Friday, September 26, 2014

In memory of Benjamin Reyes, a champion of Adult Education and Public Education

¡Benjamin Reyes Presenté!

In memory of Benjamin Reyes, a champion of Adult Education and Public Education In memory of Benjamin Reyes, a champion of Adult Education and Public Education In memory of Benjamin Reyes, a champion of Adult Education and Public Education

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Adult Education Committee of UTLA meet and support Bennett Kayser

I'll be there!

The Adult Education Committee of UTLA meet and support Bennett Kayser by Robert D. Skeels

Bennett Kayser supports Ethnic Studies and Adult Education

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Who wants to play Reformey Buzzword Bingo?

Who wants to play Reformey Buzzword Bingo?

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Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve (SLASD) October General Assembly

Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve (SLASD)

Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve (SLASD) General Assembly

Thursday, October 2, 2014
4:15-6:30PM
LOCATION: TBA

Rosa Jimenez's notes from previous General Assembly:

Students and Parents from 10 different schools across LA participated. Many teachers from an even more schools and community college students attended the General Assembly as well.

Members from half a dozen community organizations participated as well as reps from various labor organizations and neighborhood councils.

As always, the General Assembly started with a Snapshot of a Social Movement—this time focusing on lessons that can be learned from students getting organized for educational justice across the nation.

Then the General Assembly created space for students, parents and teachers to discuss where to take our movement. We want to build off of our last year’s organizing and successful actions, including our March where we called upon LAUSD’s School Board to take up the issues that students, parents and teachers of the Grassroots Coalition have been organizing around.  Students met as a constituency group, as did parents and the teachers in a third group.

The Grassroots Coalition of Schools LA Students Deserve came up with some great ideas which we will be announcing soon.



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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Don't let Marshall Tuck rob California students of their own identities and dignity!

Don't let Marshall Tuck rob California students of their own identities and dignity!

All three of these individuals used their positions of power over school children of color to shut down Ethnic Studies Programs, close Heritage Language Programs, and shutter Dual Language Immersion Programs. In some cases they even banned influential books like Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Students have the right to learn about their own cultures, languages, and histories. What kind of individuals rob students of their own identities and dignity?

WEALTHY WHITE MALES LIKE MARSHALL TUCK KILLED ETHNIC STUDIES

http://j.mp/TUCK_FACTS | http://j.mp/TUCK_FAIL | http://j.mp/TUCK_TRUTH



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Campaign to Promote Ethnic Studies Summitt Flyer, October 18, 2014

Campaign to Promote Ethnic Studies Summitt Flyer, October 18, 2014 by Robert D. Skeels



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Friday, September 19, 2014

Robert D. Skeels' education pins on Pinterest

Follow Robert D.'s board Education on Pinterest.

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Families with Students With Disabilities make LAUSD hear your voice!

The following is from a parent-activist whose tireless advocacy for Students With Disabilities (SWD) inspires. Her own child was a SWD, but she continued advocacy long after they graduated. The Deasy regime has been keen on keeping Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) parents with SWD in the dark on their rights in order to reduce the number of Individual Education Plans (IEP) in the district. The money he "saves" can then be channeled into his pet projects that invariably feature public funds going to large technology concerns.


Families with Students With Disabilities make LAUSD hear your voice!

Each child must have quality, individualized services and supports to which they are entitled under the law. — copaa.org

LAUSD Parents, please help spread the word!

LAUSD specific for families of students with disabilities. Public Hearing. Please come or send in written concerns. There are rumors that the District is seriously trying to sign off on this and we have lost ground in spite of what the data is showing. The last time I spoke, I shared accounts of District personnel falsifying data to "appear" compliant. If the Independent Monitor doesn't hear of the non-compliance from families, he'll assume the data is accurate. Link below has the notice in Spanish, Armenian, Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Russian, Vietnamese, and Japanese. Speak out for your children:

The Office of the Independent Monitor invites parents of children with IEPs and all other members of the LAUSD community to provide comments to the court-appointed Independent Monitor of the Modified Consent Decree during scheduled public hearings on LAUSD's compliance with Special Educations Laws.

