Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Student Empowerment through Culture and Language

Student Empowerment through Culture and Language

3303 Wilshire Blvd Fl 10,
Los Angeles, California 90010
 Ethnic Studies, Dual and Mulitilingual Education. With the passage of Prop 58 the Multilingual Education Act and AB2016 Ethnic Studies we have a historic opportunity to advance issues and more. Join the UTLA Raza Ed. and Bilingual Education Commitee as we bring scholars, educators and community together for an engaging discussion. Best of all, this event is FREE!

Professors Solórzano and Krashen: Student Empowerment through Culture and Language by Robert D. Skeels on Scribd


Monday, January 16, 2017

Los Angeles student groups to protest racism and other right-wing hate

A busy week will be upon us. As most of you know, CEJ's campaign-turned-movement for the Schools LA Students Deserve has really grown in the last few years. Many of our chapters (we have 14 now!!) are called Students Deserve and our students, parents and teachers often call us Students Deserve now, although we are still Coalition for Educational Justice as well (CEJ). We have chapters as far west as Venice HS, as far east as Garfield HS, in Hollywood, Koreatown, Silver Lake, North Hollywood and South LA. We're seeing our dream of organizing across our huge city come to life!!
We wanted to share an exciting event  that our students have planned on their own with some support from our two new paid Students Deserve organizers, Maricela (full-time student and parent organizer) and Alfredo (part-time, supports the student organizing piece).
We're very excited to announce:
  • Weds, January 18th: Students United Against Hate, United for the Communities LA Students Deserve 
Event- MacArthur Park 4:30pm
 (PDF Flyer attached below) We want a safe space for students by students as we challenge Trump, his politics, his followers, the systems of oppression that have allowed him to exist, and the damage that he wants to do to us.

    There will be music, art, spoken word and a panel discussion. Our students are AWESOME. Please come to MacArthur Park on Wednesday after school if you are available!! We know that UTLA Chapter Chairs have Area Meetings that afternoon. 
We also will be involved on Thursday: January 19th: UTLA/ROS LA Morning Action. You probably know about the action taking place at schools. Students Deserve students want to support whatever this looks like at your campus to show that we won’t let Trump mess with schools and our communities.
Stay involved. Stay strong. Stay united. We will not be bullied by the incoming president and his right-wing cabinet nominees. WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN!
See you on Wednesday standing strong at MacArthur Park and Thursday standing strong at our schools!!


Saturday, January 14, 2017

NPE Action endorses Alva and Petersen for the LAUSD Board of Education

Carl Petersen and Lisa Alva for LAUSD

The Network for Public Education Action is proud to endorse two candidates for the Los Angeles Board of Education District 2 primary election—Lisa Alva and Carl Petersen. 
Although it is very unusual for us to endorse two for the same position, both are well qualified and are committed to the ideals of NPE Action.
The third candidate in the race, the incumbent Monica Garcia, has clearly demonstrated by her record that she is not aligned with the pro-public education agenda of the Network for Public Education Action.
We therefore urge our supporters to vote for either Lisa or Carl.

Lisa Alva
Lisa has been a classroom teacher, school leader and a voice for teachers for 18 years. She told us that her first priority if elected “would be to redirect funding, resources and personnel to neighborhood public schools so that all children, especially at-risk youth, have enough variety in classes, and small enough classes, to benefit from a complete education that includes electives and vocational-technical training, from pre-K through Adult School. This means beginning and ending every conversation with the question, “How will this benefit students?”
She supports less standardized testing, and smaller class sizes. She also embraces charter school reform and transparency, and a return to democratically controlled schools.
According to Lisa, “Charter schools needlessly drain resources from neighborhood schools, weaken the teaching profession and leave more students behind than they serve.”
Carl Petersen
Carl is the father of five children, all of whom have attended public schools. Two of his daughters are on the autism spectrum so he is especially sensitive to the importance of funding for students with special needs.
Carl’s first priority is to stop Eli Broad’s Great Public Schools Now Initiative “to reach 50 percent charter market share.” According to Carl, “The LAUSD does not currently have the capacity, or the will, to oversee the 250 charters that already operate within the District. Doubling the number of these organizations will create opportunities for financial improprieties like those that have occurred at El Camino Real Charter High School, where public funds were used for expensive dinners, first class airfare and personal expenses. Charters are currently allowed to cherry pick students who are not English learners, do not have special education needs and do not have behavioral issues. The higher costs of serving these students are borne by the LAUSD schools that continue to serve these populations. Increasing the number of charters will shift these costs to an even lower base of students. The bankruptcy of the District is a likely result.”
Carl believes there should be less testing and he is opposed to the Common Core. He believes that there should be more accountability for the Los Angeles Board of Education.
The LAUSD school board election primary will take place on March 7.  We ask you to choose between these two fine candidates when you cast your vote. 
Thank you,
Carol Burris
Executive Director
You can share these endorsements using the following links:


Schools Matter: DeVos: a product of bipartisan embrace of failed, racist “school choice” policies

First published on Schools Matter on December 20, 2016

“I stand behind the charter school… movement, because parents do deserve greater choice” — Hillary Rodham Clinton

With both mainstream presidential candidates publicly stating they believed in the white supremacist notion of school choice, it wasn’t hard to see the Trump nomination of someone as extreme as Betsy DeVos as being possible. How these abject, failed policies play out in reality is instructive.

Vice on Detroit: School choice gutted Detroit’s public schools. The rest of the country is next.


Schools Matter: Grit-meister Angela Duckworth headlines Jeb Bush's reactionary ExcelinEd summit

First published on Schools Matter on October 06, 2016

“As a close protege of Dr. Martin Seligman, Angela Duckworth serves as Seligman’s point person in moving his brand of paternalistic corporate psychology and character control into schools that teach the children of the poor.” — Professor James Horn

When modern day eugenicist Angela Duckworth isn't transforming Martin Seligman's torture techniques into "character development" policies for children of the poor, she's headlining events held by the nation's most reactionary, right-wing extremists.

What will the perseverance paramour be preaching to her DeVos, Bradley, Broad, Walton, Fisher, Gates, and Bloomberg partisans? Well, GRIT of course! What else do folks that otherwise engage in victim blaming talk about? You're poor because you don't try hard enough and give up too easily!

