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Thread Box:
Teachers sit down on 4th Street
Thread started by skd at 05.15.09 - 11:31 am

LAUSD teachers are sitting down in the middle of 4th Street blocking traffic right now. And all they want is more pay and smaller classrooms.

All we want is to be given the right to ride the road without being run down by a goddamn Hummer.

Maybe we need to engage in "civil disobedience" in order to get what we want.


They just arrested a bunch of teachers.

05.15.09 - 11:43 am


I could agree on the fact that smaller class sizes usually leading to better, performing students.

05.15.09 - 11:57 am


Teachers in the U.S. are seriously underpaid. Which is weird... cuz it can be a pretty blangin profession where I come from.

05.15.09 - 12:02 pm


its bullshit what the courts did to them they have the right to hold a strike! I wish more people would show solidarity with the teachers

05.15.09 - 12:02 pm


I'm not trying to stoke any fires here, but just the difference in this country if the budgets of Dept of Defense and the Dept of Education were switched.

05.15.09 - 12:10 pm


Yes, teaching is one of those thankless professions that someone has to have real patience and balls to do.

So, the rise in pay would do wonders in rewarding someone for their service, dedication and whatever money was spent to get them to their current position.

If anything, they should start bringing things back into perspective as far as pay/educational background goes.

The way I see it, street cops are already making a ton of money as it is and only a handful of them seem to have anything beyond high-school.

Teachers on the other hand have invested tons of their own money/time into getting educated, yet seem to only get slim-pickens for their troubles.

05.15.09 - 12:12 pm


our government is GOING BROKE!

after years and years of deregulated privatized mainstream media companies pounding our heads with the message that privitization is the way to go, we've lost our social and governmental contract. it's embarrassing. but it will eventually correct itself - I guess - but it will take a collapse in our currency for that correction to happen.... so until then keep privitizing and fragmenting the nation! keep beating labor laws down and keep stealing money from education and community services.... they started by privatizing the military and it will continue until we have a fragmented society with completely fragmented opportunity. healthcare and education for those that can afford it and damned to everyone else who cant.

05.15.09 - 12:14 pm


I'm not trying to stoke any fires here, but just the difference in this country if the budgets of Dept of Defense and the Dept of Education were switched.

That would actually be a cool idea right there.
Smaller class-sizes and better learning techniques would actually make k-12, and even college sound much more revered than packing heat.
If only I could turn back time and get my shit together and a younger age.

05.15.09 - 12:16 pm



"at a", my fingers move faster than my noodle.

05.15.09 - 12:17 pm


Spook has a good point, especially since he has served and was deployed to hostile territory.

If we had a better education system, maybe we could avoid conflict and create more prosperity.

Educated people solve problems before it escalates to senseless violence.

05.15.09 - 12:34 pm


it really comes down to money's influence over our government.

consider this hypothetical scenario: Sike, a multibillion dollar clothing corporation decides that setting up a factory in Slambodia and paying the Slambodian peasants to work in there is far cheaper than hiring educated unionized workers in the home country of Famerikkka. So, Sike sends a delegation to Slambodia and spends 500 million dollars building the plant and developing the local infrastucture in order to support the factory.... the peasants get jobs and Sike gets cheap stuff. All is well.... but now, with jobs and economic prosperity, comes education and stronger local government. The workers decide that they want raises, and they want better working conditions. This goes against Sike's bottomline and rationale for opening a factory in Slambodia.... Sike gets nervous and meets with the president of Slambodia about keeping the people under control and repressing labor laws... the president concedes, accepts the bribe and so far things are going as planned. But the people continue to get antsy and eventually they overthrow the repressive president, elect a "leftist" power to the people president and now things are getting difficult for Sike. Sike runs ad after ad in the local media supporting the channels that espouse a disregard for worker rights and the new president.

Meanwhile back in the US Sike continues to support the media channels that espouse privitization and weaken government and the idea that we should be angry that sike has sent jobs overseas.. Sike will not run an ad or support any kind of media that espouses a workers rights agenda.... further more Sike will not support any kind of media that would support or give light to any politician who opposes Sike's labor practices.... Sike is joined in chorus by every other business / money interest in the nation in it's support of pro business media channels..... Meanwhile, truly leftist media programs like Democracy Now starve for funding.

