November 18, 2010
– P.R. Keller
It was a day of cathartic changes – it began with an early morning email sent out in a flurry of misunderstanding and heightened emotions in which Mr. Steve Scanlan announced his resignation as UTLA Chapter Chair for HPHS. Most people were perplexed including myself. I’d describe the situation as resulting from confused and misdirected attempts by the principal and Steve and other members of the Union steering committee at school to proceed with some sort of plan to begin writing for Public School Choice 2.5. People had conflicting answers to basic questions. What is allowed by the sudden 2.5 declaration? What is forbidden? How do we move ahead?
Steve has, in fact, resigned. What is done is past and done. Union people have informed me that I am now the acting chair until a new election is held probably in January. There must be an appropriate period of time for self nominations to be submitted prior to an election. Steve cannot rescind his resignation. Steve is still very much a part of the steering committee and nothing much has changed between Steve and myself. We usually worked as a team and will continue to do so.
I’m happy to report that a certain amount of clarification occurred in the principal’s office during the afternoon. Nati Rosza, District 6 director of principals, talked with Ms. Rowena Lagrossa, District Six Superintendent, over the phone and was told several pertinent things. There is no need or intention on the part of the district to divide the school into separate schools such as pilots with separate funding location numbers. When writing begins at UTLA Headquarters on November 29th, teams of teachers will be writing for plans to create semi-autonomous “academies” which will exist under an umbrella governance structure. This way the school will stay together and share resources and elective classes. There will be one overall proposal and plan.
The “academies” are directed by Superintendent Cortines to incorporate grades 9-12 which might seem to prevent a freshman house, but not necessarily so. A concentrated program for ninth grade can still be placed in the overall plan as long as freshman teachers are associated with a 9-12 academy. In this way many, if not all, of the freshman house plans can still be incorporated into the proposal.
At the present time things seem to have reached a peaceful equilibrium. Nobody should rest too easy. We have had the rug pulled out from under us before and the rules changed in mid process. We should remain vigilante and alert.
Teachers who wish to be a part of the writing process should see me on Friday November 19th. Substitute coverage will be provided on the 29th and possibly the following Wednesday.