Nothing says hard work and perseverance like a handsome inheritance—just ask the Walton fortune heirs, who are both key sponsors of the summit and top ExcelinEd Donors. They're gritty, and so is Duckworth.

Modern day eugenicist Angela Duckworth Modern day eugenicist Angela Duckworth


Schools Matter: Another defeat in court for right-wing privatizer David F. Welch

First published on Schools Matter on September 23, 2016

“People need to understand that there’s tons of money in nonprofits.” — Brett Bymaster

David F. Welch neoliberal corporate education reform pusher

Gates Foundation rag EdSource and irrepressible education writer Peter Greene recently announced another resounding defeat in court for the anti-public education outfit Students Matter. The trial court ruled against David F. Welch's corporate reform group in Doe vs. Antioch. Welch's other action, the wrongheaded Vergara suit, recently ended with the Supreme Court of California's refusal to hear his group's appeal. I had some observations reproduced here.

Once more right-wing extremist David F. Welch costs the people of California untold sums of money with his reactionary group’s wrongheaded causes of action. One wonders how many school libraries could have been stocked with the resources squandered defending against these bad faith lawsuits brought by his group.

As a Juris Doctor candidate myself, I suppose I can consider Marcellus McRae, Joshua S. Lipshutz, and Theodore Boutrous of corporate firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as somewhat instructive. They have demonstrated repeatedly how NOT to read statutes, how to present evidence that is neither logically nor legally relevant, and how to make bad faith arguments without conscience. I will take their lessons on how not to conduct myself as an attorney to heart.

Seems like they need refreshers in issue spotting and ethics. Having just scored a 124 on the MPRE myself, perhaps I could help them with the latter.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Social justice oriented candidate signature gathering for ballot

LAUSD District 2 is still held by one of the staunchest enemies of public education this side of Betsy DeVos.

It’s likely the only way to stop Monica Gülenist Garcia is to run enough candidates to divide up her district.

There is an Asian Pacific American (APA) candidate who taught school alongside one of my law school classmates. She worked with several prominent UTLA activists back in the day, and says she was one of the founding members of Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ). She went on to become an attorney representing students with disabilities. For the most part, she holds the same values as CEJ and similar minded groups like SLASD.

She needs more help with the signature gathering to get on the ballot. My wife and I gave her several volunteer hours this week, and we made a campaign contribution. We believe she would be an excellent candidate for this district.

Please consider volunteering to help her with the signature gathering process.

Miho Murai for LAUSD School Board 2017

All of her contact information is here


It's unconscionable that the charter sector still places revenue streams over student needs


Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve (SLASD) December General Assembly

Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve (SLASD)

Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve (SLASD) General Assembly

Every month students, parents, and teachers of #StudentsDeserve gather to discuss and plan for the future of educational justice inside and outside our schools in Los Angeles. Considering the political state we are in, now more than ever we know that our grassroots work is important and necessary. For that reason, we invite YOU (students, parents, and teachers) to our General Assembly THIS THURSDAY. Come hear about the work that students and parents are building!

Bring a fellow parent and/or student to our General Assembly to learn about the fight for the Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve. Join us! Details in flyer attached below.

If you have any questions please email us at:

Monday, August 29, 2016

Schools Matter: Does your candidate hold left wing or right wing views on education?

First published on Schools Matter on August 25, 2016

“Hillary Clinton, who, for me, is a neoliberal disaster…” — Professor Cornel West

Is your candidate progressive or reactionary on education issues? One measure is to compare their views to those of the notoriously right-wing JBS. Here we look at some critical issues facing students, families, and our public schools.


K-12 Wire: Thank you John Oliver for exposing how charter schools steal from children

First published on K-12 Wire on August 26, 2016

“Fraud is a feature of deregulation, not a bug. When no one is looking, some people steal. Not everyone steals, but many do. That is why Ohio, Florida, Michigan, and California are scamming taxpayers.” — Professor Diane Ravitch

The vile poverty pimps and privatization pushers of the lucrative charter school industry were infuriated when John Oliver had the temerity to speak truth to their power. Given their fortunes at stake, the charter sector has launched an unprecedented attack on the truth teller. The Network For Public Education has begun a letter writing campaign to counter that of the well funded efforts by the school privatizers to silence Oliver and other public school supporters. Not one to use boilerplate text, I composed my own thank you note, reproduced here.

Dear Mr. Oliver:

I've spent the past two decades of my life researching and writing about the lucrative charter school industry. For many of those early years I, and a few others, were subjected to scorn and abuse for our audacity to speak truth to power.

My motivation has always been to defend those with the most to lose because of the charter project's existence—students with disabilities (SWD), students with disciplinary issues, low-performing students, and so on. All these students are discriminated against because they threaten charter school revenues.

Today our voices are no longer alone, ignored, or silenced. The recent NAACP announcement, and your brilliant segment are testament to that. I understand that the charter industry has been launching vile attacks against you for exposing their insatiable greed. Please know that people of good conscience stand behind you. The neoliberal corporate education reform project backing the charter industry puts profits before pupils, and that's unacceptable.

It's time to end the horrifically failed charter school project, and turn our attentions to public schools.

Thank you for your courage.

Robert D. Skeels
Juris Doctor Candidate


Schools Matter: Perhaps Bill and Melinda Gates need their folly expressed in a more familiar format to understand it?

First published on Schools Matter on August 16, 2016

“Philanthropy is not progressive and never has been.” — Tiffany Lethabo King and Ewuare Osayande

Seems Bill and Melinda Gates have great difficulty learning from their myriad mistakes. Our Professor Stephen Krashen is frequently reminding them and their fellow neoliberal corporate education reformers of what the real problem is. While the convicted predatory monopolist has no degree, Melinda Gates actually attended and graduated college, so one would think the two of them could sort these issues out. Despite this, the Gates Foundation duo are demanding yet more data, as if that doubling down on their poorly-thought-out ideas will work.

Since they're both computer science types, the problem may just be that they need to see their folly expressed in code. To that end, I've written a short program illustrating what the two Gates Foundation plutocrats do.

