stakeholders that marred the 2011 search and interview process which resulted in Deasy's superintendency in the first place. 

"I believed it damaged Dr. Deasy's superintendency to not have had a full search and interview process," Zimmer said. 

This time around, he promised, "There will be a comprehensive search the likes of which have not been done in this district for at least a decade."

(Bill Raden is a freelance writer in Los Angeles and a contributor at CapitalandMain.com … where this piece was first posted.)

-cw

 

CityWatch

Vol 12 Issue 86

Pub: Oct 24, 2014

Solutions for Teachers Bullied by Colleagues | Edutopia

Solutions for Teachers Bullied by Colleagues | Edutopia

Solutions for Teachers Bullied by Colleagues

My last blog post shared stories from teachers who have been traumatized by administrators and fellow instructors. Today's post introduces strategies to counteract bullies' go-to move: rhetorical evisceration disguised as "helpful" critique. Don't think that the hostility will simply dissipate over time. Bullies are serial antagonists and need to be stopped before their harassment calcifies into a pattern.

Be warned that having a heart-to-heart with the victimizer might not work, but there are other alternatives. Before describing what strategies to try, the section below will discuss practices that backfire.

What You Should Avoid

Bullies are in the business of intimidation. If you are a target, you'll undoubtedly feel unsettled, confused, angry and anxious. In this state, you might impulsively try to placate aggressors by being more complimentary, but this only rewards their harassment. Bullies regard praise as obsequiousness. It grows their power and undermines yours.

Secondly, constructing inferences about the tangled motivations of the bully wastes your intuition. Trying to figure him out won't relieve your confusion. Instead, focus on what you can control; concentrate on keeping your headspace clear and rationale. Play your own game.

Counteracting Verbal Aggression

Short of imitating the menacing Estuary English accent of Jason Statham ("figah" for figure, "baht" for but), you can give yourself more agency by imagining dialogue with bullies as a serious game of racquetball. If the bully shoots a rhetorical volley at you, return it definitively with a kill shot so that the bully can't continue to dominate the interaction. More precisely, don't extend an argument.

Avoid the following:

Bully: "Your students don't learn a thing."
You: "Yes they do."
Bully: "That's not what they tell me."
You: "Who says that? "
Bully: "They all say that. You just aren't paying attention."

Try this rejoinder:

Bully: "Your students don't learn a thing."
You: "I don't see it that way."

Any version of "I don't see it that way" shuts down a conversation. If you are interacting with an administrator prone to vague disparagements, put them on the defensive.

Try the following:

Bully: "You aren't a team player."
You: "To help me understand and remember your critique, would you prefer to write up the criticism in an email, or should I just record you with my smartphone?"

This reminds the administrative bully that you can share inappropriate criticism with her superior, your lawyer or your union. If the bully rejects those two offers (and she probably will), listen carefully to the complaints and take notes. Ask for specifics:

  • Give me an example of . . .
  • What behaviors are you asking me to change?

Later, hand her a memorandum of understanding with as many direct quotes as possible. Ask her to sign the memo. A record of belittlement may help you develop a case against her later.

Acting "As If . . ."

When I was a new teacher, my principal grew incensed that, in my role as a member of a committee managing a school-wide project, I had identified critical problems with his pet initiative. For several weeks, multiple confrontations ensued in which he attempted to discredit me. I grew weary and raw from the siege. When an emergency committee meeting was announced, I knew I'd be attacked. Racked with anxiety, I called my twin brother, Scott, to help me calm down.

"Instead of bracing for a showdown," Scott said, "enjoy interacting with your adversary. Have fun being you, being there." My panic disappeared instantly.

Instead of trying to predict how I might be humiliated, Scott reminded me to focus on who I was: someone who likes people and wanted the project to succeed. At the meeting, while my principal attacked me, I sat unperturbed. Then I interrupted him.

"You sound angry," I said, giving him a puzzled look.

"I'm not!" he snapped. His neck flushed bright purple with embarrassment in front of the dozen administrators and teachers in attendance. For the rest of the meeting, he never looked in my direction or addressed me again.

