Back to School in Los Angeles

Mary Morrison, American Renaissance, October 5, 2012

With yet another fad program to “close the gaps.”

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) fall session started early this year—three weeks early—in mid-August when temperatures in Los Angeles, especially the San Fernando Valley, regularly top triple digits. This “early start” was shoved through last spring without input from teachers or parents by the LAUSD Board of Trustees in their plush, air conditioned offices, far away from burning school blacktops, outdoor lunch areas with metal tables and benches, and roasting PE fields.

As could have been expected, a heat advisory was issued for the first week of school, with temperatures topping 104 in parts of the district. Students had to stay indoors, which meant they were stuck in classrooms or had to be herded into multi-purpose rooms for recess, PE, and lunch. There were no outdoor activities or sports, such as football and cross-country.

The school district is broke, but as the Los Angeles Daily News reported:

Los Angeles unified maintenance crews racked up more than $400,000 in overtime repairing overloaded air-conditioning units during the heat wave that swamped the region during the opening days of school, officials said.

Just about everything the district does is supposed to help close the racial achievement gap (see an account of some of the foolishness that has been devoted to this impossible goal here). This new “early start” program, we teachers are told, will help. It will improve test scores, “contribute to significant academic progress,” and better align public schools with college and university schedules. Of course.

As you can see from the chart below, our NAEP scores are way behind the rest of the country, and pretty near the bottom even for urban districts. It doesn’t exactly help that the district is 73.4 percent Hispanic and 10.2 percent black.

Along with “early start” we teachers were greeted with a 26-page letter from LAUSD’s $275,000-a-year superintendent, John Deasy and Board President Monica Garcia unveiling yet another new, strategic plan that will “transform human capital,” using a “theory of change” that will collect and analyze “robust data” to evaluate its effectiveness. The plan promises to use “teaching and learning foci” and “radically change the way teachers teach and students learn,” and make all students, upon graduation, “100 percent ready to enroll directly into a credit-bearing, academic college or work-force, career-ready, training.”

This latest scheme to “radically change the way teachers teach and students learn” goes by the name of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a nation-wide, one-size-fits-all-plan that mandates, hilariously, that “students learn basic algebra and geometry skills while still in kindergarten.” Students will also write “increasingly complex essays” that will be “machine readable,” and “taken and scored” by computers that are “quite comparable to human consistency (sic).” All this according to Jose Ortega, administrator of the Education Technology Office for the California Department of Education. I’m not sure how all the testing and scoring will be done by computer since, according to LAUSD’s own records, 136 schools in the district still cannot connect to the Internet.

The LAUSD has tapped its new, $250,000-a-year deputy superintendent Jaime Aquino—from the Dominican Republic, no less—to engineer and implement the Common Core State Standards Plan. As he explains: “We’re going to expect the same out of every student,” meaning that all students—including those in Special Ed classes—are supposed to perform at the same level.

No doubt he thinks that with the right training, all students will write in the style of this sentence from the CCSS manual:

To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas, to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems, and to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and nonprint texts in media forms old and new.

To demonstrate the “rigor” of CCSS to the public, the district has released a few sample questions of what will appear on the new CCSS Assessment Tests. Here is a selection from the 8th grade English Language section:

Local pride in the preservation of the cultural things that belong to the old days should be stimulated wherever possible, particularly in the minority groups. Remember that the Anglo-Saxon music which we are inclined to think of as the only “American” kind is a relatively recent importation on this continent, exactly as the Hungarian, Finnish and Armenian folk musics are. The Portuguese and Spanish have been in California three times as long as the “Americans.”

Why does the author write that the Portuguese and the Spanish have been in California longer than the “Americans?”

A  to broaden the reader’s idea of what should be considered “American” folk music

B  to argue that Hungarian, Finnish, and Armenian folk musics are not truly American

C  to suggest that “American” folk music is music that has not been imported to the continent

D  to convince the reader that the Portuguese and Spanish should not be considered minority groups in California.

Here is a selection from a 5th-grade reading called An American Hero: The Biography of César E. Chavez. Note that the passage uses the accented, Spanish spelling of the name, and refers to Chavez as “César.”

Life changed for César when he met a man named Fred Ross. Fred Ross believed that if people worked together they could make their community better. Fred Ross hired César to work for him in the Community Service Organization. The Community Service Organization worked to help people.

The companies and growers refused to treat the farm workers with respect and dignity.  The growers did everything they could to stop César and the farm workers. They even turned to violence and hurt many farm workers and people who helped farm workers. This made César very upset.

César did not believe in violence. Like Martin Luther King, César wanted to bring change in a nonviolent way. Many people came to help César.

