Saturday, May 30, 2009

An article honestly assessing Green Dot on the LA Times?

Support Parents and UTLA against LAUSD and Green Dot's corporate charter cash cowsLooks like Broad's and Gates' millions combined with Barr's idiotic idea to apply failed "free market principles" to pedagogy have so far resulted in an epic fail! This is perhaps the first honest article the Los Angeles Times has ever done on the neoliberal Green Dot organization. It could have to do with writer, close friend of Ben Austin, and Green Dot cheerleader, Howard Blume being on vacation. Regardless, all their lies are meeting the exposure of reality. Remember, this is the model Arne Duncan, the frighteningly unqualified Secretary of Education will try to force upon all of us.

So far, not a single student at Locke 1 has tested as proficient on the school's benchmark exams in algebra. Locke 2 is in similar straits. Students disappeared during the school year; new students with their own difficulties signed up. These are the same intractable problems Locke suffered from as an L.A. Unified school.

The other thing is the article spells out, in no uncertain terms, what we have described as "cherry picking." While reactionary Steve Barr has denied his neoliberal charters skim the cream of the crop, in practice, this is exactly what they do.

Previous Green Dot charters, opened as alternatives to failing public schools, attracted motivated families that came from far-flung communities to place their children on waiting lists. As a result, enrollment was predictable and stable.

Another thing is Steve Barr, Marco Petruzzi, and Ben Austin were saying before the take over of Locke, that they would turn the school around in a matter of months. While the unqualified barons of private education make their six digit salaries, lets see how their prognostications have turned out:

Plastered on the pale-blue portables in a corner of the Locke campus are cheery motivational signs bearing the number 652. "Operation Proficient: 652," one reads. "652. We are on our way," another cheers. The number is the Academic Performance Index score -- the state's key accountability measure -- that the school hopes to reach. It's a long way from the 800 that represents a successful school, but it's an almost unimaginable leap from Locke's pre-charter score of 515, which placed it at rock bottom.

Regardless of what happens in the future, the Locke experience demonstratively proves UTLA's point. Smaller class sizes, parent involvement, and more money spent per class room changes everything. While neoliberal Green Dot is able to tap the vast fortunes of predatory monopoly capitalists like William Gates, and neoliberal billionaires like Eli Broad for now, what will happen after privatization of all our schools? Doubtful that the Wall-Mart model of education would attract any more right wing donations after that.

We need to fight to keep the public in public schools. We need to fight these massively funded, racist, right wing institutions that would ossify the segregation of our schools. We need to organize our communities and support UTLA against the onslaught of those that would turn the honorable profession of teaching into a minimum wage job. La lucha Sigue!

Where change begins at L.A.'s Locke High School


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are trying to deal with these folks at Mark Twain MS in Venice/Mar Vista. The "Parent Revolution" claims it is not "targeting" our school, but if you check out the web site, you'll see that is a myth. Now that the parents and teachers are speaking, up, Ben Austin is getting a little irritated. This school is not "good enough" for kids of his other Green Dot buddies, and the revolution is on. They've collected over 1,000 signatures, but have admittedly never been to the school, met the teachers, or kids, yet send their reps out to all neighboring schools to explain what makes the place unacceptable for their kids. Too brown, too black? We're not sure, but we will defend our wonderfully diverse students and dedicated teachers as we confront this so called revolution.