Friday, January 18, 2019

Who “Taught” Your LAUSD Student Last Week? – Carl J. Petersen – Medium #UTLA #REDFORED #UTLAStrong #StrikeReady #March4Ed #WeAreLA

Who “Taught” Your LAUSD Student Last Week? – Carl J. Petersen – Medium

Who “Taught” Your LAUSD Student Last Week?


The messages we are required to send [home to parents] are inaccurate and untruthful. Everything is not copacetic at all of our schools. Some schools have over 200 students with [just] one credentialed person.
- Juan A. Flecha, President
Associated Administrators of Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) could have shut down the schools when their teachers walked off the job and then made up the missing days after the strike was over. Instead, they kept the schools open and encouraged parents to send their children into an environment where they admitted they might not be safe. To make matters worse, the School Board weakened the rules regarding background checks for volunteers just as the strike was about to begin.
Thankfully, there have not been any reports of students receiving serious injuries during the past week, although the anemic attendance at the schools is probably helping that situation. However, at least three reports have shown that the adults being allowed into our schools have not been adequately screened and are engaging in behavior that is not appropriate for our children.
In the first instance, a woman identified by witnesses as “an LAUSD administrator” gave the middle finger to picketing teachers and told them that they “you guys are pollutants to our children”. In the second, a woman assigned to “a school in South Gate” tells picketers that they “care about…money, not the kid’s education.” Without further context, she then says “Build the wall. All you guys wouldn’t be here.
The District’s response to the second incident was to remove the employee “from her assigned campus” and conduct “an investigation into the incident.” The wording of this messaging seems purposefully vague as it leaves open the possibility that she was removed from “her assigned campus” and placed in another one. Anyone with clear animosity towards Latinx people should not be in close proximity to any children.
The final example is perhaps the most disturbing because it actually involved students in the District. While a former Superintendent once bullied a substitute teacher for following directions and having her students copy an assignment into their composition books, this type of assignment is apparently permissible, during the strike. In this case, Mr. B. was having students write a CONTINUE READING: Who “Taught” Your LAUSD Student Last Week? – Carl J. Petersen – Medium


Jeff Bryant: A Swelling Tide of Major Teacher Strikes Is Shifting Our Politics Against the Charter Agenda #UTLA #REDFORED #UTLAStrong #StrikeReady #March4Ed #WeAreLA

A Swelling Tide of Major Teacher Strikes Is Shifting Our Politics Against the Charter Agenda

A Swelling Tide of Major Teacher Strikes Is Shifting Our Politics Against the Charter Agenda
When charter schools pull funding from a public school, it damages the school’s ability to educate the students who remain
The emergence of charter schools as an important consideration in teacher collective bargaining agreements, and the recognition of charters as a form of privatization, are two major developments in the education policy and politics of choice. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/cc)


This week, Republican lawmakers held a press conference on Capitol Hill to kick off National School Choice Week, an annual event that began in 2011 under President Obama who proclaimed it as a time to “recognize the role public charter schools play in providing America’s daughters and sons with a chance to reach their fullest potential.” This year, Democratic lawmakers took a pass on the celebration. You can thank striking teachers for that.
In the latest teacher strike in Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest school system, some 30,000 teachers walked off the job saying unchecked growth of charter schools and charters’ lack of transparency and accountability have become an unsustainable drain on the public system’s financials. The teachers have included in their demands a cap on charter school growth, along with other demands, such as increased teacher pay, reduced class sizes, less testing, and more counselors, nurses, librarians, and psychologists.
The LA teachers’ opposition to charter schools is just the latest voice in a growing chorus of public school teachers calling on politicians to do more to support the public schools we have rather than piling more dollars and accolades onto a competitive charter school industry. And with the backing of nearly 80 percent of Los Angeles County residents, according to one survey, the teachers likely have the clout to change the politics of “school choice” in California, and perhaps the nation.

