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Showing posts from December, 2009

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 …

End of Year Reflection

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As we approach New Year's Day 2010, Los Angeles Academy Middle School has much to be thankful for. Below are some factors that have helped keep our school together, in spite of forces trying to tear us down:

1. Maria A. Borges, Principal

This dynamic principal is tough as nails and has managed to put together an outstanding group of teachers and support staff that has allowed our school to thrive in difficult circumstances. The secret to her success? She doesn't care about winning popularity contests. She will ONLY do what she believes to be in the students' best interest, and doesn't hesitate to overrule something she thinks is misguided. Arne Duncan is running all over the country trying to figure out what works in education but all he needs to do is pick up the phone and call our Principal.



2. The Teachers










Our LAAMS teachers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to plug in the holes caused by the Reduction in Force at LAUSD this year. We lost over 20 te…

RIF'ed Teachers Won't Sit Around and Wait Forever

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LAAMS teacher RIF'ed in March, laid off in June is subbing in her old position...but for how long?

Read article about Kate Conrath's run for the Long Beach School Board here.

The LAAMS community supports and wishes Kate Conrath the best of luck in her race, because we understand that our talented teachers, relegated to sub work, won't sit around and wait forever.

Our loss.

You Won't Read About This in the L.A. Times

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Here's something you won't hear about in the media: a talented Math teacher and a creative English/History teacher go above and beyond the call of duty to produce educational math songs and videos for students at a public middle school in South Central LA, in spite of one of them being laid off in June.

Lamar Queen signing autographs for his fans


















Lamar Queen with AvalonSensei, teacher/blogger















LAAMS teacher Ha Nguyen and Jimmy Pascascio















Former students come out to support Mr. Queen















LAAMS teachers support their talented colleague













Video Director Jimmy Pascascio with My Dear Aunt Sally, former student Whitney Parham



Its not as fun to read about real teachers that reflect the best that LAUSD has to offer: educators with a passion for for their craft, amazing talents, abundant creativity, a commitment to students and their families...

Close to 100 teachers, community members, and fans came out on Saturday, December 12, 2009 in spite of heavy rain, to support the release of Lamar Queen…