Thursday, August 14, 2014

solidaridad: AALA: George McKenna, AALA-Supported Board Candidate, Wins Election!

solidaridad: AALA: George McKenna, AALA-Supported Board Candidate, Wins Election!:



AALA: George McKenna, AALA-Supported Board Candidate, Wins Election!

Reprinted from AALA Update on August 18, 2014


Dr. George McKenna for LAUSDAALA extends congratulations to Dr. George McKenna on his election to become the Board of Education Member representing District 1. Dr. McKenna is filling the seat that has been vacant since the death of Marguerite LaMotte in December 2013. This marks the fifth AALA-endorsed candidate to win a seat on the LAUSD Board. Dr. McKenna joins fellow AALA- supported colleagues Bennett Kayser, Mónica Ratliff, Dr. Richard Vladovic and Steve Zimmer.

In an election that pitted a veteran educator against an inexperienced politician, with only eight percent of those eligible voting, it is noteworthy that the deep pockets/outside interests were again unsuccessful in their bid to control the outcome. This is, fortunately, becoming a trend in the LAUSD Board of Education races. So-called education reformers and charter school advocates from around the country have poured millions of dollars into these local campaigns in an effort to privatize the second largest school district in the country. It is a testament to the influence of local administrators, teachers, other employees and community groups that voters were not swayed by all of the glossy, negative campaign material distributed by Dr. McKenna’s opponent.

It is unfortunate that young, inexperienced political aspirants are being used to further the interests of corporate reformers. We have seen this in the last three Board elections, most notably, with the election of AALA-supported Mónica Ratliff and Steve Zimmer, who were both opposed by candidates who had little experience or knowledge, but lots of money from Independent Expenditure Campaigns. In this current election, George McKenna spent about one-fourth of the amount that his opponent expended, yet he was able to maintain nearly the same solid showing that was garnered in the primary. Let this be a lesson that the voters of Los Angeles will not succumb to the smear campaigning that is fueled by donations from those who do not live in the community, have no children in the schools and no vested interest in improving the lives of the students of LAUSD.

Dr. McKenna will immediately assume his position on the Board of solidaridad: AALA: George McKenna, AALA-Supported Board Candidate, Wins Election!:

Adults, Please Get Out The Way [How Students Do It] - The Jose Vilson

Adults, Please Get Out The Way [How Students Do It] - The Jose Vilson:



Adults, Please Get Out The Way [How Students Do It]





Marvin Gaye singing


This morning, I imagined Marvin Gaye would have a few things to say about what’s going on today:






Today was supposed to be Michael Brown’s fourth day in college, getting acclimated with the ins and outs of college life, surely different than the humdrum K-12 bells. Sadly, he never got his chance at college and career readiness as the Ferguson police’s hands still smell of blood and tear gas. We never got the chance to see Michael Brown past the few pictures that the media has offered and the sharp image of him mother mourning. The names of young women and men who also had their potential stolen from them read like one of my student rosters at school.
Then it hit me. The activism around Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Renisha McBride, and, more recently, Michael Brown, ripe with young folk doing amazing speaking and organizing, should serve as a reminder to adults a) how much we as adults often look down upon younger generations and b) how much potential the next generations have to move people forward.
In spite of the tragedy and strife of concluding that these public institutions aren’t made for youth of color in mind, our nation’s Adults, Please Get Out The Way [How Students Do It] - The Jose Vilson:

California state auditor probing LA's Magnolia charter schools | 89.3 KPCC

California state auditor probing LA's Magnolia charter schools | 89.3 KPCC:



California state auditor probing LA's Magnolia charter schools




 The California State Auditor is investigating Magnolia Public Schools, a Southern California-based charter network that has been accused by L.A. Unified of misusing funds.

"Magnolia Science academies, like all other charter schools in the state, are public schools; as such they receive tax payer dollars for their operations," Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian of Sherman Oaks said in his request for the audit.

The state's audit will cost $320,000 and scrutinize a minimum of four of the network's 11 schools, sifting through vendor and payroll records, truancy and test score data and fundraising practices.

Magnolia Public School officials said they welcome the evaluation.

"Our school leadership has always embraced a policy of transparency and accountability when it comes to the fiscal solvency of Magnolia Public Schools and our commitment to superior student achievement," said Mike MeCey, a spokesman for Magnolia.

Nazarian asked for the probe at Thursday's meeting of the California Joint Committee on Legislative Audit, on which he is seated, in response to findings by L.A. Unified's Office of Inspector General. California state auditor probing LA's Magnolia charter schools | 89.3 KPCC:

Dan Chang’s dark money SuperPAC now switches to funding Marshall Tuck

Dan Chang’s dark money SuperPAC now switches to funding Marshall Tuck:



Dan Chang’s dark money SuperPAC now switches to funding Marshall Tuck

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“We have our cake, and are eating it too.” — Eli Broad
Dan Chang’s SuperPAC, formed to support erstwhile LAUSD candidate Alex “ALEC” Johnson, is now funding a new astroturf group to get his fellow Broad Urban Residency alum, Marshall Tuck, elected to the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction seat. Using the wonderful astroturf name “Parents for Marshall Tuck”, we can be sure that no authentic parents are running the Independent Expenditure (IE) funded by Chang’s Great Public Schools Los Angeles PAC. The new astroturf group’s twitter ishttps://twitter.com/parentsfortuck, you can access their website from there.
Corporatists Dan Chang and Marshall Tuck
Broad Urban Residency graduates Dan Chang and Marshall Tuck combined have zero hours experience teaching in a public school classroom.