Reaching Out

Sadly, bullying can reach a level of malevolence where serious action is required. In these cases, Tim Field, author of Bully in Sight, suggests that you contact a union representative, even if you do not intend to involve them right away. Consulting a lawyer for legal advice or psychologist for emotional support are other options.

School districts can actively address bullying by collecting anonymous information about its prevalence, followed by professional development and the creation of safe channels to report abuse.

Brilliant teachers are empathic shamans who inhabit the communal psyche of thirty-some learners and thread the gaps between skills and affinities. While most observers regard this poignant ability with awe, the bully's instinct is to attack and puncture the fragile skin of civility.

Our message to bullied teachers must be unequivocal. We will protect your emotional health. We need you.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

This Week In Education: Thompson: Why Reformers Are Being Beaten Up by Teachers

This Week In Education: Thompson: Why Reformers Are Being Beaten Up by Teachers

Thompson: Why Reformers Are Being Beaten Up by Teachers

The corporate school reform movement has always been built around a clear and united public relations strategy. It's been a one-two punch. Reform is a civil rights revolution to create schools with "High Expectations!" that overcome the legacies of poverty. Test-driven accountability is necessary to overcome teachers' low expectations.

During the high tide of corporate reform in 2010, their scorched earth public relations campaign against teachers and unions was doubly effective because they all sang from the same hymnal. Since then, however, reformers' failures to improve schools have been accompanied by political defeat after defeat. Now they are on the same page with a kinder, gentler message.

Now, the most public message is that a toxic testing culture has mysteriously appeared in schools. As the Center for American Progress, in Testing Overload in America's Schools, recently admitted "a culture has arisen in some states and districts that places a premium on testing over learning." So, the reformers who made that culture of test prep inevitable now want to listen to teachers, and create a humane testing culture.

As Alexander Russo recently reported, in Why Think Tankers Hate the Vergara Strategy, some indicate  that the Vergara campaign against teachers' legal rights is a dubious approach. I'm also struck by the number of reformers, who complain about unions' financial and political power, and who seem to by crying that We Reformers Are Being Beaten Up by Teachers.

Yes! Reformers Are Being Beaten Up by Teachers!

I communicate with a lot of individual reformers who agree that test-driven accountability has failed, but they can't yet visualize an accountability system that could satisfy their reform coalition and teachers. I repeatedly hear the pained protest that, Testing Isn't Going Away.

So, what alternative do we have?

Talk about Low Expectations! Are they saying that a democracy can't prosper without test and punish imposed from on high? Do they believe that families and students are just as feckless as teachers, and none of us will teach and learn without reward and punish regimes that toughen us up for economic combat in the global marketplace?

Or, are they afraid to question the Billionaires Boys Clubs' assumption that testing must drive school improvement? Are they admitting that corporate reform is driven by the egos of the corporate elites, and, if schools repudiate testing, they will stop showering money on reform and go back to their yachts?

Regardless, as Diane Ravitch explains, now is the time to redouble our efforts to kill the testing vampire. If President Obama, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates and, even, the neo-liberal CAP are sincere in seeking humane and engaging instruction for all, not just their favored selective schools, obvious solutions are on the table. A five year moratorium on high-stakes tests imposed on individuals could bring us together. (Charters or people who want to impose stakes on tests for their own children could be free to follow their passion, just as long as they don't impose drill and kill on others.)

Equally obvious for holding schools and systems accountable is the proposal by Bill Clinton to reduce testing of each student to once in elementary, middle and high school. Even better we could limit assessments for accountability purposes to samples of students. I can't say that I fully grasp what Linda Darling Hammond is proposing, but she has proven herself to be a wise policy analyst, and I would be open to her ideas. The only new idea for reducing testing that I completely reject is liberating teachers from highstakes testing and then doubling down on highstakes testing for students.

But, if reformers continue to refuse to respect our judgments, we teachers will continue to beat up on them.- JT(@drjohnthompson)

LA Times - The LAUSD's VERY REAL classroom morale problem. YA THINK?


The LAUSD's possible classroom morale problem

The teachers in Los Angeles who write to The Times — and I may be understating the intensity of their views here — are no fans of John Deasy. So when the embattled former superintendent resigned from the Los Angeles Unified School District last week, one might have expected a collective sigh of relief from our educator letter writers.

