Wednesday, November 30, 2011


by Leonard Isenberg | |

Vote No.jpeg

11.30. 2011 | LAUSD and UTLA have announced that they have reached a tentative agreement  UTLA President Warren Fletcher is either suffering from early onset Alzheimer's or he has totally capitulated to LAUSD leadership either out of being in over his head as UTLA president, stupidity, or concern about maintaining his recent personal good fortune of having his annual salary and benefits phenomenally augmented over his measly teachers salary and a manner not too dissimilar to LAUSD administration that also have forgotten that they started their careers in education as teachers and then got as far away from the purposefully cultivated insanity of the average LAUSD classroom.

These LAUSD administrators and latest incarnation of traditionally clueless LAUSD superintendent have shown by consistent past actions that they have no intention of divesting themselves of any power nor allowing "campuses wider freedoms to manage their budgets and place teachers."

The reason I allude to the regrettable affliction of Alzheimer when referring to UTLA President Warren Fletcher is that he has taught school long enough to remember the infamous LEARN reforms of the 1990s, where the District spent all the money building a huge bureaucracy to implement LEARN reforms of divesting pedagogic decisions and budget control to the schools, but when it actually came to relinquishing control, LEARN implementation came to an abrupt end.

Also anticipated by this deal with the Deasy is that it would "allow failing public schools to be taken over by charter organizations." Even Deasy couldn't imagine that Fletcher would help him preside over the funeral of UTLA by permitting more charter schools to take over LAUSD schools.

As I have said many times in this blog, charters were never anticipated to replace public schools, but were seen as a proving ground for viable education reforms. In looking at the statistics: Only 17% of charter do better than public schools, 47% do the same, and 36% do worse. What charters are really about is getting rid of the union and privatizing public education as this gambit is being run by the 43% of all public school superintendents in this country that are graduates of the Broad Academy- a major supporter along with the Gates Foundation of public school privatization and the destruction of a professional and fairly compensated unionized public school teachers. 

I must confess that I am curious as to whether I or the other hundreds of LAUSD teachers who have been removed from the classroom on bogus charges will be allowed by UTLA to vote against this tentative contract. When I tried to vote in the UTLA runoff elections, I was told that I could not, because I had been put on unpaid status by LAUSD with no independent hearing to adjudicate the charges against. Initially UTLA Secretary David Lyell defended me being deprived of voting in a union that I had paid dues to for the last 15 years, until I pointed out to him that by the same logic, if LAUSD could deprive UTLA rank and file from voting by just bringing charges against them, then they would just put all teachers on unpaid administrative leave and UTLA rank and file would not be able to vote on any union proposal.

Given that only 17% of apathetic and demoralized UTLA rank and file voted in the election that put clueless Warren Fletcher and Co. into office, LAUSD probably doesn't need to do anything but wait and let UTLA leadership destroy the union for them.

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