#RedForEd in a Blue State

Many of the grievances the LA teachers have are familiar to anyone who followed last year’s startling #RedForEd movement, which resulted in mass teacher walkoutsprimarily in red states, including West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Arizona. In each of those uprisings, teachers protested inadequate pay and benefits, lack of funding for their schools, misplaced emphasis on testing and standards, and a general disregard for teachers’ voices. Teacher opposition to charter schoolsvouchers, and other forms of choice had a presence in these walkouts, but LA teachers are making grievances against charter schools central to their protests.
Union president Alex Caputo-Pearl has declared the district’s pro-charter school policies are “a major theme” of the strike, and on the second day of the strike, teachers descended on the downtown offices of the California Charter Schools Association and surrounded the building.
“We need to throw privatization schemes … into the trash can,” Caputo-Pearl is quoted CONTINUE READING: A Swelling Tide of Major Teacher Strikes Is Shifting Our Politics Against the Charter Agenda


CURMUDGUCATION: DeVos Offers Advice From Within The Bubble

CURMUDGUCATION: DeVos Offers Advice From Within The Bubble

DeVos Offers Advice From Within The Bubble

Betsy Devos is rich. She was born rich, married rich, and barring any French Revolution style upheaval, she will die rich. This does not automatically make her evil, but it does make her susceptible to life in a bubble-- particularly since she never created nor ran any of the businesses that made her wealthy. And it's important to remember all this when she starts waxing rhapsodic about the lessons she learned growing up back in the day.

DeVos returned to the public eye this week, wheelchair bound from a broken pelvis that was the result of a biking accident (that has got to hurt like hell-- good thing she has good health insurance) to have a "fireside chat" about youthful entrepreneurship. It was a chance for her to show that she has some awareness of what life is like outside the bubble.


Business, after all, is her second religion. Most of her policy decisions make sense viewed through this lenses. The trashing of oversight, the shredding of regulations, all flow from one simple idea-- government should never interfere with the operation of business. Businessmen should never have to compromise their vision to accommodate some government rule, and government should never give the Little People the power to challenge or interfere with business.

So there she was at Gallup HQ for Lemonade Day to talk to Joe Daly of Gallup to talk about the state of youthful entrepreneurship which, according to the Gallup folks, is not strong.

Daly reported polling data that said young people have become less entrepreneurial since 1977 but mostly in the last decade. And the millennial generation is “on track to be even less entrepreneurial” than Generation X and baby boomers.

That's an interesting factoid to consider. And DeVos has some thoughts.

"Well,” she said, "you certainly are the ones with data, but I have some sort of instinctual ideas about it. I think they are quite broad and varied. For one thing, generally speaking, younger people have grown up in a more protected environment. We’ve heard lots about helicoptering parenting CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: DeVos Offers Advice From Within The Bubble



Black Teachers Buck Beutner’s Billionaire Boys Club - LA Progressive #UTLA #REDFORED #UTLAStrong #StrikeReady #March4Ed #WeAreLA

Black Teachers Buck Beutner’s Billionaire Boys Club - LA Progressive

Black Teachers Buck Beutner’s Billionaire Boys Club

While thousands of L.A. teachers, students, parents, caregivers and supporters took to the rain-soaked streets to strike and fight for the life of public education this week, LAUSD’s one-percenter superintendent Austin Beutner took to the op-ed pages of oligarch mouthpiece the Wall Street Journal to scold UTLA for bad math skills. The union’s challenge to Beutner’s privatization regime has been a national lightning rod for a revitalized resistance movement.

A recent study on Black student achievement found that Black students who had just one Black teacher by third grade were 13% more likely to go to college. Those who had two Black teachers were 32% more likely.