A vivid symbol of all that is wrong with state government: Hint – It’s not about the teachers | Reclaim Reform

A vivid symbol of all that is wrong with state government: Hint – It’s not about the teachers | Reclaim Reform:

A vivid symbol of all that is wrong with state government: Hint – It’s not about the teachers

The following is a letter from a dear friend who chooses to remain anonymous. She tells about the State of Illinois Building as a symbol of its government today.
(Yes, many states are suffering under the same situation.)
Quinn Rauner
The two name calling gubernatorial candidates refuse to address the actual workings of the government. Gov. Pat “Quinnochio” Quinn (D) and “Bruce the Billionaire” Rauner (R), who keeps his money in the Cayman Islands rather than pay his own taxes, are not about to make any positive moves to repair the state or the State of Illinois Building.
They are both devoted to cutting public services and the pensions of greedy teachers and other public employees which will have little if any positive economic impact on the state’s massive debt problem. At the same time, they both promise to cut taxes for corporations and the mega-wealthy.
Thpmpson center
The James R. Thompson Center (JRTC) in Chicago, where I worked for 21+ years, has always been a disgrace, in that it was built without regard to how it was to be used by various state agencies (hearings and other work were routinely interrupted by noon time loud entertainment in the lower level), without regard to easy maintenance or security (elevator parts came from a German company, which A vivid symbol of all that is wrong with state government: Hint – It’s not about the teachers | Reclaim Reform:

Survival Guide to Teaching Alternative School, Part I — The First Days | Life at the Intersections

Survival Guide to Teaching Alternative School, Part I — The First Days | Life at the Intersections:



SURVIVAL GUIDE TO TEACHING ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL, PART I — THE FIRST DAYS

The-Breakfast-Club-1985-001

Out of the 16 years that I spent teaching in public schools, 6 were spent teaching in alternative schools. I know some stuff that might help.
This is my good news for you about teaching in alternative school:
You will become a far better teacher than you ever would have if you spent the same amount of time in a traditional school with seemingly compliant students.
But first, to survive those first few days, prepare to…
Understand the Institutional Realities
You will have to navigate through some realities of alternative school life that are there even before the first student walks in:
  • Some alternative schools were formed decades ago, but suffer from a lack of institutional memory due to heavy staff turnover.
  • Some have been started in a panic this summer and will be writing the opera as they sing it during this, and maybe even next, year. Not only have you just been hired in August, but your principal was hired in July.
  • Some are choice schools and so students must apply, which means that some families will do that the day before school starts. This means the principal doesn’t know how many to staff for in the coming year. Choice alternative schools start with 10 to 100 and might end the year with 200+. Your mileage may vary accordingly.
  • Some are mandatory, disciplinary, alternative schools, which are always on the verge of becoming toxic environments due to the students’ being coerced to be there for negative reasons.
  • While some are housed in nice, purpose-built buildings, most are not. My first year of teaching was in an alternative school that met in a National Guard Armory still being used by the National Guard. Some are in an isolated portable. Some are in storefronts and old office locations.
The upshot of all of this variety is that flexibility about facilities, faculty, staff, furnishings, and student numbers is a MUST. 
I’m not trying to be funny. It really is.
Understand the Students
The hardest part of any teaching is understanding the students. And in alternative school, developing an understanding of your students will be even more critical to your success with them.
The most important thing to remember, especially in the first few Survival Guide to Teaching Alternative School, Part I — The First Days | Life at the Intersections:

Bill Gates’ Market-Driven Experiments Are Not Ready for Prime-Time Public Ed | Teachers' Letters to Bill Gates

Bill Gates’ Market-Driven Experiments Are Not Ready for Prime-Time Public Ed | Teachers' Letters to Bill Gates:



Bill Gates’ Market-Driven Experiments Are Not Ready for Prime-Time Public Ed

Not Ready for Prime Time
Dear Mr. Gates,
Your Foundation contributions always seem to make for interesting prime time news. The real story about what is actually happening on the ground where your market-driven policies are now the “norm” is relegated to other venues such as academic research, progressive blogs and media outlets.
While it is honorable for anyone with your wealth to do whatever possible to give back to the community, the community that helped you make your wealth, your history of failed experiments with so-called market-driven, data-based education is well documented.
The test and punish, high stakes testing mandates and the calls for teacher accountability as a means towards improving education have clearly failed an entire generation. Despite this failed policy, however, we are facing the same failed policies on steroids with Race to the Top and the new Common Core Standards.
As communities that have witnessed the impact of these policies, we have shown enormous patience, allowing you to explore untested educational practices with our children, even practices that are disproved by respected education experts at our finest institutions of higher learning (CREDO study from Stanford University).
Expert educators, including teachers, as well as students and families, understand that these undemocratic, and unproven practices are extremely harmful to the students that you say you want to help. Sadly, this seems to have little or no influence on you to stop and consider that perhaps it is time that you respect the educators and listen to the experts.
Perhaps your wealth and influence could be put to better use and have greater results in real solutions to our public schools, if your programs were designed to function like the Bill Gates’ Market-Driven Experiments Are Not Ready for Prime-Time Public Ed | Teachers' Letters to Bill Gates:

Nite Cap 8-14-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT



James Baldwin said it best: 

"For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."


A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAP




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Nite Cap 8-13-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT
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