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Caputo-Pearl: ‘Shameful’ to blame Jefferson High teachers

Craig Clough | October 14, 2014

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Alex Caputo-Pearl at a news conference

Alex Caputo-Pearl, President of UTLA

The president of the teachers union, Alex Caputo-Pearl, today refuted accusations by LA Unified officials that teachers are to blame for the scheduling problems at Jefferson High School.

“Some district people, not all, have brought forward the idea of blaming the teachers, which is ridiculous and a red herring,” Caputo-Pearl told LA School Report. “There is actually more sections of classes as an absolute number offered at Jefferson than at most high schools.”

In an LA School Report story on Monday, several district officials said part of the blame for scheduling problems was on the teachers at the school for refusing to alter their schedule, which is an eight-period day that allows for two teacher conferences instead of the typical one.

Addressing the board during a special session dedicated to Jefferson, Caputo-Pearl said the district’s blaming of teachers “is shameful, actually, that there are district personnel who have tried to blame this situation on teachers and educators. The schedule that they have at Jefferson actually offers more than enough space, class sections and flexibility to offer the classes that would have been needed, had appropriate scheduling been brought forward.”

Caputo-Pearl said blame lies not with the teachers, but with the district and Superintendent John Deasy for changing administrators several times as the school year was about to begin, in one case installing one without expertise in master scheduling at the high school level. He also blamed MiSiS, the district’s new software system.

“Typical Deasy trying to blame things on the union. Its very clear that he didn’t have a plan for Jefferson, he put in an inexperienced administration in,” Caputo-Pearl said. “He minimized the role of MiSiS by saying for weeks that the problem wasn’t as bad. It’s typical Deasy to take something that was his responsibility and swing it around into the winners’ column.”

Caputo-Pearl also said the union believes an independent monitor should be placed at the school to make sure the temporary restraining order that was issued last week by a judge is carried out correctly.

Vanessa Romo contributed to this report. 

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