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September 21, 2015

Massive Charter School Expansion in Los Angeles

Right now UTLA has almost declared "war" on Eli Broad and I can't say that I blame them. Eli Broad and all the other philanthropists would do well to remember the origins of charter schools - to put teachers in charge of running schools.

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."

July 14, 2015

Death, Taxes, and Union Dues: We All Have to Pay Our Due

If a state chooses to have public employees represented through a collective bargaining process doesn't this automatically justify the necessity for public employee unions in the interest of the public good.

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 23, 2015

Reason #2 Why CTA Should Reimagine Permanent Status Now

The appeal to the Vergara case will be heard very soon. I don't claim to be psychic so I am making a well educated guess here when I say I think the appellate court will remand the decision for further study. This leads me to reason #2 why the California Teachers Association (CTA) should reimagine tenure now: The most vulnerable students need the best teachers.

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.

June 07, 2015

The Last Days of School

The last days of school along with not having to do any high stakes end of year testing allowed me to make sure I ended the year with a well balanced curriculum and a good dose of fun for everyone. Here's a countdown of my last 18 days of 2014/15 school year.

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 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.

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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