If I were more cynical, given their behavior in the face of overwhelming evidence discrediting their ideas and ideology, I think that their constant calls for more data are an attempt to rationalize their conduct, rather than actually trying to help anyone.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Schools Matter: Neoliberal Corporate Education Reform… for “other” peoples’ kids

First published on Schools Matter on August 12, 2016

“CCSS assume an American population embodied with a similar history of freedom and cultural ‘neutrality’ or ‘universality’” — Donald H. Smith, Ph.D.

The Atlantic has a surprisingly candid piece entitled “A Public-School Paradox” about the hypocrisy of the establishment elite in Washington not sending their own spawn to public schools. This has been exacerbated by the fact that the most vociferous neoliberal corporate education reform proponents — like Barack Obama, Arne Duncan, and Hillary Rodham Clinton — are all private school parents. Disconnected and disinvested from the public commons, they advocate for horrific, racist, classist “reforms” that only serve to widen the gap between working class families and themselves. Especially disturbing is this trio of Democratic politicians’ full-throated support of the white supremacist Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a curriculum from which their own scion were spared.

My brief comments in reaction to the piece follow.

Sidwell Friends School is the polar opposite of the horrific KIPP dungeons Obama advocates for other POC kids. My editor at Schools Matter — Dr. Jim Horn — has been publishing chapters from his book on KIPP, but I have a paper copy I’ll read once the MPRE is over. It was Horn that coined the phrase “cultural sterilization” to describe the no excuses model inflicted on students. I can’t think of a better way to frame it, nor anything more removed from the experience of establishment elitists that advocate it for “other” peoples’ children.


Schools Matter: Clinton cheerleaders claiming she isn't in the corporate charter camp?

First published on Schools Matter on July 09, 2016

“There is not a speck, not a sliced-thin scintilla of evidence to suggest that Clinton will do anything except continue straight down the same road that Bush and Obama took us. And there’s no telling what Trump will do about education, but it’s a safe bet that it will be huge, it will be business oriented, and that it will involve blustery hair-brained ignorance.” — Peter Greene

It's a tough time to be a public education advocate. The fervor over the 2016 election has partisans lashing out with an unprecedented amount of vitriol towards anyone questioning the education policies of mainstream candidates. Worst of the bunch are the supporters of presumed Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Here's an example of the angry denials from one of Clinton's most ardent supporters:

It is also total bullshit that you keep insisting that HRC is pushing charters and ed reform. That is TOTAL BULLSHIT.

Astonishingly, this was written by a teacher member of the Badass Teachers Association (BATs). Never mind that Clinton has deep ties the Walton Family Foundation, ignore her intwinement with Center for American Progress (CAP), her association with the Broads, and all the other obvious red flags indicating that Clinton will double down on Obama's policies. Clinton is on record as completely supporting privately managed charter schools, so-called "school choice," and for that matter, the entire neoliberal corporate education reform platform. Total "BS"? Here's a screen capture right off of Clinton's campaign website, where she lauds ESSA and its support of "high-quality public [sic] charter schools":

Clinton cheerleaders claiming she isn't in the corporate charter camp?

Unequivocal. Clinton has never changed her stance on privately managed charter schools, and that's why the National Association of Public [sic] Charter Schools (NAPCS) features the following on their website. A pro-charter pull-quote by Clinton appears alongside similar ones by Bill Gates, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Arne Duncan. Clinton's mild criticisms of some charter schools a few months back were to placate certain constituencies, nothing more.

Clinton cheerleaders claiming she isn't in the corporate charter camp?

This is the same former Walmart board member who stood before the National Educators Association (NEA) Convention and had no qualms about boasting about her support for the lucrative charter school sector. The same Goldman Sachs confidant who is the favorite of the far-right Democrats for Education Reform (DFER). In sum, corporatist Jeffries of the arch-reactionary (DFER) is on record saying that Hillary Rodham Clinton is their choice to carry on their projects of privatization pushing and poverty pimping. He also states that it is because she is fully on board with their notions of "school choice" and she fully supports charter schools. Some in the BATs forum have ruthlessly attacked me, assailed my character, and called me a liar for saying as much, but to hear it out of the mouth a the hedge fund group's representative makes it a little bit harder to deny. Hillary Rodham Clinton is DFER's candidate.

The attacks on me, in any forum that I speak truth to power on education issues, are relentless. Here's something that I posted on my facebook page a bit back after an encounter with a particularly rabid Clinton supporter.

So red baiting is still a thing. I was on a teachers' message board talking about Oaxaca, Naomi Klein, neoliberalism, and privatization, and was essentially told by a right-of-center HillBot to shut up and pack my bags for North Korea.

It's like Dr. Khury Petersen-Smith writes in his powerful essay "I won't be shamed into voting for Clinton":

It was another example of a proven fact about liberalism — Democrats and their media cheerleaders save their deepest contempt not for right wingers, but for those who challenge them from the left.

Ain't that the truth! For some further reading on Clinton's education agenda check out this piece by Steven Singer and this one by Douglas Harris.

Lastly I wanted to address the dissembling about public versus private charter schools, since it has been a common form of deception employed by high-profile politicians and the billionaires that pull their strings. Clinton is an attorney, so she doesn't have the option of saying she doesn't know the legal standing of charter schools. I'm including my boilerplate prose on how charter schools are not public, since the more places this appears, the more likely this information will be disseminated:

As a Juris Doctor candidate whose specialty is education law in the era of neoliberalism, allow me to present the legal arguments on how privately managed charter schools are not at all “public.”

Generally charter schools are not public schools. This has been long established by both existing case law and public policy. The Washington State Supreme Court (2015) held that charter schools are not “common schools” because they are governed by appointed rather than elected boards. The 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals (2010) ruled that charter schools are not “public actors.” The California Court of Appeals (2007) ruled that charter schools are not “public agents.” Additionally, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) joined scores of other government agencies in unequivocally determining that charters are, in NLRB’s words, “private entities.”

By definition if a charter school is operated by a for-profit company, or by a 501c3 non-profit corporation (e.g. Harlem Success Academy), then it is not a public school. The United States Census Bureau frames this latter issue best:

“A few “public charter schools” are run by public universities and municipalities. However, most charter schools are run by private nonprofit organizations and are therefore classified as private.” (US Census Bureau. (2011). “Public Education Finances: 2009 (GO9-ASPEF)”. Washington, DC: US Government Printing O ce. Print. vi).

