One nasty election later, there is no sign that the divisiveness in the Los Angeles Unified School District will abate. If anything, it looks likely to increase, with activists in United Teachers Los Angeles announcing that teachers will vote on a passel of anti-reform positions. The resolution aims to fight the district's policy of reconstituting some of its lowest-performing schools by removing and replacing teachers, to minimize use of student test scores in teacher evaluations and to spend more money in the classrooms.
According to a Times report, the resolution — the result of a petition signed by more than 1,000 union members and scheduled to be voted on in April — calls on union negotiators to demand "reduced class sizes, full staffing of our schools … safe and clean schools, better pay for all school employees" and more.
These are typical union positions, based on the premise that if the schools just spent more money and raised salaries while minimizing accountability for teachers, all would be well educationally. But as vital as sufficient school funding is, there's more to improving student achievement than bigger budgets — such as the willingness to make drastic changes at schools that persistently fail to make progress.