The Watchdog of LAUSD

By Stuart Goldurs

Writing about the LAUSD and my experience as a teacher.

LAUSD: Can't they do anything right?

Recently, more than ever, the media is filled with headlines and stories about investigations into LAUSD food services and the F.B.I. investigating the iPad mess, and much, much more.

Don’t forget the tens of millions wasted on MiSIS; starting the school year during the intense heat of August without all classrooms having functioning air conditioning; and the secrecy behind the search for a new superintendent.

LAUSD just added $4.5 million to the previous settlement of $30 million for Miramonte, a situation the district could have prevented.

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$250,000 for LAUSD for a search firm. Why?

"School board President Steve Zimmer said the board needed to pick a search firm no later than Sept. 15 and preferably sooner. The board has set aside as much as $250,000 plus expenses for the contract."

Why? 

I can suggest a few people who are civic minded, knowledgeable, have no affiliation with the the district, and most importantly their sole concern is for the education of the students of LAUSD!

Why spend another quarter of a million dollars when the district has so many other needs?

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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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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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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?

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Today

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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School starts next week; Welcome to the LAUSD world of testing

They start testing and tracking the students in Kindergarten. Some of the students are still 4 years old. Kindergarten used to be about left and right, getting along with others, finger painting, singing and dancing, stories, and reading readiness for some. Now the students are tested and tracked, tested and tracked.

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Oh My God! Common Core Coaches in LAUSD

As wonderful and beloved as Common Core is, LAUSD has made it even better by providing schools with Common Core Coaches.

Truthfully, Common Core is loathed by educators who know better.

The Literacy Coaches (Open Court Police) and Math coaches were in most cases a waste of time and money.

Now here comes Common Core Coaches.

You wonder where your money went, when LAUSD decides how it's spent.

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