Two hearings will be held on:
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
9:00 - 11:00 AM and 5:00 - 7:00 PM
Beaudry Building Board Room
333 Beaudry Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90017.

http://oimla.com/



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Thursday, September 18, 2014

PCL: Legal Rights of Linguistic Minorities

First submitted September 13, 2014 to Peoples College of Law


"We therefore live in a period where the prevailing Zeitgeist is at least receptive to the notion that we do not have to be identical ethnically or linguistically." — Dr. Fernand de Varennes

40th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision on Rights of Linguistic MinoritiesIn an era where right-wing millionaires use their obscene wealth to finance arch-reactionary legal firms like Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to craft deceptive causes of action to destroy academic freedom, students' access to experienced instructors, and workers' rights in the shape of the horrific Vergara decision, it's somewhat hard to recall that occasionally the law is used to help, rather than harm, the remaining institutions of public education.

In the past, when civil rights were more vigorously defended than David F. Welch's "corporate rights," a public interest attorney represented one of our most marginalized groups: English Language Learners (ELL) in a landmark case — Lau v. Nichols. The case and its implications for the rights of linguistic minorities are discussed below ["infra" in legal parlance]. Today, we see ongoing attacks against both ELLs and any language program besides mainstream English. A perfect example is that of neoliberal reactionary Marshall Tuck, a candidate for California State Superintendent of Instruction. Tuck, a graduate of anti-public education activist billionaire Eli Broad's Broad Residency, is best known for shuttering all the heritage language academic programs, and most of the dual language immersion programs at the schools he ran.

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the Supreme Court decision on rights of linguistic minorities. While the promise of Lau is still yet unrealized, the recognition of language rights in the midst of our "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" is still something to take notice of. United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) Bilingual Education Committee commissioned the following public service announcement flyer, the text of which is also reproduced here. The prose was written by UTLA's Director of Bilingual Education, Cheryl Ortega. Flyer design was by education activist Robert D. Skeels, who is also a first year law student at Peoples College of Law.

In 1974, the attorneys for Kenny Lau and 1800 Chinese speaking students sued the San Francisco School District on the grounds that these students were not receiving equal access to an education by virtue of their inability to comprehend English. The unanimous decision of the US Supreme Court - "Under state-imposed standards there is no equality of treatment merely by providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum; for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education. Basic English skills are at the very core of what these public schools teach. Imposition of a requirement that, before a child can effectively participate in the educational program, he must already have acquired those basic skills is to make a mockery of public education. We know that those who do not understand English are certain to find their classroom experiences wholly incomprehensible and in no way meaningful."

The attorney for Kenny Lau and 1800 Chinese students in San Francisco successfully argued that "Taking people who are the same and treating them differently is one type of discrimination but taking people who are different and treating them the same, is subtler, but, is equally discriminating."

Language Rights are Civil Rights protected by the 14th amendment to the US Constitution.

40th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision on Rights of Linguistic Minorities



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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Unpacking Charter Schools' Heavy Baggage this week on Politics Or Pedagogy? with John Cromshow

Politics Or Pedagogy? with John Cromshow

Featuring an analysis of education, policy and practice affecting our public schools.

KPFK 90.7 FM
Politics or Pedagogy? with John Cromshow

Friday, September 19, 2014
7:00 - 8:00 PM
Call in: (818) 985-5735

TOPIC:
Unpacking Charter Schools Heavy Baggage

GUESTS:
Kurt Bier, Esq.
Scott Folsom
Cynthia Liu, Ph.D.
(Dr. Paul Payne)
Meredith Ryley
Robert D. Skeels

INTERVIEWS:
Jackie Goldberg
Lisa Karahalios



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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve (SLASD) August General Assembly

Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve (SLASD)

Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve (SLASD) General Assembly

Thursday, August 28, 2014
4:15-6:30PM
Southern California Library
6120 S. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles CA 90044

SLASD five focal areas (the first four are part of the proposed School Board Motion):

