Making the LAUSD Accountable to All Students
Empower Parents * Respect Teachers * Protect Taxpayers

Teachers Jails—no veteran teachers left behind (a poem)

Teacher jails, teacher jails,

The process moves like snails.

 

Deasy and Cortines popularized the incarceration,

They almost franchised it across the nation.

 

If you are a senior teacher at the top of payroll list,

Downtown will tell your principal that they insist.

 

Find a reason to put you away,

Into a rubber room you will stay.

 

The sitting will be like hell for you,

And they won’t tell the accusations too.

 

The incarceration can drag on for years,

The sitting will bring depression and tears.

 

The police will clear you but the district will not,

And your name becomes mud and you feel like snot.

 

You can be world renown or just a regular educator,

Your union won’t get you an attorney or negotiator.

 

The people who run this inquisition really belong in jail,

With a life full of storms, sentences, and hail.

 

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While they are smearing Rafe Esquith, remember that LAUSD teachers are the best

I have taught at a have nothing school, at a have some school, and at a have everything school, all in LAUSD!

The one great common factor at all three schools is the quality and dedication of the teachers. I believe that there are teachers like this throughout the world:

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Cortines is leaving--A caring Superintendent should...

Superintendent Cortines has announced that he will leave his position in six months. When it was convenient for him, he would remind people that he had been a teacher. Years ago when he was also the Superintendent, he made a robo call to teachers and retired teachers when the district altered the health benefits and wrote the changes in a manner that confused everyone. His recorded call conveyed nastiness and a disdain for the teachers.

The new Superintendent of LAUSD should:

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Election season is over—LAUSD board members can return to doing what they want to

The LAUSD Board of Education and the Superintendent (whoever he is) have always been the center of the attention in the district—it should be the schools, the students, and the educators.

When notable teachers like Rafe Esquith and Iris Stevenson receive international and national acclaim, it goes against the grain of downtown where the spotlight is supposed to be directed on those at Beaudry. So they attempt to shine a negative flame upon those teachers.

Now that the elections are over:

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The Watchdog of LAUSD

For over seven years I wrote more than 650 articles for Examiner.com, an online site that is owned by a conservative who supports all that I oppose. For years I’ve wanted to find a non ad driven site to share my writing. Friday, they sent me a kiss off Email ending in “best wishes”. So here I am.

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Building A Room With My Dad

Becca and JessieThrough my childhood, my Dad and I were not particularly close. In a lot of ways the experience of his childhood haunted him and he did everything possible to make sure that mine would be different. In doing so, he left his own minefields for me to negotiate.

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Arrogance

 

Election season was clearly over on Tuesday afternoon as the LAUSD set about to fulfill the legal requirement of getting public input into the Local Control Funding Formula. Outgoing District 3 representative Tamar Galatzan did not even bother to show up to the meeting. District 2’s Monica Garcia left as public comment began. Even George McKenna’s seat was empty before the last speaker had a turn at the podium.

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Serving All Students

On Tuesday, the LAUSD Board will vote on reaffirming its commitment to “A-G Life Preparation for All.” Unfortunately, the title of this resolution is disingenuous as somehow, we have come to confuse “life preparation” with “preparation for college.” While I agree that any LAUSD student who wants access to college preparatory classes should be given the opportunity, we should not pretend that college is the only pathway to success. Any college graduate who is underemployed and struggling to pay off student debt will  certainly attest to the fact that college does not guarantee success. What the LAUSD really needs to do is recommit itself to serving all types of students

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The Unguarded Hen House

A district may not require students to purchase a cap and gown as a condition of participating in the graduation ceremony.”

-California Department of Education, 2013

 

“All students who participate in the ceremony must wear a cap and gown. After January 31,2015, caps and gowns are $60.00 (CASH ONLY) and are only available at Senior Clearance on June 3, 2015.”

-Granada Hills Charter High School


California taxpayers send more than $3 billion to privately operated charter schools every year. This money is supposed to be used to educate our children in a way that is consistent with the law, but there is little assurance that the money diverted from public schools is benefiting the students. Charter schools were supposed to bring more accountability to education, but local, county and state agencies lack either the tools or the will to provide the necessary oversight. This creates a situation where these schools are permitted to operate outside the boundaries of the law.

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Election Reform in the LAUSD

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”

-Sir Winston Churchill

 

To date, candidates and outside committees have reported spending $1,649,613.26 on the 2015 LAUSD School Board race for District 3. These funds not only ensured that the voices of the charter schools and the unions were heard, it also guaranteed that students and parents could not be heard above the din. Instead of voters having access to a much-needed debate about education issues, they were left to make decisions based on character assassinations and outright lies. Is it any wonder that only 8.6% of registered voters took part in the election? Factor in those who do not even bother to register and citizen participation drops to below dismal.

As long as we have a Supreme Court that confuses corporations with citizenship and money with speech, there is little that can be done about the amount that is spent on our elections. However, before we give up counting votes in favor of just handing offices to those who can raise the most money, there are steps that we can take to reduce the influence of money in LAUSD elections. Some of these the new School Board can take care of by themselves while others will require the cooperation of the City Council. Any action will require pressure from an active citizenry:

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