Because these lucrative charter schools are not public, and therefore not subject to even a modicum of public oversight, they are able violate the constitutional rights of their students. The decision in Scott B. v. Board of Trustees of Orange County High School of the Arts saw scholar Rosa K. Hirji, Esq. write for the American Bar Association:

“The structures that allow charter schools to exist are marked by the absence of protections that are traditionally guaranteed by public education, protections that only become apparent and necessary when families and students begin to face a denial of what they were initially promised to be their right.”

The distinguished Professor Preston C. Green III of University of Connecticut has written extensively on this subject. One of his recent papers examines "how charter schools have used their public characteristics to qualify for public funding under state constitutional law, while highlighting their private characteristics to exempt themselves from other laws that apply to public schools." This private-in-every-aspect except for when siphoning funds away from authentic public schools is a defining feature of charter schools.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Support California Kids YES on Prop 58

Support California Kids YES on Prop 58 by Robert D. Skeels on Scribd


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Schools Matter: Confronting the Clinton cheerleaders with her racist record

First published on Schools Matter on June 08, 2016

“Hillary Clinton is not a Klanswoman, but she performs the same racial violence that white men do, just as many Klanswomen did less than a century ago. Thousands of black people continue to lose their lives because some white women still want to be as “badass” and powerful as the white men who silenced them in the home, held back their right to vote, and brutalized as many black people as they desired.” — Ahmad Greene-Hayes

The Clinton cheerleading that has been building up to a crescendo at Professor Ravitch's site reached a new nadir today. I suppose we will see a lot of this between now and November. It's hard to see people using the excuse of opposing one racist to support another racist, but that's what this election boils down to. Although I should avoid engaging those steeped in supporting neoliberalism, I couldn't avoid posting the following comments:

As horrifying as the prospect of Trump is, let's not fool ourselves into thinking that he is the only racist representing a major political party in this election. Indeed, the genteel, more insidious racism of his Democratic opponent is equally disconcerting. While Trump can't speak without uttering bigotry, are we supposed to ignore his opponent's racist slurs against Native Americans with her infamous "off the reservation" remark? Are we to excuse her vile "super-predators" speech where she says that "we have to bring them to heel" in reference to children of color? I understand her apologists excuse that kind of racist rhetoric, but any of us that live and breath social justice are in agreement with the distinguished Professor Michelle Alexander, who says, "Hillary Clinton" uses "racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals." And while Trump talks about border walls, Clinton proudly reminds us "I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in…" Clinton and Trump's use of the racist term "illegal" is in itself bigoted and nativist. In fact, even the Associated Press stopped using the horrible phrase some time ago. We can discuss how terrible Trump's rhetoric is on issues of immigration, but Clinton has an actual record to scrutinize, and it is a record of the most vile bigotry in practice.

I'll stop here because I realize that speaking truth to power on this issue will do little more than evoke lesser evilism responses. No one will actually be able to defend Trump or Clinton's records on the issues I've raised, because they are indefensible. I'll be voting for the same feminist this November that I did in 2012 — her name is Dr. Jill Stein. Stein, by the way, has the best stances on education. She opposes charters and vouchers, opposes high-stakes standardized testing, stands with teachers, and called the Obama Administration out on its appointment of the doltish John King. It don't recall the candidates from the major parties ever taking such principled stands.

Like the sage Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor says: "Clinton will never be a lesser evil."

Confronting the Clinton cheerleaders with her racist record


Thursday, June 09, 2016

Schools Matter: Gulenist Caprice Young lies in a Magnolia Science Academy Press Release

First published on Schools Matter on June 07, 2016

“Magnolia should be ashamed of this reprehensible behavior; attempting to use innocent students and parents as human shields to hide their criminal activity” — Robert Amsterdam, Esq.

This video segment is significant in that Gülenist Caprice Young claimed in her most recent "press release" and "protest" smear of those investigating her corporate charter cult that LAUSD had found no connection between Magnolia Science Academy (MSA) and the Gülen charter network. The video puts to lie Young's assertion. Clearly there was an intentional misrepresentation in Magnolia's press release.

The same MSA press release stated that LAUSD has never found any irregularities with Magnolia's finances. This assertion, repeated by Young on numerous occasions, is an intentional misrepresentation on both her and the corporate charter chain's part.

Magnolia, its parent Pacifica Institute, and their cult leader Fethullah Gülen are all high profile Armenian Genocide deniers. To make matters worse, their entire public relations campaign is paid for with money that is supposed to be used in classrooms. Magnolia enlisted the help of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) for this Gülen misinformation campaign, and CCSA's "CEO" Jed Wallace is quoted in the press release in which misrepresentations about both Magnolia's connections to the Gülen Network, and their audit results appear.

The CCSA is currently attacking an Armenian candidate running for California Assembly, spending obscene amounts of money. That the CCSA, Jed Wallace, and Caprice Young are simultaneously attacking Armenian candidates for office, while working hand-in-hand with organizations that actively deny the Armenian Genocide is highly disconcerting.

Gulenist Caprice Young lies in a Magnolia Science Academy Press Release


Schools Matter: Hillary Rodham Clinton's Core CAP Charter Cabal

First published on Schools Matter on June 07, 2016

Hillary Rodham Clinton's core CAP charter cabal

“That’s why, you know, I was a senator and voted for Leave No Child Behind [sic] because I thought every child should matter” — Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton's supporters have been less than honest about her education record. Worse still, those same Liberals will ask everyone on the left to vote for her as the ostensible "lesser evil" to GOP troglodyte Donald John Trump in November. There are myriad good reasons to oppose both Clinton and Trump in November, but Liberals will cite Clinton's endorsements by executives of the largest teachers' unions as evidence of her being better on education issues. However, these same unions endorsed President Barack Hussein Obama, who has been the worst education President in history. Rather than an extensive survey of Clinton's abject policy support for neoliberal corporate education reforms including: George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind (NCLB); the racist and classist Common Core State Standards (CCSS); so-called school choice through privately managed charter schools; punitive, but ineffective school closures; and a host of other wrongheaded policies, it might serve well to look at her relationships with members of the right-of-center think-tank Center for American Progress.

