In many ways, District 2 is a microcosm of the 2016 Presidential race. I am a Berniecrat running on a platform that supports public education, empowers parents and teachers and stands up for the most vulnerable, including students with special education needs. The incumbent, Monica Garcia is an establishment Democrat who attended the Democratic convention as a delegate for Hillary Clinton and whose Facebook page is titled @iamwithmonicagarcia. Standing in for Trump is Walter Bannister, who even uses the slogan “make our schools great again”. He has tweeted that we should forcibly arm ALL teachers, that vaccines are ineffective and harmful, blows the dog whistle by calling for the “end [of] compulsory busing” and says that “government ownership, operation, regulation and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.” There are also two other candidates who currently have a limited internet trail.Read more
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the largest school district in the country that is governed by an elected school board. Only the New York City school district, which is under mayoral control, has more students. Los Angeles has more than 640,000 students enrolled in the district, attending over 900 schools that are spread out over 720 square miles. The District is also the largest authorizer of charters with over 130,000 students enrolled in about 250 independent and affiliated charters.Read more
The LAUSD School Board includes former teachers and school administrators. A student representative is also included in an advisory role. However, not one of the seven Board members has a child who is currently enrolled in the District. With this lack of representation is it a surprise that too many parents feel that they do not have a voice in how the District operates?Read more
Think of your fondest memories from elementary school.
Was it making a 3 dimensional map with mountains, or a school Olympics, or putting on a play, or sewing a frontier outfit, or classroom discussions, or many other things? Maybe it was May Day dances or working with tools.
They are gone. There are no replacements.
All academics all the time or very close to it.Read more
No operators are standing by, as we don’t care what parents and teachers think, so we fired the operators enabling us to hire more administrators.
Press 1 if you wish to complain about the cleanliness of your school.
Press 2 if you wish to leave a message for your school board member. But keep in mind that they won’t return it.
Press 3 if you want to complain about your school needing repairs and the iPad purchases.
Press 4 if you feel that your student’s classes are too crowded.
Press 5 if you wish to complain about school food.
Press 6 if you want to complain about the lack of discipline on your school campus.
Press 7 if your school’s WiFi is out, making the iPads worthless.
Press 8 if your school is unable to get substitutes, as none of them are willing to go there.
Your call is not important to us and these messages are erased daily.
Add a lawsuit here, a lawsuit there, paying a former superintendent or two, a wasted program or 100, a superfluous bureaucracy, plus the money for the worthless tests and the test preparation materials that do nothing but enrich the publishers.
What is left for on campus needs?Read more
"The Power of the Principal."
A principal can make a teacher’s life miserable:
By giving them the cold shoulder;
By spreading negative words about them to staff and parents;
By not supporting them in situations with parents;
By not supporting their discipline
Principals can load up classes with the most difficult and lowest performing students.
Principals can change the teacher’s assignment even though in LAUSD assignments are supposed to be selected by seniority. The on site union representative is most unlikely to stand up for a teacher fearing the above negative treatment. Calling the union is totally fruitless as the union leaders are most concerned about spending the dues and maintaining their perks, privileges, and pensions just like the LAUSD downtown bureaucracy that they totally mirror.
This has been going on forever.
The Kingdom of LAUSD—a top down pyramid (empire) with the serfs—teachers--at the absolute bottom of the pyramid.
When I was a student in LAUSD the major fund raising effort was a newspaper drive. We’d collect them at the school and they were picked up.
Today, most public schools have booster clubs run by active parents. The fund raising activities include donations, gift wrap sales, candy sales, auctions, restaurant outings, and many other things.
The money raised goes to supplement the money provided by the District/State and to enrichment activities. The funds buy computers, books, aides, music instruction, photocopiers, office clerks, librarians, and so much more.
Why? Other than enrichment activities, so many of the above including librarians and clerical help are an integral part of the schools and their programs.
Why do the booster organizations have to pay for so much? What if your school is not located in a community that can financially support the school? What if your school does not have low test scores and therefore is not entitled to federal funds?Read more
Three times each school year, LAUSD elementary teachers must give the DIBELS to every student.
The teacher must sit in the back of or on the side of the classroom with each student for 15 to 20 minutes. The students read to the teacher while the teacher follows on a computer. In Kindergarten the students identify letters.
While the teacher is working with each student individually the other students must work without teacher assistance. Some elementary classes have 35 students. Think about the time lost to the class while the teachers must give this superfluous test. Think about Kindergarteners needing their teachers.
The DIBELS like all the other tests costs money that could go to instructional materials, reducing class sizes, and repairs.Read more
It was the best of schools, it was the worst of schools, it was the age of segregation, it was the age of separation. It was Los Angeles in the 50’s and early 60’s. Los Angeles was segregated. Los Angeles City Schools were segregated.
The schools in the Westside, the Valley, and other areas were excellent. The success of their students from Kindergarten through 12th grade led to college and professional careers.
Meanwhile, students in other parts of the city received a lesser education in many instances.
In the beginning Los Angeles created the Los Angeles City Schools.
As the population of Southern California grew, as cities incorporated, the Los Angeles City Schools became the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Los Angeles Community College District became a separate entity.
Today, in the 21st Century, LAUSD is a tale of three cities: three school districts in one: the haves and the have nots and those in between.Read more