'How do you quantify losing magic?'

— Steve Zimmer, L.A. school board member on layoffs that claimed band teacher Ray Vizcarra. Vizcarra resurrected Fairfax High’s band, teaching students to play instruments from scratch. They soon won all-city competitions. But L.A. Unified had to cut jobs, and he lacked seniority.

Sandy Banks: L.A. Unified haunted by an old deal

Teachers never imagined molestation cases when they won a deal to expunge unproven misconduct allegations from files after four years.

L.A. Unified budget would cut thousands of jobs: School board OKs a preliminary budget that would also close all of the district’s adult schools and cut some after-school and arts programs.
Photo: Demonstrators in a crowd of about 500 rally outside the headquarters of the Los Angeles Board of Education. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times 

L.A. Unified budget would cut thousands of jobs: School board OKs a preliminary budget that would also close all of the district’s adult schools and cut some after-school and arts programs.

Photo: Demonstrators in a crowd of about 500 rally outside the headquarters of the Los Angeles Board of Education. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times 

shortformblog:

Unspeakable: L.A. teacher arrested, accused of disturbing lewd acts

Trigger warning: We have to warn you that this story is NOT pleasant, so please take care when reading.

Mark Berndt, a 61-year-old teacher who taught for three decades at Miramonte Elementary School in South L.A., is accused of lewd acts with 23 children between the ages of 7 and 10 — allegedly tying children up and putting giant cockroaches on their faces. And something else we’re not going to print. Berndt, who was fired in March and bis being held on a $2.3 million bail, wasn’t caught as the result of children coming forward, but a photo-processor who turned pictures of some of the heinous acts over to the authorities. The L.A. Times has more, including a police report. This is just appalling.

test reblogged from shortformblog

Op-Ed: An L.A. teacher reviews her review

Evaluations don’t take into account the real world of today’s Los Angeles Unified School District classrooms.

A must-read on education:

On a recent Wednesday, my second-period class was interrupted by a student who overdosed on alcohol and Ecstasy and nearly died. Earlier in the year, one of our students was shot in the face and hospitalized. Last year, a student was shot in the neck and paralyzed for life; one of my students was standing next to him when it happened. The year before that, one of my students was inside her house when her sister, sitting in a car outside, was shot and blinded in one eye in a gang drive-by. The baby she was holding was struck by a bullet and killed.

There are days, or perhaps just moments, when I feel like giving up. I have had to resign myself to the incomprehensible idea that society has decided to blame many of its failings on teachers. But I know we don’t deserve the rap. I work with an incredibly intelligent, caring, talented group of people. I also work with many brave, sweet, bright, extraordinary teens.

L.A. schools’ healthful lunch menu panned by students: For many students, Los Angeles Unified’s introduction of healthful lunches — part of a campaign against obesity, diabetes and other problems — has been a flop. The district says the menu will be revised.

Participation in the school lunch program has dropped by thousands of students. Principals report massive waste, with unopened milk cartons and uneaten entrees being thrown away. Students are ditching lunch, and some say they’re suffering from headaches, stomach pains and even anemia. At many campuses, an underground market for chips, candy, fast-food burgers and other taboo fare is thriving.
… Andre Jahchan, a 16-year-old sophomore at Esteban Torres High School, said the food was “super good” at the summer tasting at L.A. Unified’s central kitchen. But on campus, he said, the chicken pozole was watery, the vegetable tamale was burned and hard, and noodles were soggy.

Eek. To our LAUSD student followers, what’s it been like? Does your school have a black market for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? (And keep the language appropriate!)
Photo:  Students line up for lunch in the cafeteria at Van Nuys High School (your Tumblr host is an alum!). Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

L.A. schools’ healthful lunch menu panned by students: For many students, Los Angeles Unified’s introduction of healthful lunches — part of a campaign against obesity, diabetes and other problems — has been a flop. The district says the menu will be revised.

Participation in the school lunch program has dropped by thousands of students. Principals report massive waste, with unopened milk cartons and uneaten entrees being thrown away. Students are ditching lunch, and some say they’re suffering from headaches, stomach pains and even anemia. At many campuses, an underground market for chips, candy, fast-food burgers and other taboo fare is thriving.

