"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, May 27, 2011

School Librarians Are Being Interrogated by LAUSD Lawyers

School librarians, or teacher librarians as they referred to in Canada, must have both teaching certification and library-media certification.  Most have Masters in Library and Information Science on top of their teaching credentials. 

In urban schools that do not have active middle class parent groups who insist on libraries on librarians, school libraries are being shut down by bean counters and technofools whose virtual brains tell them that poor children in their segregated and computerized testing camps don't deserve a library or a librarian to guide them in research skills and in choosing good literature, either fiction or non-fiction.  And thus, the caste system adds a new level of inequality and indignity on top of crippling poverty.

This scary story is from AlterNet:
Last night, the Canadian radio broadcast, "As It Happens," featured a remarkable story about what's going on in Los Angeles public schools, as officials grapple with a budget crisis. Librarians -- more specifically, teacher-librarians, are being escorted to the basement of an administration building, where they are made to sit on lawn chairs while being interrogated by school district lawyers who are seeking to prove that the librarians don't actually qualify as teachers. From the "As It Happens" Web site:
Teacher-Librarians in Los Angeles are under threat.
The Los Angeles Unified School District wants to lay off eighty-five middle- and high-school teacher librarians to reduce costs. As a result, school librarians across L.A. are being interrogated by lawyers working for the School District to see if their qualifications are up to scratch.
Laura Graff, a teacher librarian at LA's Sun Valley High School, has been on the receiving end of one of these questionings. We reached her in Los Angeles, California.
That description hardly does justice to the process that Graff recounts, which she characterized as very adversarial. Graff said that her job requires both a teaching certificate and a library science degree, and suggested that administrators themselves have their eyes on the teacher-librarian jobs, saying they want to replace libraries with some sort of high-tech schemes.

Hmmm...The librarians in the public school systems that nurtured me taught me pretty much how to do the job I do now. They taught me how to research, how to cross-reference sources, and guided me to books that encouraged me to dream. We really wouldn't want that for the children of L.A., now, would we?
Well worth a listen; archived on the show's Web site in Part 2 of the program.
By Adele M. Stan | Sourced from AlterNet

Posted at May 26, 2011, 4:15 pm

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