Eventually the people of Slambodia win out and they nationalize the factory that Sike built and / or Supported. The cost of manufacturing goods will now skyrocket if Sike doesnt do something. Sike pressures the Famerikkka goevernment into threatening sanctions on Slambodia and uses it's military presence in the Sillypines to whiff the Slambodians that if they dont shape up their president will be overthrown by coup of business interests.... In fact Famerikkka offers military advisers that will go in and train the Slambodian army to handle this outbreak of workers rights evilists.... The Famerikkkan advisers bring all kinds of fun weapons and tanks and strengthen the army... its a win win! Well except for the Famerikkkan citizens who dont really know what is going on because the mainstream media, which is supported by a consortium of advertisers including Sike, downplays any news of foul play on the part of the consortium of business interests that own the media outlets and advertise in the media outlets.... the people remain ignorant and their tax money is raided on behalf of fake foreign wars to support the status quo of business and harmful trade agreements. workers in both countries lose big time but business interests win tenfold because now that there is a war the business interests get paid by the taxpayers to manufacture more war goodies. it's a win win win

05.15.09 - 12:54 pm


imperialism at its finest.
and we are in the belly of the beast.

05.15.09 - 1:00 pm


Today's Los Angeles Times Headline, "Governor outlines drastic cuts..." He would lay off 5,000 and chop at least $3 billion from schools


05.15.09 - 2:33 pm


And I thought the over-crowded classes were already a nuisance as they were.
At this rate they're going to turn into mills.

05.15.09 - 2:44 pm


whoa my article was so not on topic. anyway, werd, it's too bad teachers don't get paid more.

azn invazn
05.15.09 - 2:50 pm


ha I was just reading an article in Change Links written by Thomas Hartman in which he described america as going from a "Made in the USA" economy in the 40'sand 50's to a "Can I get some fries with that" economy....

so the poorly funded education system has become the perfect machine to churn out good quality uneducated low-skilled Fast Food workers. perfect!

05.15.09 - 3:36 pm


Guys all this shit is making me depressed.

: {

05.15.09 - 3:55 pm


Good for you Happy Land

depression is the first blessing. It means you been intune Now the moon is waiting for you to burn bright.. There has never been a time when your light was needed more, never a time like this before and yes you are small we are all as small as a single breathe but tied to the rest we are all the life of the world the pulse that turns rocks to pearls inside the darkness of the shells so become the well where wish are born become the bell that rings when even the birds refuse to sing become the wings that fly and every time you are full of sorrow every time you wake up crying know that day is a perfect day to shine. Andrea Gibson - SHINE

05.15.09 - 4:18 pm


In other words its time to come together a stop Obama and his rich paymasters from bankrupting this country......YES WE CAN!

05.15.09 - 4:20 pm


stop Obama? you mean PRESSURE OBAMA to come through on all his promises. The man is intelligent and he knows deep down the criminals are all around him....

05.15.09 - 4:22 pm


Lol sexy are you making fun of me?

Because I do agree that depression can be a powerful impetus. And it's cool because all this riding around on my bicycle has made me really interested in my community and changing it for the better.

I suppose my sadness comes from not knowing what exactly I can do to do or feeling like my efforts are in vain.

But certainly I am a lot more active than I used to be, and I like it.

It was really an emotional rollercoaster when the LA Times' Twitter erroneously reported the Supreme Court overturning Prop 8. I was ready to break out a bottle of champagne!

05.15.09 - 4:25 pm


Stop him from giving away all of our money. Keep what promises? putting more troop into Afghanistan, keeping Iraq occupied, bailing out the gamblers, presenting an insurance based health plan that will make the insurance companies richer. He is keeping those promise.

Sorry I should have not put that man's name in this thread. Sorry I didn't mean to hijack.....

I'm free to go outside and go to the rose bowl right now and I'm going to do that. Wish I would have went out and been supporting those teachers today., I was in DT this afternoon too....(dam it - shoot)

And the poem I posted was for inspiration.

05.15.09 - 4:28 pm


NO NO NO again.

I would never make fun of you.....you sound like a great folk. Depression is so important. Keep feeling it you will figure out what to do with it. Don't stuff it, don't denie it.

I look forward to making your acquaintance one day.... with a name like Happy Land (the name makes me smile) you have to be awesome.

05.15.09 - 4:32 pm


Yeah it's such bullshit that they always come at the weak and poor to balance their budget. The students will be looking at cost increase too this year to go to college. Making it more appealing to go into the service. Rather than getting a degree and and become a highly paid and taxable productive citizen. Damnit I wish they would fuckin start taking from the defense budget instead.