… Andre Jahchan, a 16-year-old sophomore at Esteban Torres High School, said the food was “super good” at the summer tasting at L.A. Unified’s central kitchen. But on campus, he said, the chicken pozole was watery, the vegetable tamale was burned and hard, and noodles were soggy.

Eek. To our LAUSD student followers, what’s it been like? Does your school have a black market for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? (And keep the language appropriate!)

Photo: Students line up for lunch in the cafeteria at Van Nuys High School (your Tumblr host is an alum!). Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Unified becomes first California school district to mandate gay curriculum (LA Weekly)

kateoplis:

Yesterday, board member Steve Zimmer out-gayed the rest of the state’s school districts — even San Francisco Unified; woot woot! — with the state’s first solid plan to implement SB 48.

Under his resolution, all schools within LAUSD must do the following in their classrooms within three months:

  • Promote positive images of LGBT individuals.
  • Make available age-appropriate LGBT inclusive curriculum for elementary and secondary schools.
  • Require that newly adopted social studies materials include positive representations of LGBT and persons with disabilities.
  • Include LGBT sensitivity in outreach, education, and training for students, parents, and staff.
  • Remind staff of their duty to ensure that all students are safe and affirmed on campus, and to proactively intervene with acts of bias, harassment or bullying that they see, including, but not limited to LGBT-biased language and bullying.
  • Implement for all staff a training specifying legal responsibilities, effective practices, and concerns unique to LGBT individuals, similar to the district’s child abuse module.

LAUSD’s human relations coordinator, Judy Chiasson, tells the LA Daily News elementary-schoolers with same-sex parents will now “be allowed to make two Mother’s or Father’s Day cards without questions or concerns being raised by teachers.”

Read on.

test reblogged from kateoplis

Back to school: Los Angeles Unified School District campuses opened Tuesday, seven for the first time.
Aw. Does this mean our Tumblr population is down a bit until after school?
Photo: Sixth-grader Juan Sebastian knows an answer on Day 1 at Central Region Middle School No. 7 in South L.A. on Wednesday. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Back to school: Los Angeles Unified School District campuses opened Tuesday, seven for the first time.

Aw. Does this mean our Tumblr population is down a bit until after school?

Photo: Sixth-grader Juan Sebastian knows an answer on Day 1 at Central Region Middle School No. 7 in South L.A. on Wednesday. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

L.A. Unified's new homework policy gives students a break

Homework will now count for only 10% of a student’s grade. Critics — mostly teachers — worry the policy will encourage students to slack off assigned work and even reward those who already disregard assignments.

But Los Angeles Unified is pressing forward, joining a growing list of school districts across the country that are taking on homework — including Fontana and Pleasanton, N.J. In many districts, limits are being placed on the amount of homework so students can spend more time with their families or pursue extracurricular activities like sports or hobbies. The competition to get into top colleges has left students anxious and exhausted, with little free time, parents complain.

L.A. Unified plans to give uneaten student lunches that previously had been thrown out to nonprofit agencies that feed the needy. That’s 21,000 meals a day.
Photo: L.A. Unified serves 650,000 meals a day at about 1,000 locations. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

L.A. Unified plans to give uneaten student lunches that previously had been thrown out to nonprofit agencies that feed the needy. That’s 21,000 meals a day.

Photo: L.A. Unified serves 650,000 meals a day at about 1,000 locations. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

reblogged via bennettkayser:

Los Angeles Magnified School District

"Bennett Kayser, the candidate supported by the teachers union, narrowly beat out Luis Sánchez, who had been endorsed by the mayor, for the open seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education, according to unofficial returns early Wednesday morning,” Jason Song reports.
Above, a photo from Kayser’s Tumblr.

reblogged via bennettkayser:

Los Angeles Magnified School District

"Bennett Kayser, the candidate supported by the teachers union, narrowly beat out Luis Sánchez, who had been endorsed by the mayor, for the open seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education, according to unofficial returns early Wednesday morning,” Jason Song reports.

Above, a photo from Kayser’s Tumblr.

test reblogged from bennettkayserbd5

L.A. Unified releases school ratings using 'value-added' method

"The new measure of academic success has been a top priority for incoming Supt. John Deasy, who formally takes over Friday," report Jason Song and Jason Felch. "It comes as districts throughout the country are wrestling with the reliability and the proper use of the value-added approach, which estimates school and teacher performance by analyzing students’ improvement on standardized tests in math and English.”