The Animo Social Justice (?) Charter is closing for no other reason than Green Dot cannot show a return on their financial investment. Skeels' - a very adept freelance forensic accountant - questioning of Petruzzi's "We don't have a rich guy...." is right on. It shows that Green Dot's rich guys are putting their eggs in more lucrative baskets - like another Green Dot school on the Westside. [Read the Billionaires Boys Club chapter in Diane Ravitch's The Death and Life of the Great American School System] — Scott M. Folsom (4LAKids)
Well, now we know why the Los Angeles Times set school privatization bulldog Jason Song loose on another fact-free teacher bashing tirade comprised of the highly discredited "value-added" theory over the weekend. It was to mitigate the damage from today's piece by Howard Blume, Annual test scores rise in L.A. Unified schools, which shows LAUSD Public School scores up, and privatized charter-voucher industry darlings like Green Dot and PLAS only making nominal gains. I had some thoughts on these very telling revelations which appear in the comments under the article. They are reproduced here.
Could Marco Petruzzi be any more contradictory or mendacious? He and Ben Austin railed endlessly about Locke's low APIs and the so-called achievement gap (since silver-spoon-babies like Petruzzi and Austin can't fathom how poverty effects performance) as part of their hostile take over of Locke. They used test scores like a club to pummel the district and the community into handing public property over to their little private clique. Suddenly "There is so much focus on test scores that people miss the bigger picture of what a turnaround is about."
Let me get this straight. When a school is run by a public and democratically controlled entity, test scores are the sole criteria for judging. When run by private and secretly controlled entities (CMO/EMO), test scores are irrelevant. Nice! Given the litany of lies Petruzzi told the Animo Justice community, it's astonishing that Howard Blume would quote the pathological liar to begin with. I guess Petruzzi's quarter million a year salary qualifies him to make statements no matter how fact-free they are.
As soon as Petruzzi went on public record saying Green Dot doesn't get outside money from millionaires,  he should have lost any and all credibility with the press. He and Austin also guaranteed that all Locke students would be proficient within in a year, but we'll ignore that for now. When will the Los Angeles Times just come out and admit the are the public relations arm of the DFER and charter-voucher industry.
Aside from exposing Green Dot's deviously dishonest CEO for being the serial liar he is, it's also great to see that the 'Education Mayor" has managed to pull off such stellar proficiency rates!
Just think. If we allow Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Marshall Tuck, Joan Sullivan, and Ryan Smith to apply their Project for Los Angeles Schools (PLAS) best practices, derived from Green Dot Public [sic] Schools and Alliance for College-Ready Schools, district-wide, then the whole district can boast that "fewer than 2% of students scored as proficient in math."
Funny how all Los Angeles' CMOs, EMOs, and schools under mayoral control are also the leaders in remediation rates for the students they manage to get into college as well. Somehow, the Los Angeles Times ignores the smoke and mirrors there too.
 Perfidious Petruzzi
The former Bain Capital employee has made a fortune in the crooked charter-voucher industry. Well known for his mendaciousness, another of Petruzzi's despicable stream of lies starts around the 4:05 mark of this video. Gotta love when he says "We have no money. We're a non-profit. We don't have a rich guy that even [sic] gives us extra."
Even given the kind of wealth Petruzzi, Barr, and Austin are accustomed to, it's disingenuous at best for him to not consider Green Dot's extremely well heeled donors as not being rich. Eli Broad, William Gates III, The Walton Family, Reed Hastings, Donald Fischer, et al. certainly would qualify as those rich guys that perfidious Petruzzi denies receiving money from!
[Click if you can't view the video]
The "no rich guy" falsehood is just one of Green Dot Public Schools CEO Marco Petruzzi's standard fare of fallacies. This is the kind of dishonesty that only Jed Wallace, Gabe Rose, Yolie Flores Aguilar, and Ben Austin could love. Look for a full blown article on this real soon.
I KNOW EXECUTIVES AND BUSINESSMEN HAVE A DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDING, BUT I WAS TAUGHT THAT WHEN YOU INTENTIONALLY SAY SOMETHING YOU KNOW IS UNTRUE — IT'S A LIE. I SUPPOSE THAT IS THE SO-CALLED STATUS QUO I'M ALWAYS ACCUSED OF DEFENDING, TELLING THE TRUTH.
* The reference to Mayor Failure, of course, comes from the absolutely brilliant cover of the June 2009 Los Angles Magazine. The milquetoast article it was plugging isn't all the critical of the pro-corporate, pro-privatization, pro-business Mayor, but it was a start.