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

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Deasy Giving In to LAUSD Teachers, or Just Some Good Ropeadope?

When John Deasy offers his enthusiastic support of an education policy, anyone who cares about public education should run in the other direction as fast as she can.  Deasy's history of pay-per-test-score support and his stint as a successful policy elite with the Gates Foundation should be enough to tell anyone that his motives are entirely suspect, if not completely poisonous.

Deasy's most recent support for school autonomy in curriculum and budgeting decision should be viewed by what Deasy and the Gates goons have in mind at the end of the two year deal that the LAUSD teachers have just ratified with these changes embraced by Deasy.  Will Deasy or Deasy's replacement argue that teachers haven't delivered on raising test scores and simply move to convert the "autonomous" public schools to corporate welfare charters, which have been put on hold for the next two years?  That's my bet.

From KPCC:
Los Angeles Unified’s teachers’ union announced Thursday that its members have overwhelmingly approved a contract with the school district that will grant individual campuses more control over the way they operate. The Board of Education now gets to vote on it. Teachers this week considered the changes.

The top leaders of the teachers union and the school district negotiated the changes.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy stumped for the reforms last week on the school district’s TV station. The changes will be in place for three years.

They include a moratorium on the practice of forcing all employees of a low-performing campus to re-apply for their jobs. The reforms also block charter school operators from taking over new or low-performing schools through a 2-year-old program known as Public School Choice.

Deasy said the most significant changes involve allowing school staffs to make their own decisions on curricula and budgeting. "Teachers know students better. They know far better than we do at the central office," Deasy said, "and they know them better than the central administration in the teachers union. We believe that parents build a relationship at schools, they don’t build one with the district, and professionals build the relationship with the students."

The television program included teacher Sujata Bhatt, who wasn’t completely sold on the idea. "We want the freedom to innovate, but we have to come in with a little bit of wariness because in the past the district has promised freedoms and they haven’t been lived up to."

Superintendent Deasy responded that L.A. Unified’s central office will have to support each campus with teacher training and connections with universities. The goal, Deasy said, is to unleash the power of school professionals. . . .

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