Monday, December 30, 2013
Sunday, December 29, 2013
CA-NAME Conference Reclaiming Multicultural Education: Fighting Back, Imagining and Building Socially Just Worlds
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
While my initial goal was just to pass, earning that “A” really boosted my morale. Class was hard though, hundreds of pages of reading a week for 10+ weeks. Two classes next quarter and I’m done!
MIT Researchers: Higher Test Scores Do Not Translate into Higher Levels of Thinking http://t.co/edCbAClW1g— Diane Ravitch (@DianeRavitch) December 17, 2013
Monday, December 16, 2013
CA-NAME Conference Reclaiming Multicultural Education: Fighting Back, Imagining and Building Socially Just Worlds
• Culture, Community, and the Arts• Multicultural Literacies• Critical Media Literacy• Literacy and Social Studies• Second Language Learners & Policy Changes• Student Identities and Institutions• Teacher Identities and Practices• Ethnic Studies: Surviving Neoliberal Assaults
• Decolonial Perspectives on Higher Education• Bilingual Teachers: Raising Critical Consciousness• Student Organizing in the CSUs• School-Based Family Counseling
Friday, December 13, 2013
Saturday, December 07, 2013
A parent organization, Parents in Action for Student Services (PASS), is organizing to have Breakfast in the Cafeteria, before school. They are educating parents about school privatization and connecting it to BIC. This week they showed the connection between privatizers and BIC. Next week they plan to show the video from UTLA to drive the point home to fellow parents.
The messaging for this is very simple and effective:
"Should children eat breakfast in the classroom during instruction, or before school in the cafeteria?" Even L.A residents with no connection to public schools sign these petitions. This is not a ballot initiative petition, therefore signers do not need to be U.S citizens.
There are 1,000 schools in LAUSD. If each school in can collect 100 signatures, that would be 100,000 signatures! In our school alone, we have collected 300. We have received another 200 signatures from a school in the Valley. Between staff and parents at each school site this is very doable.
Please have people in your school communities circulate widely and sign. Turn in all petitions to the PASS address at the bottom of the petition by January 31, 2014.
BUILDING THE MACHINE (2014) - Official Trailer [HQ]
I want to use the same disclaimer here that I did the last time I posted Common Core State Standards (CSSS) related materials from sources that I disavow any connection with. The video is produced by, and also features, individuals that are from fringe-right-wing groups. The last time I published a disclaimer like this, I was subjected to a firestorm of criticism from the right. That's fine, we will never be allies in any sense other than shared opposition to the vile corporate CCSS curriculum being foisted on students. That said, there's a distinction to be made between factual information about CSSS, and ideological opposition. That's why I am posting this film trailer, because the factual case against CCSS can be made from either end of the political spectrum.
Friday, December 06, 2013
School Matter: Thieving charter charlatan-scoundrel Juan Rangel steps down from UNO! He was a darling of the AEI
Via Professor Diane Ravitch: Powerful Chicago Charter Leader Resigns in Wake of Financial Scandal
My commentary: Thieving charter charlatan-scoundrel Juan Rangel was a darling of the fringe-right American Enterprise Institute (AEI). In addition to their loving his stuffing of public money into his private pockets, AEI gushed about Rangel and UNO's systematic program of right-wing indoctrination.
Alexander Russo has finally exposed @TeacherSabrina as a teacher! World is shocked and stunned by his incisive reporting.— Arthur Goldstein (@TeacherArthurG) December 6, 2013
From: "Robert D. Skeels" <*********@ucla.edu>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 23:43:47 -0800
Subject: Ms. Klein your schadenfreude over LaMotte's death was more than a little offensive
To: Karin Klein <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Your fringe-right leanings coupled with your limited knowledge of pedagogy have always tainted your awful editorials and op-eds. However, you really outdid yourself with today's painfully gleeful obituary of the Honorable Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte. In the future when someone asks me how to define schadenfreude, I'll point them to the mean spirited and duplicitous screed you penned today.
You are truly shameless.
Advocating Public Education and Social Justice
Robert D. Skeels
"Problem posing education does not and cannot serve the interests of the oppressor" — Paulo Freire
Update: Here's the conversations we're having about this on fb:
- Vik Chaubey: No surprise. Lamotte stood for principle and integrity people like that are usually attacked. When you challenge charter schools you get attacked.