Center for American Progress (CAP)

CAP was allegedly founded for neoliberal Democrats to have a think-tank of their own, akin to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), or the Manhattan Institute. Essentially indistinguishable from that of those and other such organizations, CAP's education advocacy reads like it was crafted by John Birch Society and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Peter Greene lists some of the anti-public education policies CAP advocates, and that list could be easily increased. CAP has been the most vocal apologists for the Obama Administration's disastrous education policies.

Funded by a host of ideologically charged billionaires, CAP's education agenda looks like that of the Center for Education Reform. One teacher belonging to the Badass Teachers Association (BATs) used both a The Nation article and CAP's own website to compile this list that is more comprehensive than the SourceWatch list linked above:

Ford Foundation $1,000,000+
The Hutchins Family Foundation $1,000,000+
Sandler Foundation $1,000,000+
TomKat Charitable Trust $1,000,000+
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation $500,000 to $999,999
Joyce Foundation $500,000 to $999,999
Not On Our Watch $500,000 to $999,999
Open Square Charitable Gift Fund $500,000 to $999,999
Embassy of United Arab Emirates $500,000 to $999,999
Walton Family Foundation $500,000 to $999,999
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation $500,000 to $999,999

Like that teacher states, "It's a who's who of corporate reformers."

American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Center for American Progress (CAP) co-hosted event banner

Comparisons of CAP to the AEI should not be taken lightly, they frequently co-host education events together. The image used above here is from one of their many event pages. Aside from working hand-in-hand with extremist organizations like the AEI, CAP has a well-earned reputation of playing fast and loose with the truth.

Three key CAP figures loom large in the Hillary Clinton universe: John Podesta, Neera Tanden, and David Domenici.

John Podesta

Podesta, founder of CAP, is perhaps one of the most vehement opponents to public education this side of Betsy DeVos and the Brothers Koch. He is Clinton's 2016 campaign chairman. When not palling around with reactionaries Jeb Bush and Chester Finn, Podesta is hatching more ideas like NCLB, RttT, and CCSS. Many sources state that it was Podesta that encouraged Obama to select the doltish, non-educator Arne Duncan over Professor Linda Darling-Hammond for Secretary of Education. Given Obama's subsequent selection of John King to replace Duncan, it would seem Obama didn't need much encouragement choosing a corporatist over an educator. It's hard to imagine a Clinton administration being any better than Obama's on education issues, and given her abject history with the Walton family, and her reliance on Podesta, it could feasibly be worse.

Neera Tanden

Tanden is another longtime CAP fixture. On her first stint with the organization she was Vice President of Academic Affairs, and played a major role in shaping their neoliberal corporate education reform messaging. Another high-profile member of BATs posted the following, saying they preferred it be cited without attribution:

Hillary Clinton names Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress to the Dem[ocratic] Platform Committee. CAP is a funder and promoter of the privatization of our schools, VAM, and Pearson testing. This is what AFT and NEA endorsement has earned us. if you are still supporting HRC nomination, understand she stands with your enemies.

David Domenici

Domenici is a Senior Fellow at CAP, and Clinton's go-to guy on finding ways to leverage disaster capitalism to push trough CAP and Clinton's anti-public education agenda. Clinton and Domenici hatched a racist, neo-colonial plan to inflict a nationwide privately managed charter school school network with a Teach for America style model in Haiti. This plot was exposed in the WikiLeak archive of Clinton's emails. These thoughts on the Haitian fiasco sum up Clinton's views on education for poor children, and children of color:

It's no surprise that the woman who refers to children of color as "super-predators", insisting that "we have to bring them to heel", would search out such a racist education plan to inflict on a Haitian population decimated as much by the Clintons' free-trade deals as by natural disasters. Like the distinguished Professor Michelle Alexander says, Hillary Clinton uses "racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals." While Haiti was spared this horrific, colonial charter school plan hatched by Clinton and her corporate advisors, we can expect more of the same if she somehow comes to power again. We need to organize and prepare to fight against her racist penchant for neoliberal corporate education reform.

With Clinton we'll be getting more of Podesta, Tanden, and Domenici's toxic policy advocacy. Much like we've seen with Obama, CAP's virulent brand of neoliberal corporate education reform will be a centerpiece of a Clinton administration.

Anyone supporting public education should reject both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

There is a candidate running for president — who will be on most November ballots — whose education platform is worthy of support from the left. Indeed, she has consistently articulated the best public education platform of all the candidates. That candidate is Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party.


Thursday, June 02, 2016

Schools Matter: 2016 Week 22 Education Odds and Ends

First published on Schools Matter on June 1, 2016

“[Mike] Feinberg’s fumbling rhetoric and transparent body language cannot conceal the condescending corporate paternalism that is a defining characteristic of KIPP’s abusive corporate reform school testing camps.” — Professor James Horn

A parent testifies about charter co-location

Parent-Activist Karen Wolfe provides powerful testimony against corporate charter profiteer Refugio "Ref" Rodriguez's scheme to make it easier for charters to occupy large portions of public schools. Her piece is available here.

New Series Looks At Charter Schools

Jeff Bryant announced this on another site:

Over the next few days Capital & Main, an independent news outlet in California, will be looking at charter school expansions in the state and their impact on school districts, teachers, and students. Given some of the sources involved in the reporting, this should be really good. See the kick-off here.

A Charter With Its Hand in the Cookie Jar?

LAUSD Board Candidate Carl J. Petersen continues to expose the wrongdoing of Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS).

Steve Zeltzer: Connecting The Dots, Charter Schools, Privatization and Public Education In Richmond CA

Teachers who are members of United Teachers of Richmond UTR and Vallejo Education Association joined with parents and supporters of public education in Richmond, California on May 28, 2016 to report on the continuing attack on public education through charters, testing and privatization.

There was also reports on the role of Ron Beller and the Caliber Charter Schools which wants to buy the Adams school site for $60,000.

