Saturday, November 17, 2007

Battle-scarred LAUSD 'sub' speaks out

Migdia Chinea shares her experience as a substitute teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. She describes herself as UCLA-educated with honors, refined, empathetic, college-level Spanish fluent and a Googleable professional screenwriter.

She describes LAUSD this way:

There's no teaching going on at LAUSD – only confinement of the sort one may find in a penal colony, complete with walkie-talkie-carrying wardens and bullhorns. And I have "confined" at many different schools within central Los Angeles in the last six months. Many students scream "suuuuuuuub" when they see someone like me – a "guest teacher" – in their classroom and trample anyone and/or anything as they push and shove their way inside…

(One school is) surrounded by criminal street gangs and is widely considered one of the most dangerous campuses… most classes (are in) are in a complete state of disaster, absolutely filthy, with no computers available. There are no simple supplies, such as pencils, pens or paper, nothing to be found anywhere…

(M)any students… are violent and unpredictable. I was present, in fact, during a violent melee involving hundreds of students that brought in several police squad cars and helicopters flying overhead.

I have also endured several school "lock downs." Here's how a "lock down" works: As in a prison, the inmates and their jailers are not allowed to leave for any reason, nor let anyone out. I always try to leave one classroom door open because I am often afraid for my life...

On Oct. 5, 2007, at another notorious middle school, I was deliberately body-slammed on the head by two to three large young men in a P.E. class of 53 students…

I'm told by the local police that this sort of physical abuse on teachers occurs with disturbing regularity

In my view, the LAUSD is completely corrupt, inept and broken, with many students having serious behavioral problems and disinterested in learning, whereas the teachers remain underpaid and exhausted – some of them just marking time until their retirement and giving out charity passing grades to high school students who can barely write or do math at a third-grade level… (
more HERE)

“Disturbing regularity” is gophers digging up your bulbs, an employee showing up drunk, or forgetting to take out the trash. But after 30 years of the institutionalized intellectual vandalism of our city’s most precious and needy children, when will we call it DELIBERATE regularity? If LAUSD was a private company, it would have collapsed a generation ago like the stinking necrotic tumor it is.

LAUSD is a criminal enterprise – a $30 billion dollar (allegedly $11B operations, $21B construction) protection racket that extorts tax dollars under the pretext of improvement and higher scores. It makes schools I’ve seen in Calcutta, Rio, and Nairobi look like Cal Tech and MIT.

Compare LAUSD with the people it serves: LA City’s $6.5 billion budget employs 40,000 who serve 4,300,000 residents, while LAUSD’s $32 billion budget ($11B operations & $21B construction) employs 80,000 who (ostensibly) serve 650,000 students.

LAUSD makes us lament the good old days before Brown v. Board of Education, when Democrats merely segregated minority children. What could we expect from school district officials after BROWN when, the day before, they supported segregation? When Republicans demanded an end to discrimination, Democrats responded by shuffling children in buses so that they could join gangs, do drugs, and get shot in other neighborhoods.

Like all other tumors, LAUSD cannot be fixed. It demands removal. Compared to LA City’s $6.5B budget for our 4,300,000 residents, LAUSD’s bloated $30 billion could be divided among its 650,000 students who could then pursue a real education with vouchers and charters. I suspect that Democrats oppose vouchers not because they don't work, but because affluent Democrats don't want their children to compete for seats in their own private schools far from the riff-raff of low-income families they pretend to care for.

If you disagree, how much more “disturbing regularity” do we plan to tolerate? As parents and voters, we have the power to change this. LAUSD is the lifeblood of the California Democrat Party:

Our Attorney General will not close down the operation that has fed his campaigns since the 1970s. Republicans might not be perfect, but Democrats have enjoyed exclusive control over LAUSD, the legislature, and the courts since the 1970s. There is no excuse for this to last longer than a few years - a few decades is the institutionally imposed intellectual genocide of our students. Until we replace our anti-voucher anti-charter political enablers with voucher/charter supporters, nothing will change. And if we don’t change the way we vote then we have no one to blame but ourselves.

We have a choice - end the LAUSD criminal enterprise or be the reason it continues to thrive.