…sang Greg Lake while describing a post-apocalyptic world controlled by androids who controlled every action of enslaved sentient beings and made them robotic, like them.
Phil has given me the username and password of the savehphs blog and has decided to lstep back a bit from the maintenance of it. Now that I am on Summer break, which is permanent break from HPHS after the cataclysm of reconstitution, I have some time to keep the blog alive and to make some important announcements:
1) There is an organized resistance to the plague of disruptions that has befallen schools slated for reconstitution. A number of teachers at schools that have undergone reconstitution have banded together to create a Facebook Site dedicated to communications amongst teachers who have gone through the experience, and are collaborating to fight back against the corporate machine that is pretending it doesn’t exist.
2) We are impatient to see that UTLA will change it’s direction, recognize our plight, and organize an official committee that will invite teachers at reconstituted schools to take an active part in the active opposition to the deforming process being hawked by specialists out of the classroom as educational change. That is why we have changed the focus of our web site to adopt a wider scope, spread a wider message, and reach a wider audience. The plight of Fremont, Huntington Park, Clay, Jordan and other schools is not unique. It is indicative of the treatment all Los Angeles Public Schools will receive if we do not organize to fight it.
3) Our organization of teachers comes from the educational leaders of schools that were reconstituted and is composed of teachers who want to help others avoid the errors of the past, and to get a big stick ready. As a wise man said, “you do not bring a pen knife into a gun fight.” We know how brutal, how disdainful, distasteful and arrogant our opposition is, and we are not going to be any kinder to them than they have been to us. How do we do that? We expose, expose, expose the truth about the reforms they are in the process of perpetrating upon schools that have been stripped of their ability to choose educational plans for themselves. As a group we are knowledgeable about what is happening to the teachers in our school district, and we need union to pull together and fight the good fight together.
4) We refuse to be afraid. We have political will and we will use it. We have facts at our disposal and we will share them with the parents and with the public. We will expose the pyramid scheme of NCLB and RTTT (pronounced “rat”) for what it is. We will not support (read “vote for”) any politicians without a history of support for public service. We are proud of what we do. We do it well and we are not afraid to stand up to those who would take away our right to do our job well. That means that we have a right to contribute to curriculum, school governance, and to stand up and defy the conventional stupidity of our school board when needed. We honor intelligence, integrity, wit and reason and withhold the right to decry policies that hurt educators and students.
This blog may not be as fancy or as full of videos as the previous incarnation, but it will be as before, be open to contribution by teachers who have something to share. Hopefully, it will be published on at least a monthly basis, perhaps weekly, and will contain information that will inform teachers who are going through these stressful times looking for a ray of hope.
About the New Huntington Park High School…
A full 70% of the faculty has been replaced by new teachers, teachers who reapplied to the school or by displaced teachers from other schools. Too few of the latter category are present at the school. Let us be clear. the leadership of Local District 6 is composed of Elementary School Personnel that has been very sympathetic to Yolie Flores. We all know who she is, and like Lord Voldemort, she will be back in another episode assisted by a newer and stronger cadre of super villains funded by Broadies and Gatesies.
So pervasive is the elementary school mentality in LD6 that the Superintendent, Rowena Lagrossa, The Director, Natividad Rosza and brand new principal at Huntington Park High School, Lupe Hernandez, all have elementary school pedigrees. What place does an elementary school principal have as the CEO of a large high school? Since LD6 makes the rules, they get to do what they want, I guess. This is only possible when their autocracy has the backing of influential money. Gates money? Broad money? I think so.
How would an elementary school teacher be greeted at a high school? With a nice hug and a pleasant walk to the parking lot, I’m afraid. Elementary school teachers are wonderful. We love them. We need them. Our kids love them, but they don’t have the credentials to teach with us any more than we have the credentials to teach with them. Even the school where I will be teaching, Elizabeth Learning Center, which houses students from K-12, understands this well. They have one principal, but also have vice principals that specialize in elementary, middle school, and high school issues and are credentialed to deal with these students in age-respective fashion . Rumor has it that the new principal at HPHS is enforcing the “no cell phone rule” so stringently that she is confiscating them from faculty members. I feel that is a bit too restrictive, don’t you? I hope to teach my students how to write programs for cell phones soon. They can be a real distraction, but are not evil, and certainly should not ring in the classroom. Some people believe that there is a lot of real value in encouraging the use of small devices in public schools in the 21st century. I plead guilty to that charge. I don’t think that the Taliban or Al Qaeda have a very charitable view of cell phone use in public classrooms, but they are great believers in rote learning(“teaching to the test”). That certainly can’t be the case in an enlightened 21st Century School. Can it?
It has come to my attention that the Juniors and Seniors at the new HPHS are not enamored with the loss of their teachers and are circling the few familiar faces looking for some warmth and comfort. The Freshmen are said to be doing better. They are young and flexible. It is all new to them. The principal was booed at an assembly according to one of the ex-teachers at Huntington Park High School, who continues to communicate with old friends at HP. This was because of a new and extremely rigid dress code that is being enforced to discourage gang-attire. One students remarked that she had no idea what the gang-attire looked like and was very confused by the whole thing. From my experience as a high school teacher, the gang situation was not really all that bad at HP, especially in the last five years or so. Hats, bandanas, saggy pants, suspenders, curlers, etc. were all verboten, and usually were removed or confiscated. Were there dress code violations?
Yes…but it was not a big problem, and was never allowed to reach epidemic proportions. The kids understood.
Another interesting note from another source… A plaque dedicated to Yolie Flores has been given shrine status in the Main Office. Other plaques and awards have come down. It is very important for the staff to understand who the leader behind the new Huntington Park High School is. Can a monument be far behind?