In my experience, example test questions released to the public are very different from the actual tests, which are much easier and even more PC. Reading material for actual tests is almost exclusively about blacks, Hispanics, the Holocaust, and, more recently, about Asians in America. Passages that explain how Asians were rounded up during the Second World War, incarcerated and mistreated by racist whites are especially popular.

The math portions of the real tests are also significantly easier than what the public sees as “released questions” in newspapers, practice books and homework assignments. This is one of the reasons the education system guards tests so carefully. I must sign affidavits stating that I will not photocopy or “share” the real test with anyone.

Teachers have a special motivation to support Common Core State Standards and make the program work: A recent court order requires that our teacher evaluations be tied to test scores. We will be graded by a complex formula, a “value added model,” that will combine test scores with demographic data to measure student progress to “gauge a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom.” “The law is really clear,” says Superintendent Deasy, “and we need to move forward in creating an evaluation system that includes student progress.”

In other words, our performance will be evaluated by a formula, and we will be blamed if students fail to learn. At least the formula takes race into consideration, implicitly admitting that the district cannot expect the same results from all groups.

These fad programs are expensive. The Fordham Institute estimates that it will cost the state $380 million to $1.6 billion to inflict CCSS on us—despite continuing “severe” budget deficits. According to LAUSD’s own website, the district is in its fifth consecutive year of crisis. Our most recent $557 million shortfall resulted in layoffs for 5,000 employees and means there will be 10 teacher furlough days (unpaid vacation to cut costs) during the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.

For us teachers, CCSS is just one more in a long line of doomed programs the education system has tried and abandoned after two or three years of dismal results and frustrated students. Millions of dollars have been wasted on new textbooks and useless teacher training. We will keep trying programs like CCSS—and they will continue to fail—as long as schools continue to pretend there are no race differences in IQ.

We teachers know that when students fail to measure up to the “new” program’s unrealistic expectations we will be scapegoated publicly by the LAUSD administration, the local newspapers, and California’s state politicians. Only this time the ante has been raised because our job performance evaluations will be tied to the inevitable failure of CCSS. There are already calls in Sacramento to tie teacher pay directly to student test scores.

What no one likes to talk about is the fact that basing our evaluations and possibly our pay on test scores is the clearest possible invitation to cheat. AmRen reported recently that school districts across the country are reporting sudden improvements—and sudden drops—in test scores that can only be the result of cooking the scores. Does anyone think that LAUSD with its heavily Hispanic teachers and staff is immune to temptation?

Why anyone would want choose a career as a teacher in this age of insanity is beyond me.

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Mary Morrison

Mary Morrison has been teaching in Los Angeles schools for more than 20 years.

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  • JohnEngelman

    Mary Morrison’s articles deserve a wide audience, and ought to be published in leading newspapers in California, and nationally.  

    • Oil Can Harry

      I was worried about LA’s schoolchildren until I learned they hired a mulatto from the Dominican Republic as deputy superintendent.

      Thank heaven! Now California’s students can become as well-educated as the Dominicans.

      And his salary is only $250,000 a year; what a bargain! Please don’t fire him or he may go back to his previous job at the Burger King drive-thru.

      • dukem1

         It is beyond stupefying how an enterprise the size of the LA school system finds some guy from the Dominican Republic to be put in charge of anything at a salary of 1/4 of a million dollars per year…$1000 a day to beatify Cesar Chavez?

        Is there one salient, lucid human being anywhere in California…

        The whole place is already Mexico north, so I say, before they start demanding to exit the US, let’s cut them loose right now…don’t let them secede – throw ’em out!

        Who cares?!?!?!…

        • I’m here Duke, but it’s getting more difficult by the day to fight off the mexican invasion. As you can see, the LAUSD has succumbed long ago.

        • zWsA

          California has always been about 3 decades ahead of the rest of America. When the apocalypse finally hits California, the rest of America will have 30 years to prepare for it.

        • tacheles

          [It is beyond stupefying how an enterprise the size of the LA school system finds some guy from the Dominican Republic to be put in charge of anything at a salary of 1/4 of a million dollars per year…$1000 a day to beatify Cesar Chavez?]

          Well, Chicago looked to Haiti for hope. Until very recently, Chicago schools were headed by a Haitian. The bankrupt city will pay him about 300,000 p.a. after he leaves.

          • Jean-Claude Buzzard.  Now Chicago will turn upside down until they find a new Supernintendo for the CPS.  As if it really matters.