Black teachers have consistently been on the frontlines of this resistance. A recent study on Black student achievement found that Black students who had just one Black teacher by third grade were 13% more likely to go to college. Those who had two Black teachers were 32% more likely. Overall, having a Black teacher made students more likely to “ask questions and talk about school subjects out of class”.
This is not rocket science for those of us who were fortunate enough to have gotten a solid foundation of Afrocentric pedagogy growing up or to have been raised in a community of conscious Black teachers who challenged us to think critically. Yet, many Black students aren’t exposed to Black teachers at an early age because of the overwhelming whiteness of the profession and racist, sexist barriers to Black recruitment and retention.
African American teachers are approximately 8-9% of the LAUSD’s teacher population. They are in the trenches of a district that has become a national symbol for the crippling effect urban apartheid, neoliberal control, and disinvestment have had on historically Black public schools and neighborhoods. This week, Black teachers walked the line and spoke, chanted and testified their truths on street corners and in traffic, driving one of the biggest public employee union uprisings of the decade.  As Dorsey High School English teacher Ashunda Norris commented, “We know that systematically, across the country, large numbers of Black students are not being adequately served in the public school setting. When the demands of this strike are met, it means a great amount of Afro American children will CONTINUE READING: Black Teachers Buck Beutner’s Billionaire Boys Club - LA Progressive

Oakland teachers holding 1 day 'sick-out' to protest contract talks | abc7news.com #REDFORED

Oakland teachers holding 1 day 'sick-out' to protest contract talks | abc7news.com

Oakland teachers hold rally, walkout over contract talks


Oakland teachers protested outside of Oakland Tech High School Friday morning and then marched down Broadway to the school district offices to demand a 12 percent pay raise over three years and smaller classes.

The district is currently offering a five percent raise over three years.

"We've been waiting a long time, a year and a half. It shows us we are not a priority, the kids are not a priority. So it means we can't be quiet anymore we want to stand up and make sure kids have what they need and that we have what we need to stay in this town, said Oakland Tech teacher Katie Bailey.

RELATED: Building a Better Bay Area: Keeping teachers in the Bay Area

The district brought in substitute teachers but they don't have enough to cover all the teacher absences so some schools will have a modified schedule today.

"If most of the teachers are gone we won't be able to do some of the classes. We won't have algebra, English, the way they have been done. We may have bigger classes, classes in the library, classes in auditorium, on the field playing soccer, things like that," said Oakland Unified School District spokesperson John Sasaki.

Some students joined teachers in the protest. Sasaki said if their parents called in their absence, it would be excused.

RELATED: Teachers seeking solutions to San Francisco's affordable housing crisis

"I really think it shows it's not just the teachers who are upset. The students are noticing too and they're picking up on the issues and want to help their teachers. We CONTINUE READING:Oakland teachers holding 1 day 'sick-out' to protest contract talks | abc7news.com




As LA Teachers Strike Over Charter Schools, Democrat Cory Booker Speaks at Pro-Charter Rally | gadflyonthewallblog #UTLA #REDFORED #UTLAStrong #StrikeReady #March4Ed #WeAreLA

As LA Teachers Strike Over Charter Schools, Democrat Cory Booker Speaks at Pro-Charter Rally | gadflyonthewallblog

As LA Teachers Strike Over Charter Schools, Democrat Cory Booker Speaks at Pro-Charter Rally


What a slap in the face!
In California, 30,000 Los Angeles teachers are on strike because charter schools are gobbling up their funding without providing the same level of quality services or accountability.
That wouldn’t be surprising if Booker was a Republican.
Donald Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a big time champion of school privatization over public schools.
But like LA Superintendent Austin Beutner, Booker – a New Jersey lawmaker – is supposed to be a Democrat.
However, when Booker gave the keynote address at the “Project LIVE & Achieve” Rally for Excellence today, he made it clear whose side he’s on. And it’s not CONTINUE READING: As LA Teachers Strike Over Charter Schools, Democrat Cory Booker Speaks at Pro-Charter Rally | gadflyonthewallblog
booker_mlk




Backing Teachers, Sanders Says LA Strike Exposes National Need for 'Revolution in Public Education'

Backing Teachers, Sanders Says LA Strike Exposes National Need for 'Revolution in Public Education'

