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LAUSD Fiascos-Plenty of Blame to Go Around

Whenever fiascos such as the scheduling or lack thereof at Jefferson High School occur, you can be sure there is usually plenty of blame to go around.

And those most involved will certainly try to point the blame away from them.

In the case of Jefferson High, it’s hard to imagine who, beside students, is not at fault. That students were allowed to lose three weeks of valuable class time is beyond comprehension, or at least it should be.

But given the fact that Jefferson is in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the incompetent mismanagement of the school site catastrophe is sadly not surprising.

You have a school board and superintendent that just can’t seem to get on the same page when it comes to how the district should be run; a teachers’ union that refuses to put its gripes with district administration to rest or to compromise on issues of importance to students; and all sides continuously and relentlessly subjecting students and parents to more drama than a typical telenovela.

Students and parents deserve better.

How is that it took a judicial order to force state school Superintendent Tom Torlakson, his department and Los Angeles School District Superintendent John Deasy and LAUSD board members to do their job at Jefferson?

They should have been there weeks ago, paper and pencil in hand, assigning students to classes as it was done for countless years before technology became the be all and end all of everything we do.

Yesterday’s revelation by Los Angeles Times Columnist Steve Lopez that some sixth and seventh grade classes have no textbooks that align with the new and highly touted common core standards, is just as troubling.

Palms Middle School teacher, Bruce Kravets, told Lopez that teachers like him are being told there were not enough funds to purchase textbooks, and teachers should search the district’s website for material to supplement their lesson plans to meet common core standards. He said teachers are spending an exorbitant amount of time searching for the materials, and then copying it to give to students.

This is unacceptable, especially from a school district in a rush to spend more than a billion dollars on purchasing iPads and unproven technology to be ready for common core.

There’s something wrong with this thinking, actually, there’s a lot wrong with this thinking.

These facts, together with the knowledge that the district’s superintendent felt it was more important to go to South Korea to study their education system rather than staying at home to ensure the district’s students have the right classes and materials they need for a successful school year, has us wanting to throw up our hands in despair.