Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Jordan High staff members must reapply for their jobs

The immediate reaction was disbelief, disappointment and anger among teachers at Jordan High School, who learned Wednesday that they will have to re-interview for their jobs.

L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines announced Wednesday the low-performing school in Watts would be restructured, and all employees would have to reapply.

"I'm really devastated," said one teacher at the Watts school, who asked not to be named because she could lose her job. "The only reason that I hang in there is that I love the kids so much, even when they don't love me."

Under the restructuring plan, employees will be eligible for jobs elsewhere in the nation's second-largest school system.

The plan will divide the Jordan High campus into three small schools run by outside entities. The school's principal told the staff in an after-school meeting Wednesday that two of the three groups were nonprofit charters: The Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools and Green Dot Public Schools.

Charters are free and publicly funded but privately operated. The third group is the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a nonprofit that manages 15 schools on behalf of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Several staff members reacted angrily when the school's chapter chairman for the teachers union suggested that the mayor's group might be better because his schools operate under the collective bargaining agreement.

"You already going to divide us with that one!" a staff member shouted at him.

About 100 school staffers attended the meeting, at which Principal Evelyn Mahmud conceded that she was still learning the relevant details herself.

"We're flying the plane as we're building the engine -- literally," she said. "So there are a lot of unknowns at this point."

Mahmud, in her second year as principal, was brought in last year after serving as the top administrator at Dorsey High School. She noted in an interview that her future at the school also is uncertain.

The school next to the Jordan Downs housing project and other subsidized housing serves students from low-income minority neighborhoods plagued by gangs and crime.

Parents were notified in an automated phone message Wednesday evening and will be receiving letters in the mail, officials said.


Killing of zebras near Hearst Castle stirs controversy

Ted Williams headed to rehab after being detained by LAPD, meeting with Dr. Phil

Huntington Beach considers posting photos of repeat drunk drivers on Facebook page

-- Howard Blume

California Schools Guide

Comments () | Archives (12)

"The only reason that I hang in there is that I love the kids so much, even when they don't love me." How disengenious! And, the real reason kids are so badly educated today. Please do not insult my intelligence, the only reason you are there is for the fat pay check and plentiful benefits!

Why is LAUSD giving away another school to Green Dot when they have yet to prove themselves with Locke HS?

Fat pay checks? Teachers don't get paid what they deserve. I am not a teacher but I know first hand that fat paychecks is not what they get.

Fat paycheck? Wow... you clearly know nothing about teacher salaries.

I was a student at Jordan. You may think it's a bad school, but it's not. As for the headjazz comment, do you even know the teachers there? They are friends. Just like other schools, all the school needed was more time. Resources and lack of information were the things that were bringing the school down, not the teachers. Sure, it may be a good thing for students who will now be under different rule, but, remember that all these students are family as well. And education is what matters, not, "Oh! That students has grate grades, I'm going to take that one because it'll make me look good!" The whole point of education is to teach and to keep learning. Don't try to take the easy way out!!!!

There are a lot of good teachers in Jordan. Unfortunately,they don't have a good district support team. It's a shame that people think teachers get "fat checks". Ludicrous !!!!!

The only crime of Jordan teachers: teaching in an area where education is not respected. The powers that be know that parents would not come to the teachers' rescue as they would in a middle class area. In fact, when a principal in Redondo Beach some years back tried to dismiss a teacher, the parents went to the press and the school board and the teacher was reinstated. No such support exists here, regardless of quality of teaching.

Jordan teachers: learn the lessons of Fremont teachers: Do NOT reapply for these jobs- the process is anything but fair, no criteria will be set, you will be interviewed by students who ditch your class, you will be lied to and disrespected. Realize that the district benefits in many ways by turning the public and the community against teachers-interestingly enough, middle class area superintendents celebrate their teachers.

We are in the midst of what China went through against educators in the 1960's and rich, varied curriculum (the four olds) is being replaced by scripted pablum (the little red book) and being enforced through terror to keep educators in line (value added). Due to this being a "free" nation, Cortines can't encourage the public to drag educators out into the streets and beat them, as was done in China, but he can do it metaphorically.

I agree, teachers do not earn fat paychecks (turn to LAFD for that), but per hour they earn better or comporable to most professions, given that they only work 180 days.

Greendot has yet to prove itself with Locke HS and LAUSD has yet to prove itself with Fremont HS(reconstitution). And now LAUSD is going to both reconstitue Jordan HS and give part of it away to Greendot.

LAUSD's logic is seriously flawed. If the idea behind many of their recent choices is to reform education to improve test scores, why give away a school or reconstitute it before their Guinea Pig schools show any clear sign of test score success? If the idea behind their choices is to reform education because of low API scores, why not give all low-performing schools the opportunity for teacher/ parent/student led reform?

The only thing I can think of to explain such a serious flaw in logic is that there is some private interest in all of this.

GreenDot is a non-profit organization, the only "private" interest in all of this are unions wanting to retain the status quo with rules such as seniority.

Teachers should be rewarded (more $$) for their hard work if we can see classroom results - some type of improvement. They should also be fired (not rehabilitated, not given extra training, not given multiple chances, etc.) for continued poor test results. The tests aren't perfect, but if they can't meet those standards, God help them. If their administration's hands are tied because of unions, it's time to reorganize. What students don't have is time.

Those that think teachers make a lot of money for the hours they work are not in touch with reality, or do not understand the prep, the after hours of grading(not paid), the extra tutoring sessions, the Saturday schools (charter schools), etc. If teachers didn't have breaks, too many good ones would experience burn-out.

Jordon HS students and teachers please share your experiences so we can guide reform away from this attack on teachers. As one post aptly points out the district is indulging in an ugly but cost effective process called "teacher cleansing" and our union is not doing much to defend us contrary to what propaganda would have the public believe.
Fat Paychecks? What are you smoking?
Do your homework!


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: