Politico: Michigan is a Horrible Model for U.S. Education
13 minutes ago
The reason these "rumors" persist is that so many parents from Garfield High School (GHS) have made the charges. I've personally had a score and a half of parents from Garfield tell me they were offered money, gift certificates, or other compensation. However, when I asked them for proof they were unable to produce anything worthwhile other than t-shirts. I been informed by an even larger number of parents that Green Dot/LAPU/Parent Revolution's Mary Najara, would go to their churches after the Misa, approach monolingual Spanish speakers with English petitions and tell them to sign it if they wanted their children to go to college. Ironically, after all of Green Dot's mendacity and shady manipulations, they abandoned Garfield High School in the end to chase after a shiny new building paid for by hardworking taxpayers.
While Ben Austin's reactionary sycophants take misguided shots at Caroline over these rumors, we need to ask why they are so persistent. Given Green Dot's other organizing incidents, like those documented here, and the ongoing conflict of interest with Ben Austin's two jobs (City Ethics Case # 2010-36), could it be there's more than meets the eye? Let's follow the money. What's more likely; that a self-serving Beverly Hills  lawyer, whose ongoing employment, bonuses, and future are tied to increasing Green Dot Corporation's market share might bend or break rules, or dozens and dozens of parents and students are liars? I'd wager the former and not the later.
Given the abject performance of most of Green Dot's campuses, if Austin was genuine, he'd have his blue shirts petitioning parents at the Animos. I guarantee that'll never happen. The cavalcade of corporate CMO charter executives are only interested in parent involvement up to the privatization conversion. Then parents learn they aren't welcome to the secret board meetings held by unelected boards packed with plutocrats. So much for parent power, choice and accountability or really caring about kids. If Green Dot spent as much time fixing their own failing schools as they did on hostile takeovers, they might actually help children.
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