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Showing posts from 2011

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…

The Save Our Schools March

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Parents, teachers, bloggers, and activists united in Washington over the weekend to rally for public education.  This speaker, John Kuhn, was the most electrifying of all.

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What's happening to our school (massive layoffs over 3 years, drastic funding cuts) is now the norm district-wide.  Below is a telling video by the students and staff at Roy Romer Middle School in North Hollywood that pretty much sums up what's happening at schools throughout South Central.

If you had a chance to speak to the government about educational equity, what would you say?

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Here's what I said today:


Good afternoon, everyone, my name is Martha Infante, and I thank you all for inviting me to speak on the issue of Educational Equity as it relates to schools in California and the nation.I, like David Cohen, am a member of the Accomplished CA Teachers Network, am Nationally Board Certified, and am currently a middle school history teacher in an urban, industrial area of Los Angeles.
My educational background began in the public schools of East Los Angeles in the 1970’s.I was fortunate to partake in a strong Gifted and Talented Education program and received a robust and fulfilling arts education as well.As a graduate of UCLA, I continued benefitting from the investment made by the state in public schools and chose to return the favor by becoming a public school teacher in the hardest to staff area of the Los Angeles Unified School District:South Central Los Angeleswhere I have dedicated my service for 20 years.In this time, I believe I have gained an insigh…

A Case of Parent vs. Student Intersts

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L.A. Academy is rapidly approaching the end of its year-round calendar era.  For 12 years, our overcrowded school has operated on a three-track system, with two tracks of students on at any given time, and one on vacation.  Thanks to a massive school-building effort, all LAUSD schools will be placed on a traditional school calendar, with 180 days of instruction, like the majority of the district.

Recently there was a meeting of stakeholders, the Shared Decision Making Council, to get feedback on next year's bell schedule, with the issue of school start time as the main topic.  Two bell schedules were proposed:  one with school starting at 7:30 am, another with an 8:00 am start.

All the educational research shows that later school start times are much more productive for students due to teenage sleep cycles, circadian rhythms, etc., and our current 7:30 am start is particularly brutal for our middle school students.  Even if teachers had not read the research, classroom experience…

Classroom Superheroes Serve Students Daily

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L.A. Academy Teachers Melissa Naponelli, Carla Colindres
L.A.Academy students have the good fortune of being served by classroom superheroes on a daily basis--why wait for Superman when you have Superwoman and Batgirl on your side?