          • Guest

            For those wanting to confirm this, it’s Jean-Claude Brizard.  Yes he’s from Haiti, which is exactly where you would expect to find a top-notch educator and administrator.  He lasted about a year until he left by mutual agreement.  I’m sure he’ll pull down over a quarter of a million for life, plus the best healthcare in the world, for free…  I’m sure he’ll get consulting gigs and other jobs on the side.  He’s a wealthy man. 

  • I may well strike many people as a ‘conspiracy theorist’ when I say that standards are being deliberately eroded, but the reality is that it is a phenomenon that is taking place across the Occident, it would seem. 

    Whilst I appreciate that some aspects of modern society are contributing towards the reduction of academic standards, e.g. ‘text speak’, the promotion of ‘yoof’ culture, drugs/alcohol and general inanity is endemic. I think it’s something acknowledged by Mike Judge in his cult film Idiocracy.

    But the advantages to the ruling class is obvious. Social engineering becomes so much easier when people are too stupid to read Dickens, Dostoevsky, et al. They no longer learn about the ideas of the past, or their history, as they are so illiterate that they would struggle to read any of the classics and thus they become joyless. Instead they need to be constantly entertained by the television or interactive media like Facebook. They are more malleable this way and less likely to do any independent thinking.

    • Puggg

      I would agree with you if we lived in a white ethnostate and this dumbing down was taking place.  But here in our real world, it’s taking place for the benefit of NAM students.  They’re lowering the bar not necessarily to make us all fat, but they’re lowering the bar because not enough blacks and Hispanics can jump over a high bar.

  • Students will also write “increasingly complex essays” that will be
    “machine readable,” and “taken and scored” by computers that are “quite
    comparable to human consistency (sic).”

    The more complex is human writing, the less likely it is that some algorithm can score it.  The main problem with artificial intelligence, as the “Watson” experiment on Jeopardy demonstrated, computers still can’t get verbal irony and turns of phrase and sarcasm.  (A lot of human beings can’t, either.)

    • QD, that’s exactly why ‘Data” of ‘Star Trek Next Generation’, had trouble grasping the humor of humans.

  • Barrack Osama

    What happens when they run out of permutations of words to call the various incarnations of the educational snake oil? Do they admit that none of this will ever work and instead try something based in reality? Probably not.

    • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

      You’ve never taught — for any length of time — in American public schools, Barrack.   Professors, administrators and curriculum specialists in the education field NEVER “run of permutations of words” to affix to “incarnations of . . . . educational snake oil.”  Befogging jargon is a special talent of practitioners in the field. 

  • OK, if they’re so anti- Anglo, give them the following reading exercises: Gongora, Cervantes, Calderon de la Barca, Lorca, Pio Baroja, Alejo Carpentier, Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Jose Saramago, Fernando Pessoa, Pablo Neruda, .. …. or force them to listen to Manuel de Falla, Isaac Albeniz, Heitor Villa-Lobos, …

    • Oil Can Harry

      Those are hispanics of white heritage which makes them unacceptable to some leftists.

      They’ll probably have the kids read Junot Diaz, the trendy mulatto novelist.

      • Bad_Mr_Frosty

        The problem is, Latinos don’t read or write much. My sister is learning Spanish and all the popular books and books 0n tape are in Castillian Spanish. If you want to learn a Latin American dialect you need to read newspapers and watch Spanish soap operas.

    • Bardon, you forgot Miguel Asturias, the Guatemala-born Nobel Literature laureate, who wrote “Men of Corn”.

      Let’s see if Jose Escobar, Juan Villas and Yolanda Calderon can digest that one. 

      • There are many more of them- Jose Donoso, Mario Vargas Llosa, Octavio Paz, Julio Cortazar,…. but even one author or composer would burn their brains out. Including Isabel Allende (she’s American now, I think).

    • haroldcrews

      Excellent list Brandon.  Don’t forget to include Jose Ortega y Gasset though.

      • Thanks, Harold. There are plenty good and great thinkers in Spanish, like Ortega y Gasset, Miguel de Unamuno or Baltasar Gracian. But- let them try American Spaniard philosopher George Santayana. Well- THIS will cause total mental and linguistic collapse. 

  • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

    “We teachers know that when students fail to measure up to the new program’s unrealistic expectations we will be scapegoated . . .”