Additional media:

Production of Labor Video Project


Schools Matter: WikiLeaks reveals: Hillary Clinton plotted corporate charter school colonialism for Haiti

First published on Schools Matter on May 24, 2016

“Worse, Clinton’s “boarding school” socialization and structure idea sounds more like assimilation than education. Shocking and scarily reminiscent of other U.S. ventures in segregating classes of “other” people. Native Americans were also thought to be in need of “education” to work differently in groups and to be in need of structure.”— Daun Kauffman

WikiLeaks released the Hillary Clinton Email Archive mid-March 2016. Many users were searching for terms like hedge fund manager, Goldman Sachs, or, as the example in the WikiLeaks boolean tutorial: "syria libya will show results…" I decided to search for familiar phases of the neoliberal corporate education reform camp. I struck pay-dirt on my first try with "charter schools." Note my excitement on the day of discovery

In one thread Clinton and her cabal talk about a colonial project to remake earthquake stricken Haiti's education system using disaster capitalism, much in the way author Naomi Klein describes what happened in New Orleans:

In sharp contrast to the glacial pace with which the levees were repaired and the electricity grid brought back online, the auctioning-off of New Orleans' school system took place with military speed and precision. Within 19 months, with most of the city's poor residents still in exile, New Orleans' public school system had been almost completely replaced by privately run charter schools.

Before getting to the content of the email, it's important to contextualize the Clinton's relationship with the island nation. When not facilitating the orchestration of coups in Latin America, bombing the Near East and Africa into the stone age, or providing full-throated support for apartheid states, Clinton is meddling in Haiti. Lots of good pieces on the Clintons and Haiti in publications like Counterpunch and Black Agenda Report, but this excerpt from an essay by Shadowproof's Roqayah Chamseddine is an excellent summary:

WikiLeaks reveals: Hillary Clinton planned corporate charter school colonialism for Haiti, photo credit

In 2010, Hillary Clinton visited Haiti as part of a public relations stunt that allowed her to see firsthand the devastation wrought by the earthquake that killed at least 100,000. This performance was primarily meant to demonstrate solidarity and show the international community that the United States would be there to help in reconstruction efforts. Yet, her visit came less than a year after the U.S. State Department, then led by Clinton, had pressured the government of Haiti into denying laborers a wage increase of $0.62.

Dan Caughlin and Kim Ives of Haïti Liberté reported the U.S. Embassy in Haiti aggressively pressured “factory owners [in Haiti] contracted by Levi’s, Hanes, and Fruit of the Loom to block a paltry minimum wage increase for Haitian assembly zone workers, the lowest paid in the hemisphere.” In statements reminiscent of the Clinton campaign’s recent charges against Sanders, Deputy Chief of Mission David E. Lindwall called the proposed $5 minimum wage for Haitian assembly zone workers one which “did not take economic reality into account” but that was meant to appeal to the “unemployed and underpaid masses.”

Haiti has long been a kind of pet project for the Clintons, and they’ve often spoken of “falling in love with Haiti” during their honeymoon. But the love isn’t mutual by any means, and Haitians across the U.S. have made this increasingly clear by way of protests spotlighting the catastrophe the Clintons have left behind. Dahoud Andre, a radio host who has organized protests in New York, is quoted by the New York Times as saying that “a vote for Hillary Clinton means further corruption, further death and destruction for our people.”

Since the email I'll be discussing is accessible here, and is somewhat long, I will not reproduce it in its entirety. Rather, I'll draw excerpts from sections and discuss them. Secretary Clinton forwarded the email in question to one of her assistants, Lauren Jiloty. It was written by neoliberal corporate education reform cheerleader David Domenici in response to Clinton's wanting suggestions on how to capitalize on the Haitian disaster. Charter school profiteer Domenici has no background in pedagogy, has never worked at a public school, "worked in finance", and is a Senior Fellow for the right-wing think-tank Center for American Progress. His biography reads like those of most of his ilk: "He felt that an understanding of the law coupled with his understanding of the financial world would help frame his sense of how best to generate positive social change." It is with this profound ignorance of education and pedagogy that Domenici crafted the Clinton Colonial Education Corps plan. That former Secretary Clinton relied on a venture capitalist for education policy advice speaks volumes, and foreshadows some very frightening prospects should she capture the Presidency.

From: Hillary Clinton
To: Lauren Jiloty
Date: 2010-01-18 19:23

UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05772910 Date: 08/31/2015

From: H
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 7:23 AM
To: ''
Subject: Fw: Hope you are well, where ever you get this-- below are ideas re: education corps for Haiti that you asked for

From: David Domenici
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 7:55 PM
To: 'Mills, Cheryl D'; 'Cheryl Mills'
Subject: Hope you are well, where ever you get this-- below are ideas re: education corps for Haiti that you asked for

UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05772910 Date: 08/31/2015
Hey Cheryl,

It's important to establish who was sending what to who.

Here are some quick thoughts on re-building school infrastructure in Port-au-Prince. Feel free to share with whomever you'd like.

I have little idea of the larger context here — how many schools/kids are we looking at, but one thing we've learned in the US in the last 5 years is that good teachers are the #1 lever of change in education. If we got 1,000 really great teachers into Port-au-Prince (w/ even a modicum of support and materials), they'd make a big difference and touch the lives of 30,000-60,000 kids.

Here Domenici perpetuates the most common falsehood from the reformers' talking point list, that good/great teachers are the number one factor affecting students. He's dead wrong, and this misrepresentation of fact needs correction.

It's not that teaching isn't important—quite the contrary, but teaching is a minority factor in group of factors impacting students. Even more so in the abject conditions of post-earthquake Haiti, which was already an impoverished nation due to U.S. economic imperialism. It's doubtful that Domenici or Clinton have actually read about this outside their small insular world of edreform, where policy papers are passed off as research. However, depending on which study we rely on, teachers at most comprise 10 to 20 percent of factors for achievement outcomes. The distinguished Dr. Paul L. Thomas has written on this, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has funded major studies, edreform darling Eric A. Hanushek has documented it, as have many others. Some selected sources:

Di Carlo: But in the big picture, roughly 60 percent of achievement outcomes is explained by student and family background characteristics (most are unobserved, but likely pertain to income/poverty). Observable and unobservable schooling factors explain roughly 20 percent, most of this (10-15 percent) being teacher effects. The rest of the variation (about 20 percent) is unexplained (error). In other words, though precise estimates vary, the preponderance of evidence shows that achievement differences between students are overwhelmingly attributable to factors outside of schools and classrooms (see Hanushek et al. 1998; Rockoff 2003; Goldhaber et al. 1999; Rowan et al. 2002; Nye et al. 2004).

