Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Advocating Public Education Roundup 10W31

Barr's parent organization [LAPU/Parent Revolution] gave... a grass-roots visual... And his paid staffers hit the right rhetorical notes... while identifying themselves to reporters and officials only as parents. — Howard Blume (Los Angeles Times)

Failure doesn't begin to describe charter sycophant Villaraigosa and PLASA really interesting piece on the self colonized queen of privatization — Yolie Flores Aguilar's real employer!


Of course, what more could we expect from the cutthroat capitalist and convicted predatory monopolist from Redmond, who, by the way, has been caught engaging in more malfeasance as of late. To wit: Bill Gates' other company dinged for fraud. The corruption, graft, fraud, billionaire bribery, and general malfeasance will continue unabated until the charter-voucher school industry is confronted by communities and social justice activists.

Special thanks to 4LAKids for sharing this story. I have a big piece featuring Yolie coming out soon — stay tuned.

This is from Leonie Haimson's excellent NYC Public School Parents blog:

"Diane Ravitch and Leonie Haimson on Democracy Now"

[Click if you can't view the video]

Push back against their propaganda

Some responses to some very unfortunate pieces in the always charter-voucher friendly local corporate media.

First a response to Joan Sullivan's utterly disgusting Op-Ed in the Daily News.

The Mayor's failed PLAS experiment should be enough to condemn his efforts, along with those of Marshall Tuck, Joan Sullivan, and Ryan Smith as untenable. Whether we look at PLAS schools' miserable API scores, their laughable remediation rates for the students they do manage to get into higher education, or the fact that their own staff have voted no confidence in the institutions, Sullivan's assertion that PLAS is a model is like Green Dot suggesting Animo Watts II is a top school!

Sullivan then trots out the highly discredited phrases of the privatizers' handbook: "competition, choice, and innovation." Three concepts that when put into practice have demonstrated to be utter failures. Whether we look at Chicago's failed renaissance 2010, Bloomberg's heavy handed blunders in NYC, or Los Angeles own rogues gallery of PLAS and charter-voucher disasters, it becomes clear that letting business executives without even a cursory understanding of pedagogy run schools always results in disaster.

We understand the Mayor wants to appease and ingratiate himself to the reactionary, wealthy, and powerful advocates of school privatization like Broad, Gates, and Hastings. We understand he hopes to garner their financial support for his future political aspirations. However, offering up our communities and children's futures to these vile robber barons is despicable. He needs to understand that our communities will fight him and his wealthy patrons tooth and nail.

We want PUBLIC schools that serve our communities! We want PUBLIC schools that are accountable to our communities! We want PUBLIC schools with publicly elected transparent boards! We want PUBLIC schools that treat students, teachers, parents, and employees with dignity! In other words, we want the exact opposite of what Villaraigosa, Wallace, Tuck, Barr, Ponce, Ressler, Christie, Smith, Piscal, Austin, Petruzzi, Burton, and McFarlane are trying to foist on us. PLAS, like all it's charter-voucher counterparts, is a money making scheme at the expense of the public.

Sullivan should apologize to the DN readers for perpetrating this fact-free op-ed on them, and then be forced to read Diane Ravitch's The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.

Next a comment on the ever charter-voucher obsequious Los Angeles Times Weeding out underperforming charter schools

The CCSA is only worried that the smaller charter-voucher schools can't contribute enough to Jed Wallace's already bloated salary. Avaricious Austin and the charter-voucher industry lackeys on the State Board are making noise about this for two reasons. First, it provides them some political cover in their ongoing march to privatize public schools and garner more coveted public funds for their wealthy friends — who just happen to be charter operators. Second, it insures that only the largest, best capitalized members of the charter-voucher industry are able to funnel more public tax money into their coffers. When we look at any measure, API, remediation rates, the CREDO study, the charter-voucher 'movement' (I'm loathe to call anything funded by billionaires a movement), has proven to be a bust. Well, a bust for everyone except those getting rich from it. Tools like quatidion try hide their pro-corporate agenda by blaming organized labor, but we all know that charter-voucher bubble is nothing more than the next big housing crash. Our communities, families, and children deserve better than having our futures dictated by Broad, Gates, Hastings, Fischer, et al.

Here's a novel idea, let's weed out any school that won't commit to educating every child. That requirement would shut down the entire charter-voucher industry!


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