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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Back to School, Mayor V and the LAUSD

Back when this old dead councilman first heard of the mayor’s plan to increase mayoral influence over the school district he thought it a daring move. Education has always been paid lip service by politicians, but to seek so much control of the district in such a public manner goes a bit beyond the norm. Taking control of (and thus responsibility for) the LAUSD might just be akin to stepping in as captain of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.

Before long I came to my senses. The mayor’s play is, of course, calculated and not so daring at all. Whatever the outcome he will position himself as an action-oriented proponent of education. Assuming he succeeds in truly broadening mayoral influence over the district he may declare any improvement a sign of successful leadership. Alas, as with so many issues, the public’s wealth of ignorance surrounding the LAUSD is astounding and thus it will be especially easy to spin any outcome. Here is where the councilman must do his civic duty and help to educate his constituency.

It may surprise some of you to learn that this old dead councilman has several years of first hand experience in the very district of which we speak. In this, my first article in what will be a LAUSD series, I will lay the foundation for discussion with a clarification of basic facts. In future articles I will expose the folly that currently passes as addressing problems in our schools and I will outline steps the school district (and possibly the mayor) must take to achieve any meaningful results. Lastly, I will discuss those issues the district will face that it has little control over – larger societal issues that are impacting our schools with tremendous force. I promise to pull no punches…

Fact 1: Academic performance is truly in decline (captain obvious has arrived) and we must be willing to face this reality in order to address it. Ask any seasoned teacher, academic performance has been in decline for 20 years. Common lie: tests are inaccurate measuring “cultural capital” rather than knowledge. As so many Los Angeles students are not native to this culture they do poorly. Counter: Tests check specific knowledge sets and to a lesser degree discipline/willingness to cooperate and intelligence. Let us not forget: math = universal, LAUSD math scores = unacceptable. Furthermore, those with the highest test scores of all are quite often not persons who could possibly be described as having the most “cultural capital.” Teaching to students with diverse cultures and languages is a challenge and a valid issue to discuss. Tests, however, are accurate and are proven to be a valid indicator of future academic success – big points for creativity but put more effort into improving the situation and less into creating the impression that the system is bias and designed to oppress you left-wing bastards.

Fact 2: Student attitude is the most important factor in determining student success and said attitude is formed by the student’s family, community, peers and culture. The educational institution’s influence alone is significant but secondary/limited. We can and will reap benefits by improving our schools, however, problems exist beyond the school yard. We must avoid the temptation to point the finger solely at the school system and instead we as a society need to take a good hard look in the mirror. With rare exception, even schools that are largely dysfunctional are able to maintain functional programs for the willing (magnet school, honors programs, and the like). Common lie: Students will meet the expectations of the institution, thus it is the teacher’s fault when students fail for too little was expected, too little compassion was shown, too little effort was expended, and thus the students were “written off” (this is a VERY common theme in teacher training courses and Hollywood movies alike). Counter: Nothing misleads quite like a partial truth. It is true that children meet expectations and demands, those set fourth by all in their sphere of influence. Students must be immersed in a culture that demands results - a foundation of parental, peer, and societal/cultural support in addition to that from the educational institution. To their dismay, new teachers quickly learn that the attitudes and behaviors the student enters the classroom with largely dictate his or her performance. Colossal effort is required to turn a student around who has chosen the wrong path. Teachers have upwards of 200 students at a time (Hollywood teachers have only one class – lucky them!). Parents have only one to three (or so) students to keep tabs on… hmmm who’s responsibility is this anyway? Note that seasoned teachers will attest to the fact that the once solid middle ground of average performance is disappearing. Teachers serve honors and advanced placement students in one sphere and an ever increasing number of students that are below grade level in another. Our society as a whole, is dividing more and more into the rich and the poor. The middle class is disappearing – too coincidental to be a coincidence?

Fact 3: Our teachers are the district's greatest asset. Common lie: Bad teachers abound and can not be fired. Counter: It takes heart and great dedication to become a teacher and even greater dedication to continue to serve as one. Yes there are bad teachers (at least a couple at every school to the councilman’s experience), and yes the union will stand up for them when perhaps it should not, but the exception is not the rule. The notion that the district is full of terribly underpaid, under-qualified people is completely false. Note that a bachelor’s degree, a teaching credential, and testing (CBEST at minimum) are required for a teaching position. Starting pay at the LAUSD is 42K plus benefits for ten months of work.

Fact 4: The lack of discipline and the lack of real institutional support are our teacher’s most severe and discouraging challenges. A common misconception: Teachers can simply send misbehaving students to the dean, bad apples are expelled, discipline is maintained.

