Teachers union threatens massive boycott of Los Angeles Times for reporting on teacher performance | Washington Exam
I am of the opinion that LAUSD is an organization in desperate need of a breakup. It has done far too much harm, turned far too many schools into apathetic day care centers.
Teachers union threatens ‘massive boycott’ of Los Angeles Times for reporting on teacher performance
By: Mark Hemingway
Commentary Staff Writer
08/16/10 3:30 PM EDT
On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times began publishing a hard-hitting analysis on teacher performance. Today, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that union leaders are threatening the paper as a result:
The Los Angeles teachers union president said Sunday he was organizing a “massive boycott” of The Times after the newspaper began publishing a series of articles that uses student test scores to estimate the effectiveness of district teachers.
“You’re leading people in a dangerous direction, making it seem like you can judge the quality of a teacher by … a test,” said A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, which has more than 40,000 members.
Duffy said he would urge other labor groups to ask their members to cancel their subscriptions.
Based on test score data covering seven years, The Times analyzed the effects of more than 6,000 elementary school teachers on their students’ learning. Among other things, it found huge disparities among teachers, some of whom work just down the hall from one another.
How dare a newspaper report pertinent, public information related to child welfare! The unions defensiveness here is especially galling when you consider that the Los Angeles Unified School District is one of the worst in the country when it comes to firing bad teachers. See this report from L.A. Weekly:
In the past decade, LAUSD officials spent $3.5 million trying to fire just seven of the district’s 33,000 teachers for poor classroom performance — and only four were fired, during legal struggles that wore on, on average, for five years each. Two of the three others were paid large settlements, and one was reinstated. The average cost of each battle is $500,000.
During our investigation, in which we obtained hundreds of documents using the California Public Records Act, we also discovered that 32 underperforming teachers were initially recommended for firing, but then secretly paid $50,000 by the district, on average, to leave without a fight. Moreover, 66 unnamed teachers are being continually recycled through a costly mentoring and retraining program but failing to improve, and another 400 anonymous teachers have been ordered to attend the retraining.
The Los Angeles Times is doing exactly the right thing by reporting on teacher performance.