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May 01, 2013

Comments

Hi Dana,

I think you drift off topic a bit in thinking that this is about size. It isn't. This is exactly what went down at Feinstein in Providence -- straight out of the Broad playbook -- and we were a small school. It is about destroying schools that develop their own locus of control outside the district model.

When you go through this, you see how much *work* it is for the district; how focused they are at destroying the community. It is easy to think of this as collateral damage in some way, but this kind of independent district school is very much the target.

Dear Dana, (and Cathy and Joseph,

I am a veteran LAUSD teacher and I had no idea this was happening at Crenshaw but it does not surprise me though it does sicken me. How can we organize to stop this takeover? Deasy is a man on a mission and he is canny. But he must be stopped. It must start with communication. I'm getting the word out. Thank you Dana for posting this letter.

I will pass it on.

Jill Holden

It should be noted that most of the teachers at Crenshaw (and other "reconstituted" schools like it) are more than just "displaced." Deasy has ordered principals not to hire "displaced" teachers. Currently there are hundreds of openings across the district and hundreds of "displaced" teachers which should fill them. Instead, principals are filling those positions with teachers Deasy laid off using them as long-term subs. He has pitted teacher against teacher. "Displaced" teachers who are not "placed" withing two years will be fired from the district. Deasy will say it is because they are incompetent. "Why else," he will argue disingenuously, "would no one hire them in two years if not for their 'incompetence?'" When all the "displaced" teachers are fired, he will then let go of the laid-off teachers. He doesn't have to fire them. They were fired long ago. He won't have to fire them twice.

Deasy will then fill open positions with inexpensive, low-paid rookies and untrained incompetent neophytes with little or no long-term interest in education from Teach for America. Unfortunately for the students, teaching at schools like Crenshaw is not something a French Literature Major from Long Island can master overnight.

Nor can a school full of them.

Lives of countless dedicated professional educators who committed their lives to serving our society's most desperately needy children will be thrown on the scrapheap, their lives, reputations, and careers permanently destroyed by Deasy in the name of money.

Need proof? Take a look at all the positions Deasy is denying to the hundreds of currently displaced teachers. Why, with so many displaced teachers, are there any vacancies at all?

http://www.teachinla.com/cert/vacancies.html

The exact same model is used in Houston by Terry Grier. A public school superintendent that strives to support market based reforms is clearly involved in a conflict of interest, yet, there is no outcry, and the teaching ranks are continuously watered down with TFA recruits that generally possess no subject area knowledge in the subjects where they are placed. Meanwhile, lives are ruined, students are hurt, and the public is hoodwinked.

UTLA does not support, help or guide teachers who are living in LAUSD's culture of fear. Chapter Chairs or Union representatives live in fear as well. Everyone is afraid of losing his/her job and are afraid to speak up or come forth. If you do so, you will lose your job, your health benefits, your career, your friends and most likely your health.

The only thing that UTLA knows how to do is support LAUSD's agenda. They share emails with one another, phone calls, letters and photographs of their grandchildren all the while dismissing innocent teachers for not having committed any egregious acts of child abuse. Innocent teachers are not sent back to the classroom, do not get a fair Skelly hearing and have to pay for their own attorneys at the OAH.

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