Analysis: Four years ago, UTLA increased its member dues by 33 percent. What did the union do with the money?
Mike Antonucci’s Union Report appears weekly at LA School Report. In the summer of 2015, Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, gave a state of the union speech in which he alerted members to the dire necessity of raising dues by 33 percent. Without the increase, he said, UTLA would be “bankrupt or...
By Mike Antonucci | January 14, 2020
Powell & Ragsdale: As parents of public school students, we tried to run for school board but were blocked. It’s time to change the system and stop shutting out families
For the last four years, not one member of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education has been the parent of school-aged children. Although having kids shouldn’t be a prerequisite for holding this office, the complete absence of district parents means a crucial voice is being left out of the process. This is...
By Tunette Powell and Kenchy Ragsdale | January 13, 2020
Analysis: With school revenues at record highs, why are California districts facing insolvency? Auditor offers a case study in Sacramento
Mike Antonucci’s Union Report appears weekly at LA School Report. California State Auditor Elaine Howle can’t be making too many friends among the state’s education policy establishment. After releasing a report concluding that the state’s system for financing public education “has not ensured that funding is benefiting intended student groups and closing achievement gaps,” Howle...
By Mike Antonucci | January 8, 2020
Aylesworth: We’re teaching STEM wrong — but any teacher can do it right. It’s about trial and error, doing things & watching them not work
In almost every school program, every teacher is teaching STEM in one way or another. Not just because it’s a hot topic or because of the down-the-road career opportunities for students; educators mix science, technology, engineering and math with just about everything because of its clear value to learning itself. Many even sneak the artsy...
By Hilary Aylesworth | January 7, 2020
Remembering LA parent leader whose example inspired families across the country seeking integrated schools
The first time Courtney Everts Mykytyn and I spoke, we almost didn’t get around to talking about schools. I was trying to interview her for an Atlantic Monthly article I was writing about privileged families hoarding access to dual language immersion programs. But we couldn’t stop talking about our kids. Hers were about a decade...
By Conor Williams | January 6, 2020
Bridgeland, Weissberg & Atwell: Social-emotional learning can be an answer to America’s meltdown, and principals are getting on board
Our cultural, social and political breakdown is fresh evidence that we need to do something different in the education and development of leaders. Some call for more civic education, others bemoan the decline in participation in our religious and civic institutions, and still others reach for solutions they cannot yet define. The underlying problems we...
By John Bridgeland, Roger Weissberg and Matthew Atwell | December 18, 2019
Aldeman: 3 differences between California’s teacher pension system and social security that have a huge impact on retirees — new report
Teachers may not miss what isn’t there. In California and 14 other states, plus the District of Columbia, public school teachers do not participate in Social Security. They won’t find any deductions for Social Security taxes on their pay stubs. Unlike teachers in other states who get both Social Security and a retirement plan, they...
By Chad Aldeman | December 17, 2019
Wiener: Student belonging is essential to success. Education policies must ensure school is a place where every child belongs
I started my career as a trial attorney for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, vindicating students’ legal right to belong in school. My experiences taught me a lot about the corrosive effects of students being “othered” based on race, religion, disability status or English proficiency. In the most egregious cases, students were assigned to different...
By Ross Wiener | December 16, 2019
A democracy where majority rules is fine, but that’s not how the UTLA’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders went down
When it comes to democracy, there’s theory and then there’s reality. UTLA endorsed Bernie Sanders with great fanfare, soaring rhetoric, and widespread media attention last month, but they skimped on one key ingredient: a completely democratic process. It is crucial for UTLA to engage its membership fully when forming their policy priorities and positions. Yet,...
By Rafael Jimeno | December 9, 2019
Analysis: How the sausage gets made — more than you ever wanted to know about the internal workings of the California Teachers Association
Mike Antonucci’s Union Report appears weekly at LA School Report With 310,000 members, more than 400 employees and $200 million in annual revenue, the California Teachers Association is a large-scale enterprise. It wields great influence at the statehouse, but its presence is felt in the smallest communities throughout the state. Nothing happens in education or...
By Mike Antonucci | December 4, 2019