Rothstein: The 2/3 — 1/3 breakdown between family background and school influences was the core finding of the 1966 federal study, the “Coleman Report.” But this interpretation of the report overstates its finding about the influence of schools, because Coleman and his colleagues considered the influence of a child’s schoolmates (“peer effects”) to be a school factor, not an out-of-school factor. (Coleman, James S., and Ernest Q. Campbell, Carol J. Hobson, James McPartland, Alexander M. Mood, Frederic D. Weinfeld, and Rober L. York, Equality of Educational Opportunity, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Government Printing Office, 1966.) Yet the only way to affect the composition of peers in the neighborhood schools he studied would be to change the composition of neighborhoods, with housing integration policies, for example. Of the in-school influences, the Coleman Report identified teacher quality (defined by teacher characteristics such as their educational attainment and experience) to be most important.

In the context of post-earthquake Haiti, understanding that we cannot rely on teachers alone to make up for the crushing poverty, multiple traumas, and lack of infrastructure, is critical. While we certainly want all children in Haiti to have access to education, the idea that we can ignore the rest of the issues they're facing reeks of colonialism and callousness.

I think this is totally doable, in short-order, in a magnificent way that could set the foundation for a well-educated generation of Haitians who could lead the country out of poverty, to self-sustainability, self-governance and openness.

Never mind that Haitian poverty is a result of U.S. transnational corporations depressing wages (cf Secretary Clinton's intervention in Haiti's attempt to raise minimum wage discussed supra). Pay no attention to the blatantly racist and colonialist notion that but for U.S. intervention, there would never be a "well-educated generation of Haitians". Ignore the fact that every attempt by Haitians to create self-sustainability and self-governance has been thwarted by U.S. interventions. Corporate education reform will correct all these things in "short-order" under the new Clinton Education Corps plan.

There were four goals listed for the Clinton Colonial Education Corps plan. Domenici enumerates them as:

  • Goal 1: Human Capital
  • Goal 2: Build a robust curriculum and teacher instruction program
  • Goal 3: Build high quality, durable schools that entice families, children into education
  • Goal 4: Create family, community impetus for all school age children to be in school

Goal 1: Human Capital:

Create Haiti Teacher Corps. Model loosely off of Peace Corps/Teach for America, CityYear Teacher corps (US): Recruit, train, and place 500-1000 teachers from US this spring and summer. We can do this.

* * *

o Language/culture training: TDB — find the best folks out there to train in French/Creole, and Haitian culture, current socio-political situation — 50% of the training program.

o Academic training: We'll work w/ TFA and others and develop 8 week intensive teacher training program for other 50% of program.

Being a business-finance type, Domenici is quite at home writing about how to make other people do work. This is the longest section of his piece, so only small portion will be addressed here. The most frightening thing is that he pushes the Teach for America (TFA) model, which at best is a paternalistic, colonial model. Clinton's advisor then outlines his program for "training" that is eight weeks long. At first blush, this is a vast improvement over TFA's woefully deficient standard five week model. That is until we take into account that they want these recruits "to train in French/Creole, and Haitian culture" simultaneously. While the self-congratulatory reformsters all consider themselves "elite", it's somewhat absurd that eight weeks is all that's allotted for all this content. To contextualize, at its shortest point, clown college was eight weeks. In essence, Clinton's cabal feel that the best Haitian students deserve is people with no more training than clowns.

Haiti-based: Less clear what the teacher-leader pipeline is like...but we can figure out and get whoever we can.

Clinton's advisor Domenici consistently speaks of the Haitian people as somewhat of an afterthought. They are someone you do "for" or "to", but never "with". That this wealthy, white male consistently leaves the agency of Haitians out of the equation is completely in line with the white supremacist lens that both he and Hillary Clinton see the world through.

Much of the rest of this section deals with how cheaply they'd like to see all the labor paid. Interestingly, this is in line with how Clinton's State Department kept Haitian wages low in order to sate corporate capital. Domenici asserts that there's plenty of young charter school types that are willing to make the sacrifices that neither he, nor any of his peers would ever make. The finance capitalist then turns his attentions to the next goal.

I am not a curriculum expert, but I think this is really doable, as well, so long as we get the right team […]

Clinton's fellow corporate reformer is refreshingly honest here. Not only is he not a "curriculum expert", he's not even a novice. When we look at his notions of "Backwards Mapping" and "clusters and in modules that can be swapped in and out", it's clear that Domenici is pushing what Paulo Freire termed "the banking model of pedagogy", that is, that students are vessels into which corporate reformers pour knowlege into. This model works well for maintaining oppression, and would serve to perpetuate the United States' existing historical relationship with Haiti.

Reading this section reminds one of just how profoundly ignorant neoliberal corporate eduction reform types are. This may be the one individual less knowledgeable than Arne Duncan or John King on education issues, which would likely mean a potential Clinton administration would tap him to head the Education Department. If Domenici is one thing, he's buzzword compliant. Every phrase and term for the reformy canon is on display in his missive to the Wall Street funded Presidential candidate who spent many years on Walmart's board of directors.

Consider technology and technology infrastructure as a part of the initial construction plan so it's not add-on later.

Hillary Clinton and Cheryl Mills' education "expert" would be remiss if he wasn't providing profit vectors for Reed Hastings, Bill Gates, and Pearson, PLC. The rest of his section for goal three is quite reminiscent of the Naomi Klein quote supra, where she discusses destroyed infrastructure being ignored in favor of school privatization happening with "speed and precision". Domenici does disaster capitalism with the best of them.

The corporatist's final section suggests wrap-around services, something that those of us in the social justice camp are certainly in favor of. However, Clinton's confidant can't seem to keep his paternalism in check. He asserts that if his plan is followed, that it will "be a catalyst for socio-political change". We discussed above how Haiti's problems are due to U.S. economic imperialism, and seemingly endless interventionism in the country's affairs. To suggest that their problems stem from a lack of education is that special kind of victim blaming that corporate reformers are so adept at. It also smacks of how neoliberal Democrats, as Thomas Frank so succinctly puts it, "see every economic problem as an educational problem".

Domenici is an elitist from the finance capital sector, and had been asked by a Secretary of State whose Wall Street ties are like no other to advise her on educational policy for Haiti. So it's no small wonder that he ends his email with:

Gotta run. See you shortly.



