Showing posts from January, 2019

Why This Teacher Needs Jackie Goldberg on the School Board

As I wind up my 24 th 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

On Strike

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 wo

The Infantilization of Teachers/Why We Will Strike

The work never ends when you are teaching a 4 new grade levels, 3 new courses, and adjusting to life in a new school and community. It seems like the fall semester flew by in the blink of an eye, perhaps because trouble was brewing in the background with our teacher contract negotiations with management. The start of bargaining began almost 2 whole years ago when LAUSD presented their initial bargaining offer that included a whopping 0% raise. As if a 0% raise wasn't insulting enough, our new Superintendent who has a 0% background in education decided he could most help support the district by weeding out bad teachers. I could hardly believe my ears, knowing that the last 10 years have been wasted on the Quixotic journey to find the elusive elixir that will expose these so called "bad teachers", fire them, and so all can be well in the schools. In other words, nevermind that teachers are professionals, working in challenging conditions with unacceptable cl