- Robert D. Skeels: Los Angeles Times' Karin Klein uses the word "feisty" to describe LaMotte over and over. She may as well have used "uppity" to express her (and her handlers) disdain of a woman of color who stood up to Eli Broad's cabal. Every time I think the LA Times can't be more disgusting I'm sadly proven wrong.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
The tragic death of sixth-grade Philadelphia student Laporshia Massey illustrates the dire need to ensure that every child has access to quality health and wellness services at school. I urge you to support requiring that every school have a full-time health professional on staff — and to commit to fully funding this critical resource.
In LAUSD, John Deasy prioritizes corporate handouts over student lives—let's provide all LAUSD kids with nurses! As a community, we've grown weary of school resources being diverted to tests and test-prep, when tragedies like the one described above are entirely preventable.
From an avid reader [edited for anonymity]
Here's the link to the next Early Childhood Education and Parent Engagement Committee meeting scheduled for next Thursday, December 12, 1013. It has an unfortunate late start of 4PM due to Curriculum and Instruction Committee scheduled at 10am, and the Budget, Facilities and Audit Committee scheduled at 1PM the same day. Hopefully the Budget meeting won't go overtime and we can start at 4. As they will be speaking about Local Control Funding Formula, it is possible that public comment will not occur until around 6PM.
School board staffers recently spoke regarding difficulties with our Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting structure today and ongoing since PCSB has been helping us. It's been requested that this issue could be placed on the agenda as a whole, but it's full for next week. Officials facilitating the Ad Hoc committee suggest that it would carry weight if members of the CAC and other interested members of the public could come to the meeting and speak to the committee regarding this. The public could ask to have the committee consider this for a future agenda item. If anyone is able to attend, it would be beneficial to the CAC.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Cheryl Ortega for UTLA Director of Bilingual Education
"I am an enthusiastic supporter of Ms. Ortega not only for her deep understand and support of bilingual education but also for her ability to see the big picture, to consider what is right for all students. In Gandhi's terms, Ms. Ortega one of the "perfect resisters" we need to win the battle of right versus wrong." — Professor Stephen Krashen
"Cheryl fights, heart and soul, for Bilingual Education and has a sense of justice that UTLA needs." — Lisa Karahalios Board of Directors Valley East, Milliken Middle School
"I wholeheartedly endorse Cheryl. Her dedication and tenacity are a great service to our teachers and students. She was there at the beginning of LAUSD's implementation of bilingual education. No one has the same experience or institutional memory that she has." — Marina Salas, Chair UTLA Bilingual Ed Cmte, Hoover St. ES
"We need to keep our most experienced, dedicated individual at the helm of UTLA Bilingual Education." — Robert D. Skeels
Matthew Kogan, Jeff Pott & Anne Zerrien-Lee: The best team to serve you as UTLA North Area Chair and Directors!
We are three independent voices for constructive change who share a common vision of inclusiveness and union solidarity. We are not beholden to any faction; we know that the only way to make our union strong is to respect our diverse membership and work together with everyone for the common good.
We ask to serve you because we want to work to strengthen our union’s collective ability to champion members’ rights and stand up for public education. It’s time to turn away from destructive internal factionalism and focus on what really matters. We can’t do this alone. We need your help. If you entrust us with your vote, we pledge to work with all of our union brothers and sisters to:
- Build union solidarity and recruit chapter chairs for all North Area schools.
- Defend and empower all members and all schools, raise pay and boost morale.
- Protect your contract rights and benefits from all threats.
- Fully staff schools, reduce class size and secure full funding for Arts, Health and Human Services, Libraries, Adult Education, SRLDP, Bilingual Education, Field Trips, and more.
- Make sure teachers get the subs they request, and subs get called when requested.
- Eliminate excessive high-stakes standardized testing and test prep.
- Return Breakfast to cafeterias and halt the theft of instructional time.
- Make schools safer and healthier for us and for students.
- Hold elected officials accountable for votes that harm our members.
- Strengthen organizing ties with families, school communities, and other unions.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Ebony Murphy-Root's courageous exposure of one of the most pernicious corporate neoliberal education reformers is a must read: 'Did You Grow Up Around Black People?' My year working for "America's Most Trusted Educator"
The comments under this reprint of the piece are worth visiting as well: A powerful and haunting report from a former Capital Prep teacher
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Thank you for Klansplaining me Brian!