Backing Teachers, Sanders Says LA Strike Exposes National Need for 'Revolution in Public Education'
"What we accept as normal today with regard to education, I want your grandchildren to tell you that you were crazy to accept," said the Vermont senator



Tens of thousands of public school teachers and support staff with the Los Angeles Unified School District—the second-largest district in the country—continued the city's first strike in three decades on Thursday.
The United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) kicked off the long-promised strike on Monday over unmet demands for higher payer; smaller class sizes; more special education staff, bilingual education instructors, nurses, counselors, and librarians; and stricter regulation of the city's many charter schools.
UTLA charges that district superintendent Austin Beutner—a pro-charter school former business executive with no education background—is unqualified for the job. The district has 640,000 students, and while about 500,000 are enrolled in public schools, Los Angeles has more charter schools than anywhere else in the United States.
As negotiations resumed at City Hall on Thursday, with Los Angeles' Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti mediating between the district and union representatives, strike supporters and participants shared updates from the streets with the hashtags #LAUSDStrike#UTLAStrong#WeAreLA, and #RedForEd.


Even though California is the world's fifth-largest economy, public schools across the state have struggled for decades to adequately serve students, particularly in communities of color and regions with low incomes.
The strike—which has cast a spotlight on rifts within the Democratic Party in the CONTINUE READING: Backing Teachers, Sanders Says LA Strike Exposes National Need for 'Revolution in Public Education'



In L.A. Teachers' Strike, the State Is the Real Problem - The Atlantic #UTLA #REDFORED #UTLAStrong #StrikeReady #March4Ed #WeAreLA

In L.A. Teachers' Strike, the State Is the Real Problem - The Atlantic

Blame Sacramento
In the L.A. teachers’ strike, the state is the real problem.



Undeterred by an afternoon rainstorm, a band of students, teachers, and parents crowded the streets outside Hollywood High School the other day to chant, whistle, and brandish protest signs in support of United Teachers Los Angeles, the city’s striking teachers’ union.
stop cheaping out on the children read one sign that pretty much summed up the union’s bargaining stance.
Similar scenes are playing out across L.A. in the city’s first teacher strike since a nine-day walkout in 1989. Rallies and protests on behalf of the 35,000 union members have scrambled the daily schedules of nearly 500,000 students and their parents and sparked a tweetstorm of support from boldfaced names in Hollywood and Congress.
The strike was all but inevitable. From his first day in office as union president in 2014, Alex Caputo-Pearl made clear that his vision of quality public education included more money for teachers, smaller class sizes, and expanded student support in the form of more nurses, counselors, and librarians—demands the district has addressed since then only modestly.
Caputo-Pearl’s first contract with the Los Angeles Unified School District expired almost two years ago, and tensions have been building ever since. Teachers simply aren’t buying the argument that there isn’t enough wiggle room to meet their needs in a $7.5 billion operating budget, plus the district’s roughly $2 billion reserve fund. The district’s unwillingness to spend the latter is a major point of contention with the union.
The state requires every district to set aside money for periods of economic uncertainty, for large and unanticipated expenditures, and to be eligible for a higher credit rating. While the union argues that the reserve should all go to teachers, the district says that it has already been earmarked for various costs over the next several years.
And that, says Superintendent Austin Beutner, a former investment banker and publisher of the Los Angeles Times with no prior experience in public education, could push the district into insolvency by 2021.
What if he’s right? What if the district really can’t afford the sort of investment CONTINUE READING: In L.A. Teachers' Strike, the State Is the Real Problem - The Atlantic



Study links black college enrollment to having black teacher in elementary school

Study links black college enrollment to having black teacher in elementary school

To Add Black College Students, Recruit Black Schoolteachers
Study finds long-term impact of having a black teacher in kindergarten through third grade.


