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Showing posts from August, 2010

On Strike

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The public supports us.

Being on strike makes me proud. To see and hear the support of the public every morning on the picket line, I am further convinced L.A. teachers made the right choice to leave the classroom. It is not an easy choice for many single income teachers, but it is one of the reasons we are striking. Teachers should not have to live paycheck to paycheck when educating society's children.



But our strike is about more than that, and it seems the public is aware of what we have been concerned about for years. In the middle of one morning's picket session I realized that the education reformers had been so very wrong in what they were telling us. The public knows and understands that we know what's best for children in schools. They place their precious children in our hands to educate, and want us to do our job unencumbered by district edicts and structures that get in the way.

The public supports us.


Being on strike is not what I thought it would be. It is be…

Teachers and Turnarounds

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Recently, Twitter has become my news feed of preference.  In a single look, I can receive updates from the education world, converse with colleagues around the world, and debate with pundits with opposing views.  In my short time on Twitter, I have come to "meet" and respect some folks whose opinion I value.

Which is why I have been perturbed ever since one of those "tweeps" responded to a rhetorical question I posed about reconstitution, or turnaround.

The reconstitution of Fremont High School has been distressing for educators in South Central Los Angeles.  We know how important it is for students to be connected with a source of stability, the school, which in many cases is the only source of stability in a child's life.  The feds have deemed turnaround as a viable reform option for struggling schools, laying the responsibility of student performance 100% on a teacher's shoulders.  If students do not perform well, the entire school runs the risk of turna…

Race to the Top and South Central L.A.

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The big news this summer is the speed and ferocity of the federal governments new education reform plans that fall under the umbrella of Race to the Top.  RTTT is a competition for federal funding that will be awarded to winning states who adopt the reforms espoused by the President Obama and the Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.  Some of these reforms include merit pay for teachers, reforming teacher evaluation, increasing testing in all subjects, imposing sanctions to the lowest performing 5% of schools, and lifting the cap on charter schools.

As we have said before in this blog, the ideas and policies of those in power always present themselves in a different iteration at the school level, and in South Central L.A., even more so.

For example, take the idea of reconstitution.  The idea is that if a school has very low test scores, and has had them for a long time, then it must be the fault of the faculty.  If you fire the faculty and only retain the best teachers (who …