Friday, September 26, 2014

In memory of Benjamin Reyes, a champion of Adult Education and Public Education

¡Benjamin Reyes Presenté!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Adult Education Committee of UTLA meet and support Bennett Kayser

I'll be there!

The Adult Education Committee of UTLA meet and support Bennett Kayser by Robert D. Skeels

Bennett Kayser supports Ethnic Studies and Adult Education


Who wants to play Reformey Buzzword Bingo?

Who wants to play Reformey Buzzword Bingo?


Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve (SLASD) October General Assembly

Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve (SLASD)

Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve (SLASD) General Assembly

Thursday, October 2, 2014
St. Marks Lutheran Church
3651 South Vermont Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90007

(2 blocks north of the Expo line's Vermont station)

Rosa Jimenez's notes from previous General Assembly:

Students and Parents from 10 different schools across LA participated. Many teachers from an even more schools and community college students attended the General Assembly as well.

Members from half a dozen community organizations participated as well as reps from various labor organizations and neighborhood councils.

As always, the General Assembly started with a Snapshot of a Social Movement—this time focusing on lessons that can be learned from students getting organized for educational justice across the nation.

Then the General Assembly created space for students, parents and teachers to discuss where to take our movement. We want to build off of our last year’s organizing and successful actions, including our March where we called upon LAUSD’s School Board to take up the issues that students, parents and teachers of the Grassroots Coalition have been organizing around.  Students met as a constituency group, as did parents and the teachers in a third group.

The Grassroots Coalition of Schools LA Students Deserve came up with some great ideas which we will be announcing soon.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Don't let Marshall Tuck rob California students of their own identities and dignity!

Don't let Marshall Tuck rob California students of their own identities and dignity!

All three of these individuals used their positions of power over school children of color to shut down Ethnic Studies Programs, close Heritage Language Programs, and shutter Dual Language Immersion Programs. In some cases they even banned influential books like Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Students have the right to learn about their own cultures, languages, and histories. What kind of individuals rob students of their own identities and dignity?



Campaign to Promote Ethnic Studies Summitt Flyer, October 18, 2014

Campaign to Promote Ethnic Studies Summitt Flyer, October 18, 2014 by Robert D. Skeels


Friday, September 19, 2014

Robert D. Skeels' education pins on Pinterest

Follow Robert D.'s board Education on Pinterest.


Families with Students With Disabilities make LAUSD hear your voice!

The following is from a parent-activist whose tireless advocacy for Students With Disabilities (SWD) inspires. Her own child was a SWD, but she continued advocacy long after they graduated. The Deasy regime has been keen on keeping Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) parents with SWD in the dark on their rights in order to reduce the number of Individual Education Plans (IEP) in the district. The money he "saves" can then be channeled into his pet projects that invariably feature public funds going to large technology concerns.

Families with Students With Disabilities make LAUSD hear your voice!

Each child must have quality, individualized services and supports to which they are entitled under the law. —

LAUSD Parents, please help spread the word!

LAUSD specific for families of students with disabilities. Public Hearing. Please come or send in written concerns. There are rumors that the District is seriously trying to sign off on this and we have lost ground in spite of what the data is showing. The last time I spoke, I shared accounts of District personnel falsifying data to "appear" compliant. If the Independent Monitor doesn't hear of the non-compliance from families, he'll assume the data is accurate. Link below has the notice in Spanish, Armenian, Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Russian, Vietnamese, and Japanese. Speak out for your children:

The Office of the Independent Monitor invites parents of children with IEPs and all other members of the LAUSD community to provide comments to the court-appointed Independent Monitor of the Modified Consent Decree during scheduled public hearings on LAUSD's compliance with Special Educations Laws.

Two hearings will be held on:
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
9:00 - 11:00 AM and 5:00 - 7:00 PM
Beaudry Building Board Room
333 Beaudry Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90017.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

PCL: Legal Rights of Linguistic Minorities

First submitted September 13, 2014 to Peoples College of Law

"We therefore live in a period where the prevailing Zeitgeist is at least receptive to the notion that we do not have to be identical ethnically or linguistically." — Dr. Fernand de Varennes

In an era where right-wing millionaires use their obscene wealth to finance arch-reactionary legal firms like Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to craft deceptive causes of action to destroy academic freedom, students' access to experienced instructors, and workers' rights in the shape of the horrific Vergara decision, it's somewhat hard to recall that occasionally the law is used to help, rather than harm, the remaining institutions of public education.

In the past, when civil rights were more vigorously defended than David F. Welch's "corporate rights," a public interest attorney represented one of our most marginalized groups: English Language Learners (ELL) in a landmark case — Lau v. Nichols. The case and its implications for the rights of linguistic minorities are discussed below ["infra" in legal parlance]. Today, we see ongoing attacks against both ELLs and any language program besides mainstream English. A perfect example is that of neoliberal reactionary Marshall Tuck, a candidate for California State Superintendent of Instruction. Tuck, a graduate of anti-public education activist billionaire Eli Broad's Broad Residency, is best known for shuttering all the heritage language academic programs, and most of the dual language immersion programs at the schools he ran.

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the Supreme Court decision on rights of linguistic minorities. While the promise of Lau is still yet unrealized, the recognition of language rights in the midst of our "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" is still something to take notice of. United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) Bilingual Education Committee commissioned the following public service announcement flyer, the text of which is also reproduced here. The prose was written by UTLA's Director of Bilingual Education, Cheryl Ortega. Flyer design was by education activist Robert D. Skeels, who is also a first year law student at Peoples College of Law.

In 1974, the attorneys for Kenny Lau and 1800 Chinese speaking students sued the San Francisco School District on the grounds that these students were not receiving equal access to an education by virtue of their inability to comprehend English. The unanimous decision of the US Supreme Court - "Under state-imposed standards there is no equality of treatment merely by providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum; for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education. Basic English skills are at the very core of what these public schools teach. Imposition of a requirement that, before a child can effectively participate in the educational program, he must already have acquired those basic skills is to make a mockery of public education. We know that those who do not understand English are certain to find their classroom experiences wholly incomprehensible and in no way meaningful."

The attorney for Kenny Lau and 1800 Chinese students in San Francisco successfully argued that "Taking people who are the same and treating them differently is one type of discrimination but taking people who are different and treating them the same, is subtler, but, is equally discriminating."

Language Rights are Civil Rights protected by the 14th amendment to the US Constitution.

40th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision on Rights of Linguistic Minorities


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Unpacking Charter Schools' Heavy Baggage this week on Politics Or Pedagogy? with John Cromshow

Politics Or Pedagogy? with John Cromshow

Featuring an analysis of education, policy and practice affecting our public schools.

KPFK 90.7 FM
Politics or Pedagogy? with John Cromshow

Friday, September 19, 2014
7:00 - 8:00 PM
Call in: (818) 985-5735

Unpacking Charter Schools Heavy Baggage

Kurt Bier, Esq.
Scott Folsom
Cynthia Liu, Ph.D.
(Dr. Paul Payne)
Meredith Ryley
Robert D. Skeels

Jackie Goldberg
Lisa Karahalios