05.15.09 - 4:52 pm


LAUSD just needs the right to fire shitty teachers, without getting caught up in this tenure/union BS.

LAUSD is a basket case, which is why people who can afford it are moving to private schools / OC / Ventura to get out of the system here.

The L.A. Times did a good series on L.A. Schools recently:


05.15.09 - 4:57 pm


It's damn near impossible to fire a teacher in public school, once you're in.

05.15.09 - 5:08 pm


in a way that's the way it should be for a few reasons...

teachers are tenured right away. there is a process of proving themselves that takes a few years right?

once you are tenured, your job should be protected barring some crime or violation of the code of conduct. the reason unions protect jobs is obvious and shouldnt have to be stated but the last thing a union would want to have a teacher be vulner-able to being undercut by new teachers looking to join the work force at less pay with less experience. despite what the media will have you believe, teachers with experience are value-able. they've already gone through the whole process of learning to deal with crowds of kids.... they know how to act, they've seen it all... are there bad apples? do teachers go sour? do teachers become irrelevant? sure they do... just like in every other profession. but the exceptions should not be used to prove the rule.

05.15.09 - 5:23 pm


teachers are *NOT* tenured right away

05.15.09 - 5:24 pm


Nobody should be immune from being fired for doing a shitty job.

Tenure is BS.

05.15.09 - 5:25 pm


yeah sure a "shitty" job of teaching uh... what's the criteria for that?

what about immune from being fired if you are doing a GOOD job or an adequate job?

do you understand that there is pressure to fire teachers simply because after 15 years their salaries and benefits are more of a liability than a new teacher who, not having the experience, would be paid much less?

I dont want rookies teaching my kids I dont know about you....

05.15.09 - 5:28 pm


just like I wouldnt want rookie cops policing my streets.... the police unions sure make a big deal about experienced cops getting fired. why cant the teachers unions?

05.15.09 - 5:29 pm


Tenure is vital to universities and academic freedom in higher education.

Ii have no idea why it's relevant to schools though, since science teachers aren't doing research.

05.15.09 - 5:31 pm


I'll take rookies that actually want to teach over tenured burnouts just biding their time until retirement any day.

Read the L.A. Times articles. There's a reason CA public schools are 47th in the nation.

There are laws prohibiting discriminatory firing. California's kids shouldn't get stuck with lousy teachers that can't be fired.

05.15.09 - 5:32 pm


also university professors go through fucking hell to get tenure, you basically have to build your own program from the ground up in six years... from funding to hiring researchers and everything.

teachers get it automatically.

05.15.09 - 5:35 pm


I'm not trying to stoke any fires here, but just the difference in this country if the budgets of Dept of Defense and the Dept of Education were switched

I'm trying to figure this one out. The Department of Education does not fund public schools in the US. Public Schools are funded out of of property taxes collected within the school district. In most school districts, the amount of property taxes collected is not enough so the State Department of Education kicks in the difference. So were' really dealing with different layers of government.

In California, the voters voted for term limits so we have these short term legislators who would rather keep taxes low and underfund schools than deal with the issue. They believe that the State receives too much money in taxes so they just have to cut down on government so we don't have to increase our taxes. Unfortunately, education is one of the bigger items in the budget so if the state has a projected deficit, education gets cut.

The LA Times ran an article last week describing how certain teachers couldn't be fired but we're talking a few hundred. Compared to how many teachers are in the district, a few hundred teachers is really chump change when you consider how much of a cut has to be made to balance the state budget.

There's an election next week that deals with these issues and it's really up to you as a voter on how you want to deal with it. If you want to keep taxes low, then let's not talk about how badly teachers are paid, it's really up to the voters.

05.15.09 - 5:46 pm


What the hell does Obama have to do with funding public schools? You guys need to take Civics 101. The Feds do not fund your local school district.

05.15.09 - 5:49 pm



I dont necessarily trust a damn thing the LA times has to say... but collectively characterizing experienced teachers as burnouts is definitely unfair. and basically unprove-able... what is your criteria for calling them burnouts?

give me some examples of what a burned out teacher would look like? someone who does what?

lets hear some horror stories....

05.15.09 - 5:56 pm


"Schwarzenegger outlines drastic budget cuts... The governor would slash $3 billion from schools, lay off 5,000 workers and sell state property, even if voters approve ballot measures next week. (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-budget15-2009may15,0,6045334.story)"

Another article: Protesting L.A. teachers arrested outside district offices

05.15.09 - 5:57 pm


"teachers get it automatically."

really now... they do? how does that process work? right after the interview they can not be fired? no probation period? no evaluation? wow....

