Saturday, September 03, 2011


Associated Administrators of Los Angeles Update - Week of August 29, 2011 |

Superintendent John Deasy has rightfully lauded LAUSD students, administrators and teachers for the improvements demonstrated by District schools’ 2011 STAR results and graduation rate. In fact, our schools have exceeded the progress made by the Mayor’s Partnership Schools, L.A.’s Promise (formerly known as Mentor L.A.) and most charter schools. Nevertheless, while acknowledging the fact that resources have been cut to disastrous levels, the Superintendent continues to exhort administrators to do substantially more with significantly less.

Administrators led the effort to improve student achievement despite experiencing three years of considerable personal sacrifice, including furlough days, the loss of summer school opportunities and no salary increases. Many AALA members have had their Basis reduced. While we successfully negotiated additional Z Time for supervisory administrators who had their Basis changed and maintained the current norms for secondary APs, the increase in the number of charter schools and decreased student enrollment caused the loss of some administrators’ jobs. Other employees have suffered, of course, as evidenced by the:

 Elimination of a large number of plant managers, librarians, office staff and playground supervisors

 Reduction in force of over 1,000 classified staff and the transferring of a large number of others to different sites after the beginning of the school year

 Reduction in force of hundreds of teachers.

The impact of these cuts on administrators’ workload is dramatic. Add to that the misery experienced by the parents and guardians of our students whose financial survival has become precarious because of the poor economy, which particularly hurts children. The affect on schools of angry, disaffected students is substantial—and administrators are ultimately accountable for handling every instance of disruptive behavior.

While increasing resources for public education is essential, California’s State legislature gave a higher priority to the funding of prisons than to financial support for schools. LAUSD’s Board of Education, dominated by the Mayor’s majority, failed to promote Governor Brown’s effort to transfer Community Redevelopment Agency resources to schools, police and other public agencies which are all in bare-bones survival mode.

For principals and principal leaders participating in Phase II of the Educator Growth and Development Program, the workload will increase even further. While each formal teacher observation under the Stull evaluation system typically takes two-three hours (with a preobservation conference, observation, preparation of notes and postobservation conference), participants report that each observation under the pilot system will take upwards of five-six hours. This is only a small piece of two larger systems, much of which have yet to be developed. Interestingly, at least 21 central and Local District support personnel are being hired to “assist” with the pilot, while schools are starving for staffing support. School leaders need adequate resources and fewer exhortations to do more with less. Otherwise the system itself cannot be sustained


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