  1. Offer critical thinking and creative classes like art and ethnic studies instead of test prep classes
  2. Provide support staff and services for students - nurses and college counselors
  3. End all school destabilizations like reconstitutions
  4. Develop a real community-driven budget for the district
  5. Implement real community-driven Transformative Justice (not punishments and criminalization) in schools


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Saturday, August 23, 2014

UTLA Bilingual Education Committee PSA: LAU V. NICHOLS

40th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision on Rights of Linguistic Minorities by Robert D. Skeels

40th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision on Rights of Linguistic Minorities

In 1974, the attorneys for Kenny Lau and 1800 Chinese speaking students sued the San Francisco School District on the grounds that these students were not receiving equal access to an education by virtue of their inability to comprehend English. The unanimous decision of the US Supreme Court - "Under state-imposed standards there is no equality of treatment merely by providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum; for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education. Basic English skills are at the very core of what these public schools teach. Imposition of a requirement that, before a child can effectively participate in the educational program, he must already have acquired those basic skills is to make a mockery of public education. We know that those who do not understand English are certain to find their classroom experiences wholly incomprehensible and in no way meaningful."

The attorney for Kenny Lau and 1800 Chinese students in San Francisco successfully argued that "Taking people who are the same and treating them differently is one type of discrimination but taking people who are different and treating them the same, is subtler, but, is equally discriminating."

Language Rights are Civil Rights protected by the 14th amendment to the US Constitution

UTLA Bilingual Education Committee PSA: LAU V. NICHOLS

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K12NN Wire: Marshall Tuck run schools SAT scores remained flat, some even declined

First published on K12NN Wire on August 22, 2014


“The lowest-performing, based on test scores, is the large Green Dot chain.” — Los Angeles Times

Marshall Tuck's campaign literature claims "Marshall has run two of California's most innovative school systems, improving… student achievement levels in tough neighborhoods" However, achievement data from the schools he ran at both Green Dot Charter Corporation and Partnership for Los Angeles Schools gives lie to Tuck's latest outrageous claim.

Marshall Tuck run schools SAT scores remained flat, and some even declined

The following excerpt from Marshall Tuck’s Legacy of Bigotry and Failure further illuminates the major issues with SAT and remediation rates at Tuck run schools:

Animo Inglewood Charter High School’s SAT scores under Tuck bear out the dismal showing on the CSU proficiency exams. Cohorts that would have started as Freshmen under Tuck (i.e. years 2002 though 2007) and taking their SAT in the Junior years would span from 2004 to 2010. Here are the Average SAT Composite (Verbal/Math/Writing) scores from 2005 to 2011: 1,153, 1,215, 1,267, 1,172, 1,199, and 1,290. Not once during that span did the percentage of students scoring at least 1,500 ever exceed 19.6 percent. 1,500 is considered the minimum threshold for college readiness. As a frame of reference, the SAT Composite Average for Freshmen accepted to UCLA was 2,052. Again, none of this is to blame or disparage the hard work of those students, but instead to expose Tuck and his ilk’s lies about college readiness.

Having to take remedial high school courses after arriving at the university is also very demoralizing for students. Many end up dropping out. The California State University tracks the number of matriculates that make it to their second year. Tuck’s Animo Inglewood Charter students had a CSU drop out rate of 55 percent in 2008. That same year saw the Tuck managed Animo Leadership Charter students drop out from the CSU at a staggering 68 percent! A former Green Dot Los Angeles Parents Union (later Parent Revolution) staffer told me a number of very sad stories about how he got to know several Green Dot students that served as interns under him before graduating high school.

It's time to "get the Tuck out" of education.



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K12NN Wire: John Deasy’s MiSiS cRiSiS shocks LAUSD’s conscience

First published on K12NN Wire on August 17, 2014


"I was interested in the fact that the scandal over Deasy's PhD hit the headlines at the same time he was hired by Gates. His financial connections with Robert Felner date back to his Santa Monica days" — Susan Ohanian

The LAUSD MiSiS cRiSiS is Deasy’s Disaster.

Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) Superintendent John Deasy's job was to insure that the My Integrated Student Information System (MiSiS) would be ready for roll out when the school year began. But instead of doing his job, he was "busy" testifying on behalf of right-wing millionaire David F. Welch against his own school district and stabbing the education professionals he is supposed to collaborate with in the back with his outrageous lies on the witness stand. That is, of course, when he wasn't pushing his failed Pearson, PLC Common Core iPad plan, and using District 3 Board Member Tamar Galatzan as a proxy to attack reasonable taxpayer oversight in the person of Stuart Magruder.

Let no one say that Deasy isn't earning every penny of his $.36-Million salary when attending lavish buffets with the likes of United Way of Greater Los Angeles' Elise Buik and the board members of Welch's Students Matter. Any man with a limousine driver is far too important to do his actual work, even if not doing it means throwing the entire district into chaos. Surprisingly, the Deasy sycophants in the corporate media like the Daily News are chronicling his latest epic failure: LAUSD in crisis over its new MiSiS computer system. Maybe he'll get some praise for his MiSiS mishandling on his fellow LA Fund board member Jamie Alter-Lynton's blog, but in the reality based world such Fox-News-like spin is of little value.

It's more than likely that in his accustomed fashion Deasy will try to blame his latest boondoggle on others. After all, this is the same Superintendent who deceitfully (along with opportunist Mark Ridley Thomas and erstwhile Board candidate Alex Johnson) tried to blame Beaudry's Mark Berndt coverup on Dr. George McKenna, despite the hard fact of those events happening long before McKenna was on the scene. This is the same Superintendent who pinned the Pearson iPad flap on Dr. Jaime Aquino, and then cried crocodile tears when his subordinate ended up resigning in disgrace. So who will Deasy blame his MiSiS cRiSiS on? Perhaps that's why Deasy's second staunchest supporter on the board, Tamar Galatzan, was quick to try and abdicate any responsibility for holding John Deasy accountable. One of her opponents in the upcoming election for the LAUSD District 3 seat astutely pointed out that if it isn't in Galatzan's job to hold the man she championed to be hired accountable, then whose is it?

However, when discussing MiSiS we need to squarely put the blame where it belongs — on Deasy. The Greeks have an idiom about how the "fish rots from the head." Instead of testifying for forces sworn to destroy public education, Deasy should have been earning his staggering salary by doing his job! The MiSiS cRiSiS is Deasy's Disaster.

Broad Superintendent Academy graduate John Deasy never taught at a public school, but he was an executive for the Gates Foundation.



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Schools Matter: Marshall Tuck's staunchest supporters are unabashed Ayn Rand votaries

First published on Schools Matter on August 23, 2014


"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." — John Rogers

I'm frequently accused of hyperbole. The charge might merit some consideration in a context other than the struggle against neoliberal corporate education reform. The truth is that these reformers often exceed my imagination for absurdity. Here's an example to file in the truth is stranger than fiction section. Consider the following tweet shilling for Eli Broad's Urban Residency graduate Marshall Tuck (who favorited the tweet, by the way):

I'm not sure if I had seen Davidson's or his organization's names on rightwingwatch.org, or if it was the melodramatic "the nation is watching" that raised a red flag, but I decided to dig a little more. Within seconds on their site, while fighting through the revulsion of seeing arch-reactionary buzzwords like "meritocracy," "entrepreneurship," "competition," and "individual responsibility," I noticed a pull quote on the lower left, just under the menus. A noxious quote from libertarian fantasy writer Ayn Rand.

A noxious quote from libertarian fantasy writer Ayn Rand

Gen Next's "Core Issue Education" tab reveals the prototypical neoliberal corporate education reform program, ending with this disgusting jingoistic gem: "it is imperative that we produce students who are prepared to compete in a global economy and ultimately help maintain U.S. dominance in the 21st century." If that's one's starting point for the purpose of education, it's no wonder that they — like Tuck — get every single issue wrong.