Many studies have found a positive impact on black students from having black teachers in elementary and secondary schools. A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that the positive impact may extend far beyond school, to whether black students enroll in college.
The study was primarily based in Tennessee, taking advantage of an experiment in which cohorts of students were randomly placed in different types of classrooms with different student-teacher ratios. The experiment was not designed to focus on black student achievement but provided researchers with a rare sample of students randomly selected to different classes, allowing for comparisons based on a variety of factors. The researchers also replicated their findings in North Carolina, where the study found that having a single black teacher at a young age can decrease the black dropout rate by about one-third.
The key finding in the working paper: "black students randomly assigned to a black teacher in grades K-3 are 5 percentage points (7 percent) more likely to graduate from high school and 4 percentage points (13 percent) more likely to enroll in college than their peers in the same school who are not assigned a black teacher."
The researchers describe their findings as "arguably causal" and say that they are "robust" in a series of comparisons they made. (The Tennessee program has very few Latino participants, so the researchers were unable to measure whether the impact was the same there, although they write that this is an important research question to study.)
Given the way many colleges struggle to recruit black students, the findings could point to a different approach to, over the long term, increasing black college enrollment, by trying to educate more black students to be teachers. At the same time, the authors note that the challenge for American educators isn't just recruiting more black people into education, but thinking about all of the consequences of such a move.
"Findings from this research provide some reason to be optimistic as they provide a path to reducing stubbornly persistent racial attainment gaps," the authors write. "However, they also raise a number of questions, some of which could be addressed in future research, surrounding efforts to diversify the teaching work force. For example, while our study provides strong support for the idea that diversifying the teaching work force could ceteris paribus have a strong and positive effect on historically disadvantaged students, a pipeline that could achieve massive growth in the number of black teachers is nonexistent. Hiring practices that attempt to diversify while maintaining high teacher quality would thus necessitate, for example, re-allocating college educated blacks from other lucrative fields to teaching, a relatively low-paid occupation. Doing so might lead to unintended consequences, such as exacerbating existing racial wage gaps, at least in the short run. To put this issue into perspective, consider the following back-of-the-envelope calculation. Of the roughly 3.8 million K-12 teachers in the U.S., approximately 256,000, or 6.7 percent, are black. Comparing this fraction to the 15.4 percent of K-12 students who are black suggests that doubling CONTINUE READING: Study links black college enrollment to having black teacher in elementary school

Betsy DeVos, in first public appearance after bike accident, criticizes helicopter parents who obsess on 'safety and security’ - The Washington Post

Betsy DeVos, in first public appearance after bike accident, criticizes helicopter parents who obsess on 'safety and security’ - The Washington Post

Betsy DeVos, in first public appearance after bike accident, criticizes helicopter parents who obsess on 'safety and security’



Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday made her first public appearance since being sidelined in a cycling crash, turning up at an event about youth entrepreneurship in a wheelchair and criticizing parents of the millennial generation who have obsessed on “safety and security” rather than allowing children to take “calculated” and “interesting” risks.
She also said school experiences for children have not changed much from decades ago. “It’s only more protected and more safe,” she said.
DeVos underwent surgery earlier this month for what the Education Department said at the time was a broken bone. On Thursday, DeVos said at the event that she had broken her pelvis and hip socket and that it was “very painful,” Politico reported. She also said: "But it will heal. I just have to stay off of it for quite a few weeks, so I’m getting around with other means.”
DeVos appeared onstage for a question-and-answer session at the headquarters of Gallup, the management consulting firm, at the second annual briefing on “Business Startup Challenges and Youth Entrepreneurship,” which was co-hosted by Gallup and the Lemonade Day national youth entrepreneurship nonprofit organization. The education secretary sat in a wheelchair, and at the end of DeVos’s appearance, a woman walked up to help maneuver the chair off the stage, a video of the event shows.
DeVos has frequently criticized public schools for failing to change over time, and she is a champion of alternatives to traditional public schools.
Taking questions from Joe Daly, a partner at Gallup and a member of Lemonade Day’s board of directors, DeVos offered her opinion about why entrepreneurship among young people has declined. Daly reported polling data that said young people have become less entrepreneurial since 1977 but mostly in the last decade. And the millennial generation is “on track to be even less entrepreneurial” than Generation X and baby boomers.
“Well,” she said, "you certainly are the ones with data, but I have some sort of instinctual ideas about it. I CONTINUE READING: Betsy DeVos, in first public appearance after bike accident, criticizes helicopter parents who obsess on 'safety and security’ - The Washington Post



