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August 23, 2015

Great School Culture: It Starts With the Principal

I don't talk about my school much to my friends who work elsewhere in the district because it frustrates them. They want what I have, a great environment. Schools like mine can happen anywhere if principals begin to accept the huge role they play in setting the tone for a great culture.

June 30, 2015

Lessons From New Orleans: 'Don't Copy'

Does New Orleans' 10-year experience with charters and choice have application to Los Angeles? Yes, but partly in the negative.

June 29, 2015

Reason #3 Why CTA Needs to Reimagine Tenure NOW

Before I move on to reason number three for why the California's Teacher Association (CTA) needs to reimagine tenure now, let me recap reasons number one and two. Reason number one is to restore faith in our public school system. Reason number two is because we need to ensure that our most vulnerable students are with our best teachers. Reason number three: Teachers want it.

June 15, 2015

Reason #1 Why CTA Should Reimagine Permanent Status Now

As a union representative (I sit on UTLA's House of Representatives), it is clear to me that our teaches union must restore public faith in public education through advocacy of some common sense change such as reimaging permanent status as a tenure system for teachers similar to those in place for college professors.

May 17, 2015

Preschool, Adult Ed, Counselors: All the Pieces Matter

I was picketing because the board, in issuing those reduction in force notices (RIF), is cutting vital personnel, and program pieces who serve the neediest students in our district. Sharing the streets with me that day were preschool students and their parents, high school students, and continuing education adult students. Several of them spoke and their stories reminded me of why it was important that we save those 609 positions. Why all the pieces in LAUSD matter.

April 29, 2015

Appreciating Teachers Who Change the World Student by Student, Day After Day

One thing I will be forever grateful for in my time spent out of the classroom is the opportunity it gave me to watch teachers teach. As a support provider to teachers working at two large elementary schools and going through coaching blitzes, I have seen well over 100 teachers teach. Yes over 100. Because I always learn something when I watch teachers teach, I've decided to distill my reflections down into some key takeaways worth sharing with you.

April 21, 2015

Funding to Create the Schools California Students Deserve

I am thankful to report that my district, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and my union, the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) have come to a tentative contract agreement and the possibility of a strike is no longer looming on the horizon. Like most agreements, compromise was made on both sides of the bargaining table. I won't bore you with all the details but I do want to talk about one - college counselors.

April 17, 2015

SEC Examining Los Angeles iPad Deal, Newspaper Says

The Securities and Exchange Commission has asked the district whether it properly disclosed how bond funds would be used for the school system's Apple contract.

March 31, 2015

Open Letter to UTLA President and LAUSD Superintendent

It's time to take advantage of a lapsed contract, a reorganization of district administration, and the mediation process to create something new in the Los Angeles Unified School District, hybrid positions. A hybrid position would be where administrators would support schools by spending part of every work day actually teaching and the other part of the day would be devoted to administrative tasks of supporting students and schools.

March 23, 2015

Leveraging Teacher Evaluations in Los Angeles

The opportunity is there to negotiate for their priorities - smaller class-sizes, fully staffed schools, and a pay raise - if they are willing to accept three levels of performance in teacher evaluations. I think the three levels are worth it, if it means better conditions for teachers and students.

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