I recently wrote about how one of Tuck's fellow Broad Urban Residency alumni, Dan Chang, has recently begun funding Tuck with the SuperPAC he started originally to fund erstwhile Los Angeles Unified School District candidate Alex "ALEC" Johnson. Chang, who fought vigorously against the changing of Green Dot Charter School Corporation's program of indoctrinating students in "a belief in the values of democracy and capitalism," also suffers from that problem that most right-wingers have — a difficulty understanding that their heroes John Galt and Howard Rourke are fictional characters (and loathsome ones at that).

Many of Tuck's "true believers" are self-absorbed Silicon Valley tech industry types. Ann Friedman profiles their type, and also makes the Ayn Rand connection:

"The tech world presents an interesting case study. While some big employers and conferences could institute bro-deterring policies, it’s more like a culture than a corporation. It’s got a widely acknowledged race and gender problem: The Titstare dust-up is just the latest example in a series of sexist incidents. And, like so many college dudes who totally dug The Fountainhead, tech leaders tend to share a belief our culture is a meritocracy and that caring about diversity is antithetical to producing good work — which means that the industry’s bro problem is self-perpetuating. “The Valley,” said Gawker editor John Cook in a recent Times piece about the blog Valleywag, “is a target-rich environment for someone who is looking to expose profligacy, ego and self-regard.” All hallmarks of bro culture."

Amusingly, Davidson's attributing "real leadership on education in CA" to Tuck is actually more chimerical than the fanciful heroes of Rand's trashy novels. At the end of the day Rand, despite all her railing against collectivism, took both Medicare and Social Security payments, since she couldn't live on her right-wing fantasies. Tuck, Chang, and Davidson would do well to learn from their idol's humbling lesson.

The late Gore Vidal once wrote "Ayn Rand's "philosophy" is nearly perfect in its immorality…" We might say that neoliberal corporate education reform is just as perfect in its immorality as well.



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Thursday, August 21, 2014

We want legalization for all!

LEGALIZATION FOR ALL!

Join us on Saturday, August 23 at the Salesian Family & Youth Center to demand LEGALIZATION FOR ALL! This event will feature speakers specialized in organizing to promote migrant rights and the struggle for equality for Central Americans and self determination in the Chicana/o struggle. Event is free. Food, music, will be available! Come out to this community forum to discover the ways YOU can become part of this movement!

RSVP here: Facebook Event



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SKrashen: Opposition to the common core

SKrashen: Opposition to the common coreSent to the Washington Post, August 20, 2014

The Post has reported that according to a recent PDK/Gallup poll, the "Common Core educational standards are losing support nationwide" (August 19). The poll asked those opposed to the Common Core why they were opposed, giving them several possible reasons.

The options did not include the reasons many educators oppose the Common Core: There is no need for a radical change in curriculum or testing. Substantial improvement will come only when we deal with the real problem: Poverty. When researchers control for the effect of poverty, American test scores are near the top of the world. Our unspectacular overall scores are because the US has the second highest level of child poverty among all 34 economically advanced countries (now over 23%, compared to high-scoring Finland’s 5.4%). 
Poverty means poor nutrition, inadequate health care, and lack of access to books, among other things. All of these negatively impact school performance.  Instead of protecting children from the effect of poverty, the common core is investing billions in an untested curriculum and massive testing, despite research showing that increasing testing does not increase  achievement.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California


original article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/common-core-educational-standards-are-losing-support-nationwide-poll-shows/2014/08/19/67b1f20c-27cb-11e4-8593-da634b334390_story.html

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Robert D. Skeels guest appearance on MPC Presents The Blk Grrrl Show! 08-14-14

Be sure to watch the whole show, I speak truth to power from the 5:45 to 34:15 marks. Host Teka Lark Fleming had us discussing the recent LAUSD District 1 election. I mention 2014 LAUSD Special Election third place finisher Sherlett Hendy Newbill's brave defense of Dorsey High School from the privatizers, and the Honorable José Lara's Ethnic Studies resolution in ERUSD. We tackled a range of topics regarding neoliberal corporate edreform, and the resistance against it.

