And in the Department of Dubious Achievement . . .
The bilingual-education office of the Los Angeles Unified School District's research and evaluation branch has been given the first--but not the last--Waste Basket Award by the United Teachers of Los Angeles (utla) and John Greenwood, a member of the Los Angeles Board of Education.
The award will be given monthly to the administrator or department that generates the "most useless or ridiculous piece of paperwork," according to Judy Solkovits, utla president.
The office was chosen from many contenders in a district that is, a union spokesman said, in the midst of a "paperwork crisis." The offending document was entitled "The elementary teacher's worksheet for Lau bilingual classrooms."
It was chosen, the union spokesman said, because after it is filled out, "It doesn't go anywhere. No one reads it." Indeed, written on the form are the words: "Please keep these worksheets on file at your school." The form was also "alphabet soup," the union spokesman said, full of acronyms familiar only to experts in the field. Completion of the form is one of many federal requirements for bilingual education, which, in polyglot Los Angeles, affects perhaps half of the elementary-school teachers in the district.
The form, utla officials say, is but one example of the paperwork requirements that are occupying more and more of teachers' time--time that would be better spent teaching children.
There is some sign of relief in the paperwork crunch. Last fall, Gov. Edmund G. Brown signed a bill that is intended to cut substantially the amount of paperwork required of teachers.
The legislation required the establishment of "paperwork advisory committees" to study the problem and recommend solutions.
Unfortunately, it will take a year to process the paperwork needed to establish the committees.