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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.

September 07, 2015

Ideas for Tackling the Teacher Shortage

A mid-western farmer's daughter raised me, and she had a proverb for everything. But my personal favorite, and one that she repeated to me time and time again when I became a teacher is, "You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar." In other words we all respond better to praise than we do criticism. I think the same thing can be said when looking at a looming teacher shortage.

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 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.

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.

March 03, 2015

Vergara Part 3: Reimagining Tenure

In my 20-plus years of teaching one thing I have learned is teachers need the protection of tenure to effectively advocate for their students. I joined the most recent Educators 4 Excellence-Los Angeles (E4E-Los Angeles) policy team out of a strong desire to preserve tenure, along with collective bargaining rights and our unions. Here are some of the big takeaways of our recommendations for creating tenure for teachers in California.

February 10, 2015

The 2016 ESEA Proposed Budget Has a Vision of Teaching

Teachers and the work they do are paramount to student achievement especially in Title I schools. So it would makes sense for ESEA funding to address teaching. The 2016 proposed budget for ESEA does this and more. The focus on teachers is not just about working conditions (i.e. class sizes, curriculum, etc.) but also about training, attracting, and retaining teachers.

January 19, 2015

Teacher Voices on NCLB

Teachers weigh in on the debate over NCLB. Read to find out what some California teachers are thinking regarding Common Core State Standards, annual testing, and what the new law should focus on in the years to come.

January 03, 2015

Resolve to Get Involved With Policy in 2015

I know you may be thinking, I don't have time to get involved in something else! But taking the time to get involved in education issues outside your classroom is a great way to stay connected with the larger issues at your school, in your district, and in your state. It's also a great way to keep recharging those batteries.

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