Why This Teacher Needs Jackie Goldberg on the School Board

As I wind up my 24 th year of teaching in Los Angeles classrooms , I pause to think of my past lives in different schools and neighborhoods. While presenting to students in Finland I always included a slide of past eras of my life such as   growing up in the Eastside, college and adulthood in the Westside, teaching on the Southside, and married life in the Valley. Apart from being a native Angeleno, significant years of my life have been spent living in many parts of town, and teaching in many communities. I love all of them. Which is why I have no doubt in my mind that what students all over L.A. need more than anything is an ally on the school board. My South Central students need a warrior who recognizes that our teachers’ strike was more than just a salary dispute, but a movement to reclaim our rightful place as agents of change in the profession we love. One that will help us do our jobs serving students. My West Valley students need a fighter who will challenge our

UTLA House of Representatives Votes AGAINST Tentative Agreement

Report from LA Academy's Union Representatives:

Mr. Kelley, Mr. D'Lugo and I joined Mr. Mata at the UTLA House of Representatives meeting last night (4-1-09), and I have to tell you, we were all surprised by what we saw. And what, you ask, was that?

UTLA Representatives and Chapter Chairs ready to fight for our jobs!

When discussing the current tentative agreement between UTLA and LAUSD, multiple people stood up and stated things like:

"As long as one teacher is in danger of losing his/her job, we cannot vote to approve this agreement!"

"We will not vote yes on this contract while 4,000 of our brothers and sisters are in danger of losing their jobs!"

"If we vote for this contract, not only will we be making it easier to lay off 4,000 mostly new teachers, but the next time, they'll be coming for the veteran teachers."

These comments literally caused the room to ERUPT in applause. I am not exaggerating.

What does this mean for us Rifters (and supporters)?

It means we have many, many union brothers and sisters prepared to fight (and yes, strike) for us to keep our jobs. The UTLA House of Representatives voted AGAINST the new tentative agreement, in large part because of the pending layoffs. But the only way we can win this fight is if we join in it. We cannot wait for the union to do it for us. We are the union. We must be active participants in our own rescue.

How can we do this?

We can make sure we get out in numbers to leaflet every Friday morning and Wednesday afternoon to make our parents and community aware of what's happening. We can talk to our colleagues about joining us. And finally, we can make sure everyone votes YES to authorize the one-day protest strike in May.

This is not going to be an easy fight, but it was truly inspiring to see how many people are on our side. If we mobilize and get out there, we can make something happen.

Remember, the only power we have is together! So, let's join together, flex our collective muscle, and overturn these layoffs!

(on behalf of the Rifters)


  1. Thank you for creating this Blog! This is great. I also read your letter and was very inspired. Over at Santee Ed. Complex we held a one hour strike on March 27th. Even though it was not an official UTLA wide action, we felt it important to take action anyways. We got great press coverage. Please click on the link below for a You Tube video and Pictures.




    Let's continue to fight this struggle together. Our Children's future is at stake!

  2. You must see this link!!! It is a UCLA study that proves you are right. Cuts hurt inner city schools the hardest.



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