UPDATE: UNION INTIMIDATION TACTICS…
If anything happens to the substitutes listed in union communications, now or in the future, the union will deny any responsibility and blame the troubling event on some individual acting on their own without union knowledge or sanction. Yeah Right!
Don’t get me wrong, I always have liked my teachers, some more than others; but I am appalled at the way teachers are manipulated by the Los Angeles Unified School District as well as their unions…
“Fighting for our students,” yeah right!
First, let us recognized that the Los Angeles Unified School District’s leadership is all about political power and doling out the money to special interests, be they land developers, contractors, vendors, or simply billionaires who want to leave their imprint on the school system. Much of the work of the School Board is done by staff, and they almost always adhere to staff recommendations. Like any other bureaucracy, they are all about perpetuating the institution, preserving their leadership, enlarging their political influence, and increasing their budget. Their product, or might I say, their hostages are our children. The Board consists of progressive socialist democrats who support progressive socialist democrat causes.
Second, let us recognize that their unions are socialist creations and pretty much have the same goals of perpetuating the institution, preserving their leadership, enlarging their political influence, and enlarging their dues-paying membership. Their product, or might I once again say hostages, are the teachers which they keep in lockstep using a combination of peer pressure and thuggery. The unions overwhelmingly support progressive socialist democrats and buy political power by supplying campaign funds, voter support, and media attention to select “go along to get along” politicians. Needless to say, they mostly negotiate against their hand-picked representatives, pushing parents and other concerned citizens away from the bargaining table.
So why did approximately 40,000 teachers go on strike?
It appears that the union is demanding a 6.5% pay increase that has little or nothing to do with their productivity in the second largest school system in the nation which is facing declining enrollment numbers. They are demanding more “classroom funding” which rarely trickles down to the classroom as it is used mostly for personnel (including unfunded pension liabilities) and infrastructure. And, even then, the decaying infrastructure appears to be in desperate need of repair or replacement. The union believes that the school system is withholding millions of surplus dollars in its rainy-day fund and wants that money to go for more teachers.
Then there is the dispute over smaller class sizes, less testing, more unionized personnel like librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists, and social workers.
** In the context of union-dominated politics, smaller class sizes do not equate to better-educated children, it means more unionized teachers. No matter what the class size, the collective body of teachers continue to turn-out functional illiterates who cannot read, write, or do simple computations without computer intervention. All of the technology that was touted to improve individual learning and allow for larger class sizes has been resisted by the unions. If anything, the computers have become electronic babysitters.
** One can see why the union wants less testing as it also means less accountability. The tests have been dumbed-down in proportion to the statistics being pumped up. Money is not the answer. The answer is one, leadership; and two, the ability to rate teachers on their teaching ability and subject-matter knowledge. I hate to say it, but the rumors of the difficulty of firing an incompetent teacher or even one who has perpetrated a crime are true. The school system even has their own version of teacher jail where troubled teachers report each day to twiddle their collective thumbs – of course; they still earn full pay and benefits.
** The library I used to research my reports appears to be a thing of the past. The collection of books is curated to be politically correct, the card catalog is a computerized search system, and the librarian is part disciplinarian, part computer instructor, and the need for a student to use a library in today’s internet age of search programs is almost non-existent.
** School nurses? This is problematical because most nurses are forbidden to dispense an aspirin, but have little problem with dispensing condoms and birth control advice. If a student falls ill, it does not take a nurse to provide care. In most situations, the parents are called and told to deal with their children, or a call to 911 resolves the issue. School systems are so wary of lawsuits that they are ineffective. Any teacher with first-aid training should be allowed to clean off a minor cut or scrape, apply an antiseptic, and put on a bandage that will resolve the issue until the parent arrives or the child goes home.
** Counselors and psychologists are also problematical. It appears that these people are reducing the resiliency of our children and turning out delicate little snowflakes who need trigger word warnings and safe spaces. Children have been accosted by the police for simply making what looked like “gun fingers” or drawing something a teacher found disturbing. These are the people who are trying to turn little boys into obedient little girls – often using psychotropic drugs to inhibit normal rambunctious behavior.
** Social workers imply that the school system has a greater role in the child’s welfare than the parents. Since when did the school become the guardian responsible for feeding, clothing, and providing other parental-type guidance to children? Schools already have usurped parental powers to the point where a child can receive birth control – or even an abortion – without parental consent.
But the real dispute is over publicly-funded charter schools which are privately-governed and staffed with non-union teachers who must turn out a superior educated child to attract parental attention, students, and the funding that goes along with the students – money which the union believes should stay in the unionized school system as if they own the children from grades K-12. Children and good teachers are leaving for charter schools where children are educated and not indoctrinated as obedient progressive socialist democrats. The unions are demanding the ability to be part of the decision-making process when it comes to charter schools, especially those co-located on public school property.
You will notice that the union is saying little or nothing about the impact of illegal immigration which is decimating the school system. They are also silent on why they are not spending their resources on bright students with a future and concentrating their time, energy, and money on those who do not value education. And, heaven forbid, they reintroduce trade education for those who do not want to pursue an academic path to college. When I was in junior high, we had drafting (Mr. Cavanaugh), electric shop (Mr. Paden), wood shop (Mr. Silvera), metal shop (Mr. Barber), print shop (Mr. Kelsey), and an agriculture class with Mr. Galper. We learned to fix things, to build things, and to find out if we were suited for an academic path. Mr., Paden taught us more about advanced mathematics and science used in electronics than our most advanced math and science class. And, it was fun. There were few discipline problems, and those were dealt with rather quickly by the boy’s vice principal.
This is a prime example of the progressive socialist democrats feathering their own nest and using children as a convenient talking point. Children need instruction, not indoctrination. Enough with the craziness and back to the basics: reading, writing, arithmetic, history, civics, social studies, and other classes that teach life skills.
Enough with giving anybody, especially minorities, a pass when they misbehave and disrupt others.
And, in the final analysis, hold school board members accountable for wasting hundreds of millions of dollars with their inability to administer a large school system. Like the LAUSD’s $95 million payroll system – which required another $37 million to fix its problems. Or the most expensive high school in the nation that was built on a toxic site. The money sloshing through the system is in the billions – and the waste fraud and abuse are staggering. But, the union says nothing as long as they get their share.
We are so screwed.