Posted by LA School Report |
February 28, 2014 While LA School Report has been paying close attention to the elections taking place at UTLA, the nations second largest teachers union, the competition hasn’t attracted much outside attention – that is until recently.
Now, education blogger, Anthony Cody at Edweek-Teacher, has launched a series of Question-and-Answers with the 10 candidates vying for union president, each being asked the same questions.
Coleen Bondy, Los Angeles teacher, has prepared special coverage of the upcoming teacher's union election in her city. Here is her report:
United Teachers Los Angeles, the teachers' union for Los Angeles Unified School District, is holding elections for all of its major offices this spring. Ballots will be mailed out to the membership beginning Feb. 25.
Effective leadership has never been so critical to UTLA members as it is now. Teachers have endured years of brutal budget cuts, including furlough days, pink slips, increased class sizes, and have gone seven years without a raise.
In addition, LAUSD has implemented programs such as Breakfast in the Classroom that are wildly unpopular with teachers, who already deal with cleanliness issues in the classroom because of a lack of adequate custodial staffing.
LAUSD's school board appears to be charging full steam ahead on a plan to equip every student with an iPad, at a total cost of about $1 billion. It is planning to use bond money that voters specifically earmarked for construction of new facilities and maintenance of old ones.
Perhaps most important of all, many LAUSD teachers perceive that the district has been hijacked by employees and school board members who are bent upon implementing corporate-style reforms in the district, without the approval of parents or teachers.
With so much at stake this year, we asked the candidates running for president of UTLA to answer the same 10 questions. The questions were emailed to all of the candidates in January. More information can also be found here.
1. How did you come to be a teacher in Los Angeles?
2. Why are you running for President of UTLA?
3. Have you been involved with any Gates-funded education reform projects such as Educators 4 Excellence? If so, what did you learn from that experience?
4. How will the recent iPad purchase affect LAUSD over the next few years?
5. What do you think of recent changes in the way teachers are evaluated in LAUSD?
6. Are you in favor of implementing the Common Core State Standards in LAUSD? If so, why? If not, why not?
7. What do you believe are the three most important issues facing teachers/UTLA today? How would you address those issues as president?
8. What has surprised you since you began running for this office?
9. How do you feel about Breakfast in the Classroom at the elementary, middle and high school levels?
10. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Union Election in Los Angeles: Meet Candidate Solkovits http://bit.ly/1bVfjDg
Union Election in Los Angeles: Meet Candidate Mottus http://bit.ly/1kkIp1V
Union Election in Los Angeles: Meet Candidate Caputo-Pearl http://bit.ly/ONlqPV
Union Election in Los Angeles: Meet Candidate Gaffney http://bit.ly/1gJeNFM