LAUSD + UTLA = Economic Segregation Writ Large in the 21st Century
So, apparently the only thing leadership in the Nation’s third most important and or newsworthy school district could do well during the years of COVID19 was feed thousands of Angelenos daily. An epic and noble effort, to be sure. But there was zero reportage on what those meals contained. I didn’t actually see any graphs or charts on meals distributed vs meals prepared, either. Finally, there were teams of culinary arts students at special day schools who were ready, willing, and able to continue their training. In at least 2 cases, I personally know 2 culinary arts educators who 1.) never stopped teaching culinary arts skills and 2.) their students, with funding, oversight, and practical hands on support, never stopped expanding and honing their skills in virtual or brick- and- mortar classrooms.
Most Angelenos not directly affiliated with LAUSD + UTLA have no idea that these students must master the hygiene and cooking health standards required of all "A" grade restaurants that have largely remained open throughout the lockdown. Before March 13, 2020, these culinary arts programs were earning their keep cost-wise and generating income for the “extras” that are the minimum expectations at LAUSD schools in wealthier and universally whiter neighborhoods.
Note well that when you look at the Los Angeles County grassroots activists who sued to expedite the re-opening of LAUSD schools, 100% of these parents were.... say it with me....you knew where this was going from the beginning... angry, resentful, wealthy, white at not at all in their culture accustomed to being parents to their children at home 24/7 ( 365).
Only those that shared that particular character and behavioral trait made a seamless shift from brick and mortar to virtual classrooms when success or failure to transition to new modalities of learning were the only possible options. Private- not-for-profit, charter, and homeschoolers suffered least after the initial shock of lockdown. Pandemic Pod classrooms had some bumpy starts, but basically settled down to education and "school year routines" and made up any losses in continuity of instruction.
Meanwhile, 57% of LAUSD families were immediately unemployed. As the premeditated and executive produced tragiocomic anarchy of POTUS45, the GOP, and at least 72 million registered voters held America and the World's full attention and morbid curiosity, massive numbers of POC began dying painfully, rapidly, and very much alone. The hate and ill will POC had always suspected had burst out like the toxic smelly pus everybody had sadly grown up being required to grin and bear every day since before I was born on May 13, 1959 at 4:30 pm Central Time in Chicago, IL at Lewis Memorial Hospital, a separate-but-equal hospital at 33rd Street and Michigan Avenue. Just a reminder that separate-but-equal is still impotent legal jargon with zero basis in sustainable global reality.
As had been anticipated by the Production& Creative teams, their were enough
adults of all ages with direct links to and robust oral histories of slavery, the civil war, reconstruction, race riots, etc. to be terrorized as they relived these times daily via the 24/7 "manufacturing consent" journalistic cycles on the Internet and cable news. Neverending relentless ballot recounts reminded everyone that all the freedoms we had grown comfortable living with could still disappear overnight. America was still just one Marshal Law / Mandatory Curfew declaration away from The Apocalypse. Earth itself was past the point of no return -- we were reminded of this on a daily basis.
Death tolls rose exponentially in a virtual one-to-one correlation with every lie and or piece of disinformation uttered from science and or elected and or appointed political and civic leaders. Only, often, loudly, and exclusively, only the voices " recognized and venerated before lockdown would continue to be heard. Apparently, only what THEY! thought, said, or did mattered. And soon, THEY! were the only voices with all the major backing from the men who owned the publishing and media empires. In 2021, the sun never sets on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX MEDIA, SKY NEWS. Conversely, Dr. Birx has gone silent after going on 60 Minutes to share her belief that 400,000 of the COVID19 deaths were preventable. Dr. Anthony Fauci has returned to his post HIV/AIDS pandemic levels of media exposure.
We are told that millions are still sick and or dead from COVID19. Meanwhile, we should all get back to normal. But in America, there are over 50 different legal versions of " normal". No version includes zero COVID19 or readily available treatment and cures. But we have improved in testing and rapid quarantine, and the dismantling of society via poverty and massive underemployment and unemployment.
So here is what has not yet been addressed: Why had LAUSD+UTLA been failing all communities that are majority non-white since before the first WATTS RIOTS? Why did America, Great Britain, and Europe descend rapidly into anarchy, xenophobia, and genocide in 2020 to the present day? At the same time, why have all the pious "saints" stayed silent-- rejoicing privately that the long-awaited judgment days of Revelation narratives have arrived? Why didn't we begin the pandemic by attempting to duplicate the success of Female-led New Zealand?
If our lives are pendulums, has anyone else noticed theirs' continuing to swing between hope/ optimism/ encouraging signs and no meaningful basic massive open change for the better for everyone/ too much trivial drama, insane liars/ no treatment and intervention for mentally ill chronic racists/ homophobes/ xenophobes/ misogynists, etc.?
There are so many questions that demand answers before we can successfully educate 100% of all of our children. But these questions are not at all reflected in LA Times op-ed pages:
"For some kids, Zoom in a room is a better option. ( make the author work at under-resourced Central City and Southeast/ south-central LA schools and prove this is true) There are tutors on site to give them extra help ( if this were true and had actually been working, I think families would have flocked to return to campuses), and they’re served prepared meals ( I challenge the writer to maintain their health on a diet of LAUSD meals. Many prepackaged items do not have ingredients listed; let alone nutrition information). which include a period of socialization with others( within their carefully maintained social distancing parameters inside more than outside; most students can do better at home and in their neighborhood pocket parks.)For parents who feel their kids have been skipping class or zoning out at home ( can we finally hold parents accountable for not providing essential support for their children education? Most likely this was a chronic issue before COVID19), this is a chance to have them under the eye of a teacher, albeit one who’s also teaching remotely to kids at home and in other classrooms. ( Talk about BURYING THE LEAD! All parents know how impossible it is to be in two different places at one time. The reality is that teachers teach remote students for 90 minutes, then get a break by themselves, then teach via technology in classrooms, then attend meetings via Zoom, then go home. Collegiality and collaboration, once normative teacher/paraprofessional expectations, are now " high risk for COVID19 transmission and forbidden") Parents also might need or want the child care." (Okay, how clueless is this writer or the readers? Child care is not education, you American Idiot!)
A global pandemic has been actively infecting and killing globally since at least Thanksgiving 2019. However, the massive global response has been nothing happening here, nothing to see here, keep it moving, keep it moving. And above all, don't tell anybody the truth. It's too scary and negative, especially since this is precisely what the world needs and deserves and is necessary to retain the status quo for the 1% who own and run the world, anyway.
No child left behind? Not there yet!
(C) VernonNickersonSchoolcoach 2021