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October 06, 2015

Mr. Broad, Charters Aren't the Only Answer for LAUSD

If I were Eli Broad, I would go into those schools and say to those teachers, "Let's work together to create a school that you would be proud to teach at and that students would love to attend."

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.

August 04, 2015

Another Argument for Acting Like Finland

Perhaps if we were to give teachers the training and the autonomy like Finnish teachers get, we would see less of a need for standardized testing and more authentic assessment happening.

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.

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 08, 2015

The Atlanta Cheating Scandal and Motivation Theory

I know educators around the country empathize with Atlanta (we understood what drove them) but I hope we have learned from Atlanta as well. Tying pay raises and job evaluations to one yearly, standardized test makes no sense at all. We don't give our students an A or an F because of one test. Why is it okay to do this to teachers and schools?

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.

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