Mikhail Zinshteyn / EdSource
The Los Angeles Unified school board room in the district's downtown headquarters.
This story was updated to reflect further comments on the agreement by the district's superintendent and teachers' union president

Los Angeles teachers will be able to create their own work schedules and won’t be required to teach classes using live video platforms as part of an agreement reached late Wednesday with the Los Angeles Unified School District on guidelines for delivering distance learning for the rest of the school year in California’s largest school district.

The district and the United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing tens of thousands of district teachers, reached the agreement after days of marathon bargaining sessions, the union said Wednesday night. Superintendent Austin Beutner confirmed the agreement Thursday in a joint statement with Alex Caputo-Pearl, the president of the union. 

Beutner has not yet said schools will be closed for the remainder of the academic year, having only said they will be closed through at least May 1. However, Caputo-Pearl said Thursday morning in a Facebook Live address that he expects schools will remain shut down the rest of the school year.

We are pleased to announce that Los Angeles Unified and United Teachers Los Angeles have reached an agreement to provide the flexibility and support educators need to do their best work in these extraordinary circumstances. Our shared goal is to help students continue to learn and support students and families most in need,” Beutner and Caputo-Pearl said in their statement. 

Under the agreement, which expires June 30, teachers will have the flexibility to create their own work schedules while schools are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The agreement states that teachers “shall create, share and follow” a regular weekly schedule that includes teaching and student support. Teachers will be required to work for at least four hours daily under the agreement. Those work requirements will include holding at least three office hours each week.

Meanwhile, teachers will be encouraged, but not required, to use live video platforms such as Zoom as part of their teaching.

Teachers will also not lose any of their pay or benefits while schools are closed.

The agreement comes against the backdrop of harsh criticism from union leaders that teachers were being “micromanaged” by the district and being subjected to “unfounded directives and time-wasting processes.” The two sides arrived at the agreement after weeks of bargaining that featured 30 hours of negotiations this week, including 15 hours on Tuesday.

An agreement in the state’s largest district serving 600,000 students will surely act as a guide to districts across California where bargaining is underway with teachers unions on how to carry out distance learning. When state leaders urged districts to end in-person instruction for the rest of the school year as a way to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, they also urged that districts provide quality distance learning programs for the state’s six million students. While the state has pledged support, it has not dictated specifically how those programs will be carried out.

LA Unified has made progress in preparing students in the massive district for distance learning but significant challenges remain to reach all students. In an address Monday, Beutner outlined that despite spending $100 million on tools and technology, many students, especially those in the elementary grades, won’t have what they need to engage in online learning until May.

There are also benefits for students in the agreement, which states that students will not receive a grade that is worse than their grade as of March 13. Their grades can only improve the rest of the school year. That policy is in line with state guidance

Additionally, students will have access to counselors for academic, career and social and emotional needs, according to the agreement. Students will be able to schedule virtual or phone appointments “upon issuance of formal guidelines for one-on-one unit member-student engagement by the district,” the agreement states.

In his Facebook Live address Thursday morning, Caputo-Pearl emphasized that the agreement “is not trying to replace brick-and-mortar schools.” 

“You can’t replace brick-and-mortar schools and all the interaction that happens there and the crucial things that happen for equity to make sure that all students, regardless of race, income or gender, have equitable opportunities,” he said. “You need physical schools to do that. This is not trying to change that. This is just trying to manage a pandemic.”

Disagreements over whether to give teachers the flexibility to set their own schedules and whether to require them to teach via live video were major sticking points that prevented the two sides from reaching a deal before Wednesday, UTLA President-Elect Cecily Myart-Cruz told EdSource.

The district’s initial proposal in March stated that teachers “shall use live video engagement with students whenever possible.” It also stated that administrators “shall be given access to such live video engagement,” a nonstarter for the union. The agreement reached Wednesday does not include that language.

The union has argued that teachers should have flexibility to set their own schedules, rather than being mandated to teach on schedules set by schools.

“There are administrators who are hell-bent on micromanaging folks. And it’s ridiculous,” Myart-Cruz said in an interview Monday.

As part of the agreement, teachers are required to work 240 minutes or four hours each day, but it’s up to them to determine what that work will include. Caputo-Pearl said Thursday that those hours can include live teaching but also planning, grading, office hours and faculty meetings. 

“The vast majority of teachers” in the district will likely choose to work more than four hours a day, Caputo-Pearl said. However, he added that the union wanted to make sure that “in a crisis situation,” teachers can complete their work “in a flexible way.”

Many teachers will likely use live video to teach their classes, Caputo-Pearl said. But he added that the union rejected a “one-size-fits-all approach.” Instead of using video conferencing, some teachers may prefer using email, phone calls, recorded videos or other methods of communicating with students, he said.

“We wanted to leave the pedagogical discretion to the professionals, to educators,” he said. “You know what you’re doing with your students.”

