Posts

Showing posts from May, 2010

Why This Teacher Needs Jackie Goldberg on the School Board

Image
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 …

Two Teachers, Two POV's

Image
This email exchange landed in my inbox this week and shows the complexities of the issue of seniority, bargaining rights, and ed reforms.  L.A. Academy is ground zero for this debate, and we are working to try to reach a coherent, reasonable approach to all of these issues.  Of note, both teachers have been RIF'ed in the past 2 years.  (Exchange reprinted with permission of authors.)

Email #1

From today's LA Times.  Interesting to see that the "reform" effort in Colorado was headed by democrats and that the Colorado chapter of the AFT eventually supported the reform in exchange for some changes they wanted. This is just one more indication that teachers are losing the public relations battle with our "just say no to everything" approach.  It's no longer just Republican union-busters coming after teachers, but pretty much the whole political establishment.  I really fear that if California teachers' unions continue to say no to all reforms they are goi…

Spring at the Academy

Image
We are settling into the final two months of the year, now that the turbulence of C Track is behind us.  It's funny how every year there seems to be a cluster of students who define themselves by their disagreeable behavior.  It can happen at any grade level, any track.  It is like a contagion, and once it takes hold, it is hard to reverse course.  We wonder if the very noticeable behavior differences this year is a result of the layoffs (resulting in new faces on campus) or an increase in more challenging students, since we believe charters do siphon off more motivated families.  It would be great if someone had the data on this.  Until then, we can only wonder.

In our year-round school, we enter our final "mester" with A and B Tracks on, and the final 6 weeks of school upon us.  We are figuring out who our instructors for next year will be, since several of our newly RIF'ed teachers have not had their layoff notices rescinded in spite of the ratification of the ten…