Monday, March 30, 2009

More Super Fun Times at School

First, some clarification from my last post. I suggested that the district redistribute teachers from areas like the valley where fewer people got RIFfed to make sure that all schools had equitable layoffs and re population by cubicle dwellers. It was a humorous suggestion. Of course that would never work. My point was that it would sure get the attention of those involved, and that attention may help rectify the situation. I meant to point out how unfair it would feel to those teachers and families to have their entire lives and school communities disrupted so thoroughly. I was hoping to illustrate the fact that those "nicer" areas may be more successful in blocking such disruptive action, while our more "disadvantaged" neighborhood simply gets bulldozed for the millionth time. I repeat, I do not actually think teachers should get moved from one school to another on the whim of a principal or district-level employee.

Having said that, I would like to applaud some of the teachers at my school for beginning to take some action. This weekend, they developed this blog, Don't Forget South Central. The letter posted by our teacher Ms. Infante was sent to the superintendent of schools. It was then distributed to all certificated staff within LAUSD. Yay Martha! So that's progress.

I've been attempting to collect numbers from other schools to find out how many teachers got RIFfed. So far, I know very little.

Millikan MS in Sherman Oaks. 18 out of 80 teachers RIFfed. According to LAUSD's website, this school is 48% white, 35% Hispanic, 11% Black, and 6% Asian. 15 of their teachers are first-year teachers.

Gompers MS on 112th Street in Watts. 38 out of 80 teachers RIFfed. The school is 71% Hispanic and 29% Black. They have 19 first year teachers and 25 more with just 2-5 years experience.

Bethune MS on 69th Street in South Central. 35 out of 90 teachers RIFfed. The school is 86% Hispanic and 14% Black. There are 30 first year teachers and 35 with 2-5 years experience.

Cleveland HS in Reseda. 11 out of 180 RIFfed. The school is 15% White, 62% Hispanic, 6% Black, and 16% Asian. They have 16 first-year teachers and 44 with 2-5 years. Um, what? With 60 teachers with less than 5 years experience, why only 11 RIFs? I don't get that.

Fremont HS on 76th and San Pedro in South Central. 40 out of 240 RIFfed. The school is 91% Hispanic and 9% Black. There are 58 first year teachers and 96 with 2-5 years.

Los Angeles Academy MS on 56th and Avalon in South Central. 42 out of ~120 teachers. The school is 93% Hispanic and 7% Black. There are 36 first-year teachers and 48 with 2-5 years.

Mark Twain MS in West LA. 7 out of 52 teachers RIFfed. Here there are 25 teachers with a year or less, and 19 more with 2-5 years. Again, why only 7 teachers RIFfed if that is the case?

Pio Pico EL in what I might call Mid-City or West Adams. 27 out of 95 teachers RIFfed. 23 of the teachers at Pio Pico have about a year of experience.

It occurs to me that some of the district's info on teachers' experience may be bogus. I don't really think we could possibly have 36 first-year teachers at this school. Maybe they mean first year in LAUSD? I know there are a lot, but this seems ridiculous.

Whatever the case may be, a few things are clearer after looking at these numbers. First, high schools may be retaining a larger percentage of their teachers. This is most likely because their credentials are in specialized subject matter, and a chemistry or algebra teacher is harder to replace than a 4th grade teacher (according to the system currently in place). The other thing that is clear is that I don't have enough numbers. I'm trying to collect them, but the going is slow. I will keep you posted.

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