The two sides also agreed that teachers will be required to receive professional development on “distance learning strategies and use of technology.” Those trainings will be “no longer than one hour” and teachers are expected to complete them by April 17.

However, the union will ask for an extension to that deadline if the district is unable to fix technical problems with Schoology, an online platform where teachers can share lesson plans and assignments with students. Teachers have reported the platform is often crashing, and the district acknowledged that technical issues existed. Beutner said Monday that the platform wasn’t built to support 500,000 users at the same time and that the district was enlisting a “major tech company” to fix the system.

The deal also states that special education teachers will provide distance learning “as appropriate” and “to the extent practical.” The union and the district plan to “continue to discuss how to provide equitable and appropriate education for students with disabilities,” the union said.

The union was also able to secure what Caputo-Pearl described as “the best agreement in the United States” for substitute teachers.

Substitutes who are currently on long-term assignments with the district will continue to receive the same pay rate. 

Day-to-day substitutes will be paid at least as much as they were already being paid “based on their current work year pattern,” the agreement states. They will be paid for three to six hours a day. 

“So nobody will be paid less than three hours a day, which is an amazing floor,” Caputo-Pearl said.

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  1. Paul 5 months ago5 months ago

    What I see in my community, is that teachers are still drawing full salary and benefits and doing little to nothing to teach and support students. Meanwhile, I have lost my job and spend all day sitting with my kids keeping them on track and coming up with my own assignments. In a normal school day the teacher would be available all day. Why do they now have no responsibility at all, yet continue to draw full pay?

  2. Dr. Bill Conrad 5 months ago5 months ago

    While we are in an extended school hiatus due to the COVID-19 Catastrophe, wouldn’t it be a great to go beyond the cosmetic logistical changes proposed by Governor Newsom? Let’s not revisit the bureaucratic model developed by the LA Unified school teachers’ union and the administration with its focus on reduced teaching time, commitment and aversion for bureaucratic rules. Let’s think big. Let’s go for a transformation of the K-12 education system. Given student performance on state tests, … Read More

    While we are in an extended school hiatus due to the COVID-19 Catastrophe, wouldn’t it be a great to go beyond the cosmetic logistical changes proposed by Governor Newsom?

    Let’s not revisit the bureaucratic model developed by the LA Unified school teachers’ union and the administration with its focus on reduced teaching time, commitment and aversion for bureaucratic rules.

    Let’s think big.

    Let’s go for a transformation of the K-12 education system. Given student performance on state tests, this transformation is long overdue.

    Why don’t we move toward the creation of a real teacher and administrator profession rather than a bureaucratic rules-based trade.

    Let’s institute a formal teacher career ladder of Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master Teachers. How about an expectation that all teachers engage in National Board Certification for starters? Teacher salaries should rise to the 6-figure level as they progress through the rungs of a well-defined career ladder. Master teachers would always make more money than administrators.

    And for god’s sake, let’s rebuild the woeful colleges of mis-education so that they attract the best and train them well.

    Administrators would always be drawn from the Master Teacher ranks for temporary roles as instructional models for Apprentice and Journeymen teachers. Schools could hire non-academic staff to run the business sides of school and districts. Teaching and learning, academic achievement, civic knowledge and engagement must become the relentless focus of schools within California – not poorly defined social emotional learning hokum etc.

    We also need to accelerate English Learner acquisition of English following scientifically-based theories of action so that our English Learners have access to academic English as quickly as possible so that they can achieve academically and civically with their peers. This may end white kids having the opportunity to learn Spanish, but so be it.

    And let’s think about giving students a voice in their learning. End War on Our Youth evidenced by so many metal detectors and actual police in our schools streamlining the school to prison pipeline. We need to start seeing the hope within our children rather than a dystopic vision of evil.

    Children should be able to evaluate every class that they attend using several key criterial aligned to what we know constitute quality teaching and learning. Students need to form active student committees that daily review aggregated teacher performance data as measured by student responses to several key questions aligned to the key teaching and learning criteria with key school and district administrators.

    We need to end the black box of the classroom and open it up to system-wide review by our students every class and every day. Business does this all the time. It’s time we moved in this direction in education.

    Let’s turn our raconteur and alchemistic trade or craft into a profession that is based on high performance and science .

    That would be a transformation that we all could be proud of.

    Si Se Puede.

  3. Susan 6 months ago6 months ago

    Once again the union has looked out for teachers and forgotten about the students. I work with teachers, and know that there are those who are doing a wonderful job in these circumstances. There are others who are doing precious little for their students; I expect these are the ones who don't want to be "micromanaged" by administrators, who in normal times would be in their classrooms. I see huge inequity issues looming here; those … Read More

    Once again the union has looked out for teachers and forgotten about the students. I work with teachers, and know that there are those who are doing a wonderful job in these circumstances. There are others who are doing precious little for their students; I expect these are the ones who don’t want to be “micromanaged” by administrators, who in normal times would be in their classrooms.