    A fine piece, Ms. Morrison.  Reminds me of the observation below by a teacher in the Oakland (CA)  in response to a San Francisco Chronicle report on the perennial “achievement gap” — the cause of which education honchos assigned to the lack of “cultural awareness” of the [mostly white] teachers: 

    “As a long-term veteran teacher of the Oakland schools, I can only say that I completely dread the likely professional development which is surely to come, in which white teachers will again be told how culturally insensitive we are and how we fail at teaching. I have been hearing this (it’s nothing new) for my entire tenure of nearly two decades in the district. I have been called a racist for every imaginable reason…except actual racism. Both black parents and students assume racism on the part of white teachers, and it’s up to you to prove otherwise. Meanwhile, if I try to address issues such as absenteeism, illiteracy, or failure to do homework, I am taken to task by students and their families. The real story that should be investigated is the endless racism TOWARDS white teachers in the schools. Almost every white teacher in Oakland has been subjected to treatment that would be headline news if it were black teachers being treated this way. Welcome to OUSD!.” 

    • disqus_4Jy24XjH8I

      I live in Whittier, CA.  The Hispanic superintendent  here  actually called out the white teachers in his district to be ‘more sensitive’ in the city newspaper!

      I don’t like public unions, but for once, I was glad these white school teachers had tenure and were protected from less experienced Hispanic teachers coveting their jobs! 

    • mutt3003

      Pluribus, as with the other educators writing here, I say to you, hang in there. I for one look forward to all of you reaching your 20 years, retiring and allowing me to pay for you to sit in front of the one armed bandit or whatever for the next forty years. Or maybe being that devout public servant that all of you are, you will be kind enough to tackle another highly demanding position with the DMV or USPS. That way I can pay you twice as much. I know my children thank you. Both of which have taken gifted, honors and every AP class they can. Of course, next September when the first enters college and finds out that even the most advanced courses have been so dumbed-down that he has to take remedial ________ ? he might not be so thankful.

  • Re the rounding up of Asians by “racist whites” , I’ll bet those books conveniently omit the fact that it was Asians who got us into World War II, courtesy of Pearl Harbor. 

    • mutt3003

      And if racial profiling was accepted, under a Democratic president, 70 odd years ago, it damned well should be acceptable now. Wartime regardless.

  • haroldcrews

    Teacher compensation based on student performance would shortly mean that there would be at most those teachers with marginal talent willing to teach in majority black and Hispanic schools.  Depending on how high the floor is set that is.

  • Detroit_WASP

    All I want to know is how a white guy became the Superintendent of LAUSD. 

    • haroldcrews

      Big Dem donor perhaps or related to someone important.  Regardless it certainly wasn’t through Affirmative Action, a quota or set aside.

    • KevinPhillipsBong

      So they will know who to blame when it all comes crashing down.

  • Why has my comment disappeared? I appreciate it has been flagged, though I cannot think why, but it has been pending review all day.

    All I said was:

    1) Lowering of standards is in my opinion deliberate, as it is happening across the Occidental world.
    2) That a semi-literate population is no longer able to enjoy classic books and is therefore largely deprived of historical ideas and past memes. Instead theywill eschew Dickens, Dostoevsky and even Orwell, and instead their entertainment will consist of games consoles, social networking sites and television.

    3) That this suits the ruling class who will find it more easy to manipulate people and thus socially engineer the sort of society they want: a homogenous world of inane consumers. I used no profanity or controversial racial terms and I referred to no specific racial group.

    • There is no reason to reject or delete this comment, so an undisclosed number of people must have flagged it. Remember, flagging is not to be used for content and ideology.

      • Thanks for your reply. That was actually a summary of what I wrote, you will find my original comment (it was the second one posted) still waiting to be reviewed.

        It actually ‘liked’ by four people.

    • disqus_4Jy24XjH8I

      I have noticed that when I am sites concerning this issue, many times my comments don’t make it on.
      Mind you, I don’t use hate language; I’m in line with everything you see on the blog, but there are people from Google who censure from time to time.
      They’re big liberals, don’t ya know.

  • Rob

    I just read that a principal in a Texas school, who is Mexican American, will be going to prision for three years because he threw out a whole bunch of test scores just to make the grade point average in his school go up. Another benefit of No Child Left behind. Most of the throwouts were kids from Mexico who get a free education in the US (Peejay)


    They know it won’t work, and they couldn’t care less. They will have three years more of huge salaries and that is what they REALLY care about.

    The system is broken and is not fixable from within.

  • Anonymous

    How right you are, Jay!

    The educational system in this country is very, very close to imploding. And to buttress the arguments I made earlier to Sarge, there are SOME kids I want shielded/semi-shielded from the fallout. The kids who think for themselves – who wear Romney T-shirts when 95% of their peers are chanting for Obama. The kids who respectfully decline to partake in Martin Luther King Day “service learning” proceedings like cleaning needles and Colt 45 bottles out of parks in black neighborhoods, or raising money for the local Afro-American Museum, or holding protest rallies against “white privilege”. THESE kids need to know that there are safe retreats – islands of sanity and truth and integrity – to which they can run when their brains are spinning from years of MSM lies, (and when they see district schools  collapsing all around them!) It is for THESE kids that I remain in the classroom. And it is for THESE kids’ sakes that I – and many teachers like me – remain on the job, often unpopular with liberal administrators and colleagues, sometimes objects of scorn and suspicion by District honchos, but ALWAYS a scholastic lighthouse to kids who are drowning in latter-day pc garbage, but still retain eyes to see and ears to hear.

