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CA. Government Targets Teachers that Speak Out Against Corruption

January 29, 2011

Over the years that Uprising has covered education and LAUSD, we’ve often turned to one eloquent public school teacher, Leonard Isenberg.

Leonard has echoed the voices of many teachers frustrated by the status quo, and has shared his ideas of what an educational system that would truly address the needs of students could look like.

 The last time we spoke with Leonard was in December 2009 when he had just launched a website for teachers to be able to speak freely about issues concerning them. Since then, Isenberg has found himself being targeted by the school district and abandoned by his union for speaking out about students routinely graduating without mastering even the most basic of skills.

After more than 20 years of teaching and stellar teaching evaluations, Mr. Isenberg suddenly began getting extra classrooms visits, and a slew of negative evaluations and suspensions.

 Last year he was finally removed from his classroom, forcibly in handcuffs by LAUSD police, after which he has remained in administrative limbo awaiting a decision over his fate.

 What is more shocking than what has happened to this highly qualified teacher, who has both a Masters in Education, and a law degree, is that his situation is far more common that most of us realize. Made famous by an article in the New Yorker, about how New York’s public school teachers are placed in so-called Rubber Rooms, it turns out that the purgatory for teachers who speak out is a widespread and national phenomenon.

The “rubber rooms” are rooms where teachers under investigation get paid to do nothing while they await disciplinary or investigative procedures, often for months, sometimes years. While New York has now banned the use of these rubber rooms, the underlying issue of corruption in public school districts continues unabated, and teachers like Leonard Isenberg who speak out, are among the casualties, alongside of course, the students.

See 3 Part Series at:

Another resource for teachers who are abused for speaking out is

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