Uh oh, John Deasy, the Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent, is issuing glowing claims to the media that he is nearly ready to cut a labor contract deal with the anti-reform leaders at United Teachers of Los Angeles.
Deasy is making people nervous. There's no hint yet that he stood up for kids. He has painted himself as a new breed of Supe who won't cave to UTLA. Civil rights groups and civic groups calling themselves Don't Hold Us Back recently demanded in full-page newspaper ads that Deasy side with children. How? By "Grading the Teachers." Simply put, by helping or pushing out the lemons and rewarding the stars.
But on Tuesday Deasy told the elected members of the LAUSD School Board -- another bunch that often genuflects to the United Teachers Los Angeles -- that he'd made "remarkable progress" in the closed-door negotiations with UTLA.
A great many people are watching to see if Deasy buckles to Warren Fletcher, the UTLA chief, in a sad replay of Superintendent Ramon Cortines buckling to UTLA chief A.J. Duffy and Superintendent David Brewer buckling to Duffy.
One big group of anonymous parents is suing, as the Weekly reports in its print edition this week. The anonymous parents are demanding that Los Angeles teachers be assessed for ability to actually impart knowledge to Los Angeles students.
They had to sue, because right now, LAUSD does not require any of its 33,000 teachers to impart any knowledge to pupils. At all.
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True. Virtually all teachers get lifelong tenure in Los Angeles after just two years as green, often struggling teachers. Lifelong tenure. Competent or not.
Then these teachers cannot be fired unless they're heading to jail, are perverts of one sort or another, have done something awful in the classroom, or undergo mental breakdowns.
For futher reading:
Please see the L.A. Weekly cover story "Dance of the Lemons: Why firing the desk-sleepers, burnouts, hotheads and other failed teachers in LAUSD is all but impossible," by Beth Barrett. (Of 33,000 teachers, thousands are believed to be unprepared or not right for teaching. Only 7 have been fired in the past decade.)