    I see huge inequity issues looming here; those who have teachers willing to learn new things themselves and teach a full day have a strong advantage over students who don’t. Once again it’s unionized teachers over what’s best for children.

  4. Vickie Waite 6 months ago6 months ago

    UTLA helped teachers feel valued. I do not see a problem with providing curriculum for my students. I have held 3 Zoom meetings. The biggest issue is getting students to participate. Listen... not all parents have the strong protocols in place to keep their students on a schedule at home. The responsibilities are 100% on the parents when home is your child’s classroom. If students that are old enough and responsible enough to … Read More

    UTLA helped teachers feel valued. I do not see a problem with providing curriculum for my students. I have held 3 Zoom meetings. The biggest issue is getting students to participate. Listen… not all parents have the strong protocols in place to keep their students on a schedule at home. The responsibilities are 100% on the parents when home is your child’s classroom. If students that are old enough and responsible enough to look at their teacher’s lessons, videos, Zoom Meetings/Conferences and step-up-to-learning, they can continue learning.

    From my house, I can only try and lead a horse to water, but sadly can’t make them drink. I had a record breaking 11 participants in my last Zoom. Most have shared with me they either are not looking for the work/assignments or they don’t understand something. Parents can help by reaching out to teachers too. It has to be a team effort always! Parents/guardians and teachers together can help shape futures.

    This is exactly why having an LMS (Learning Management System (LAUSD uses Schoology) is essential. Now the administrators need to step up believing that it is not going away! I am thankful that I use Schoology daily! Way less stressful before and during this pandemic.

    I teach 160 (or so) 6th-8th grade Computer Science and Video Production.

    For those parents that think teachers don’t have an often tough – and sometimes rewarding job –hopefully you have a new perspective! Even when you think you are being creative and surely the kids will love a lesson or a virtual field trip … that they will be able to use what they learn as soon as tomorrow… that they will appreciate all that you do… or try to do … it is not so black and white now, is it?!

    I say this to the parents/guardians that are trying to support learning: Good luck, hang in there, and don’t take it personally. This too shall pass. We teachers are here and support your efforts. We got this!

    Hurray for School Teachers.!!

  5. A very concerned teacher 6 months ago6 months ago

    I am appalled and extremely saddened by the complete lack of empathy given in the comments on this thread. First, this article never said anything about teachers still continuing to teach! Of course they are still teaching, they are just not required to video conference for 4 hours! Why is that such a problem for some? You act like the teachers are not doing anything just because they are not video conferencing. Additionally yes … Read More

    I am appalled and extremely saddened by the complete lack of empathy given in the comments on this thread. First, this article never said anything about teachers still continuing to teach! Of course they are still teaching, they are just not required to video conference for 4 hours! Why is that such a problem for some? You act like the teachers are not doing anything just because they are not video conferencing.

    Additionally yes many teachers have families as do I. I love my students and my athletes however, how unfair is it for you to think that your children are so much more important than my children? I have one computer in my house; if I have to teach for 4 hours on a live video when are my 3 other children supposed to complete their work? When am I supposed to help them get their stuff done while also still grading and creating lessons for the 90 other high school students I have outside of that 4 hour window?

    Many good teachers leave the profession because of insensitive comments like those displayed, low wages compared for the hours worked and little support from parents and administrators. I am so tired of hearing so many negative things about teachers, it is a tough job and more and more are leaving the profession. There is already a shortage of teachers and the numbers keep dwindling (ps. For those worried about social emotional development or learning how to interact with others, what makes you think that missing 3 months of school is really going to be that big of a deal based on the minimum of the 13 year timeline that students go to school?)

  6. Tricia A. 6 months ago6 months ago

    I should have perused the comments below. Parents – you may want to observe some of your children on Zoom. Teachers have prepared lessons to teach on line while your child is playing video games on his/her Switch, texting on the phone, shutting off the video so he/she can get a snack for 20 minutes, and doing anything but listening. Teachers have to mute the entire class because students can't stop interrupting the teacher and … Read More

    I should have perused the comments below. Parents – you may want to observe some of your children on Zoom. Teachers have prepared lessons to teach on line while your child is playing video games on his/her Switch, texting on the phone, shutting off the video so he/she can get a snack for 20 minutes, and doing anything but listening. Teachers have to mute the entire class because students can’t stop interrupting the teacher and students don’t even bother showing up to Zoom because nothing can be made “mandatory” at this point.

    There are many other ways to be an effective educator online, so please stop using Zoom as an arguing point. There are literally hundreds of interactive, engaging online teaching tools available to teachers at no cost that do not involve students blatantly ignoring the teacher or abusing video conferencing. Leave the teaching to the teachers and stop dictating how you think lessons should be taught. If you’re so effective, make sure your own children are completing their lesson plans and stop telling the teachers how to teach.

