Thursday, December 17, 2009

CCSA'S Jed Wallace's woeful corporate charter chicanery, defending the indefensible

Private money is paying for key senior staff positions... raising questions about transparency and the direction of reforms in the nation's second-largest school system. -- Howard Blume (Los Angeles Times Education Staff Writer)

Defend Public Schools from Corporate Charter Charlatans Like Jed WallaceWhile the Los Angeles Times is decidedly pro corporate charter-voucher in both concept and content, they are still a news source that needs a modicum of credibility in order to survive as a viable business. Their recent Learning about ethics discussing the utter unaccountability and lack of transparency in the corporate charter-voucher school syndicate was a major step towards exposing the kind of criminality school privatization opens the door to. Discussing the ethics issue (or in Barr's case the lack thereof) of charter school executive Steve Barr making off with a cool $51K was something we in the social justice community were heartened by. Howard Blume's brilliant Key L.A. Unified staff positions are funded privately exposed the incredible prospect that the billionaires club isn't satisfied with buying off politicians like Romero, Villaraigosa, Garcia, and Flores-Aguilar. The nefarious charter-voucher advocating plutocrats including the Waltons, Gates, Milkins, and Broads are now placing their "Made Men" inside public institutions that were at one time accountable to the tax payers. We public education activists knew Matt Hill was a bad guy with deep ties to Green Dot Public [sic] Schools, but we didn't know he was on Eli Broad's payroll. Great way to subvert democratic processes, Ben Austin must be proud.

In light of this tepid chastisement of their extremely profitable industry, Jed Wallace, the well heeled President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) launched an amateurish and fact free polemic entitled Who's watching charter schools [1] which the Los Angeles Times saw fit to publish in their online blowback section. Kenneth Libby of Schools Matter has fun picking apart Wallace's nonsensical Ayn Rand cum Milton Freidman fantasy land in Charter Lies.

Here's my letter to Mr. Wallace.

Mr. Wallace:

RE: "Who's watching charter schools" [1]

If regular working class people were "missing" $51,000 in receipts like Steve Barr, we would be FIRED and ARRESTED! What's more, Green Dot, like all EMO/CMO, suck up our tax dollars with the above-mentioned type of "accountability" going on. Only in the corporate charter-voucher school realm is such malfeasance and mendacity rewarded. Defending your fellow plutocrats in your fact-free diatribe is tantamount to being an accomplice to burglary.

In fact, we've been waiting for years to see a recent 990 come out of Green Dot's LAPU/PR subsidiary. Last one available was 2006 when Ryan Smith held the highly paid CEO post before moving on to Mayor Villaraigosa's education wrecking crew. I know Ben Austin wants his additional income to be kept secret, but rumor is his moonlighting gig at LAPU/PR pays more than his City Attorney day job. I guess that's the kind of "self policing" you are referring to here, no?

What's next Mr. Wallace? A defense of the AIG and Goldman Sachs' bailout financed bonuses? They claimed they'd do an adequate job "self policing" after deposing Glass-Steagall. They too fleeced the tax payers. No wonder hedge fund managers love charter-voucher schools!

Advocating Public Education

Robert D. Skeels

PS: $51K is a lot of fancy lunches with Romero, Garcia, and Flores-Aguilar. I hope your fellow country club elitist, Barr, enjoyed each and every one of them. It (privatization) is broke, and must be fixed!




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