It's no surprise that the woman who refers to children of color as "super-predators", insisting that "we have to bring them to heel", would search out such a racist education plan to inflict on a Haitian population decimated as much by the Clintons' free-trade deals as by natural disasters. Like the distinguished Professor Michelle Alexander says, Hillary Clinton uses "racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals." While Haiti was spared this horrific, colonial charter school plan hatched by Clinton and her corporate advisors, we can expect more of the same if she somehow comes to power again. We need to organize and prepare to fight against her racist penchant for neoliberal corporate education reform.

While not Hillary Clinton specific, Jesse Hagopian has an excellent piece entitled: Shock-Doctrine Schooling in Haiti: Neoliberalism Off the Richter Scale


Friday, May 06, 2016

Schools Matter: Meritocracy myths allow neoliberal Democrats to proffer education as an inequality palliative

First published on Schools Matter on April 15, 2016

“They favored policies that created “equal opportunity” and fostered “individual rights,” instead of those designed to eradicate the structural underpinnings of racial segregation and economic inequity.”—Professor Lily Geismer, "Atari Democrats", Jacobin

Thomas Frank has a new book out. While I've only read excerpts from his previous works, and several of his essays, I think Paul D'Amato sums up Frank well in that he: "offers some important food for thought–but it’s more of a snack than a full meal." That said, given the precariousness of public education in this era of neoliberalism, even a snack may stave off starvation. Frank is making the tour discussing his new work, and a friend posted one of the interviews. I was listening to it in the background while studying for my Civil Procedure midterm (the arcana of Judgment Non Obstante Veredicto, and other FRCP 50 mysteries), when I heard Frank say something that most of us touch upon when discussing the plutocrats pushing neoliberal corporate education reform. That is regarding the meritocracy myth.

The audio being discussed is at the 21:07 mark and my rough transcription follows.

Democrats are like no, no, no... that's not right. You've got to give everyone student loans. You got to build charter schools. Both sides have their pat answers that have nothing to do with the problem...

This is a book about Democrats, and they see every economic problem as an educational problem, requiring more student loans, more charter schools. That sort of thing. People studying STEM subjects, or whatever it is. This is just how they interpret the world. Why do they do they interpret the world that way? Because that's what worked for them personally. If you look at the biographies of different, prominent Democrats of our time, they all have this eerily similar biography. They are often plucked from obscurity by prestigious universities. Look at Bill Clinton, this kid in Hot Springs Arkansas, goes to Georgetown University, then he's a Rhodes Scholar, then he goes to Yale Law School. All his friends have this similar kind of background. Look at Barack Obama. He goes to Columbia, then Harvard Law School, and is the editor of the Harvard Law Review. For these guys academic achievement and prestige, that's what opened the doors for them, and it is very natural for them to assume that is what will open the doors for everyone else. Now I'm a great believer in education, I spent twenty-five years of my life getting one. But I'm here to tell you that that's not the solution for inequality. We need education, obviously everyone needs to know how to read and do math. We need experts.

That is not the problem with the economy. The problem is not that workers are not smart enough. The problem is that workers don't have any power.

That last, overarching issue is the crux of the problem. I'd like to delve into it further, but that will have to wait until summer break. The other issue of the Democrats championing the meritocracy myth and their pandering the false notion that education will solve inequality is of crucial importance during this election cycle. The Geismer piece cited in the beginning of this post discusses a Democratic Party candidate's ties to many of the worst of the cult of meritocracy.

In her 2016 campaign bid, Hillary Clinton has strengthened these ties, surpassing candidates from both parties in individual donations from employees at the ten highest-grossing companies in Silicon Valley, including Google, Facebook, Apple, and eBay.

Four more years of neoliberalism and wrongheaded education policy are a frightening prospect. Now is time for action.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Schools Matter: The schools Steve Barr made: Green Dot Charters post NINE of lowest fifty SAT scores

First published on Schools Matter on April 06, 2016

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

Steve Barr. Stand up to Green Dot's corporate charter-voucher racism.
Beleaguered Green Dot schools have dealt with charges of racism, embezzlement, poor performance, and even cheating. Green Dot Founder Steve Barr created a mythology about his corporate charters that persists even today. Barr photo
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Corporate profiteer Steve Barr is in the news again. Now he is mulling a run at Los Angeles Mayor. Barr calls himself an "educational innovator" despite having no background in either education or pedagogy. While his attempts to "turn around schools" have been epic failures in New Orleans and Los Angeles, his Green Dot Corporate Charter Chain is frequently held up as a measure of his so-called success. Except they're anything but successful.

Green Dot Corporate Charter Schools hold the dubious record of NINE of the lowest fifty average SAT scores in Los Angeles County for 2015. The billionaire backed charter chain, founded by corporate executive Barr and run by hedge fund manager Marco Petruzzi, group of SAT bottom dwellers leads all other charter chains in comprising 18% of the fifty worst. These schools were (lower numbers are worst performing):

  • 4. Animo Locke Charter High School #1 (Los Angeles): SAT Composite 1033
  • 12. Animo Watts Charter High (Los Angeles): SAT Composite 1092
  • 14. Animo Locke Charter High School #2 (Los Angeles): SAT Composite 1104
  • 16. Alain Leroy Locke High (Los Angeles): SAT Composite 1107
  • 19. Animo Ralph Bunche High (Los Angeles): SAT Composite 1117
  • 25. Animo Locke Technology High (Los Angeles): SAT Composite 1129
  • 26. Animo Oscar De La Hoya Charter High (Los Angeles): SAT Composite 1129
  • 34. Animo Jackie Robinson High (Los Angeles): SAT Composite 1150
  • 50. Animo South Los Angeles Charter (Los Angeles): SAT Composite 1180

The privately managed charter chain's marketing slogan is "…all students graduate prepared for college, leadership and life." These dismal SAT scores would seem to indicate otherwise. For context 1500 is considered the minimum threshold for college readiness, while 2052 was the composite average for Freshmen accepted into UCLA in 2013.

Barr has never been able to get his own house together at his lucrative charter chain. Why would we trust him meddling with our public schools?

(Source: LATimes accessed 20160210)