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“Hey Mom and Dad, I Passed My Periodic Assessments!”

February 8, 2011

Well, actually today it might be,  “hey mom,” or “hey foster mom” or “hey guardian”  but back in the day,   it would have been

Hey Mom and Dad,  I won 3rd place in the science fair”

“Hey Mom and Dad,  our teachers are taking us on a hiking trip”

“Hey Mom and Dad,  I get to be in the marching band”

“Hey Mom and Dad,  I won the lead role in the Christmas play”

“Hey Mom and Dad, look at what I made in woodshop!”

“Hey Mom and Dad, we’re taking a class trip to Washington DC.”

Sadly, for most students in LAUSD those days are over, a relic of an already forgotten time.

Welcome to periodic assessments: the new “little red books” of education.  Instead of money going into student activities  and subjects that are meaningful,   the district pays a private company millions to produce these snore -inducing pamphlets.

Welcome to education in 2011.  I’ve already taken the preliminary steps needed to immigrate to another country.  And  I always joked about this during the Bush presidency, but never did I dream I would be making these plans during the reign of a “Democratic” president, a president who has so completely capitulated to privatizers of education after the unions worked so hard to elect him that it is stunning.

Now that corporations have plundered our natural resources they are moving in to take what is left of the public sector.   No longer is there any argument that education should be a shared, unifying American experience.  Now it’s all about “choice” and “bad teachers.”  The privatizers and their henchmen and women- Oprah, David Guggenheim, et al have so completely dominated the debate that teachers voices are nowhere to be found.

And the latest administrators to be placed in LAUSD low performing schools are like ciphers- empty, soulless suits following their masters at Beaudry.  They can hardly be recognized as educators and one cannot even imagine them ever having taught, so devoid are they  of any recognizable affection for students or any scrap of humanity.  You have to wonder how long someone like Ms. Gavin can hold out in the sea of sharks that compromise most of the LAUSD administrative pool.

And if you think the LA Times has taken a rest from their bashing of teachers, fear not!  The Jasons, or at least one of them, was busy twisting the results of a study showing that the value added model was completely flawed, only by the time Jason Felch wrote the article, it actually supported the Times findings.  Imagine that!

Meanwhile, the district still refuses to release the what must be obviously horrendous staffing data on Fremont High, choosing instead to promote dubious “gains” in their periodic assessments, which can be used in many other ways than standardized tests and which are graded subjectively by teachers themselves.  Obviously, things must be much worse than anyone can imagine if they are trying to front load the public with false periodic assessment “data.”

But if I was a probationary teacher, sub or TFA, I guess I would grade those assessments generously, very, very generously, if I wanted to keep my McJob at Fremont, since no longer is there a large professional corp of teachers.  What a difference destroying a profession makes- for the kids.

And if I have to flee the increasing fascist takeover of the last vestiges of the common good in America, at least I’ll be going somewhere that doesn’t think health care for all is a socialist agenda.

Those socialists spend less on health care that the US does-and they manage to cover all of their citizens. What an outrage that a store clerk can get the same healthcare as a CEO without going bankrupt! And a bonus: Canada has managed to maintain a great public education system- without bashing their teachers.

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