Thursday, March 29, 2012

Student Performance Incentive Program

Carrot-Stick1notyetLAUSD is pleased to announce a new incentive program to get students to take ownership and improve their CST scores.  notyetLAUSD is modeling this new program based on LAUSD’s current system to promote excellence among its teaching and administrative staff.  LAUSD has seen a steady growth in student test scores as a whole for several years.  Steady growth year over year is not easily achieved and if district policies for increasing test score achievement are good enough for the teachers and administrators, lets apply the same zero-tolerance/market driven policies to students to accelerate their test score achievement. 

Better than an oak tree, here is an example of how this will work.

Imagine you are a student in classroom where you see a kid cheat on a test.  Your teacher has shown that when one kid cheats, the whole class will get an ‘F,’ what would you do? 

And by the way at this school a single test counts for 75-88% the whole class’s eligibility to stay in the school, if the whole class fails this single test your whole class is kicked out of school and have to find a new school.

Through a combination of zero-tolerance policies and market competition we have created a perfect environment for students to achieve high scores on the CST.  We can ensure test scores soar by applying and relieving pressure on key parts of the market. 

1.    We can further accelerate this growth by publicly releasing the student growth scores that LAUSD currently calculates on every student to make the teacher VAM scores.  Consider students public employees consuming vital public money to build their capacity, why shouldn't we know their scores?
2.    We can keep low achieving students from reentering the district by ensuring that investigations of cheating are processed over the summer when the student will be least likely to find another school within notyetLAUSD.
3.    We will write glowing letters to students who exceed the upper ranges of growth on their tests.  In VAM terms where the scale is from 0 to 5, we celebrate those that score 6 and 7 for great learning.
4.    We will never initiate investigations of cheating on our own unless we want that particular student out because they consume too many resources.  Overall schools will be encouraged not to investigate cheating because losing a class of students looks bad for the whole school and results in a loss of funding.  When national news reports come outfinding evidence of cheating we will pose for another installation to the museum of deafening silence.

for more see notyetLAUSD's Acceptable Cheating Policy

Monday, March 26, 2012

LAUSD gets a Social Media Director

Here at notyetLAUSD we've been doing our own social media longer than the actual LAUSD, the difference is that LAUSD's social media is good.  That's right LAUSD is doing something better than notyetLAUSD.  I'm waiving the white flag and since I can't beat you, maybe you'll adopt me and spread the good word through the social webs on my behalf.

For those of you outraged over the $7,000 taxpayer bill for this position, get over it. The $86K in grant money would never go to a classroom teacher and does not need to be wasted on another iPad cart.

Read the LAUSD facebook page
  • Positive stories about events in the district
  • There are stories about LAUSD students and their schools, its great to spark confidence and desire in both students and teachers to see what their respective peers are doing
  • I ignore the posts on Monica Garcia and the LA Times, you can do that on facebook
On the other hand the UTLA homepage had no direct link to the email they sent out today complaining about an out of classroom position for Social Media director being announced the same week as the sent out 11,000 RIF notices.  Yes the timing sucks, but John Deasy is a master Donkey Puncher he's never had good timing.  Maybe the social media director could do a better job with the announcements.

If UTLA's staff of 4 people in their communications division have no bigger issue than a $7,000 gambit on promoting its district and the timing, there is a $700 million surplus at LAUSD that could use some fresh eyes.  Also UTLA you forgot to note that LAUSD Facebook page has only 872 likes and hasn't updated their time line to even include when it was founded, you get what you pay for.

I agree with Magnet Angel that college interns and staff at Beuadry should be doing this already, but college interns are flakey and Beaudry staff are there because they didn't want to be in a school.  Give Stephanie Abrams a chance. 2 weeks in and I'm enjoying a bit of sunshine.

Now go like LAUSD's $93,000 facebook page, I bet you will find at least one story a week you'll want to share with your students.

for comparison here is the UTLA facebook page

I would tell you to go to the LAUSD homepage for the facebook, twitter, and YouTube links, but they are not there.

Don’t Shoot: It’s Geraldo in a hoodie

If you read this and were wondering what Geraldo would look like in a hoodie, here you go.

via: Geraldo Rivera: Trayvon Martin Would Be Alive but for His Hoodie

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sh!t I Find In My Classroom (II)

Titled Moldy Tile On Keyboard.  Enjoy your rainy day SoCal.  There will be more where this came from on Monday.
Keep the submissions coming.
Send subject: SIFIMC to

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

notyetLAUSD budget realities

LAUSD has taken the lead on addressing budget realities.  Where as the PEAC wing of UTLA, AALA, and UTLA each see a different budget reality than LAUSD Beaudry, LAUSD Beaudry sees budget realities.  If I were cynical I would talk about how LAUSD needs to change their domain to, but they already did. I WIN!

From the LAUSD Budget Realities website:

“This website was created to give employees, students, parents and education partners an accurate presentation of LAUSD budget realities. Please review the pages on this website to learn how we are focusing our efforts on instruction, reducing our spending, and working with our bargaining units to find shared solutions and agreements on furlough days and other cost-saving measures.” 