  7. David Cohen 6 months ago6 months ago

    I don't think the average person has any idea how time consuming it is to prepare lessons and curriculum, let alone do the grading and all the other communication and work that goes on outside the instructional minutes. We often comment among ourselves that it's harder to be absent than present, because preparing for a substitute involves putting so much into writing that we would otherwise handle simply and routinely in class. Well, now we … Read More

    I don’t think the average person has any idea how time consuming it is to prepare lessons and curriculum, let alone do the grading and all the other communication and work that goes on outside the instructional minutes. We often comment among ourselves that it’s harder to be absent than present, because preparing for a substitute involves putting so much into writing that we would otherwise handle simply and routinely in class. Well, now we have to put everything into different forms and formats, different workflow, revised requirements and calendars, new delivery systems, updated instructions, modifications, revisions… if you don’t know how much work is involved please refrain from offering negative assumptions and misguided criticisms. We have ALWAYS worked beyond the minimum for our students and will continue to do so. It’s a shame this article brought out some uninformed critics to deride us (mostly anonymously) during a global health emergency.

  8. Temal Tetin 6 months ago6 months ago

    This is disheartening. No accountability, a clear message that less work with no minimal standard for some degree of quality instruction for students. ensuring that payment is in place even for work that has not been done. Meanwhile the private sector, millions throughout the country are fending for themselves.

  9. Teacher in PJs 6 months ago6 months ago

    Listen, as an LAUSD teacher, we show up to class everyday during the academic school year. Our students see us and we see them and we spend time together in the same environment. We are still working! Our job requirements don’t change because our environment changes. We still teach and we still provide services to our students because we are NOT on vacation. How you do that is up to you. Yes, circumstances have changed … Read More

    Listen, as an LAUSD teacher, we show up to class everyday during the academic school year. Our students see us and we see them and we spend time together in the same environment.
    We are still working! Our job requirements don’t change because our environment changes. We still teach and we still provide services to our students because we are NOT on vacation. How you do that is up to you.
    Yes, circumstances have changed for nearly every human being on the planet. We can’t take this personally, and we shouldn’t take it out on our students. You can’t magically make parents parent just like you can’t motivate unmotivated students just because there is a pandemic.
    Provide the lessons the best way you know how, be reasonably accessible, but do what you know is right. Teachers have bleeding hearts. We all know we didn’t do this for the fame and glory. Please!
    We do this for the kids; not their parents, not for a raise (lol), and certainly not for a pat on the back. We do this because we’re good at it and because we care. Right?
    No one is asking you to put your health and your family at risk. You just do what you do best! I believe in teachers! We are a unique breed of individuals who can multitask, and yes, we burn out, but we’re also resilient and love our students and want what’s best for them.
    Deep breaths! We got this!
    Amen!

  10. Matthew Beine 6 months ago6 months ago

    Work at a independent private school.

    Within 3 days of shutdown, our students were getting 4 hours of engagement each day. Principal, teachers and parents all put children first.

    This union cares about none of those. Attitudes like this exacerbate the perception of rigid unions demanding more at costs of families.

    I’m sorry you are going through this parents; it sounds awful.

  11. Not a babysitter 6 months ago6 months ago

    All these parents who still want to pass the buck on us teachers. They never help their kids when they actually attend school; why would we think they would help them now? It's called...please live "teach" on Zoom so my kid can be babysit by you for 6 hrs and I don't have to do anything as a parent because "you're the teacher, it's your job." These parents are nuts if they think us teachers … Read More

    All these parents who still want to pass the buck on us teachers. They never help their kids when they actually attend school; why would we think they would help them now? It’s called…please live “teach” on Zoom so my kid can be babysit by you for 6 hrs and I don’t have to do anything as a parent because “you’re the teacher, it’s your job.”

    These parents are nuts if they think us teachers can continue teaching for a full school day from home, with our own kids & family to attend to and with the limited resources we have outside our classroom.

    Well done UTLA for putting your teachers 1st so that they can put their health & family 1st along with their students during a pandemic!!

    I’m so tired of parents assuming that it’s our “responsibility” as teachers to throw ourselves mercilessly into a profession because that’s what “good teachers who care do.” This is a job and my job doesn’t require me to do your job as a parent.

    I will not be live teaching with my students. I will not subject the privacy & safety of my home and family for a profession and certainly not for ungrateful parents who think they could do better… because hunny, little Johnny had an F before this pandemic while going to school for 6.5 hrs a day that you supposedly say you were doing your part and “working with him” – what makes you think now that I’m ‘only’ spending 4 hrs “live” teaching through distance learning that he’ll somehow be missing out now?”‍

    Ok. I’m done. Back to my vacation since that’s what these parents assume us teachers view this as.