Your fact-free diatribes about documents, citizens, governments, and such almost made me forget the long history of genocide, trail of tears, stolen lands, and broken treaties (Guadalupe Hidalgo for one) that comprise the so-called nation of laws you mention. "Free to return to their native land"? I know you probably didn't learn this in your white supremacist studies classes, but the indigenous peoples of this continent ARE ALREADY on their native land. The depraved depths of racism and ahistoricism one must plumb to insinuate that "we [sic] are being colonized" is breathtaking. Save that Klanspeak for your next JBS meeting, this isn't the forum for your brand of bigotry and hate speech.
Monday, November 25, 2013
It's been a long road for this 48 year old undergraduate. My last complete year of high school was the tenth grade. I passed the GED test while stationed at Pearl Harbor in the Navy. I started at Glendale Community College in 1988 and transfered to UCLA in Spring 1991. I was forced to drop out of UCLA by my capricious employer at the end of the Winter 1995 term before I was able to graduate. Recently, after finishing second in the 2013 LAUSD School Board elections, my wife strongly encouraged me to return to UCLA. Readmission to the UC was painless, and under the new requirements I only had 12 units left to graduate.
I'm currently finishing this, which was the only required class...
and then all that's left is...
I had classes with Professor Morris when I was last at UCLA some nineteen years ago. She's one of the smartest people I've ever known, and it will be nice to study under her again.
I'll be walking in June of 2014—the first time graduating from anything ever for me. Then hard choices. UCLA GSE&IS? Peoples College of Law? A MSW program somewhere? The first two choices are pretty attractive given my social connections and the people who would recommend me. However, I'm not sure at this point. First things first.
Friday, November 22, 2013
I'm a million times more comfortable getting favorited by LA's BEST, than that #ff I got the other day from you-know-who. At the end of the day, they're still both Nonprofit Industrial Complex #NPICs. We need an entirely new model that is a) resistant to control by plutocrats and their foundations; b) responsive to the community instead of a corporate 501C3 structure. Heck, we just need a new socioeconomic system... period.
I keep hearing a lot of UTLA people complaining that they can't organize because of leadership. I sure want to know how those people explain how amazing UTLA activists like Anne Zerrien-Lee, Ingrid Villeda, Cheryl Ortega, Kelly Flores, Sean Abajian, José Lara, Mike Gonzales, Matthew Kogan, and others who organize successful actions and campaigns on a constant basis.
Maybe because instead of saying that they "can't organize because of leadership," or the just as cynical "organize in spite of leadership," they do it because they are the leadership. When our left political theory becomes nothing more than mere talk shop, I applaud those that put social justice into praxis. Like the trite expression goes: "be the change you are looking for."
Re-elect Tom Torlakson: a teacher working for schools and kids. #LAUSD https://t.co/RqWpZDW39g pic.twitter.com/d656kjg6Zs
— Robert D. Skeels (@rdsathene) November 22, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Like Marie Antoinette, LAUSD's Tamar Galatzan is ignoring community needs with her flippant suggestion: the district should spend school bond money for thousands of iPads for every student and teacher. To the parents who want: Smaller Class Sizes, Arts Education, Physical Education, Early Education, Adult Education, Nurses, and Librarians Board Member Galatzan says Let Them Eat iPad!
Friday, November 15, 2013
If you suspect that CCSS perpetuates what bell hooks terms 'white supremacist capitalist patriarchy,' you're right!
Wasn't it Marshall Tuck, Ryan Smith, and Antonio Villaraigosa who callously shuttered Chicano Studies at Santee HS?
Thursday, November 14, 2013
So no excuses charters basically tell youth of color acting like white ppl is the only way to be successful
"So no excuses charters basically tell youth of color acting like white ppl is the only way to be successful." Classmates on a roll today.— Stephanie Rivera (@stephrrivera) November 14, 2013
Marshall Tuck: despised by community, but always welcome at the Chamber of Commerce. #LAUSD http://t.co/qwt2MvH4PF pic.twitter.com/q9M6FxZcK8Show right-wing business-banker Marshall Tuck and his billionaire backers that Californians want a professional educator, not a venture capitalist, as our State Superintendent of Instruction — support Tom Torlakson!
— Robert D. Skeels (@rdsathene) November 14, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Gates' VAM/AGT killed at Microsoft, but LAUSD students and educators still victimized by 'value added' phrenology
Monday, November 11, 2013
Friday, November 01, 2013
Our oppressors use the racist phrase "achievement gap" to distract us from their abject "humanity gap."
Our oppressors use the racist phrase "achievement gap" to distract us from their abject "humanity gap."— Robert D. Skeels (@rdsathene) November 2, 2013