Life is Short. Investigate Wisely.

...investigations should be completed in a timely matter, nothing and I mean nothing, will stand in the way of making sure our students and school communities are safe."

-Ramon Cortines, LAUSD Superintendent

The fifth grade students of Hobart Elementary School have started the school year without award winning teacher Rafe Esquith in the classroom. They are also deprived of access to his nonprofit, the Hobart Shakespeareans, and its proven record of allowing students to “move on to attend outstanding colleges.” Instead, Esquith continues to be confined to teacher jail as the five month investigation against him drags on. What started with a complaint about a joke told in the classroom has somehow expanded into “a complex investigation that requires painstaking, time-consuming work.”

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LAUSD: you only need one test per year

A once a year test which takes no more than 2 hours on one day.

One hour to measure each students’ Language Art progress and one hour to measure each students’ Math progress.

That’s it—no quarterly tests, no fluency tests, no teaching to the test, no following the test calendar, and no evaluating teachers using test scores. 

Any professional educator, after a just a few weeks with his or her students can tell each students' strengths and weaknesses, needs and areas for growth. No paperwork--no testing.

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We have to give strength and power back to the police. And you're always going to have mistakes made. And you're always going to have bad apples. But you can't let that stop the fact that police have to regain some control of this tremendous crime wave and killing wave that's happening in this country.

-Donald Trump

When I was born in 1967, there were 2,989.7 crimes committed, including 6.2 murders, for every 100,000 people in the United States. By time I graduated high school in 1985, in the middle of Reagan’s presidency, the crime rate had increased to 5,207.1, including 8.0 murders. As Obama took his second oath of office in 2013, the crime rate stood at 3,098.6 and the murder rate had fallen to 4.5. Nowhere has these crime reductions been more apparent than in New York City where the murder rate fell from 14.5 in 1990 to 3.3 in 2013. On a national scale, improvements in the violent crime rate continued into 2014.

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It’s a tragedy what’s happening to our profession—Goodbye veteran teachers

Veteran teachers are leaving the profession!

Veteran teachers like senior citizens should be revered for the knowledge, wisdom, and experience.

Each of us had an unofficial mentor when we first started teaching and again when we moved to a new school. 

Pretty soon there will be no teacher over 30 at any schools:

No one to ask advice about situations, students, parents, and administrators;

No one who remembers how it was before--when the teachers were loved and respected by everyone, and they were the ultimate authority on anything for their students; 

No one who remember the proper way to teach instead of solely teaching to the test;

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If it's LAUSD, I push the failure button

Except for schools in selective parts of the district, LAUSD is a failure:

  • A failure to graduate students from high school.
  • A failure to prepare students for anything but testing--not for the next grade and not for life.
  • A failure to allow the students time to master skills, review skills, and remediate skills, before they go on to the next skill.
  • A failure to teach any subject that is not tested.
  • A failure not to have shops and practical arts based on the theory that everyone must take college preparatory programs.
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LAUSD: is the purpose of schools to get a well rounded education or to do well on tests?

Why are kids in school? 

They are taught to the tests following the testing calendar. They are taught in a one size fits all program where every class on the same grade and every class on the same subject is covering the same skill at the same time.

They are taught not to mastery, but to pass the tests. That’s all! They are taught quickly covering a skill in two to three days with an insufficient amount of practice on the skill in class and at home. There is no time for review or remediation of the skill. There is no time to bring children up to grade level on the skills that they did not master in previous grades.

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MiSiS Crisis II: The Educational Deprivations Continue?

Alameda County Judge George Hernandez Jr. ruled that students ‘have suffered and continue to suffer severe and pervasive educational deprivations’ as the ‘direct result of Jefferson's failure to provide the students with appropriate course schedules.’"

-LA Times, October 8, 2014

As the students of the LAUSD approach their first day of school, district officials have sought to reassure the public that last year’s MiSiS Crisis will not be repeated. While admitting that “the $133.6-million computer program still isn’t fully functional” they told the Los Angeles Daily News in July “that placing students in the proper classes won’t be a problem this year.” Included in the steps being taken to ensure that the nation’s second largest school district will not be plunged into “MiSiS caused chaos” again was an assurance that they would “stop updating the system’s software for nearly a week before and after campuses open” on August 18.

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We need an Eddie Haskell clone to be LAUSD Superintendent

Eddie—Good afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver, you sure are looking lovely Mrs. Cleaver.

June—Thank you Eddie.

Eddie—Are the boys home?

Ward—Yes, Eddie go on up.

Eddie—Beaver, you little twerp why are hanging around?



Eddie to the Board at a public meeting—how are you today and I hope that we have a very productive meeting.

Eddie to the Board behind closed doors—You guys are too busy raising campaign funds from charter school operators.

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Common Core and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Way to do Math

It astounds veteran teachers.

It confuses parents trying to help their children.

It is longer and more complicated.

It appears to be out of Abbott and Costello meets The Three Stooges.

None of the school board members or the superintendents could do Math this way. 

Neither could principals, assistants or deans.

Math is a universal language; I have seen elementary students new to this country who don’t speak or read English do their Math problems.

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Lack of Communication

So why was the success of the surge followed by a withdrawal from Iraq, leaving not even the residual force that commanders and the joint chiefs knew was necessary?

-Jeb Bush

Apparently, Iraq is not a subject that the Bush family discusses at family gatherings since they cannot seem to learn from their collective experiences. During the first Bush administration’s Gulf War, our quickly advancing troops stopped short of Baghdad because “we were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf.” These concerns were lost on his son as W pushed for a second war in Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein without bothering to plan for its aftermath. The result was an insurgency that “greatly increased the spread of the Al Qaeda ideological virus.” In a second declaration of “mission accomplished,”  W signalled the approach of “a successful end” to the war by signing a Status of Forces Agreement that stated that “all the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory no later than December 31, 2011.” He said this withdrawal was “possible because of the success of the surge” and left “the next President with a stable foundation for the future.” Almost seven years later, Jeb, rhetorically asks why these troops left. Shouldn’t he just ask his brother the next time they have dinner?

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