U.S. Public Education Is Driven by High-Stakes Testing. Are the Proficiency Cut-Scores Legitimate? | janresseger

U.S. Public Education Is Driven by High-Stakes Testing. Are the Proficiency Cut-Scores Legitimate? | janresseger

U.S. Public Education Is Driven by High-Stakes Testing. Are the Proficiency Cut-Scores Legitimate?


Back in 2005, I worked with members of the National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and Literacy to develop a short resource, Ten Moral Concerns in the No Child Left Behind Act. While closing achievement gaps seemed an important goal, to us it seemed wrong that—according to an unrelenting year-by-year Adequate Yearly Progress schedule—the law blindly held teachers and schools accountable for raising all children’s test performance to the test score targets set by every state. Children come to school with such a wide range of preparation, and achievement gaps are present when children arrive in Kindergarten.  At that time, we expressed our concern this way:
“Till now the No Child Left Behind Act has neither acknowledged where children start the school year nor celebrated their individual accomplishments. A school where the mean eighth grade math score for any one subgroup grows from a third to a sixth grade level has been labeled a “in need of improvement” (a label of failure) even though the students have made significant progress. The law has not acknowledged that every child is unique and that Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) thresholds are merely benchmarks set by human beings. Although the Department of Education now permits states to measure student growth, because the technology for tracking individual learning over time is far more complicated than the law’s authors anticipated, too many children will continue to be labeled failures even though they are making strides, and their schools will continue to be labeled failures unless all sub-groups of children are on track to reach reading and math proficiency by 2014.”
Of course today we know that the No Child Left Behind Act was supposed to motivate teachers to work harder to raise scores. Policymakers hoped that if they set the bar really high, teachers would figure out how to get kids over it.  It didn’t work.  No Child Left Behind said that all children would be proficient by 2014 or their school would be labeled failing. Finally as 2014 loomed closer, Arne Duncan had to give states waivers to avoid what was going to CONTINUE READING: U.S. Public Education Is Driven by High-Stakes Testing. Are the Proficiency Cut-Scores Legitimate? | janresseger

Special Education: How Has Teacher Preparation Changed?

Special Education: How Has Teacher Preparation Changed?

Special Education: How Has Teacher Preparation Changed?


Sometimes parents of students with disabilities will complain that teachers don’t know how to teach special education. This generalization is difficult to pin down. What specifically makes parents believe this? What is it about their student’s teacher that makes them so critical?
With more student placement in inclusion classes, it also isn’t always clear if they are complaining about a general or special education teacher.
If their child’s teacher didn’t do a good job, why not? What college did that teacher attend, and why didn’t they learn what they needed to effectively teach students with disabilities?
I recently wrote a post critical of Teach for America Corps Members who obtain little preparation to teach students with disabilities, but what about teachers who have college degrees and adequate credentials?
Was the child in an inclusion class where the teacher could not specialize their education well? Resource and self-contained classes are often shunned because CONTINUE READING: Special Education: How Has Teacher Preparation Changed?



Update: Day FOUR Of The L.A. Teachers’ Strike | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... #UTLA #REDFORED #UTLAStrong #StrikeReady #March4Ed #WeAreLA

Update: Day FOUR Of The L.A. Teachers’ Strike | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

UPDATE: DAY FOUR OF THE L.A. TEACHERS’ STRIKE





@DoloresHuerta marched with her grandson and his peers, students of LAUSD in support of LA teachers on the third day of their strike.