a tip of the 4LAKids hat to http://perdaily.com - blog/virtual commons about public. education. reform. by co-founders Leonard Isenberg, 15 year LAUSD teacher/former film producer(!) and Anthony Holland.
Here are their December posts about LAUSD:
The 8 simple rules for fixing LAUSD overnight
With all the brouhaha about fixing public education, people are left with the false impression that this is some herculean and incredibly complicated task that borders on the impossible. In actuality, nothing could further from the truth. What is hard is maintaining archaic disproved models of public education that only serve to maintain the relatively small number of people who benefit under the present regime. Instead of reconstituting teachers in failed schools, try reconstituting administration. Instead of accommodating teacher and student dysfunction, look at why they fail and stop lying to yourselves -- enforce objective standards for all. Stop adapting to failure and assaulting those who complain. Create independent oversight instead of blind loyalty to failure. Here are 8 ways to solve the education problem literally overnight.
29 12 2009
LAUSD Safety Engineer: Teachers harassed for reporting rodents... Schools in "depressingly poor physical state"
When a Safety Engineer says LAUSD is good at running "one two or ten schools out of 900", there might be a problem. Free-range rats? Millions of dollars wasted on inefficient and "rag tag" renovations? Count the times "management" and "mismanagement" appear in this letter and then ask yourself, what does a Safety Engineer really know anyway? Read the email.
27 12 2009
Bar set low for lifetime teaching jobs... Thoughts and highlights from yesterday's LA Times article
Yesterday the LA Times ran a story about the LAUSD tenure-mill system. While it explains how an unqualified teacher can easily aquire tenure, what the article really demonstrates is the overall lack of oversight within the bloated and often woefully incompetent LAUSD administrative bureaucracy. Before I say told you so, let me elaborate on some of the highlights.
21 12 2009
Why Cortines' plan to fire 'weak' teachers isn't what you think
What makes a teacher weak? The starting premise of Superintendent Cortines is that LAUSD must "weed out ineffective new teachers before they become permanent." Keep in mind these 'weak' teachers are college graduates who have at least 4 years of college, supplemented by more than a year of credentialing programs that should have identified the supposed teaching deficits that they now suffer from. But as we all are aware by now, teachers are the real problem in education, not administrators. In fact, let's just fire all teachers and hire only administrators, since they're the only ones doing their jobs right. Whew. Problem solved.
19 12 2009
Cortines on Fremont High: "Whoops, do-over"
It takes a lot of nerve to be an integral part of failed public education policy in this country, as Superintendent Ray Cortines has been during his 50 year career, and rather than own up and take responsibility for his part in this failed system, he instead blames the teachers.
17 12 2009
300... of 33,000 teachers
It is regrettable that the Tuesday, December 8th demonstration did little to dissuade incompetent LAUSD leadership from further dismembering public education in Los Angeles by now proposing laying off of another 5000 teachers to balance its budget. If anything the...
14 12 2009
posted in Try Harder
MAIL from Central High/Tri-C: Why give me the answers to tests I'm not (legally) supposed to grade?
Central High students are being given an assessment test this week, which sounds normal enough... but one teacher at the continuation school, where hardly any students ever show up, let alone work, can't figure out why the teachers there are being given the answers to tests they're required to turn over (ungraded and unchanged) to officials .
8 12 2009
"We want you!" --- firstname.lastname@example.org
Help us get the ball rolling. This site can't work without you, and we're not just saying that. Still not convinced? Then look at it this way, sites like consumerist.com get results because no large company -- or in this case school district -- can afford bad publicity for very long, and that's where we come in. So tell us what you've got, and spread the word to every teacher you know. LAUSD ain't gonna to police itself. You can remain anonymous of course.
8 12 2009
LAUSD vs North Korea: Life as a teacher in the propaganda bubble
What do North Korea and LAUSD have in common? In North Korea, people live in a kingdom headed by Kim Jung Il and his entourage and have no contact with the outside world. All people know is what their illustrious leader incessantly tells them about the future communist paradise that is being created. But this paradise is contradicted everyday by their daily experience. In LAUSD, people also live in a kingdom headed at various times by a governor, a retired admiral, or a blind optimist named Ray Cortines, who tells his people about an educational paradise where they will all go to college, but alas, this fantasy too bears no relationship to the everyday reality that his vassals experience.
8 12 2009
Why I'm not qualified to be a principal
The first step to becoming an LAUSD principal is understanding how the administration works, or doesn't work. The administration is a closed bureaucracy that spares no expense in stifling reform it sees as threatening its privileged position. In order to accomplish this dubious end, school administrators establish many prerequisites of questionable significance in determining who will be allowed to join their ranks.
8 12 2009
LAUSD pilot schools: Same old' same old'
While there are many possibilities for addressing present public school dysfunction, the four models that the Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers of Los Angeles have alleged considered are: Affiliated Charters, ESBMM (Expanded School-Based Management Model), iDesign/Partnership Schools, and the dreaded Pilot School. As this study clearly shows, if a charter school is correctly implemented it can beat any of these models, because it offers the greatest latitude in drafting to relect a reformed school model that could mix the most subjectively appropriate strengths of all models to the student population and community where the school has to function.
6 12 2009
The real secret to choosing a school in Los Angeles
As desperate parents seek some sort of viable alternative to the dearth of options they have in LAUSD, the district's imperfectly run CHOICES Program remains one of the few possibilities that offers even the slightest chance of their children receiving an adequate education in a public school.