Her other guest, artist Lili Bernard, was so compelling, that I sat in the studio to watch her interview. I have high hopes that this show will continue to speak truth to power and educate the community.



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40th Anniversary of Lau v. Nichols Decision: A National Conference on the Rights of Linguistic Minorities

40th Anniversary of Lau v. Nichols Decision: A National Conference on the Rights of Linguistic Minorities

40th Anniversary of Lau v. Nichols Decision: A National Conference on the Rights of Linguistic Minorities

40th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision on Rights of Linguistic Minorities by Robert D. Skeels



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Sunday, August 17, 2014

K12NN Wire: Dan Chang’s dark money SuperPAC now switches to funding Marshall Tuck

First published on K12NN Wire on August 15, 2014


"We have our cake, and are eating it too." — Eli Broad

Dan Chang's SuperPAC, formed to support erstwhile LAUSD candidate Alex "ALEC" Johnson, is now funding a new astroturf group to get his fellow Broad Urban Residency alum, Marshall Tuck, elected to the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction seat. Using the wonderful astroturf name "Parents for Marshall Tuck", we can be sure that no authentic parents are running the Independent Expenditure (IE) funded by Chang's Great Public Schools Los Angeles PAC. The new astroturf group's twitter is https://twitter.com/parentsfortuck, you can access their website from there.

Corporatists Dan Chang and Marshall Tuck
Broad Urban Residency graduates Dan Chang and Marshall Tuck combined have zero hours experience teaching in a public school classroom."


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K12NN Wire: Alex Johnson, who ducked my interview and at least six candidate forums, asks why Dr. McKenna won't respond to the Deasy School Report?

First published on K12NN Wire on August 11, 2014


He has dodged multiple requests for policy positions, undoubtably because he is a hand puppet for the neoliberal corporate education reformers. — Robert D. Skeels

Neoliberal corporate education reform candidate for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Alex Johnson holds a Juris Doctor, while I am merely a first year law student. That said, I've already learned that one doesn't respond to factual evidence with spurious rumors and outright lies. Johnson somehow never learned that lesson. To wit, in response to my carefully documented list of his recent donors, Johnson made the mendaciousness and shameless claim that the Reverend Jesse Jackson took money to endorse Dr. George McKenna.

Learning nothing from that experience, Johnson responded to the viral article calling him out on his Jackson lie by implying that Dr. McKenna refuses to go on record with his stances on issues:

Absurd on its face, Johnson's latest statement is problematic in several regards. First, Johnson is not really in a position to talk. I spent roughly ninety days calling, emailing, and tweeting to Johnson, pleading for an opportunity to interview him on his policy positions. The opening quote in this essay is the result of those efforts. Moreover, Johnson missed no less than six community forums during the primary election, including:

April 14, New Frontier Democratic Club
DWP Community Room
April 19, Committee For New South LA
West Adams Church
May 8, Black Parent Union
Betty Hill Senior Center
May 12, California Community of Elders, reparations United, council of Black Political Organizations and ACCE Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
Vision Theatre
May 15, Dr. MLK Cultural Committee
Holly Park Center Gardena
May 19, South Los Angeles Area Neighborhood Council
Angeles Mesa Elementary School

The one forum I did see him at (USC), all he could manage to do is spout meaningless platitudes and parrot California Charter School Association talking points. He sounded vapid and vacuous, as do most school board candidates lacking pedagogical backgrounds; candidates who view LAUSD as a stepping stone to higher office.

Jamie Alter-Lynton's Deasy (LA) School Report
Jamie Alter-Lynton's blog byline should read "what Deasy wants you to think is really going on in LAUSD"

The second issue is that the link in Johnson's tweet is to the notorious Deasy School Report*, an anti-public education blog created by Jamie Alter-Lynton, a wealthy reactionary who sits as a board member on Superintendent John Deasy's LA Fund slush 501c3. Alter-Lynton, sibling of corrupt charter cheerleader Jonathan Alter, practices Breitbart style "journalism" — feeling that outlets like the LA Times and LA Daily News weren't planted in the the neoliberal corporate reform camp firmly enough. Her Ayn Rand leaning views on the public sector are second to her almost maniacal hatred of working class schoolteachers. One can really gauge Alter-Lynton by her letting go of both Alexander Russo and Hillel Aron. Neither of those writers would ever be accused of supporting public schools or saying anything positive about teachers, but they weren't willing to pursue the white whale with Alter-Lynton's Ahab-like vengeance.

