The Los Angeles teachers union wants district officials to allow teachers to opt out of live video learning programs and ban administrators from observing the streaming classes.
“Our members need to be left alone to do their work with students and families,” Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of the United Teachers Los Angeles, said in a Facebook live post to members last week. “We are not going to stand for ridiculous micromanagement, onerous directives and time wasting regimes that principals or local district personnel come up with.”
The complaints follow the district transition to online learning on March 16 as schools shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The UTLA sent a letter to the district last week with several demands, including the ability for teachers to skip faculty meetings, teacher created class schedules, loosened special education requirements, and overly scripted lesson plans, the Daily News reports.
LA teachers spent several mandatory development days over the past two weeks going through a series of video lessons outlining the district’s Schoology online learning platform, as well as trainings centered on specific subjects.
“If these onerous directives from principals and local district personnel do not stop, then we will be forced to resist them,” Caputo-Pearl said. “We’re not going to be taken away by busy work from the real work, which is working with the human beings that need us.”
The district has not responded to the UTLA’s complaints, which Caputo-Pearl outlined the day before the start of a week-plus spring break.
But teachers are sounding off about the “onerous directives” online.
4 hours of mandatory #LAUSD PD today (oh yes, lots of synthesis going on) and a 1 hour faculty meeting. Now finally getting back to helping students w their work. @UTLAnow First day I cried about work.
— Michele Levin (@squish61) April 2, 2020
“4 hours of mandatory #LAUSD PD today (oh yes, lots of synthesis going on) and a 1 hour faculty meeting. Now finally getting back to helping students w their work,” Michele Levin posted to Twitter. “@UTLAnw First day I cried about work.”
“What about Special Education RSP that have to use a 17 step process to log any interactions including posting of assignments for their students, communicate with each of their different grade level teachers, take both mandatory 5 hour PDs & SPED PDs!?”
The complaints are flooding in as county and state officials are urging LAUSD to remain closed for the remainder of the school year. The district hasn’t announced its final plan for the school year, with schools scheduled to remain closed until May 1, the Daily News reports.
LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said last week that about 40,000 Los Angeles high schoolers have not logged in to the district’s online learning system on a daily basis, while about 15,000 students aren’t participating at all.
“Those 15,000 skew toward those living in the deepest poverty, experiencing homelessness or are in the foster care system and struggle to attend school even in an ordinary circumstance,” he said.