Wednesday, October 19, 2011

4LAKids heard it from a little birdie…

A tweet from Dr DeasyLAUSD

John Deasy

DrDeasyLAUSD John Deasy

17 Oct - Am very interested in the thoughtful work of Teachers For A New Unionism in LAUSD. Looking forward to thoughtful dialogue.

smf: Hmmm. “Thoughtful” twice in 122 characters. How – uh - thoughtful.



Part of Speech: adjective

Definition: caring, mindful

Synonyms: anxious, astute, attentive, aware, benign, canny, careful, cautious, charitable, chivalrous, circumspect, civil, concerned, considerate, cooperative, courteous, deliberate, diplomatic, discreet, friendly, gallant, gracious, heedful, helpful, indulgent, kind, kindly, neighborly, obliging, observant, observative, observing, polite, prudent, regardful, responsive, sensitive, social, solicitous, tactful, unselfish, wary, well thought-out, well-bred

Antonyms: careless, heedless, inattentive, inconsiderate, uncaring, unmindful, unthoughtful


This tweet rouses some uncertain curiosity and provokes some Googling.  Who exactly is Teachers For A New Unionism when they’re at home?

There were a lot of images to choose from. < In the interest of political incorrectness I’m going with this one.

Which brings us to:


    Teachers for a New Unionism is a teacher-led project supported by the Moriah Fund and the Ford Foundation, dedicated to helping K-12 teachers take leadership roles in their unions and promote union policies that address the educational needs of students, parents, and the community.

    smf: The Morah Fund – a $100 million+ endowed  foundation supports a number of Jewish/Israeli “Peace Now” Programs and Human Rights/Women's Rights/Reproductive Rights projects with small grants -  is innocuous enough, Their website makes no mention of Teachers for a new Unionism – but they have given $170,000 – a large grant for them - to the Green Dot/New Schools Venture Fund project at Locke High School.

    The Ford Foundation is The Ford Foundation. Executive Director Jeannie Oakes was formerly affiliated with UCLA/IDEA and the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education. Dr. Oakes was involved w/Gates driven “Reform” at LAUSD.

We (T4ANU)– our members and local partners – aim to:
    1. Drive awareness of the importance of union participation.
    2. Encourage and support teachers interested in leadership positions in their unions.
    3. Provide tools, evaluation methods and school-site autonomy techniques for use by teachers and teacher leaders.

    Our goals are informed by our core values:

    1. Teachers’ unions and collective bargaining are critical to the development of K-12 education.
    2. Strong teachers deserve career stability, respect, and professional advancement opportunities.
    3. Educational methods shown to drive student success – including fair, multiple measure teacher evaluation (emphasis added) , relevant professional development, and the encouragement of site-based decision making – should be supported and replicated.



Los Angeles Teachers Launch Direct Union Initiative

Over the past several weeks, a large group of teachers in Los Angeles Unified School District have put together a very exciting initiative that seeks to address two key issues of enormous interest to teachers: career stability and teacher evaluations. The initiative, which will be put to a democratic vote of all members of the teachers union in Los Angeles (UTLA), asks teachers to support a moratorium on Reductions in Force (RIFs) for all UTLA members through June 30, 2014 as well as negotiation of an agreed-upon teacher evaluation system. with Los Angeles Unified School District. The following is the wording of the initiative:

“Shall UTLA’s contractual negotiations with LAUSD include a moratorium on all RIFs for all UTLA bargaining unit members through June 30, 2014 as part of a revised, phased-in teacher-driven evaluation system mutually agreed upon by UTLA and LAUSD?”

Over the past several years, teachers in Los Angeles have experienced unprecedented numbers of RIFs and displacements. Obviously, this had had a very negative impact on both teachers and instruction. At the same time, in L.A. Unified, there have been focused efforts to revise the current teachers evaluation system to make it more effective and supportive of teachers’ professional development. This teacher-led initiative addresses both of these issues by stipulating that UTLA will address RIFs and revised teacher evaluations in negotiations with LA Unified.

The website provides more specific information and details about the initiative, as well as ways in which teachers can become involved in the initiative.

smf: also has a facebook page.; Great Teachers Los Angeles


So, no great smoking gun, no blank checks from the Broads or the Waltons. No Koch Brothers smoking Cuban cigars with Michelle Rhee while sitting on piles of unspent bail-out stimulus funds and rigging the bingo cage from “Waiting for ‘Superman’”.

But it does get curiouser and curiouser.

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