Hardly. Though a handful of teachers celebrated Deasy's departure, the vast majority who wrote us expressed continued anxiety and frustration over their jobs. If letters are any indication of broader opinion, it's safe to say there may be a morale problem in L.A. Unified classrooms.

Melanie Panush Lindert of Los Angeles takes the pulse of teachers: at several campuses:

I thought it couldn't get worse, but indeed it has: LAUSD teachers are even more stressed than last school year.

As an itinerant dance teacher, I work with several dozen teachers a year. I trudge to a different school every day. The teacher inferno has reached epic proportions this year, with no relief in sight. We must remember that what befalls our teachers trickles down to our children.

We have the endless flow of testing. One fourth-grade teacher explained how frustrated she was because there was no opportunity to prepare her children for a math test. Teachers must know the new Common Core curriculum, terminology, objectives and how to record data on computers.

Parents and principals are demanding more. There is a new, complex system for evaluating teachers, and teachers are required to take workshops to comply with this new system.

Teachers are serious, responsible, caring, creative, resourceful and patient. Why haven't these professionals been part of the team to create the very best system for our kids?

Rancho Palos Verdes resident Michael Whittemore gives credit to his fellow teachers for gains in achievement:

I am a retired teacher (30 years of experience), and I am amazed by the arrogance of education "talking heads" claiming credit for student achievement.

They don't teach; teachers do. It is the joy of that nexus that brings progress. Teachers love teaching.

Giving us decent class sizes, materials (most teachers spend their own money on classroom materials) and administrative support will result in even greater achievement.

Jim Wakeman of Long Beach says education reforms are driving away teachers:

Deasy's sympathizers give him credit for reducing the number of student suspensions and raising students' test scores.

Well, when teachers are required to keep students in class in spite of their behavior, yes, there will be fewer suspensions. And when teachers' jobs may be threatened by low student test scores, some teachers, understandably, will "teach to the test." Then, yes, test scores will improve.

Neither of these predictable results will improve student learning, but they will drive more teachers away from the profession.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion




Creative Stream of Conscience in Time Covers the Convert and the Careerist



Rene,

Wow! In just the last 36 hours, more than 30,000 people have signed our petition demanding that Time magazine apologize for its offensive cover.

Next week, we'll be delivering every petition we collect to Time's headquarters in New York. Our goal is that they never again try to make money by attacking educators. First, we need to make sure they hear our message loud and clear. Will you help by sharing the petition and asking your friends and family to sign?

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Or use this tool to send an email to a friend

Time's cover suggests that teachers are a problem that must be smashed. We know this image is far out of step with how Americans view our educators. I hope you'll share the petition with your friends so we can show Time that people don't think highly of bashing teachers to sell magazines.

In unity,
Randi Weingarten
AFT President

Maybe I have grown old and bitter, but of this you can be sure , the rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor , and Randi Weingarten going after a relatively benign magazine cover that refers to bad apples is hardly worthy of such organized efforts. The story inside is not offensive according to commentators on Diane Ravitch' blog discussing her posts about the Time cover . In my mind, this is a very astute tactic by an editor working around the oppressive forces that pay his wages  that also serves teachers well. If the article is as objective as I hear it is, she or he has done what journalists are supposed to do. Let me explain. 