I call this explanation and the site Fair and Balanced®

But what about other Budget Realities not represented in LAUSD’s realities.

PEAC These are increases from 2010-11 to 2011-12 (same time as enrollment is declining) from

·      4.2% increase in Superintendent office salaries

·      97% increase in instructional materials up to $81.6 million

·      59% increase in general supplies

·      $12.3 million increase in library supplies (library services were but 71%)

·      315% increase in travel and conferences to $24.9 million

·      Added new administrative positions to pilot a new evaluation system

UTLA 16 Budget changes to make now

1.  Open the books in public now.  The budget approval process last June was criminal.  Board Members got the proposed budget only a week in advance.  Forget about the public.  Even the City and County have processes that demand weeks and months of advance conversation.  The District doesn't.  Open the books in public now.

2.  Cut salaries in the Supe's office.  It was estimated to stay the same in 2011-12 amidst massive cuts in all other salaries.

3.  Cut DIBBLES and other assessments.

4.  Cut the early start calendar.  That would save money this academic year.

5.  End the two major consulting contracts the District has around VAM/AGT and teacher evaluation.

6.  Sell Beaudry or rent it out.  Have District staff work from school sites threatened with Prop 39 co-location.  

7.  Cut instructional materials (how many corporate contractors?).  It was estimated to increase in 2011-12.

8.  Cut general supplies (how many corporate contractors?).  It was estimated to increase in 2011-12.

9.  Cut travel and conferences.  It was estimated to increase in 2011-12.

10.  Cut insurance costs. It was estimated to increase in 2011-12.

11.  Cut rentals, leases, and repairs. It was estimated to increase in 2011-12.

12.  Cut buildings and improvements. It was estimated to increase in 2011-12. 

13.  Cut other services and operating expenses. It was estimated to increase in 2011-12.

14.  Cut interfund transfers. It was estimated to increase in 2011-12.

15.  Cut sub-agreements for services. It has ballooned, even as of the December interim report on the LAUSD budget.

16.  Go into the LAUSD reserve.

AALA open letter

Available here:
(read the whole thing)

All realities are valid.  What assumptions you take with you and how you reason to accept one reality over another…

Monday, March 12, 2012


All credit goes to Angry Teacher on the Mic.  Shamelessly rebroadcast on notyetLAUSD.

Stop the Rifsanity at Beaudry Tuesday March 13 and maybe help save adult ed.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sh!t I find in my classroom

I realize this could become its own blog, but I'm adding the SIFIMC label to anything you send me.


Send  subject: SIFIMC to

Compare and Contrast

Tamar Galatzan: LAUSD parents can't afford budget denial


PEAC: Education for the 99%  from UTLA has this PDF'd PPT (yeah they need help with communication)

2 views not just on budget but if its worth fighting for our children.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Distressing news about suspensions/expulsion of Black/Latinos.

Personal anecdote: I teach at a school that is 65% Latino 34% Black and 1% other. Last year was the first year we increased our suspension rate in three years. Last year we had our single largest jump in API score. Last year we recommended more students to outside services to help with the underlying cause of their behavior. Last year more parents than ever elected to send their kids to Charter schools because the Charter schools had zero tolerance for bad students.

Large scale: The number of expulsions and suspensions is a by-product, it is good to record, it should inform how we shape policy. The number is not the end. Wonks generally look at numbers as ends and not byproducts, which is great if you're in the cynicism business, but not very good if you are a wonk.

 Public officials will ask "what is wrong with LAUSD?"  LAUSD will harass deans and administrators to reduce suspensions for minority students.  Deans and administrators will create new labels for suspensions, students will be sick more or just plain absent and the number will go down.  A negligible few will actually try and attack the problem at its roots.

I apologize for the melancholy.  I'm still too sad to make a racially insensitive joke that won't be made by LAUSD's response.

For more on how vital it is America talks about injustice, watch Bryan Stevenson's TED talk.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

LAUSD to start a for-profit college

I've been trying to be a good Post-Post-Reformer, but this stuff just writes itself.

Where as:
  1. LAUSD has a budget crisis for Adult Ed funding.
  2. LAUSD needs to up its graduation percentage.
  3. Federal Government says all students are to be college or career ready upon graduation.
  4. LAUSD has a lot more reported cases of misplaced semen on the parts of its staff.
  5. LAUSD administrators are overburdened to investigate and document claims of child abuse by teachers.

May it be resolved:
LAUSD establish LAUSD College, a for-profit college specializing in forensics and legal assistants. Instead of losing money on Adult ed, LAUSD starts making money. All students can now graduate from LAUSD schools prepared to go directly to LAUSD College. All students will meet the federal goal of college readiness. Since LAUSD does not want to work with CPS, local law enforcement, or the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing when dealing with faculty member's misplaced semen, LAUSD College forensic students can start the investigation just like on CSI. LAUSD College legal aid students can take over the documentation and filing process that administrators don't have time to do. Remember the Chinese character for "crisis" is the same one for "opportunity".