LA story

Kobe put up 40 last night.  Also in Tinseltown:

For seven years, LA Unified has paid Matthew Kim a teaching salary of up to $68,000 per year, plus benefits. His job is to do nothing. About 160 instructors and others get salaries for doing nothing while their job fitness is reviewed. They collect roughly $10 million a year.  

Mr. Kim’s side of the story here.  

Long Steve Barr/Green Dot profile in the New Yorker. Delicious reading.  

“I don’t want to blow up L.A.U.S.D.’s ass. But what will it take to get this system to serve who they need to serve? It’s going to take that kind of aggressiveness.”


“There’s this cult around charter schools. They’re not even close to being the answer.”

and, per this, about Green Dot’s takeover of Locke:

“When I (the reporter) wandered around campus during lunch periods and between classes, looking for disgruntled kids, I never found any. “The whole atmosphere is different,” a Latino boy, sketching graffiti in a notebook, said. ‘The teachers pay more attention to you.'”

—Guestblogger Mike Goldstein

5 Replies to “LA story”

  1. I think every school district should be required to have a website listing number of teachers paid & not working, # of sick days and # of personal days available in union contract, # of days in the school year, and the requirements for tenure. All that data should be upfront and easy to find.

  2. This is the flip side of your post yesterday. You and the study you cited raised the question of why your reports on charters are doubted. Your report was one of the few that acknowledged its methodological problems, especially comparing your charters to neighborhood schools. You don’t seem to deny the the rules hamper regular schools, who don’t have the luxury of just teaching volunteers.

    We need to change the rules so that we can efficiently and fairly and humanely address students who are chronically disruptive and violent. We don’t need to be humane towards ineffective teachers but we need to be efficient are fair in firing them.

    If you guys would be consistent in explaining the problem, it would give reformers in the union more leverage in addressing both types of outrages. If you guys would pass up opportunities to take cheap shots at teachers, would a better system be guaranteed? No.

    But the system, as it currently exists, makes it impossible for neighborhood school teachers regardless of how effective they are. We’ve got a bunch of teachers in my school that could step into your charters and not miss a beat. If your teachers had to face the challenges of my school under the rules we have to follow you would alsoo be beating your heads against the wall.

    We who have dedicated ourselves to the toughest challenges in education take enough of a pounding, without charter advocates slipping in cheap shots. That being said, when you guys do such good work, we don’t need to be questining your sincerity and successes. The challenge of creating SUSTAINABLE omprovements is hard enough without this civil war.

    These rubber rooms, by the way, are an embarrassment. Don’t you think we’d like to negotiate a way out of this lose lose situation? It takes two to negotiate. in my experience, though, our union has been pleading with administrators tofor us to help them fire ineffective teachers. Do “reformers” want solutions or do they just want to attack unions?

    Which reminds me of John Merrow’s report on Michelle Rhee. Now she is paying the price for her outrageous behavior of her first year and a half, and DC continued to lose students. Its not enought to be righteous in your desire to help kids. We must approach these complex systemic problems and we must do so in an intellectual honest manner.

    Of course, I’m assuming that sytemic and sustainable reform is impossible without unions. If you question that assumption, what’s wrong with having conversations as opposed to adopting the always attack and destroy your enemy of Klein, Rhee, and other data-driven reformers.

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