    Replies

    • Kathy 6 months ago6 months ago

      Since the closure, I have been recording videos of lectures & lab experiments for my 3 high school science classes & we have been following our curriculum as usual (so far so good). Our school encouraged the use of Zoom, but the hacks in the news were very worrisome. Finally, I figured it was the most established platform being used so opened an account last Sunday. Early Monday morning I got an … Read More

      Since the closure, I have been recording videos of lectures & lab experiments for my 3 high school science classes & we have been following our curriculum as usual (so far so good). Our school encouraged the use of Zoom, but the hacks in the news were very worrisome. Finally, I figured it was the most established platform being used so opened an account last Sunday. Early Monday morning I got an urgent message from the school tech department that my school account had had several attempts to hack into it during the night. Might have been a total coincidence, but I will be continuing to record my videos of lessons & communicate with students via email & phone.

      • Dr. Bill Conrad 6 months ago6 months ago

        You are correct to suspect the security and privacy concerns with Zoom.

        However here are 10 tips that will greatly enhance the security and privacy of using Zoom. You may consider giving Zoom a test drive while you follow these easy to deploy security and privacy procedures.

        https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/zoom-security-ten-tips/34729/

    • Medeiros08 6 months ago6 months ago

      All of this!!! Your comment is spot on!! Shame on EdSource for the headline, the FB comments are horrendous! Making it sound like the union is advocating for us to do nothing! One thing in particular that irritates me is the Zoom thing. I wonder if parents are aware that there are currently several lawsuits against Zoom for selling user info, including student emails. Not to mention several instances of hackers entering meetings and exposing … Read More

      All of this!!! Your comment is spot on!! Shame on EdSource for the headline, the FB comments are horrendous! Making it sound like the union is advocating for us to do nothing!

      One thing in particular that irritates me is the Zoom thing. I wonder if parents are aware that there are currently several lawsuits against Zoom for selling user info, including student emails. Not to mention several instances of hackers entering meetings and exposing themselves. That’s the “privacy” issue we are concerned about, not our messy house in the background! But ya know, the people complaining are the same ones who complain under the best circumstances…and now they have to stare their own educational shortcomings straight in the eyes Time to take some responsibility for your kids … rant over.

  12. Min P 6 months ago6 months ago

    I am a teacher, currently teaching an online curriculum. Yes, our school hours are 4 hours a day, then you have the planning, the making of the videos (I prefer video lessons as my age group is 4 to 5), setting the materials, making sure there is minimal printing for parents who do not have printers and don't want to go outside their homes to print. Working out activities according to the level of each … Read More

    I am a teacher, currently teaching an online curriculum. Yes, our school hours are 4 hours a day, then you have the planning, the making of the videos (I prefer video lessons as my age group is 4 to 5), setting the materials, making sure there is minimal printing for parents who do not have printers and don’t want to go outside their homes to print. Working out activities according to the level of each of my 23 students. Then I check the previous day’s work, video recordings of the “games” or activities I sent them. The few paper-based tasks I sent them. Then I have to decide what tomorrow’s lesson will be like after looking at what I got back. Then the planning starts for the next day. Then I have to make sure I send feedback on each piece of work, video, photo I receive.

    I teach 3 lessons a day, phonics, math and story time (basically our topics, the next two weeks we are talking about life cycles of insects, animals, amphibians). My video lessons are about 6 to 10 min. long. Giving an explanation of what needs to be done, how to do it, what the reason is that they do it. After all that I am available to the parents for help from 9 – 7.

    I need to write a report on each of my 23 children every 2 weeks, full report on how they are performing, where they need extra help, then plan for that and make it happen. I must make sure all children get the education they deserve, and I really want that for them.

    I also have my own two boys, 3 and 6. They also need to do their distance learning. And be fed and be looked after and be bathed and be put in bed, by a mother that does not have time to spend with them, because she is catering for 23 other children.

    I start work at 8 in the morning, and I am lucky if I have an hour somewhere during the day, just to make myself and family some lunch and supper. My daily bedtime for the past 6 weeks is around 12 or 1 in the morning. Still checking work, still answering parents, because yes, they still ask you questions until that time. And submitting work, that needs to be checked and commented on.

    Please, if you think you know so much about what is going on in your child’s teacher’s life, please stop. You are wrong. You have no idea. We are human too. We also need sleep. Our own children deserve the little time we spend with them. They are just as important as your children. Please think before you make comments like these.

    Replies

    • Dr. Bill Conrad 6 months ago6 months ago

      Thank you Min P.
      I tip my hat to your great efforts on behalf of our children!

