South Los Angeles teacher opposes mayor’s education reform proposals

Listen to an audio story by Annenberg Radio News:


image Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spent most of his recent “State of the City” speech addressing education reform. Villaraigosa proposed getting rid of the “first in, last out” system, which refers to the order in which teachers are hired and eventually laid off or fired.

“What that equates to in our mind is we get rid of the more senior teachers because they get paid a lot more,” said Dr. Aissa Riley, a teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School. “So if a teacher’s making $80,000 because they’ve been working here for 20 years, well, we can fire that person and hire two more.”

Dr. Riley also expressed concern regarding public-private partnerships in the South Los Angeles community.

“So what happens is, when a student isn’t working out at one of their schools, they get sent here (Jefferson),” Riley said. “And we end up having larger class sizes in the middle of the year because all these students are coming mid-year because they’ve been kicked out of their other schools, and it also has a lot of students who if they couldn’t cut it at the other school, now we have to deal with them. Our school somewhat becomes a dumping ground for all these charter schools quote unquote bad kids. And then it lowers the quality of education for other students who we’ve been working with all year long.”