FIRST PERSON--If United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) President Alex Caputo Pearl and the other leaders of the union really want to achieve their demands for a school work place environment with reasonable class size, administrative support for discipline, fair compensation for teachers, and an end to targeting teachers for removal who seek these and other excellent education goals, they need the support of their students' parents to join them in striking/boycotting LAUSD schools, which will cut off the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) funding from the State of California, based on in-seat student attendance, which regrettably is the only thing that those running LAUSD actually care about.
In an entrenched LAUSD administration that in no way cares about educating its predominantly minority students, LAUSD is trying to recruit enough administrators, substitutes and others willing to cross a picket line to keep schools open, so they can continue collecting money from the State and federal governments. But LAUSD and these folks will in no way be able to carry on anything that even remotely approximates a real education under these circumstances ... and they don't care.
Parents are caught between a rock and a hard place, because while they want their children to be in school and educated, they necessarily are primarily concerned with a school's daycare function, which assures that their children have a place to go that is safe with adult monitoring, when the parents have to go to work.
If UTLA got retired teachers to set up "classes" in local churches and other public buildings, this would offer the students' parents a safe and viable alternative to sending their students to LAUSD schools, which clearly have and will continue to make no attempt to really educate these predominantly minority students, who would continue to be marginalized in our society.
Step one is for UTLA to call local news media to make them aware of this alternative to sending their kids to school. Step two is to contact and their retired teachers and make parents aware that they have a viable alternative for their children’s education and safety that allows them to support their children’s teachers' more than reasonable demands for a real public education system that is more concerned with pragmatically educating all students at their individual subjective levels than just collecting money for the benefits of an entrenched LAUSD bureaucracy that is more concerned with its inflated vendors profits.
If successful, this might just be the first step toward a decentralized LAUSD public education system, where parents and teachers run each local school and hire administrators who remain in their jobs only so long as the students do well, while staying up with or even surpassing their actual grade-levels standards of achievement.
(Leonard Isenberg is a Los Angeles, observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He was a second- generation teacher at LAUSD and blogs at perdaily.com. Leonard can be reached at Lenny@perdaily.com.)