  13. Linda 6 months ago6 months ago

    I am caring for 3 grandchildren, teaching 3rd grade and preschool. I couldn't wait for LAUSD to figure out a plan. I have my own solid curriculum already in play for over a month now. On a schedule that works with my younger ones. All I need is someone or somewhere to email his scanned work for grading and approval. The current offerings were useless, a bunch of different websites, videos the teacher hadn't even … Read More

    I am caring for 3 grandchildren, teaching 3rd grade and preschool. I couldn’t wait for LAUSD to figure out a plan. I have my own solid curriculum already in play for over a month now. On a schedule that works with my younger ones. All I need is someone or somewhere to email his scanned work for grading and approval.

    The current offerings were useless, a bunch of different websites, videos the teacher hadn’t even reviewed that were really bad. We are using Khan Academy for math, Mystery Science for science videos, a typing site and Freckle Math, along with math workbook and science book from school. LAUSD was such a disappointment, no plan, really? No pre-planned curriculum for any event resulting in a school closure, even when you saw it in China months ago. Pathetic lack of planning. I couldn’t even get his teacher to commit to sending her weekly homework packets or planned daily curriculum list to parents via email!

    I agree, they should all stay in current grade to fix this mess since it is clear LAUSD isn’t going to be able to pull it off.

  14. AParent_and_ChildofTeachers 6 months ago6 months ago

    I am sorry but this is a stab in the heart of students and parents on the way the UTLA thinks that this agreement is the best for students. I think it is very important for students to see their teaches in a live conference; it actually will bring some normalcy to the life for them. I think the amount of time on the call is irrelevant. The key is getting access to … Read More

    I am sorry but this is a stab in the heart of students and parents on the way the UTLA thinks that this agreement is the best for students. I think it is very important for students to see their teaches in a live conference; it actually will bring some normalcy to the life for them. I think the amount of time on the call is irrelevant. The key is getting access to the devices and internet connection to be on the conference calls. We have children in our house ages, 4, 6, and 9.

    The 9 year old and the 4 year olds teachers within a week set-up video conferences. Yes, our Preschool teacher is awesome. But their classes made a big difference on them.

    Our 4 year old loves the conference call and asked to do it twice a day, she did 2 day for the AM class and the PM class. The calls she does are so interactive that it seems that the hour just flies by for him. She has them up dancing and exercising. It is done wonderfully.

    Before the live conference calls is was hard to figure out and pace the 9 year old on his homework packet, until the conference call started. The ability to engage with the teacher about assignments was a great help. It focused him and helped him organize his work.

    For the 6 year old, not until last week did they finally do a conference call. He finally got into a routine. Hopefully it will continue. But it was sheer confusing until they managed to start them

    I was really perturbed when I heard one of the arguments that the UTLA made was that the teachers had to have flexibility to not have scheduled conference calls because they had now to home school their own kids also. What, wait, what? This lets me really see how out of touch the UTLA is on reality of the world. Currently about 1 in 10 people are unemployed. For the 9/10ths of the adults that means that they are still working. A good portion of that are our doctors, nurses, firefighters, and police. The other are grocery workers, delivery, and other essential services. They also need to work and juggle the new demands of homeschooling their kids. Where is their “flexibility” in their schedule? Now let’s add in the rest of the population that has to work from home and the new challenges of working with 3 kids needing attention and now school instruction also. Yet the ones that are being paid for the job are saying they can’t teach because they have to take care of their own kids home schooling but I should pay them the same.

    I am one of the ones that still has to work every day outside of the home. I work for an essential business. Every week over the weekend our teachers post the assignments and the schedule for the week. So Sunday night I set up their work by day organize it in a binder by day. Put post-its to mark the pages that they will need for the week and add the conference calls times for the week in google calendar so I can call them and remind them to be on the calls.

    There are nights that I am up until 2 AM getting them prepared. I need to wake up and 6 AM for work. But a parent needs to do what they need to do for their kids. When I get home I check all their work. After they make any changes, I cook dinner, get them bathed, and to bed. Then I upload all their assignments so the teachers can grade it. Usually keeping me up until 12 AM.

    The challenges are real for all and it is very unfortunate that UTLA believes that adding even more burden on the parents to now do all the teaching of our kids is okay when we live in a digital age and have tool that allow for “Distance Teaching” not simply distance learning. Handing out a weekly load of busy work for kid is just more work for parents. I really hope that the teachers continue to use distance learning. The digital divide can easily be fixed by passing out the correct equipment and should not be used as an excuse.

    Replies

    • Sue Mack 6 months ago6 months ago

      You are so right. Teachers who aren’t connecting to their students should be ashamed of themselves

  15. Dr. Bill Conrad 6 months ago6 months ago

    Some things never change. The LAUSD teachers' union and administrators have shot themselves in the foot once again. They have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Once again, here was a real opportunity to demonstrate professionalism within our ranks. But what do we get? We get a union fighting for minimal time, minimal commitment and relaxation of perceived bureaucratic rules. Sound familiar? We get an administration that rolls over. Sound familiar? Of course, teachers should not be on a … Read More

    Some things never change.