The distinguished Dr. George McKenna owes nothing to Alex Johnson, the Deasy School Report, or Jamie Alter-Lynton. He is right not to respond to her constant badgering and attention seeking. The best thing we could all do is allow Alter-Lynton's me-too-reformer blog die a deserved death of obscurity by not visiting or linking to it.


* Properly "LA School Report," but most activists don't call it by that very misleading name.



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Appearing today on Dr. James Miller's The War Report on Public Education

Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 14:00 (2:00PM)
The War Report on Public Education
Host: Dr. James Miller
Guests: Karen Wolfe and Robert D. Skeels

We'll be discussing the results of the LAUSD Special Election held on August 12, 2014. Highly regarded professional educator Dr. George McKenna won despite being attacked and outspent by anti-public school billionaires and charter industry moguls.

The War Report on Public Education!



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Thursday, August 14, 2014

AALA: George McKenna, AALA-Supported Board Candidate, Wins Election!

Reprinted from AALA Update on August 18, 2014


Dr. George McKenna for LAUSDAALA extends congratulations to Dr. George McKenna on his election to become the Board of Education Member representing District 1. Dr. McKenna is filling the seat that has been vacant since the death of Marguerite LaMotte in December 2013. This marks the fifth AALA-endorsed candidate to win a seat on the LAUSD Board. Dr. McKenna joins fellow AALA- supported colleagues Bennett Kayser, Mónica Ratliff, Dr. Richard Vladovic and Steve Zimmer.

In an election that pitted a veteran educator against an inexperienced politician, with only eight percent of those eligible voting, it is noteworthy that the deep pockets/outside interests were again unsuccessful in their bid to control the outcome. This is, fortunately, becoming a trend in the LAUSD Board of Education races. So-called education reformers and charter school advocates from around the country have poured millions of dollars into these local campaigns in an effort to privatize the second largest school district in the country. It is a testament to the influence of local administrators, teachers, other employees and community groups that voters were not swayed by all of the glossy, negative campaign material distributed by Dr. McKenna’s opponent.

It is unfortunate that young, inexperienced political aspirants are being used to further the interests of corporate reformers. We have seen this in the last three Board elections, most notably, with the election of AALA-supported Mónica Ratliff and Steve Zimmer, who were both opposed by candidates who had little experience or knowledge, but lots of money from Independent Expenditure Campaigns. In this current election, George McKenna spent about one-fourth of the amount that his opponent expended, yet he was able to maintain nearly the same solid showing that was garnered in the primary. Let this be a lesson that the voters of Los Angeles will not succumb to the smear campaigning that is fueled by donations from those who do not live in the community, have no children in the schools and no vested interest in improving the lives of the students of LAUSD.

Dr. McKenna will immediately assume his position on the Board of Education, while at the same time begin a campaign for reelection in the spring. We look forward to working with him and know that he will be a voice for the students, parents and employees of the District. As we begin a new school year, we are pleased that Mrs. LaMotte’s seat at the Board table will now be filled. The new Local Control Funding Formula has brought additional revenue to the District, as well as more accountability. The expenditure of the new funds must be scrutinized and used for the children it is supposed to target. We must not only focus on their instruction, but also their safety and well-being. AALA continues to seek a reduction in administrators’ cumbersome workload, including the time-consuming teacher evaluation system currently in place. Stringent oversight of the Common Core Technology Project and the implementation of the MiSiS data system are needed as both initiatives move forward. We know that Dr. McKenna will hit the ground running. We welcome him back and look forward to working with him.



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