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Budget Cuts in Education
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(disclaimer: the views expressed below are not necessarily reflective of my own.)

Headline in a newspaper/newsletter called New American Media: "Diversity Will Be a Casualty of Teacher Layoffs." The editor notes that public schools are in dire need of teachers who reflect the demographic diversity of the state." Presumably, Anglo teachers cannot be proper role models and educators for children of color.

Current budget cuts and teacher and support staff layoffs will probably decrease diversity in those areas, so it is claimed. Though I would ask has anyone created any actual statistics using real data?

A previous article in the same outlet discussed how newer teachers are under-prepared for the subjects they are teaching, especially in the lowest performing schools. One of the key findings of the tenth annual "Report on California's Teaching Force" revealed that teachers are often not fulled credentialed and the most under-prepared teachers are the most recently hired and assigned to schools attended heavily by Latino and African-American students.

Students who speak Spanish and are taught in that language do not become fluent in English, even after several years.

Clearly, the issues involved are complex. One thing I do know: a good teacher transcends his/her gender or ethnicity or language. A good teacher shows students how to learn as well as imparting specific knowledge. A good teacher is well-educated, both in specific content and in people skills.

But now the show stopper: Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages--the Los Angeles Unified School District is proposing to lay off 8,000 employees involved in high school sports!

The horror! The consternation! That athletics should be interfered with?? Bother the academics, but we must preserve our sports program, the breeding grounds for future star athletes, who make more money at the top than the President of the United States (though he gets to fly in a way cool airplane).

And there you have it, ladies and germs. The latest and weirdest in the battle of the budget.

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