Wednesday, May 29, 2013

@TCFKSM: Alexander Russo's vicious attack on Weigand Elementary School Teachers

First published on @TCFKSM on May 29, 2013

Photo courtesy of Last Stand for Children First: Education Blogger Wins Arthur Reynolds Award
Photo courtesy of LS4C1.
Alexander Russo's vicious attack on LAUSD's Weigand Elementary School teachers should be noted by everyone. In a piece where he gleefully sides with AEI's Hess' smear on the distinguished Professor Ravitch, he also decides to take aim at the hardworking women and men teaching at the school recently shot up by Ben Austin's latest corporate drive by. Here's an excerpt of Russo's bile laden commentary.

Given how they're being treated in the Times and by Ravitch (and by the teachers who appear to be more loyal to the principal than to the kids), the Weigand parents may be well be wishing that they'd opted for...

A clear response to these vicious accusations should be in order. The Parent Trigger is one of the most reprehensible tools in the neoliberal privatization and austerity toolkit. For the corporate education reformers to make this about the teachers instead of Austin's poverty pimping NPIC is outrageous. Russo's piece also mentions a UTLA meeting about the trigger. Sad UTLA didn't invite me, considering my years of investigating and covering both the trigger and those associated with it.

I have no problem with reactionaries Jamie Alter Lynton and Alexander Russo pushing The John Birch Society agenda on their @LASchoolReport blog—just don't call it journalism! Somehow the The LA Press Club has nominated them for two awards. Apparently Rupert Murdoch style [1] right-wing propaganda doesn't just pass for news these days, it's now the norm.

I've written about Russo before, in case anyone needs a refresher course on the neoliberal enthusiast.

Fortunately families, educators, and community members have a message for Alexander Russo and his allies at ALEC, Parent Revolution, and The Heartland Institute:

It's time for all Parent Trigger legislation to go the way of its other fellow, racist legal constructs like Jim Crow and miscegenation laws.

The Parent Trigger, a racist law to empower corporate reformers in their quest for privatization and austerity

[1] Both Rupert Murdoch and self-proclaimed "Citizen Activist" Jamie Alter Lynton were big donors to the Los Angeles corporate education reform Super PAC Coalition for School Reform (CSR). The CSR extremists spent millions to defeat Monica Ratliff, Steve Zimmer, and myself in the recent LAUSD Board of Education elections. They were only successful in defeating me.

Update: Just as I finished writing the above I was sent this press release on behalf of the Weigand Community. Please distribute it far and wide!

For Immediate Release: Parents and Teachers Decry flaws in the Parent “Tricker” Law

LAUSD Parents and Teachers will speak out against tactics used to trick parents into singing a petition to pull the Parent Trigger at Weigand EL and other schools where Parent Revolution is currently collecting signatures.  Parents and Teachers are left without a voice or say in changes to made to school sites and parents who do not sign the petition do not get to vote on the type of change that will occur at their school site once the petition is turned in. Parents who were tricked into signing petitions were not allowed to later withdraw their signatures with the organization or the school district.

Parents and Teachers decry, Parent Revolution, the group soliciting signatures at school sites, for misrepresenting themselves to parents and giving false information in order to collect signatures.  Every Parent “Tricker” petition gathering drive in LAUSD has originated from the well funded Parent Revolution organization and has not come from the parents or teachers from the school itself.

Our Central Message is:

  1. Call on lawmakers and LAUSD to make changes in the Parent “Trigger” Law to ensure all stake-holders have say in the type of changes they would like to see on a school site campus.
  2. Demand Parent Revolution halt tactics that mislead parents into signing petitions.
  3. Expose the flaws in the Parent “Tricker” law that disenfranchises parents and teachers from creating authentic academic change at their school sites.
  4. NO more drive-through community engagement.

Press Conference and Rally
Thursday, May 30, 2013
4:00 pm
Weigand Elementary School
10401 Weigand Ave
Los Angeles CA 90002

Teachers, Parents and Community Leaders will be available for interviews in Spanish and English.

For More Information Contact:
Ingrid Villeda:
Jose Lara:


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