Scott Folsom: he meeting was chaired pretty darn well by acting PTSA President Judi Bell. There was histrionics and name calling but no furniture or fruit was tossed and the angry multitudes did not resort to barricades School Police were not called.
Is the US system of public education in crisis? Many say the answer to that question is no. But almost all agree that we have two systems of public education in the United States - one based principally, though not entirely, in the suburbs and another that is based principally in poorer urban and rural areas. One is, unarguably in crisis. The other is not. These articles discuss the root causes and possible solutions.
Shamus Cooke: The Democrats continue on the road to corporate-inspired charter schools, using the tried and true method of “stronger teacher evaluations” to undermine “underperforming” schools and teachers — thus opening the door wide to private charter schools with their non-union workforce.
Nina Zippay and Fernando J. Orozco: The parents in this complex and diverse system are firm believers in LAUSD’s mission: “to create critical thinkers prepared to participate in a diverse and complex society.” And it can’t get any more complex than LAUSD.
David Swanson: There is nothing altruistic in the idea of peace activists helping workers and the unemployed here at home. That’s how you build a movement for any political end, and that’s how you keep our young people from becoming cannon fodder.
Joseph Palermo: Nobody in power seems to be listening to what teachers have to say about how best to improve public education. The Administration is telling teachers that all those envelopes they licked, and all those doors they knocked on, and all those phone calls they made to help elect Obama in 2008 were nothing but a goddamned waste of time.
David Love: Is the SAT racially biased? The College Board says score disparities are due to educational inequities but the Harvard Educational Review disagrees.
John MacMurray: The brilliantly simple/simply brilliant solution: re-designate our Cal State and University of California campuses as prisons. Since a goodly number of the current student population regards them as such anyway, it should not be too big a stretch.
Simon Balto: Amidst the recent assaults on ethnic studies in Arizona and beyond that propagate a myth that such programs are divisive and exclusionary, I now find myself seeking to defend and justify their importance, and to wrestle with their place in American history.
Nea Friberg-Price & Jed Von Dielingen: Because our school makes these cuts strictly on seniority, it’s always the newer teachers who go, the ones who connect so much better with us students. Athough we like and respect our older, more experienced teachers, these younger ones are more flexible in their teaching plans and are closer to us in age, so they understand us so much better. So we’re terribly sad to see their teaching careers end, at least for now.
John MacMurray: If the goal is to improve our public education system–and there is no organization or institution that cannot be improved in some way–then the most straightforward way to accomplish this is to give the highly-trained, highly-motivated professionals in the classrooms the resources they need, and let them do the job they were hired for.
Kamala Lopez: I had been doing some work with East L.A. and South Central “at-risk” girls and we agreed that it would be a good fit for me to oversee the creation of the local arm: GlobalGirl Media Los Angeles.
Carl Bloice: Why is it that the richest, most powerful nation on the planet, one that produces more and more billionaires each year and can spend one million dollars each on the soldiers it sends off to war, can’t afford to educate its kids? It remains a mystery to me that an administration that can spend millions of dollars to bribe states into facilitating its quite controversial school “reform” programs can’t come up with the resources to stave off the pending mass layoffs of teachers.
I was a teenaged mother. Many said I was too young. Perhaps they were right. But, like any mother, I worked hard and sacrificed. It all paid off. Except for . . .