If , for example, an average Joe impulsively picks up a copy of Time at the newsstand to read with Sunday's  paper tomorrow because he wants to know more about teachers who cannot be terminated and talk about striking  every time a union thug wants political leverage  he wants to know are they all are so stupid and what this means to students  ? How hard can their job be ? Spoiled and complacent unionized riff raff, he tells his buddies at the bar and grill.  He is appalled by what hears about these teachers and their liberal unions . That negative slant on Time seems to confirm his twisted assumptions We all gravitate what echoes our selves .
Joe will never visit blogs erected by teachers who hate testing and complain they are underpaid.
He is not going to find a magazine with headlines like that but if he saw some rag that made like teachers were victims he would not even pick it up. Propaganda .   Too many papers and magazines and trusted sites told the true story . 
.
Joe likes Time . He trusts it and certain newspapers like the Times  To give him the information he needs to form his opinions and vote responsibly he reads these publications every day and spends Sunday with stories he is most interested in . He can't say why teachers make him so mad. They just do. . He begins reading Time article about teachers and how billionaires are reforming public education ln his mind privatization was the way to go so taxpayers could get out from under the burden of schools that sucked billions in taxpayers' dough an only failed more miserably. He was only vaguely aware of what privatizing meant . It is hard not to be rattled by this concept as he realizes taxpayers will pay for schools but the public will surrender property, assets, and control if they agree to privatize public schools, post offices and transportation, 
As he reads , Joe has a series of epiphanies. But while the writer avoids taking sides, there are key  points that make it hard for Joe to ignore issues he was never aware of like testing students to evaluate teachers using data from scores that are nearly worthless . No wonder teachers cheated  To avoid being marked by a Scarlett Letter. F for failure. in fact the lack of any real obvious bias in the piece makes it much more compelling . 
He realizes he has never given the matter much real thought. The stories provoked Him because he had issues all his own with his employer , who sounded far less abusive than the bullies in charge of schools. Emanuel, , Christie , Bush, Deasy, Stein, Bloomberg, Rhee... Dare he try on an average teacher's sneakers? 
He tries to imagine controlling 35 six year olds sugared up from breakfast he serves in class . He wishes HS teachers had less than 200 students to keep track of and wonders how many essays they can assign and grade like his teachers did when he was in school. How to teache ESL, Sp. Ed , gifted, packers and average in the same class? 
Suddenly , Joe is not so quick to judge or to nurse his unfounded animosity. He realizes teachers are not the problem. Working for a private sector employer is uncertain, thankless and hard . Public school teachers in the trenches make less, do more and have to deal with rich bastards who have decided to take over ...
There was the enemy. Joe is enlightened rather than annoyed by silly complaints about a magazine cover that may convert many more than the one Ramdi Weingarten would choose. Preach to your choirs or consider things closer before condemning the weekend to wasted protests . 


So why must we make fools of ourselves following the MISGuidance of a woman who is bedazzled by Eli Broad's and Bill Gates billionaire status. 
What else have got? 
Nothing like she has or is likely  to give up 
She is invited to opulent black tie cocktail parties, given charter schools that turn over annual profits , often gifted with millions in bribes...I mean donations. Not sire why dues went up again, does it matter? 
She expects teachers to adopt her approach. She goes along to get along. She supports what these well heeled imperialists ask her too. You support what she asks you to though it is hard to get behind them.  Test based evaluations, common core, easier terminations, and larger class size , lower pay and demoralizing circumstances ... Easy, right? 
Say what? You want to let the city and state have their way with teachers' pensions because plutocrats should not pay high taxes ? Give up life time health care? No sweat thanks to Obamacare.... Ok , agree with the one Broad refers to as his favorite and you can keep working . Maybe. If not, well... 
What can teachers do about any of it? 
The have to pay dues . Therefore  unless the union backs them , and it has not and has no plans to , they cannot expect much and should be ready to expect less as unions reform to become collaborative accomplices in an all out class war . It's against whatever unions once stood for but why should she care ? Randi  is realizing ambitions not rescuing dim wit teachers . The education industrial complex is two trillion dollars in annual revenue that trumps constitutional rights , contracts, civil liberties and traditions . Idealism is a lost cause that conspires against rank and file idiots . They're merely collateral damage ; the future secretary of the DOE consoles herself with  occasional pangs of guilt . Of course, she feels bad about reform ruining their lives and now the weekend by distracting them  with letter writing protests to Time. 
She is not a monster. She is a progressive liberal careerist who will get around to making education better when she is in Arne's place . If she were too far off the charts, Ravitch would say so. Wouldn't she? Who cares about angry teachers ? If they are fired they had to have done something! 
She taught too. It was not so tough. Not like law. Not like union reformation and curbing the casualties it sends her way . All of them crying about careers and foreclosures. How much do teachers think union can do? It isn't her fault Wendy Kopp came up with the corp. HOW can they blame her for the cheap malleable enthusiasm of college kids in classrooms? They have energy and hope to offer. No kid wants a grumpy old hag who still teaches grammar and expects kids to do homework every other night. It is just depressing. Good teachers are resourceful.  They can start small businesses. Learn a new trade. Teach on vouchers or get grants . If they wanted to have stability and Golden years they should have chosen better careers. Why did she give it up in a few years? She was burnt out, bored and broke . No wonder interns are the way to the future . No one with an ounce of self respect wants to teach for decades. 

