Collection of articles

United Teachers Los Angeles protest proposed layoffs

May 25, 2011

Several hundred educators gathered outside the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters Tuesday to encourage the district to rescind the more than 5,000 layoff notices sent to Los Angeles teachers.

The protest comes in light of Superintendent John Deasy’s proposal of six furlough days in an attempt to salvage some of the lost positions. United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) rejected this proposal, claiming the district has the money to prevent the furlough days and save the lost jobs after California Governor Jerry Brown’s $3 billion increase to the state education budget.

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Waiting for Oscar

February 25, 2011

As we approach Oscar weekend, I want to take this opportunity to thank the Academy. Thank you, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences voters, for recognizing that the movie “Waiting For Superman” had about as close a connection to reality as Bill Gates does to the struggles of working class families.

Thanks to the monstrous marketing effort to reach Academy voters and the kindness of a cruel friend, I recently suffered through this fluff piece for free. My conclusion: I want my two hours back.

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A field report from the Public School Choice 2.0 Advisory Vote

February 1, 2011

As a tax-payer and teacher who has taught at Rosemont Elementary School, I decided to make my voice heard Saturday, January 29 at about 2:30 p.m., for the Advisory Vote for Central Region Elementary School #14. The question: to hand the school over to charter operators, or a group known as United Teachers Los Angeles/Echo Park Community Partners.

For the uninitiated, Public School Choice is the latest gimmick marketed as reform by our current Los angeles Unified School district board of education, board member Marguerite LaMotte excepted. The board doesn’t actually have to follow the Advisory Vote, so, in essence, the voting process is designed to give you the impression that the board is doing something meaningful to improve education. They’re actually doing quite the opposite.

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John Deasy a disappointing choice for LAUSD superintendent

January 13, 2011

I’m disappointed by the appointment of John Deasy as the superintendent to the LAUSD School Board. The school board didn’t even bother to consider any other candidates, which is very strange. The public needs to remember that the mayor, who celebrated this appointment, after recently attacking UTLA, was also handed a vote of “no confidence” by teachers at eight of the 10 schools he takes credit for operating.

The reality is that the teachers at those school sites operate those schools. The mayor, who rarely shows up, only operates them on paper, and dismally at that. We need to remember that this is the same mayor who, in 2009, spent 15 times as much as his nearest opponent on his campaign, then refused to debate him.

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