Alberto Valdivia, then UTLA treasurer, has nothing but praise for the lessons.
“This is really, really wonderful,” Valdivia says in the video. “And the reason that it’s wonderful is because it’s the students who are making the decisions. … Here you have this whole setup that is made for student enrichment, for student learning, for student knowledge.”
Viewers hear from more union officials and allies who are eager to heap praise upon the curriculum:
“I would think that this is one of the most valuable tools that the L.A. Unified School District has,” notes Miguel Contreras, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the L.A. County Federation of Labor.
“The vast majority of students will be entering the workforce in the next few years and it’s very important that they understand the role of unions,” says Kent Wong of the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education. “It’s very important that they understand the benefits of having a union contract and the role of collective bargaining in an environment that provides the only opportunity for workers to collectively negotiate their wages and their benefits.”
It appears that the curriculum is having its desired effect on students.
In the video, one student says, “It makes me – when I get my career or my job – it’s going to want me to get into a union, too, so that I’ll be protected, too.”
Amidst all this pro-union propaganda, parents and taxpayers are left to wonder if any part of LAUSD’s curriculum teaches students about how to start a business or how society and the American economy benefits from the entrepreneurial spirit.
It’s safe to assume that the Los Angeles school district cannot be bothered with pro-capitalist messages which would only distract from the mission of creating the next generation of labor leaders.
In 2000, the school district issued a memo indicating that “In two years, this [UTLA] program has directly served more than 80 teachers and their students in 39 LAUSD high schools. Almost 5,000 students have directly participated in a collective bargaining simulation.”
At long last, school administrators and union leaders are working together. It’s too bad that their joint venture involves indoctrinating students about the value of unionization and collective bargaining.
While it is difficult to nail down just how widespread the curriculum is outside of Los Angeles, the organizers claim they’ve received requests from school districts across the country to bring it to their communities.
“The project’s curriculum is literacy-based, approved by the District, and aligned with the District’s learning standards as well as the California History-Social Science Framework,” the memo states. Says something about California learning standards, doesn’t it?
The fact that schools from across the country want to use this curriculum says a lot about the state of American public education, too.