The teacher is obsolete and so are public schools . Unions have to be flexible to stay afloat even if it means accommodating new memberships and policies. If the new unionism fails, Randi wasn't going to sweat it because she would be  in the white house soon or at worst case scenerio working for Bill and Eli at some nonprofit. She had her parachutes too  Politics she understood was al about compromises and change is the only constant . She wishes teachers would see thus and move on. 
 

9 LAUSD schools each get $50,000 because they’re near a huge garbage dump.SO , ELI BROAD, HOW MUCH FOR SCHOOLS ON TOXIC SITES ?

http://www.dailynews.com/social-affairs/20141024/9-lausd-schools-each-get-50000-because-theyre-near-a-huge-garbage-dump

LAUSD employees file lawsuit against SEIU over union dues ; ( BTW Another Against UTLA for Misuse of Dues and Contractual Breaches Coming Together)

LAUSD employees file lawsuit against SEIU over union dues

Judge Rolf Treu affirm vergara decision

*UPDATED

Several LA Unified workers have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99 over what they say is an improper collection of their full dues.

In the complaint, which was prepared with free legal assistance by the National Right to Work Foundation (NRWF), the employes claim SEIU Local 99 union officials denied their requests to refrain from paying full dues, according to a NRWF press release. SEIU represents employees who work in a number of non-teaching jobs in public schools, including bus drivers, gardeners and cafeteria workers.

Under federal law set by the Supreme Court in the Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, public employees that must join a union and pay dues as a requirement for employment can request to withhold payment of any fees that support political causes not related to collective bargaining.

"Because California does not have Right to Work protections for workers, workers can be forced to pay union dues and fees to an unwanted union as a condition of employment. However, under Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedent, workers who refrain from union membership can also refrain from paying for union politics and members-only events," the press release said.

The release also added that despite "the workers' requests to refrain from union membership and full union dues payments, the Los Angeles Unified School District continues to confiscate full union dues from the workers' paychecks at SEIU Local 99 officials' behest."

The plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit were identified by NRWF as grounds keeper Douglas Kennedy, bus drivers Eduardo Berumen and Griselda Moran and cafeteria worker Magi Shanagian.

"SEIU officials are stonewalling workers' attempts to refrain from paying for the union bosses' radical political agenda," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, in a statement. "This case underscores the need for California to pass a Right to Work law making union membership and dues payments strictly voluntary."

SEIU Local 99 Interim Executive Director Scott Washburn issued a statement on the lawsuit.

"The lawsuit filed by the National Right to Work Foundation is yet another example of this group's attempt to silence the voice and strength of working families in this country. It is no coincidence that this suit was filed on the heels of the historic $15 per hour minimum wage increase won by school workers at LAUSD," the statement said. "Wherever workers are making big strides to improve their lives and the wellbeing of their families and communities, we can expect to see attacks like this. SEIU Local 99 members will continue to stand strong and move forward with our efforts to ensure quality schools and good jobs for our communities.""

*Includes statement from SEIU



rd

A Chimp's Eye View at New Old Superintendent's First LAUSD BOE Meeting WARNING: NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH OR PC AT HEART

An example of hyperbole with ironical hypocrisy 

 
Watch the clip to hear anything someone will say in a desperate bid to be vindicated  only to betray  that she deserved no such thing ... So... 
You wanna watch a fun video? 
 
                   CONTRIBUTING CHIMP ASKS :  Does anyone know how to get this on You Tube? If you do, tell me how and I will forward to flying monkey land .

Remember the link will take you to this surreal clip : 
             
Two women at LAUSD Board Meeting telling Cortines that he should be fired for buggering and stealing from an unholy alliance with National Scholastics!!  Or something like that . All Board Members present for the slow salacious lull of left in Deasy's wake. In a way, I will miss him because the fast and furious pace his malice and mendacity never left time for dull moments or cunning consensus. That void may make most return to the comforts of oblivion or smugness seized upon but fools WHO believe the the problem is solved because the despot did his disappearing act leaving his mess for the rest of us to clean up. 