    • disqus_4Jy24XjH8I

      Then you are my hero. 

  • It doesn’t require much thought to know who the red-orange group is.

  • disqus_4Jy24XjH8I

    Then ‘we’ need to stick together and form more solidly organized groups; and defend ourselves physically, when the goblins become enraged that we’re sticking together.
    It WILL come to that.  

  • disqus_4Jy24XjH8I

    You know, with a little bit of work, it’s easy to hire a White national to do any work you need- and mind you, I live in Southern California, 15 miles southeast of LA!
    You are right Bobby, idiot Citizens hiring any illegal, just to save $2.00- ridiculous.

  • disqus_4Jy24XjH8I

    I’ve just really put 2 and 2 together on this myself.  And I have a lot of work to do.

  • disqus_4Jy24XjH8I

    I am glad you told us this; I had been hearing omenous things about Common Core- now I know.

    It’s the final nail in the coffin.

  • Harumphty_Dumpty

    “What is going on with this anti-White agenda…”

    What is going on with this Anti-White agenda is the usual Darwinian competition between racial groups, but played out with considerably more finesse than usual by the elites of the group that chiefly oppose us, and who are aided hugely by the self-serving race traitors that compose our own elite class.

  • Harumphty_Dumpty

    Re some criticisms leveled earlier (which I thought were countered rather well):

    I don’t think it’s very useful to focus energy on how well white activists have been able to arrange their personal lives to be completely pro-white even while having to live in an anti-white society that’s been corrupted in almost all its corners! 

    Infinitely more important is how effectively all of us are moving whites toward having a society in which we can not only live more satisfying personal lives, but can even survive as a race.

    Any of us who doesn’t have at least some contradictions in his own life at this late stage, when our countries have been almost completely conquered by anti-whites, is an escape artist of the first magnitude, a racial Houdini!

    Give people who are fighting the problem a break! They need their energy to fight the problem!

  • Monica Garcia ia a La Raza racist pure and simple. I guess it’s fitting since her raza have taken over the LAUSD, via illegal immigration and anchor babies. Time to start telling it like it is.

  • LAUSD is nothing more than an outpost of mexico, charged with educating it’s citizens and faux American citizens, aka anchor babies.

  •  I wish I could like this 1,000 times.

  • Sherman_McCoy

    Interesting chart.  Let’s see, 83.6% of the “students” are black or mestizo, and only 20% of the students are math proficient or better, and only 15% are proficient/advanced in reading.

    Could this be a . . . . . . . . .COINCIDENCE????????

  • Bobby

    That’s right Sarge. The whole point of this thing, is the utter corruption of the teachers and public employee unions, that do nothing but force we the taxpayers, to pay more for underpreforming, anti-white racist schools, largely occupied by half witts with a dumbed down college degree. Some 49 percent of LAUSD kids drop out, and almost all of the rest of them are performing at an bottom line, lowest level. One of my good friends taught at one of those schools, (math) and he said that more than half of the class never showed up day after day, and the others would come in late, and not even think it wrong in the slightest. He said it used to bother him, but, as some teachers pointed out here, since his pay was great and his benefits, he just ignored it all after a while. It would be unfair to make personal judgements about people who do jobs that abuse taxpayers, homeowners, so badly, but on the other hand, isn’t it always said that a society is largely characterized by the people that are part of it?

  • Ozzy

    Hoy! How does this happen? I don’t know. I just can’t figure it out. HOY!

  • Since someone with a college degree can no longer find a job in America because the corporations have fled to countries with a more favorable business climate, who needs an education?  They should graduate  at age 16 and save the taxpayers money.  Also, young people can tolerate heat pretty well, so why not just use fans and drink plenty of water during a heat wave?  Because that would make too much sense and eliminate overtime.

  • “Local pride in the preservation of the cultural things that belong to
    the old days should be stimulated wherever possible, particularly in the
    minority groups.”

    What they actual mean is “only in minority groups”. Cultural heritage for whites, as whites, would be “racist”. And this has been the attitude for about half a century. The vast majority of Americans have known nothing but disdain for whites their entire lives. How many whites must lose their lives so that “equality” can finally be achieved? Answer: They will not rest until every white is either killed or mongrelized.