05.15.09 - 5:58 pm


does this mean that EVERYONE who holds a job for 20 - 30 years is a burnout? I guess we better fire sergeants and commanders in the LAPD and Fire Departments too right? get ride of everyone with experience... they should be tossed out the window because they are all burnouts!

c'mon, get some perspective. I want to know what the criteria is for teachers to be considered bad or burned out.... it cant be just because they are near retirement. lets have some respect for seniors in our society.

05.15.09 - 6:01 pm


Anyone know any blogs, microblogs that covered this at all?

05.15.09 - 6:06 pm


@ Roadblock

Burnout teachers are the old shriveled up fucks that sit in the back of the classroom and put monty python on for a week straight instead of teaching percentages like they should be doin!.... i like monty python but now i dunno how to figure out how to leave tips.

like JB said, i think i'd rather have somone who's not jaded yet and actually works hard to keep their job because those first 2 years are the most crucial. as opposed to the dickwad who's been there half their life, has topped out at the pay scale and just stays there waiting for retirement....

05.15.09 - 6:45 pm


like I said.... we should then consider firing all of those in our society who would be deemed "burnouts" becuase they are old and shriveled up.

while I agree there are advantages to new teachers I disagree that old teachers are necessarily bad just because they are old. even if they are outdated - something I've personally been subjected to especially in a filed like graphic design - they still can be value-able.... there needs to be a strict criterium of what exactly it means to be burned out.

people dont generally stick around in a field for 30 years unless they have some kind of love for it. and new teachers dont have the stamina nor the crowd control skills that only experience can give you...... I want some kind of method of evaluation

in all of my school and college years I can really only remember one (assumedly) tenured teacher worth firing and he was an old fuck and he was racist and just a mean son of a bitch at LACC. but thats one out of 100 or more.... I just think this is all another ploy to weaken unions....

05.15.09 - 6:53 pm


All my teachers weren't suppossed to come today, they were going to protest by staying home, then going to the LAUSD headquarters. But the court deemed today an "Unlawful" day to protest cause were have testing next week. It's all skrewed up.

05.15.09 - 7:02 pm


"people dont generally stick around in a field for 30 years unless they have some kind of love for it. and new teachers dont have the stamina nor the crowd control skills that only experience can give you...... I want some kind of method of evaluation"


im just saying old and shriveled up cuz im guessing that if they've been there for 30+ years, they aint gonna be young.... there is that possibility that they've aged well though.

There's gotta be a better way to pink slip cuz some really good teachers are being fired solely because they've been teaching only 2 years. and as for not having the stamina or the crowd control skill. I think that's relative to personality...

05.15.09 - 7:11 pm


you develop personality as you age and experience the world.... I know a new teacher shes an awesome person.... she did it for 2 years and quit. she couldnt handle the crowd control aspect of getting respect form kids who arent yours. it goes both ways but I'm not going to allow myself to demonize old people simply cause they are old. I want REAL CRITERIA for firing teachers. so far no one has shown me what that looks like. if they have a method then lets see it and go from there... all the media does is push an anti union agenda in my opinion.

05.15.09 - 7:28 pm


You want horror stories?

Here you go - http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teachers-landing-html,0,1258194.htmlstory

I'm not saying every old teacher is a burnout, but if you have teachers that don't know the material and/or are sexually harassing students, and you can't get rid of them, there's a problem with the system.

05.15.09 - 7:57 pm


I'm a strong supporter of unions and teachers unions, but when I was going to high school, we had teachers who were senile, alcoholic or racist. ironically, we had an argentine spanish teacher who hated latinos.

ironically, it was one of the best teachers at that school that the administrators wanted to push out. his name was alan kaplan and he taught american history. his style of combining pop culture and contemporary events with history raised some eyebrows and he was branded a racist.

in comes erin aubrey, a black reporter from the la weekly. a group of parents appealed to her to expose mr. kaplan for the racist he was. long story short, she realized that this was no more than a political assassination by small minded administrators and ended up marrying him. (http://archive.salon.com/mwt/feature/2001/02/14/love_marriage/index.html)

so yes, there are some extremely unqualified teachers, but there are far more unqualified administrators. a friend of mine, was a t.a. for one of the administrators at the same school. he used to get drunk with my friend during school, and ultimately my friend became an alcoholic as well.

like i said, the irony is that an administrator will spend all their energy and political capital to get a good teacher fired, leaving nothing to get rid of those that for obvious reasons shouldnt be teaching.

i say the bureaucracy is the root of the problem. i say we fire everyone but the teachers and hire back the best half of them. maybe without so many corrupt administrators, the teachers union would be less threatened by a relaxed policy.

things being what they are, if we leave things as they are, shitty teachers will continue to teach. if we give more authority to administrators to fire teachers, good teachers will get fired.

it's a lose-lose.