See at 2.5 min. and about 13 min. into tape 













rd

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How Billionaire Oligarchs Are Becoming Their Own Political Parties - NYTimes.com

How Billionaire Oligarchs Are Becoming Their Own Political Parties - NYTimes.com


How Billionaire Oligarchs Are Becoming Their Own Political Parties



 

In August, Tom Steyer and seven campaign advisers sat in a small conference room in Coral Gables, Fla., trying to figure out how to save the world. Steyer, who is 57, has a fortune of roughly $1.5 billion, and his advisers were among the most talented political operatives in the United States. Steyer is especially concerned about climate change, and his immediate goal, the object of discussion that day, was to replace the sitting governor of Florida, Rick Scott, a Republican who has questioned the very existence of anthropogenic climate change, with Charlie Crist, the previous governor, whose environmental views hew more closely to Steyer's.

TIME Magazine Attacks America’s Teachers: Write a Letter to TIME | Diane Ravitch's blog

TIME Magazine Attacks America's Teachers: Write a Letter to TIME | Diane Ravitch's blog

TIME Magazine has a cover story called "Rotten Apples," in which it falsely asserts (on the cover) that "It's Nearly Impossible to Fire a Bad Teacher. Some Tech Millionaires May Have Found a Way to Change That." Here is a link to the cover and a petition denouncing this slander.
This TIME cover is as malicious as the Newsweek cover in 2010 that said, "We Must Fire Bad Teachers. We Must Fire Bad Teachers. We Must Bad Teachers," and the TIME cover in 2008 showing a grim Michelle Rhee with a broom, prepared to sweep out "bad" teachers and principals. (As we now know, Rhee fired many educators, but saw no significant gains during her tenure in office.)
This non-stop teacher bashing, funded by millionaires and billionaires, by the Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation, and even by the U.S. Department of Education, has become poisonous. Enrollments in teacher education programs are declining, sharply in some states. Experienced teachers are retiring early. Teaching has become so stressful, in this era of test mania, that our nation's biggest teacher issue is recruiting and retaining teachers, not firing them.

Bonds should not pay for iPad curriculum, new L.A. Unified head says - LA Times

Bonds should not pay for iPad curriculum, new L.A. Unified head says - LA Times

Bonds should not pay for iPad curriculum, new L.A. Unified head says

Newly installed Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon Cortines said he opposes using construction bond money to pay for curriculum on student computers, raising new questions about the future of the system's controversial $1.3-billion technology project.
Using voter-approved bonds for curriculum rather than building and repairing schools has been a contentious element in the effort to provide every student, teacher and campus administrator with a computer. Critics and some officials harbor lingering concerns about its legality and wisdom, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Times.
Cortines left no doubt about where he stands.
"I don't believe the curriculum should be paid for with bond funds, period," he said in an interview.
Cortines emphasized this week that he hadn't yet been fully briefed on the technology program. He said he would keep an open mind.

WHAT TO BELIEVE? Certainly not the Rhetoric of Cortines: Construction Bonds Should Not Be Used to Pay for iPads | Diane Ravitch's blog

Cortines: Construction Bonds Should Not Be Used to Pay for iPads | Diane Ravitch's blog
In one of his first actions as
Superintendent of the Los Angeles public schools, Ramon Cortines said that money in a construction bond should not be used to pay for iPads.

Superintendent John Deasy often said that providing an iPad to every student was a civil rights issue.
Apparently Cortines believes that using money intended to renovate schools and provide children with a safe and wholesome climate is even more compelling

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MORE REASONS TO BE WARY OF ALEX CAPUTO-PEARL AND His Perverse Social Justice Agenda:LA Times - Is the L.A. teachers union tone deaf?


Is the L.A. teachers union tone deaf?

It was back-to-school night in August. A time for new beginnings and high hopes at Thomas Starr King Middle School on the Silver Lake/Los Feliz border.
Then came an awkward moment.
With new parents and students in the room, a teachers union rep got up on a soapbox to lay out the labor issues that could lead to a strike.

