Still Stuck In Food Services Director Jail, David Binkle Retires

“I felt bad collecting my salary while being forced to sit home without doing the work.”

-David Binkle

Last December, David Binkle’s paid suspension was announced with typical LAUSD double speak. At the same time the press office was stating that he had “been temporarily reassigned pending the conclusion of an internal investigation into a CONFIDENTIAL personnel matter,” (emphasis mine) a leaked copy of the Inspector General’s draft audit stated that they “found that the program is currently at a minimum being mismanaged and at worst being consistently abused.” While the district initially stated that the investigation was likely to “wrap up in late spring or early summer,” last month they stated “they could not estimate when the investigation might be concluded.” In the meantime, Binkle was being paid his $152,000 salary not to work, a situation that was unfair to both Binkle and the taxpayers.

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The professional development/staff meeting before the school year begins

  • Welcome back, I hope you all had a good summer.
  • I know that you are anxious to get into your classrooms.
  • There have been some changes, so me let me introduce your new staff members.
  • Now you will sign the forms promising to report child abuse.
  • Test scores. (Everybody groans)
  • In and of itself, the test scores were a little up in some areas, a little flat in others, and lower in some.
  • If you will turn towards the wall, our coordinator will show our scores with her analysis.  (Teachers start to draw, cutout, and prepare materials)
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Teachers are never on vacation

Schools may be closed for the break,

But teachers have a lot to make.

 

Lesson plans for the the school year,

With lessons that are precise and clear.

 

Schedule learning so the students have the knowledge for each test,

So for the teachers the break is not true rest,

 

Wherever they go they still are thinking about what the kids need to know,

And about the room environment, papers to correct, and observing the students grow.

 

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LAUSD administrators and board members, who are you to decide...

that testing is the best use of instructional time and resources for the students of LAUSD?

You never come to the schools. Members of the board, you are politicians, not educators, and the downtown administrators who once worked in a schools and now advise you, forgot what it was like two seconds after they left the schools.

Yet, you spend the money; you order the tests; tell the teachers what to teach; buy the lousiest textbooks; cut support staff and supplies from the schools; raise class sizes; and then raise hell with the principals, who raise hell with the teachers if test scores don't go up.

So what gives you the right to judge each teacher by his or her test scores?

Teaching is not testing. Teachers have a heart and care about the students first and test scores last.

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Firing In A Crowded Theater

The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Sadly, the death of two people last week in a shooting at a Louisiana movie theater will not do anything to start a meaningful dialog about gun control in our country. If the 13 people in Binghamton, 13 people in Ft. Hood, three people in Huntsville, eight people in Manchester, six people in Tucson, eight people in Seal Beach, seven people in Oakland, 12 people in Aurora, six people in Oak Creek, six people in Minneapolis, three people in Brookfield, 27 people in Newtown, five people in Santa Monica, 13 people in Washington, D. C., three people in Ft. Hood, seven people in Isla Vista and nine people in Charleston were not enough to spark a discussion about who has access to guns, why should another two lives matter to our politicians? When Obama initially ran for president, the NRA warned that we have never “faced a presidential candidate...with such a deep-rooted hatred of firearm freedoms,” but as President, Obama has only expanded the rights of gun owners. And the carnage continues…

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Every teacher is The Lone Ranger

Lately, I have been drawn to watch episodes of the 1950’s T.V. show, The Lone Ranger.

During every episode, the morality, the goodness, and the righteousness of The Lone Ranger and Tonto stands out.

Every teacher in America is The Lone Ranger. We fight against the system that we know is wrong. We do what we can to prepare our students for the next grades and for life. We are there for our students.

Every teacher has had former students come back or contact them. These former students are full of great memories and thankfulness.

Instead of “Who was that masked man?”  they say, “I wish my kids could have you as a teacher!

Their memories and their success are the SILVER BULLET we leave behind.

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I’m a billionaire and I want your school!

I’m a billionaire and I want your school!

A bunch of us were sitting around talking about the next unexploited, profitable industry and someone said education could bring us more wealth and power.

So we came up with a plan.

First we talked to the textbook and test publishers and asked them to create tests that make the public schools look bad through low test scores.

Then we pushed to have this Common Core stuff (which I don’t understand) promoted and used in every public school in the nation.

After that we spoke to the owners of charter schools and started some of our own, so that we became fully invested in both.

As parents saw the low test scores at their public schools they streamed to our charter schools. We petitioned the school districts to allow us to use empty classrooms on their campuses.

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The LAUSD's Red Herring

We also take seriously our obligation to ensure that our employees behave ethically.”

-LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines

With Rafe Esquith’s attorney once again drawing attention to unethical use of Teacher Jail, the district turned to the propaganda arm of the ed “reform” movement to turn the tide. Last Friday, the LA School report ran an article entitled “Most in LAUSD ‘jail’ facing charges of sexual misconduct, violence.” While the District will often refuse to tell effected teachers why they have been removed from the classroom, they were willing to give the LAUSD’s version of FOX News a “comprehensive breakdown of misconduct allegations being investigated by the district’s Student Safety Investigative Team.” Of the 174 employees caught in the purgatory of Teacher Jail, 65 were being investigated for sexual abuse or harassment and 55 were  in the system for accusations involving violence. The remaining 54 employees were accused of infractions that did not involve the direct safety of the students of the district.

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How do school districts pay for tests and test preparation materials?

The money to pay for the tests and the test preparation materials comes from the districts’ budgets funded by our taxes. Almost 12% of my property taxes go to LAUSD. It is an appalling usage, especially to a teacher in LAUSD!

In order to pay for the tests, districts such as LAUSD:

  • Increased class sizes;
  • Laid off school counselors, librarians, support people, custodians, and office clerks;
  • Cut art, music, sports, and gifted programs;
  • Reduced teacher salaries and health benefits.

Do you as a parent appreciate of this?

Teachers don’t!

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Open Court was an abomination

  • They paid LAUSD teachers to go to training for five days during their vacation.
  • Teachers could also go during the school year for three days and receive their regular pay while the district paid substitutes.
  • They paid Open Court instructors to fly into Los Angeles and stay at nice hotels.
  • They rented large halls in the hotels for instruction rooms and halls where they provided lunch for all of the teachers.
  • Each elementary school had a Literacy Coach who really was the Open Court Police.
  • They ran around the school visiting classrooms, finding fault, and reporting the teachers to the principal.
  • Initially 60% on an Open Court test was considered passing.
  • Open Court measured reading speed, even though there are students that read excellently but slowly.
  • Any elementary teacher can tell you that it is comprehension, not speed that is important in Reading.
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