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 …

It IS That Bad



This week at LAAMS we found out our counseling staff will be reduced in half next year, with each counselor carrying an 850:1 load of students.  Our deans are being reduced from three to two, and our categorical program coordinators reduced from two to one.  We may also lose an Assistant Principal, in our school of 2,400 students in South Central Los Angeles.

And we thought we were having discipline problems this year?

My position as half time GATE coordinator that oversees 700 Gifted/Advanced Students will very possibly be eliminated.  How will these 700 students and their families be served during one conference period, in addition to the 150 other students I teach in the classroom?

If forward progress paused this year because of the layoffs, it will most certainly reverse direction with these "final blow" cuts to our school.  If it wasn't for our fiercely dedicated teachers, our school may have collapsed already.  But we have spirit.

It is beside the point to moan about how these cuts will hurt kids.  All involved know that.  What is important to consider is how decisions have been made at the top; how the Governor protects the wealthiest Californians at the expense of the least.  How the President and Arne Duncan have decided to use Race to the Top Funding to further their own reform plans that have, through wide consensus in the education community, been deemed as not viable.  These funds, by the way, are awarded not by need, but by how much each state agrees to pursue the reforms the feds are pushing.  “We don’t know how many winners there will be,” Duncan said. “Quite frankly, there will probably be a lot more losers than winners in the first round.”

When our country collapses because we created a nation of uneducated, throwaway youth while fostering the development of hedge fund managers and the ruling class, let's be clear that it all started when we decided to kill public education.
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Post by AvalonSensei, aka Martha Infante

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