Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Superintendent Militant Angeleno?

With the recent stepping-down of Supernintendo Superintendent David Brewer from the Los Angeles Unified School District, it appears that the second-largest public school system in the country is in need of a new leader. Someone with new ideas, who's not afraid to take risks, and one with a true vision for education in Los Angeles.

The Militant knows exactly the person who can accomplish this.


Yes, the Militant Angeleno is putting it right out there: He would like to be the next Superintendent of Schools for the LAUSD.

So the Militant lacks the experience, you say? Surely you jest. The LAUSD needs someone who really knows the school district. Brewer's predecessor, Roy Romer, was once the former Governor of Colorado. Brewer, a former Navy admiral, has military experience. This blogger has, of course, militant experience.

Brewer has had a total of two years of experience in the LAUSD. Romer had five years.

The Militant, on the other hand, has 13 years of experience in the LAUSD.

Okay, granted, all of those 13 years were being a K-12 public school student. But still, who better to know the needs and issues of the school district than an actual product of it?

The Militant, as a high school student, excelled in subjects like English, History and the arts. At the same time, he was an awful Math student, was not so hot in Science, and very mediocre in foreign languages.

When the Militant was but a little kid, he was fascinated with science, so much that one of his childhood aspirations was to be an astronaut. But see, the poor quality of teaching and educational materials made science a dull subject for him so much that his desire waned, and so did the grades. So there you go, that's one of the areas where our schools are sorely lacking.

Again on the topic of experience, maybe it is true the Militant is not experienced enough -- the Militant will gladly admit that he sorely lacks experience in corruption, allowing massive cost overruns and gross incompetence.

And Brewer's $400,000 salary? Heck, the Militant will work for half that! Even quarter that! (It'll still be oodles more than his current militant income...)

As far as a vision, the Militant definitely has one:

First off, stop this idiotic LAUSD land grab we have seen in the past few decades. It's no secret that we've lost a lot of our history because of this. The Militant will build school sites with a smaller footprint, rather than large-acreage schools that take away people's homes, commercial areas and precious parks, recreation and open space.

Develop vocational partnerships with local industries, such as health care, trade/manufacturing and the entertainment/tourist industry. That way we can develop a loyal local pool rather than rely on transplants showing up at the Greyhound station to take all the jobs.

And speaking of local, establish a local history curriculum. The Militant knows his Los Angeles history, as you all know, but virtually none of it came from the classroom. He had to learn it on his own. We have kids who live and breathe and learn and play here, yet they have absolutely no concept of how this City came to be, and how it functions, on a societal, cultural, economic and governmental level.

Lastly, as superintendent, the Militant will make sure the LAUSD follows this one motto: Quality over Quantity. For decades the LAUSD has been psychotically obsessed with capacity, capacity, capacity, resulting in the aforementioned land grab to accommodate the overcrowding. Enough of this, it's the quality of the edjumakation that has to be at the forefront. And losing kids to private and charter schools shouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, if they're that obsessed with containing capacity and keeping classroom sizes down.

Seriously now, the Militant saw his share of teacher's strikes and walkouts back when he was in school; those things leave a lasting impression for a young, aspiring militant. He also recently had a conversation with an unspecified former member of the Board of Education who candidly told the Militant that the situation regarding the relationship between the teachers union and the District is "downright chaotic" nowadays as compared to when the Militant was in school.

Enough of this, the Militant says, crap will be cut and credibility will finally be restored to our ailing school system.

And if he doesn't do such a great job as superintendent, well...they can always buy out his contract.


pd said...

Hell yes. Cast my vote for the M.A.!

Heather Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Militant, you'll have to do bureaucratic jujitsu with some of the wiliest and dangerous creatures known to tax payers anywhere. They ate a navy admiral up and spit him out. You'll need a very big stick to get the job done. Godspeed!

philpalm said...

I was reading about how New York has a lot of Public schools that specialize in a certain area like Music and Arts. Why can't some of the magnet schools get really popular in some areas?

I won't mention how the teacher's union is fraught with a lot of baggage...definitely a military (iron fist) attitude may help in some cases.

Though I too was a product of LAUSD that still doesn't excuse the way I turned out...a failed scientist...

Miles said...

I second the MA's nomination!

Militant Angeleno said...

Philpalm: Actually the LAUSD has several magnet schools, and to their credit, they're fairly decent programs. They have been trying to expand them too, especially with the new land-grab campuses opening.

jeffro said...

Well, my 1st choice was going to be Malcolm Gladwell but I do think you'd do a great job. You should check out this article, though.

philpalm said...

Jeffro, I almost stopped reading your link but got to the part where bad teachers need to be thrown out of the system.

In a way a very savy teacher has been glorified in movies and teachers tend to fall between great and terrible.

Definitely a great bureaucrat will not be loved by all, lots of hard decisions have to be made and a lot of unrewarded innovators need to be encouraged...

Drew said...

Good stuff. If you got the gig, you would kick ass old school.