Now you all know that the councilman has taken his share of shots at the conservatives, now allow him to give the other side its due. Years and years of increasingly liberal policy have severely crippled the schools ability maintain discipline and the integrity of the institution. An example: Student X is a severe discipline problem who has gone through all of the school’s usual channels. His behavior shows no improvement and so we expel him right? Not so fast, the councilman has learned from the dean of a local high school that it is incredibly difficult to remove a student. The dean actually calls the parents and asks them to remove the student and then hopes they check him into another school. If this does not work the dean institutes an “opportunity transfer” for the student. The bad news is that the dean must now accept a severe problem student from another school. Now imagine how effective your workplace would be if individuals that were not only unproductive, but actually disruptive, had the right to stay no matter what?

Number one on the agenda must be laying down the law. Rights should require responsibilities. The student has the right to attend class so long as he can conduct himself in an appropriate manner. Some of our schools are overwhelmed by unacceptable behavior and unfortunately have chosen to bend and turn a blind eye rather than to stand up. Once again too much responsibility is dumped on the teacher who receives little support from the administration (busy kissing up to parents) or the dean (overwhelmed). Amazingly, even Hollywood realizes that to turn a school around one must first clear out the bad apples and lay down the law (Stand by Me).

The district provides little meaningful support that is felt at the classroom level and the manner in which it spends its money must be changed.

Blog away dum dums

24 Comments:

Blogger Mitch Glaser said:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 28, 2006 10:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Vote 4 Zuma Dogg CD 14

August 28, 2006 10:15 PM  

Blogger Mitch Glaser said:

It's sad to see what politics have done to good intentions.

August 28, 2006 10:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

El Sereno Chamber and guess who is on it? You got it Alvin "crook" Parra. Sleazy Weezy is never in the community. He doesn't attend meetings afraid that he will get yelled at for being yet another absent councilman. Most of his field staffers are like 18yrs it seems with no experience. It will be interesting to see what he states his accomplishments have been when running for CD14 re-election

August 28, 2006 10:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You fr'gn CD14 maggots. Go blog at yo mamma's house. Same OL' shit.

August 28, 2006 10:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Don't bunch up kikes with niggers, wetbacks, and chinks. Kikes are as white as can be and Walter just might have some kike in him - judging from his distaste for niggers and wetbacks.

August 28, 2006 11:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

August 28, 2006 11:45 PM.,

Then how do you explain the rancor against chinks? Walter Moore is obviously as WASP as they get.

I bet Wacko was bullied out of his real estate scam by a kike loan shark. They probably used a nigger thug to kick him out, then he was replaced by a chink agent who hired a slutty wetback secretary.

August 29, 2006 12:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm sorry... I must have stumbled into the lockeroom of the Klu Klux Klown...

So you really think that because your mother slept with the varsity team (whites mostly) and you grew up in the red neck plains of the midwest it makes you more american than everyone else.

Well perhaps... but it still doesnt take away the fact that your father is probraly your uncle and grandpa while your mom also happens to be your cousin, sister and grandma.

August 29, 2006 12:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Antonio Villaraigosa: the only guy that can make Angelenos pine for Jim Hahn.

August 29, 2006 4:30 AM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

boNot to be a wise guy, but L.A. Times says, "Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa warned the school board Monday against hiring a superintendent without HIS approval, saying that HE would fire anyone who wasn't a 'change agent.'"

Why is Mayor Viagraosa using words like "'He' would fire...without 'his' approval."

I thought the gangster homie was only one person on a "Council of Mayors" -- so if nothing else he should be saying "WE" (Even though he doesn't answer for the rest of the Council of Mayors.)

What a tell. Now that punk ass bully just done pissed me off and if he thought I was a thorn in his side before...Wait till he feels me now!

PREDICTION: The Mayor will not be finishing his first term by the time I'm done with him. (I mean WE'RE done with him.)

I can see by LAUSD's Marlene Kanter's words in L.A. Times today, she's not gonna let no punk ass gangster in a nice suit push around the school system and kids she represents. (See today's L.A. Times for her words.)

So get ready for a long tug of war on every F-ing detail regarding the schools vs The Mayor until the People kick that high school drop out loser (Mayor V.) out of office. I hope he drops out of politics for failing like he droped out of High School.

AND FINALLY, I THOUGHT THE MAYOR MAY HAVE BEEN A DECENT GUY WITh GOOD INtENtiONS. BUT THE BILL DIDN'T EVEN PASS YET, AND HE'S ACTING LIKE A NAPEOLEON COMPLEX DICTATOR PUSHING HIS AUTHORITY AROUND THAT HE BOUGHT AT THE PEOPLE'S EXPENSE. THIS GUY IS ON A MISSION TO SELF DESTRUCT -- BUT BIG Z.D.WILL BE SURE TO SPEED ALONG THE PROCESS.