    The LAUSD teachers’ union and administrators have shot themselves in the foot once again.

    They have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Once again, here was a real opportunity to demonstrate professionalism within our ranks.

    But what do we get?

    We get a union fighting for minimal time, minimal commitment and relaxation of perceived bureaucratic rules. Sound familiar?

    We get an administration that rolls over. Sound familiar?

    Of course, teachers should not be on a Zoom technology for 4 hours. Who could stand that? Certainly not the students. We should know better, people.

    Two hours would be plenty for the kids and teachers to handle in an online situation.

    And yes, all teachers should meet with the students online – face to face with the appropriate security arrangements in place.

    In addition, to 2 hours of face time, teachers would be expected to spend a couple of hours preparing or adapting standards-aligned lessons to an online environment in small manageable time chunks for the children.

    Two hours of daily professional development on the use of online teaching systems, professional practices, and curriculum should be a part of the daily routine.

    It would not be unreasonable to expect one hour of grade level or subject level collaboration time for teachers.

    One hour to grade and respond to individual student work by e-mail would also be nice.

    Students would be expected to spend time between online sessions completing standards aligned tasks and assignments with regular check-ins with their teachers. Older students could also be expected to collaborate with teams of fellow students on completing assignments.

    I know this is very scary thinking as the hours for teachers add up to 8. Most teachers would be doing this anyway.

    But including it as an expectation would only raise the stature of the profession of teaching in the eyes of the public – many of whom would give their right eye to have the opportunity for an 8-hour job with rich benefits.

    As for the district administrators, they should be supporting the principals in helping the teachers improve their professional practices, assessment capabilities, curriculum interpretation, and adaptation to an online environment.

    Now that would be a plan worth standing behind as a profession and one that would make parents and the community proud. A relentless pursuit of excellence in professional practices, assessments and curriculum.

    Enough of the usual union/administration bickering over the banal.

    Let’s transform our unions and administrative teams with its typical stereotypes into a real profession and not a trade.

    The children and families have been waiting far too long for this much needed transformation. Let Coronavirus be the catalyst for real change not bureaucratic hour counting.

    Corona karma.

    Replies

    • Sue Mack 6 months ago6 months ago

      Spot on! Kids need to see their teachers and other students, even if for only 1/2 hour.

  16. Francisca Salcedo 6 months ago6 months ago

    As the mother of a San Diego Unified second grade student, I am beyond words to see how the public education of California's children is being decided by a labor union. What about our kids? As a family and as a taxpayer, I feel like public education is being held hostage by unions that think of our kids lastly. Parents, students and community members are not given a voice in crucial decision making. I … Read More

    As the mother of a San Diego Unified second grade student, I am beyond words to see how the public education of California’s children is being decided by a labor union. What about our kids? As a family and as a taxpayer, I feel like public education is being held hostage by unions that think of our kids lastly. Parents, students and community members are not given a voice in crucial decision making.

    I am so thankful to all the compassionate teachers who have a true vocation for teaching and who don’t see our kids as an inconvenience and as a paycheck. Teachers who go above and beyond because they understand that our most valuable resource is our children.

    I pray that as a community we demand to put students’ needs first.

    Replies

    • David Cohen 6 months ago6 months ago

      Nothing is decided by the union. The union negotiates. If you don't like the outcome take it up with your elected officials who also decided. It is actually a good thing, by the way, for workers to have a strong collective voice in the nature of their work. You may not always like it, but there's no reason to believe that you'd get better long-term outcomes if the workers had no voice in the workplace. … Read More

      Nothing is decided by the union. The union negotiates. If you don’t like the outcome take it up with your elected officials who also decided. It is actually a good thing, by the way, for workers to have a strong collective voice in the nature of their work. You may not always like it, but there’s no reason to believe that you’d get better long-term outcomes if the workers had no voice in the workplace. Hand all the power to the administrators and politicians and you’d get an inferior system.

  17. Gabriela Resendiz-Silva 6 months ago6 months ago

    Thank you for the information

  18. BW 6 months ago6 months ago

    It’s unfortunate the children and parents don’t have a union.

  19. Susan Burnett, PhD 6 months ago6 months ago

    Glad a resolution was found. I certainly hope reduction in teachers’ hours of instruction result in reduction of pay so that we can pay the parents for doing the job.

