I labeled this video, “Board Meeting Circus,” because it was indeed a spectacle that amazed and excited the audience. The big debate is about the encroachment of private charter companies on public school campuses. Steve Zimmer proposed that no newly constructed campuses be given over to charter companies until inside groups of teachers and administrators have had a fair chance to propose plans for these campuses. A compromise was finally reached which established two deadlines. November 1st was the deadline for UTLA and the adminstrators’ union to engage in negotiation with the district and the board over reform plans. November 18 is the new deadline for Public School Choice 3.0 reform plans to be submitted to the board. The board still has four mayor-sponsored board members who could easily out vote Zimmer, Kayser, and LaMott on any future decisions regarding school plans. That is probably why the mayor’s board members voted in favor of this compromise.
This video is worth the watch just to see Monica Garcia and John Deasy squirm a bit under public outcry.
The video goes dark at the very end because the flip video camera was in its cloth cover. I thought I had turned it off, but it was still recording. I included Gloria Romero, former State Senator, in the video audio section as she addressed the board. I also included a portion of Steve Zimmer’s speech as he attempted to explain what is going wrong with Public School Choice in LAUSD. His best moment is when he declares, “Conditions matter.” He repeats the sentence. “Conditions matter.” The conditions to which he is referring are over crowded schools and the concept six track system. Yes, it’s true. They didn’t help the situation, but I would agree with Diane Ravitch who believes that the conditions that lead to underperformance in the urban high school are social conditions that accompany poverty. These conditions produce the lack of effort and disregard for learning so prevalent in our urban schools. Steve Zimmer understands this but is limited in what he can say due to his public position as board member. The charter companies understand this too. This is why they actively engage in “counseling out” undesirable students and expelling the problems.
Let me remind all displaced teachers and those who sympathize with their plight that the next meeting of “Teachers Against Displacement Abuse” will be held on Saturday September 17th at UTLA Headquarters on Wilshire Blvd. The meeting will begin at 11am.
P.S. I am NOT the male voice that you hear cheering and making comments as we watched the board meeting on the big screen TV’s that were set up in the cafeteria. He was entertaining, however. – Phil