He ain't gonna make it through the term because of all of this.

Zuma Dogg
Mayor of Los Angeles '06

August 29, 2006 11:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

ZUMA DOGG,

if you were of School age, HEADMASTER POLLORAIGOSA would have you transfare to the Academia del Semillias Pueblo continuation school for re-education training.

COUNCILMAN JOHN,
Great discertation on the LIBERAL meddling in the education establishment.

August 29, 2006 11:23 AM  

Anonymous Captain Jack Sparrow said:

Zuma - are you willing to sail with a pirate crew?

And bugger the sot who said I was gay.

August 29, 2006 11:34 AM  

Anonymous original_mickey_finn said:

Never mind buggering the sot... just leave him in a room with Via-gay-rosa!

August 29, 2006 1:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jackie Speier willbe on "McIntyre in the Morning" She and Dean Florez were the Dems. who voted no on "BOSS POLLO's AB 1381.

August 29, 2006 1:46 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

CITIZENS ALERT, Y'ALL...

Nuenez bamboozled Sen. George Runner in Sacramento!

I heard that allegedly Sen. Runner was going to vote "No" on A.B. 1381 (LAUSD Bill) if Nunez didn't REMOVE the "severability" clause.

"Severability", would allow a state or federal judge (when Zuma Dogg, LAUSD and others sue in Federal or even Supreme Court) -- to simply REMOVE anything shady, or unconstitutional from the Bill, and let the rest of A.B. 1381 remain.

So, by Runner asking for "severability" to be removed -- and under an assumption that "INSEVERABILITY" would be added, Sen. Runner voted, "Yes."

Unfortunatley, he was dealing with Nunez, and Runner got the big bamboozle. Cause guess what:

When Runner aksed Nunez, "What about ADDING the 'inseverabilty' clause", Nunez responded with, "I'll take it under consideration." (Politicians leagalease for saying, "Don't make me laugh, sucker, and you can stick the "inseverability" clause where the sun don't shine.")

And the bottom line IS, the "inseverability" WAS NOT added, as presumed when the "severability" was removed.

"Inseverability" ALLOWS a state, federal or supreme court judge to toss the whole A.B. 1381 out on the streets, with all the homeless people, if there is anything at all shady or unconstitutional at all, y'all.

But Nunez didn't add that part, and Runner got bamboozeled, but maybe only a little. Here's why:

I just got off the phone with a Senator's spokesperson in Sacramento, and here's a little comfort they were able to give Zuma Dogg to help him not be so depressed about it:

"We believe a judge will look at the amendment and see that Senate wanted the 'severability' removed,
implying the intent is to show Senate WANTED to allow for 'inseverability'". (Allowing the whole Bill to get tossed.)

So, I followed up by aksing, "Well the judge may see the 'severability' was removed, ut the fact that 'inseverability' wasn't added could show Senate DOESN'T want to allow for "severability'?"

And the Senator's spokesperson again clarifyed, "It is their opinion that the removal of the word "severability" will show the judge Senate's intent is to allow for "inseverability"(throw the whole thing out).

And luckily, the Senators, LAUSD, Zuma Dogg and Mr. KABC/Mark Isler/Doug McIntyre/Kevin James of KABC radio ALL KNOW that the Senate Legislative review of A.B. 1381 found it is unconstitutional to have The Mayor of Los Angeles overseeing the school system. (So that's the only hope for the future of our youth, and therefore, future of our city, state and country.)

BREAKING NEWS ALERT: PART 2

As I am typing this, I just got a call from someone's spokesperson HEAVILY involved with the language regarding A.B. 1381.

Zuma Dogg needs to clarify an error in today's Los Angeles Times:

It was a fine article today on the front page, exposing Mayor Viagraosa for the "dictator" that he thinks he is. (See my post regarding today's Times article where Mayor was quoted as saying, "HE would fire any Superintenant that didn't meet HIS approval.")

So it got me thinking: I thought there was a Council of Mayors who get to make these decisions along with the dictator.

So, I made some calls and here's the deal. First of all LAUSD chooses a Superintendent candidate and puts them before council of mayors (not just mayor v.) for "RATIFICATION". That means there needs to be a 90% approval (Mayor V. counts for 80%, all other Mayors count for combined total of 20%...so mayor v. always needs to get half the other mayors. And that's never gonna be a problem cause they all get a piece of the pie, so they'll be forced to roll with their homie mayor v., or no soup for you!)

L.A. Times said Mayor V's "Council of Mayors" can "VETO" and Superintendent candidate. Although "veto" is kinda the same a "RATIFY", there is a difference.

So the way it works is, LAUSD puts their candidate for School Superintendant in front of Mayor V., I mean the Council of Mayors.

