Why This Teacher Needs Jackie Goldberg on the School Board

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As I wind up my 24th 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 legislators to …

LAAMS Will Not Be Outsourced! This Year, At Least...

After the revision of the revised criteria for which public LAUSD schools would be eligible to be outsourced to corporate management organizations, our school is pleased to learn that OUR SCHOOL WILL NOT BE ONE OF THEM!

We grimly noted that both Carver MS and Jefferson HS however, are on the dreaded takeover list. We hope their staff and faculty pull together to out forth a strong plan for the benefit of all of their students. We also wonder which organization will have what it takes to turn around troubled schools such as these, since Green Dot has yet to prove it can do so at Locke HS.

This week we were NOT surprised to learn that many classrooms across the district are overcrowded, some with no seats for the students. We knew this would happen (its chronicled in this very blog), but there is no joy in having been able to forecast this development. Students at this very moment are being robbed of individual attention in many non-Title 1, non-QEIA schools, and no student anywhere should have to sacrifice their education and future because a district can't manage its money.

For the countless numbers of people who accused teachers of being greedy for wanting to save jobs, maybe now you will realize that our fight was first and foremost about the children. Many of the laid-off teachers quickly found jobs elsewhere and are doing just fine. But the same cannot be said of the broken system left behind in the wake of massive layoffs.

Of Cortines' revised criteria, we can't help but feel it has the markings of an arbitrary selection process. It seems like in the end, it was known that in reality, LAUSD and the CMO's only had the capacity to take on 12 struggling schools, so they manipulated the data until this number was reached. It makes more sense to look at the last 5 years of a school's progress and use that data in combination with actual school visits and interviews of parents, teachers, and students. You can tell very quickly how functional a school is simply by walking into the main office.

Our plan for now is to continue working with the new staff members, about 10 so far, and acclimate them to our school instructional plan, our unique bell schedule and team system, so as to be able to continue our forward progress academically. We will keep readers posted with our progress.

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