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OPINION
April 16, 2014
Re "A profession under siege," Column, April 12 The teaching profession is not only under siege, it is also underappreciated. Teachers are too often second-guessed and shortchanged by administrators who do not always have their best interests at heart. The incident at Santa Monica High School involving a teacher who evidently had to resort to physical force to restrain an unruly 18-year-old student brings into sharp focus the ambivalence of a school district when conflict arises in the classroom.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Howard Blume
Los Angeles teachers union President Warren Fletcher said he would no longer actively campaign for reelection, clearing the path for challenger Alex Caputo-Pearl to become the next leader of United Teachers Los Angeles. In the first round of voting in March, Caputo-Pearl received 48% of the votes and Fletcher 21%. The runoff election takes place this month, with ballots set to be counted April 29. In an interview Sunday, the one-term incumbent also said that he had not formally suspended his campaign and that he would serve if he won. But Fletcher emphasized that he had accepted that an incumbent who finished so far back in a primary had little hope of winning a runoff.
OPINION
April 14, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
It's nice to know that tens of millions of extra dollars will go to 37 low-income schools after the Los Angeles Unified School District settled a class-action suit on behalf of students. But the lawsuit, undertaken by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups, was never about money; it was about policies that require teachers with the least seniority to be laid off first when there are staff reductions. So although the added funding will help attract and retain teachers for a few years, the lawsuit fell short of its original aim of doing away with the "last-in-first-out" policy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | Sandy Banks
I figured that teachers wouldn't let me off easy - even though my Saturday column took their side. I wrote about the recent classroom scuffle between a teacher and student at Santa Monica High, defending the teacher and listing the forces that make teaching so hard - including spineless administrators and unruly students. Still, many of the teachers I heard from last weekend had the same indignant response: What about the parents? If parents raised their children right, we wouldn't have problems on campus.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2014 | By Howard Blume
Los Angeles teachers' union president Warren Fletcher said he will no longer actively campaign for reelection, clearing the path for challenger Alex Caputo-Pearl to become the next leader of United Teachers Los Angeles. In the first round of voting in March, Caputo-Pearl received 48% of the votes and Fletcher 21%. The runoff election takes place this month with ballots set to be counted April 29. In an interview Sunday, Fletcher said he has not formally suspended his campaign, and that he would serve again if he won. But the one-term incumbent emphasized that he has accepted the near inevitable.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 | Sandy Banks
At this point, it may not matter much to the public what actually went on in that Santa Monica High classroom where a teacher was recorded wrestling a student to the floor. The 58-second cellphone clip recorded by a student went viral this week, turning the teacher and the student into symbols of what's wrong with public schools: Defiant students. Overwhelmed teachers. Feckless administrators. Knee-jerk policies with no room for common sense. "We're in the middle of a cultural change, and this case reflects that shift," said Shawn McMullen Chen, a high school teacher for 25 years.
OPINION
April 10, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
In February, Los Angeles Unified School District officials suspended a teacher after two of his students turned in science projects that administrators thought looked like guns. Even granting that school officials have a right to be hypersensitive these days about anything resembling a weapon, their decision to remove him from the classroom was a harmful overreaction. It's also hard to understand why the investigation into this seemingly simple matter has taken more than a month.
OPINION
April 9, 2014
Re "Kill tenure, cure schools?," Opinion, April 3 A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in Vergara vs. California will be hailed as a victory for the rights of students over the rights of teachers. But this interpretation is not necessarily true. As documented in the media, exemplary performance has provided teachers no protection from abusive principals in New York City, home of the nation's largest school district. If it were not for the existence of seniority and tenure, outstanding teachers there would be forced out, depriving students of their talent.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 | By Howard Blume
A popular Los Angeles high school science teacher has been suspended after students turned in projects that appeared dangerous to administrators, spurring a campaign calling for his return to the classroom. Students and parents have rallied around Greg Schiller after his suspension in February from the downtown Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts. Supporters have organized a rally on his behalf at the campus for Thursday, gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition calling for his reinstatement and set up a social media page.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 | By Howard Blume
A popular Los Angeles high school science teacher has been suspended after students turned in projects that appeared dangerous to administrators, spurring a campaign calling for his return to the classroom. Students and parents have rallied around Greg Schiller after his suspension in February from the downtown Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts. Supporters have organized a rally on his behalf at the campus scheduled for Thursday, gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition calling for his reinstatement and set up a social media page.
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