    Replies

    • Angela 6 months ago6 months ago

      Hello Susan PhD. I don’t know where you went to school, but every educated person can agree it is also the parents' job to teach their child. Teachers can only do so much when they are at school; now that they are not, parents should be stepping up. My students' parents are working hard with their child daily and are open to any work I give them. This will NOT work without … Read More

      Hello Susan PhD.
      I don’t know where you went to school, but every educated person can agree it is also the parents’ job to teach their child. Teachers can only do so much when they are at school; now that they are not, parents should be stepping up. My students’ parents are working hard with their child daily and are open to any work I give them. This will NOT work without teamwork. Your comment was just rude. Can I get some of my dentist’s paycheck because I make my kids brush their teeth? Or the doctor’s because I feed my children healthy food? Come on!

  20. Kiana 6 months ago6 months ago

    I personally don’t agree! These 2 week packets that they are sending home are okay. But the children seeing their teachers and class mates on Zoom and other teaching platforms are very essential to their learning but also to their mental health. They still need to learn and acquire those social skills that they are loosing at this time. I’m not saying they need to be logged in live on a learning platform for 8 … Read More

    I personally don’t agree! These 2 week packets that they are sending home are okay. But the children seeing their teachers and class mates on Zoom and other teaching platforms are very essential to their learning but also to their mental health. They still need to learn and acquire those social skills that they are loosing at this time.

    I’m not saying they need to be logged in live on a learning platform for 8 hours a day, but how about 4 hours with a 20 minute break after 2 hours have passed.

    I get that everyone may not have the technology or resources to do online learning, but why should the rest of the children suffer that have access. 90% of these platforms are phone and tablet friendly. We have to do better by our kids. Especially the younger kids.

    My son is a 3rd grader and we are doing the best we can to encourage and support and help his learning at home, but giving him access to a live teacher a few hours a day would be amazing! Plus it gives the teachers a chance to see the study and make sure they are okay.

    Many students live in homes where they are neglected. This would give a daily chance for teachers to see and talk to their students and be able to report something if it doesn’t seem right!

  21. Brenda O 6 months ago6 months ago

    The requirements for parents to monitor “distance learning” is unfair. Parents are trying to keep their jobs as many are being laid off. Districts should have students remain in their current grade when the 2020-21 fall school year begins. Much will be review but many will prosper with repetition and review. There will be time to focus on socio-emotional learning rather than strict academics.

  22. Chris O 6 months ago6 months ago

    Wow… 4 whole hours a day? And a full hour of professional development training on how to teach online? Really looking out for the students here …

    Replies

    • David Cohen 6 months ago6 months ago

      Are you under the impression that under current circumstances most teachers or students have the capacity to do more than that? Any reason to believe that students would benefit from more and more online instruction under these conditions? Also, it likely takes additional hours each day to prepare for those four hours, plus time for communications among school staff, admin., parents, etc. It seems kind of catty to take a shot at teachers during a … Read More

      Are you under the impression that under current circumstances most teachers or students have the capacity to do more than that? Any reason to believe that students would benefit from more and more online instruction under these conditions?

      Also, it likely takes additional hours each day to prepare for those four hours, plus time for communications among school staff, admin., parents, etc. It seems kind of catty to take a shot at teachers during a pandemic response, while most of us have additional responsibilities to care for our own families. No one is having an easy time of this.

    • Adelita 6 months ago6 months ago

      Thank you for this comment Chris. It’s all thanks to the dedicated teachers union in LA! It will be a shame if other districts follow suit…

    • Dan Plonsey 6 months ago6 months ago

      Many teachers have their own families to care for. And parents of students do not want their kids glued to laptops all day; some kids are needed to care pretty much all day for their siblings. I would suggest that those of us who are "looking out for the students," as you are, ought to be fighting for the millions of parents who have lost their jobs, or who are forced to work under unsafe … Read More

      Many teachers have their own families to care for. And parents of students do not want their kids glued to laptops all day; some kids are needed to care pretty much all day for their siblings. I would suggest that those of us who are “looking out for the students,” as you are, ought to be fighting for the millions of parents who have lost their jobs, or who are forced to work under unsafe conditions – rather than making snide remarks.

      • Ed-M 6 months ago6 months ago

        I am not sure that parents were even in the loop on this decision. The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few. Personally when my kids are on the conference call when I schedule my work conference calls, we still got to work if we want to eat. I am assuming that same should go for the teachers. If the teachers' kids we on conference calls with their own teachers, maybe they … Read More

        I am not sure that parents were even in the loop on this decision. The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few. Personally when my kids are on the conference call when I schedule my work conference calls, we still got to work if we want to eat. I am assuming that same should go for the teachers. If the teachers’ kids we on conference calls with their own teachers, maybe they can do their work also. Isn’t that how it worked before Covid-19?

        I take my kids to school to be taught while I go to work to put food on the table. After work I work on there home work with them. When did having the teachers teach, the students learn, and the parents support be too much to ask?

    • Mary 6 months ago6 months ago

      I totally agree with you. What a shame that children continue to be negatively impacted by bureaucracy.

    • john 6 months ago6 months ago

      Why don’t you sign up and teach if you think you can do better…