Ed Notes: I agree. This was as boneheaded as it gets. A strike is a last case scenario and to have one now would certainly undermine a growing liaison between parents  and teachers. What happened to that plan to unite with parents teachers have worked for and want ? Does it interfere with Alex Caputo- Pearl's agenda? What is his agenda anyway? All he wants is to strike. He has not even acknowledged the horrors members are forced to suffer, much less addressed them. Indeed , he has shot down every effort the activists I the union have made to address the wrongful terminations, lack of legal insurance and a litany of violations LAUSD has to answer for. And don't give me that crap about his new status or how it is all Duffy's doing or Fletcher's fault. Pearl and PEAC have been in serious positions of power for more than 8 years , some say dividing and conquering to make sure he could wield the kind of power necessary to keep teachers from resisting the TURN agenda. I believe them and that unless parents give the okay, striking is an ill advised action. The good news is that teachers are less impressed with Alex Caputp - Pearl than Steve Lopez,. 

Parents Call for Grand Jury Investigation, Audit of LAUSD's MiSiS System

: Organizing ATRs. Citywide ATR Meeting November 11th - Educator Fights Back



Organizing ATRs. Citywide ATR Meeting November 11th

I was just at another UFT Executive Board meeting at 52 Broadway.John Silvers,  veteran teacher and fellow ATR, came and spoke. He shared our frustration about the many teachers who teach out of license,  when highly qualified teachers are rotating in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool.
I myself received a FOIL request yesterday that gave me the name of the teacher who was hired for a middle school science position I applied for instead of me.  Spoiler alert… They don't have a science license (nor an engineering degree).
image
We are organizing the ATRs. We will hold elections for a new ATR coalition and then approach the UFT to be a functional chapter like all these others http://www.uft.org/new-teachers/functional-chapters

CURMUDGUCATION: Charter Takeovers Tennessee Style

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Charter Takeovers Tennessee Style

If you don't have the good fortune to have a hurricane clear the public school competition out of your path, what other techniques can be used to convert to an all-charter system? Kevin Huffman in Tennessee appears to have an answer.

Kevin Huffman, as theTennessee Grand High Commissioner of Education, represents a reformster milestone of his own. Huffman's career path took him to Swarthmore, which led to a TFA posting, which led to law school, which led to practicing education law in DC, which led back to TFA, first as general counsel and later as various VP executive titly things. Then, a few years later, Governor Bill Haslam tapped him for Tennessee Educational Poobahdom. Which made him the first TFA temp to get to run an entire state's education system. So congrats on that, Tennessee.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

LA school board approves $300K contract for Cortines | 89.3 KPCC

LA school board approves $300K contract for Cortines | 89.3 KPCC

The Los Angeles Unified school board unanimously approved its third contract with new Superintendent Ramon Cortines Tuesday morning. 
On Monday, Cortines, 82, returned to head the district again, replacing John Deasy, who stepped down last week. 
In an interview with KPCC's Take Two, Cortines vowed to move away from what Deasy's critics called his autocratic leadership style. 
"Decentralization of the district," Cortines said. "I've met with the leadership team, challenged them, let them know what I expect."

STRANGE SCENES INSIDE THE GOLDMINE : Murder, Billions Embezzled and Sodomites at the LAUSD

Embezzlement, Poisoning, Murder: Welcome to LAUSD, Mr. Cortines

Embezzlement, Poisoning, Murder? Welcome to LAUSD, Mr. Cortines

Law_&_Order_LA_Title_Card
In case there were any chance LA Unified's new superintendent, Ramon Cortines, had forgotten just how bizarro school board meetings can be, his first one back today as head of the district included accusations of embezzlement, murder and sexual harassment.
Welcome back, Mr. Superintendent.
While the school board voted unanimously to approve the $300,000 a year contract Cortines was offered to shepherd the district out of its current troubled state — $50,000 less than what his predecessor earned — a handful of speakers criticized him for the sexual harassment lawsuit that followed his departure in 2011.
During the public speaking portion of the brief meeting — during which anyone can have three minutes to address the board on any topic they please — Patricia McAllister, who identified herself as a substitute teacher who was fired, took it a step further.