Then they have to get 90% to either approve or reject the candidate. (Don't worry, Mayor V. has 80% of the vote and will always get his way.)

And we already know LAUSD is gonna be at odds "tooth and nail" versus The Mayor...So when they put up their candidate, the Mayor will shoot it down, then LAUSD will have to find another candidate (negotiate with The Mayor on who they like just enough to stomach, that The Mayor wants to approve (watch it be one of his long-time, back pocket homeboys)...but it might not be so easy to find that needle in a haystack...so everythings gonna be tied-up, delayed and tore apart, while the classrooms are still overcrowded, kids can't learn in such a dysfunctional environment, where parent's have been complaining to Zuma Dogg that the BIGGEST problem with schools in The Mayor's district is "Crystal Meth" running rampant throught the schools.

So, it looks like LAUSD is gonna be all tied up for the next couple years with legal court battles, tug of war over The Superintendant and lots of other things, like where the nerly $20 2/3 billion dollar LAUSD budget will be spent over the next six years.

Zuma Dogg for L.A. City Council '07
Mayor of L.A. '09 (or sooner)
www.ZumaDogg.com

August 29, 2006 2:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Zuma Dogg,

I just got off the phone with a MIKE in George Runner's office in Sacramento. Guess what, "Inseverability is still in AB 1381. He stated that the only way that Runner would have voted for this abortion, was that Inseverability had to be included. Now stop and think for a moment. Inseverability is the poison pill that can kill AB 1381. That is what Runner is hoping for. Call 1-(916) 651-4017.

August 29, 2006 2:48 PM  

Anonymous Captain Jack Sparrow said:

Last call for Zuma. Are you willing to sail with a pirate crew or are you after Villarbarbosa with the Powdered Wig Boys?

August 29, 2006 2:51 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

2:51PM I'm not smart enough to understand your question. Dumb it down for Big ZD and I'll reply.

MORE IMPORTANTLY: 2:48PM.

Hmmmmm, I don't know. I was told emphatically that there is no "severability" OR "inseverability" anymore.

I WILL INDEED FOLLOW UP AGAIN. But the sad fact is maybe someone got bamboozled (some senators, not me) -- OR it's damage control time.

So I stand by what I said earlier, I will follow-up and maybe you can make another call or two, also and see if "Mike" was right or wrong.

Thanks,
ZD

August 29, 2006 4:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Zuma, sounds like parke called ya out.

August 29, 2006 4:38 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

Dear 2:48PM,

Thanks for the added level of scrutiny! I just got off the phone with the person in Runner's office who said they spoke to you, and you must have misunderstood.

I read him your quote, and he said you got it wrong. I read him my quote and he confirmed I reported it completely 100% accuratley in my 2:17pm post.

Thanks for the input.

Zuma Dogg

August 29, 2006 4:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

UPDATE ON AB 1381

AB 1381 passed out of the Assembly Education Committee 7-2. JACK-ie Goldberg recused herself from voting confirming rumors that she is in the running for the LAUSD top job.

Daily News Website

August 29, 2006 4:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

ZUMA DOGG,

Thanks for the follow up. That weak knee republican makes a deal with Nunez then gets stabbed in the back. Hope Runner start collecting bottles and cans because that is what will finance his next run for office.

August 29, 2006 5:09 PM  

Anonymous Captain Jack Sparrow said:

Bloody hell. I thought I had lost too many brain cells. I see someone else holds that title. Zuma hasn't committed fully to sailing with us yet; he's got his eye on the blunderbuss and powdered wig set (i.e., the "big wigs"). Methinks Zuma is a pirate at heart - too few brain cells.


Because there are those of you out there who are somewhat daft, I'll explain the plan AGAIN. We're dealing with bullies. Not men in fancy suits. Schoolyard bullies and their cohorts, which includes City Hall staffers. I made a rather long and rambling post about this the previous evening. Read it. You might find it enlightening.

The plan is to take back our fair city from the bullies and hopefull save our fair state from takeover by bandits in silk breeches. Villarbarbosa, Nunez, Romero and that sot who works in City Hall that Puss In Boots refers to as "that handsome lad who works in the Mayor's office." Bullies often have cronies, nice offices and staff with all of their teeth in their heads.

Make Villarbarbosa cronies Padilla and DeLeon walk the plank so that they don't make it into the ballot box and on to Sacramento; and we leave Runner and Ashburn on a deserted island with Dick Mountjoy and NO RUM. Once those two are history, we can take on the lot of them.

Walter Moore, are you willing to sail with a pirate crew?

Bugger. I should have listened to my father and been a candy maker.

August 29, 2006 8:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You are just too whacked out for me. I don't get half of what you're talking about.

August 30, 2006 2:50 AM  

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