Meet the Press (Part 2 of 2)
For two days, I have been attempting to drum up media interest in the situation at my school. The hit count has raised to a degree, and readers have forwarded the first “Meet the Press” post to the various contacts that they know, but as yet, there are no solid bites. A part of the problem is the necessary anonymity of Adequacy as a site…although anyone could get in touch via the “Comments.” By the way, any media people…it is only too easy to leave a comment, and that immediately gives me a springboard to contact YOU.
Still, the blogosphere seems to be responding to a degree. This is a good thing, as the forces of the Los Angeles Wave, La Opinion, and the San Gabriel Tribune have been notified that there are strange things afoot at one school in South LA. If one of them were to pick up the story, that would be even better. It’s not as if there isn’t a whole lot there. Let’s look at some high points:
1. Nine weeks into school, 26 ELD students (that’s students for whom english is not their first language) were misplaced, in classes that wouldn’t help them. Today that number dropped by 13. That means 13 kids are still having their civil rights violated, by bureaucracy.
2. Our Network Partner has a staff member that has become an LAUSD administrator. To call that a conflict of interests is an understatement. Further, that same person evaluates teachers…giving an outside not for profit evaluative powers.
3. Our School Improvement Grant explicitly states that the extended school day can only be used for Core Instructional time. We are using that exact number of minutes for a Homeroom. Not Core instruction or Intervention. The amount of money that amounts to is mind boggling…and the lost instructional time amounts to a half hour a day. That’s two and a half hours a week. That’s ten hours a month. Over a whole school day lost a month.
4. Report card grades for the quarter need to go out on Friday. There has never been a teacher training on using the new system. It is unknown if new teachers have any idea how to publish grades. I myself needed to spend some time working on it, and doing research.
Those seem pretty rough…the misuse of grant money, conflicts of interest, and contract violations. That’s the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. The students in communities like mine need someone to stand up for them, and quite simply…the time is NOW. I’d like the press involved at the front end if they can be, because all too often, I see major problems turn into a cover up. Things that hurt kids get thrown under the rug for political reasons. With the presence of the press, the public Eye, that happens less.
Regardless, one way or the other, change has to happen. My students deserve it, and deserve a better school than the one that they are being given.
The Darths that run the school feel untouchable, separated from the problems that my students face by the fact of their positions. By controlling the reports, by controlling the policies, they are able to perpetuate a system that has stopped functioning for the good of my students. Many of the Darths have upward mobility in mind…they look more to the next job, the next promotion, then they do at the reality of the day to day where they ARE. My students need people who will be accountable in the moment, that are obligated more to them then they are to the Corporate Ladder of education. Why would you care that much about the conflicts where you are, when you are only thinking of the next place you will be?
Members of the Press, I invite you to contact me via comments. I will get in touch.