05.15.09 - 8:33 pm


Perhaps we should just start spanking kids that get out of line, bring back dunce caps and whatnot.

It's time to straighten up and fly right!!!!

05.15.09 - 10:44 pm


"my fingers move faster than my noodle"


best quote ever.

05.15.09 - 10:52 pm



Dunce hats...

Knuckle slapping with rulers or is that too much? Oh how I miss the good ol' days when teachers were allowed to spank you...

05.16.09 - 10:44 am


oh Roadblock, you're killin' me here.

You say that a system needs to exist to protect teachers from being fired. As it happens, just such a system exists (and it can be applied to most all jobs, not just teaching); here's how it works: The employee displays competency and brings value to their place of employment.

Maybe a supplemental level of protection could be helpful, like a teacher's lawyer on retainer for instances where the circumstances surrounding a termination are questionable, cool?

All other employment turbulence is to be expected when you're working for a government funded institution subject to the whims of state budget manipulation.

But to build in such protective measures as the schools have now is a protection of the wrong principal values governing the relationship between employees and employers. I don't doubt that it was created with good intentions all around, but it has failed; just look to the condition of the schools.

Eric Hair
05.16.09 - 11:59 am


"Maybe a supplemental level of protection could be helpful, like a teacher's lawyer on retainer for instances where the circumstances surrounding a termination are questionable, cool? "

yeah man that sounds cool. so the argument is over *just how much protection is to be afforded* by said lawyers. The devil is in the details though.. give me some solid quantify-able metrics and criteria to determine what a "bad" or "burnout" teacher is.... you cant just base it on feeling or opinion.

The examples that JB gave in the times were indeed horrifying... sexual molestation is criminal! that's obvious! but those articles weren't outlining the criteria for these so-called "burnout" teachers and how to determine if it's burnout from disinterest.... or burnout from under funding of school programs... or if it's just a ploy to fire teachers that "make too much money" or what! I still havent heard any specifics on how a criteria would be set up.


of course criminal behaviour is grounds for dismissal...
what determines a teachers performance?

gimme something..... is it test scores? is it like-ability?

We all remember highschool and gradeschool....

some students liked some teachers and other students like others. and some parents were the types that no matter how much of a douche their kid was, would always stick up for their kid and rag on the teacher or make complaints about the teacher. I fucking hated that - I think mostly because my parents always assumed I was at fault when I got in trouble - haha but that made me a self critical person where as the kids who were always protected by mommy and daddy were douchebags..... what does it all mean?

it means that we are arguing over something that is so subjective that it's pretty damn hard to determine who is a good or bad teacher other than the obvious criminal behavior.

a number of those LA times articles dealt with child molestation. one article gave a very difficult example of allegations of sexual harassment, mentioning that no charges were filed for lack of evidence. finally enough evidence was found on the 3rd time.... that fucking sucks on both sides... I mean if there are complaints then you know something is up.... but how do you fire someone based on hearsay? lets say it becomes possible to fire someone based on hearsay and NO criminal charges.... wow. I think after a while students would get the idea that if they didnt like a teacher they could file sexual harrassment charges against them and get them fired.... I wouldnt put it past some teenagers to act this way.... I've seen some fairly evil things perpetrated against teachers by vicious students over the years.....

the question becomes... if you are open to having a teachers job protected by a lawyer, then where do you draw the line? how do you differentiate between the douchebag mommy and daddy protected at all cost kids being vindictive towards who they consider to be "mean bad teachers" and the actual "bad" teachers. how do you define what "bad" is?

no one on here has given that definition outside of the obvious criminal behaviour.

05.16.09 - 2:26 pm


in other words... it's all so easy to just say "fire the bad old burnout teachers!" but break it down into a legal argument and it suddenly becomes rather incredibly difficult..... so come with it, build a legally viable criteria for determining a bad teacher and dont just say "I know one when I see one" that doesnt fly!

05.16.09 - 2:58 pm


I want to be a teacher, damn...

05.16.09 - 3:13 pm



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