Monday, August 10, 2009

LA Times' Steve Lopez prostrates before Green Dot again!

Separate is never equal. corporate charter schoolsJust when you think the Los Angeles Times editors can't grovel at the feet of Steve Barr, Marco Petruzzi, and Ben Austin's lucrative Green Dot CMO Empire any more than they already have, Steve Lopez pens this disgusting diatribe: Teachers union needs to be a leader

Here's the email I fired off to him:

Mr. Lopez:

Are you still parading as a self appointed expert on pedagogy? I was surprised you actually had a lunch day free to meet with Mr. Duffy, since is seems you spend all your time dining with Arne Duncan, Steve Barr, Marco Petruzzi, and Ben Austin.

Mr. Lopez, did you actually write "I don't care whether they're charters or collaboratives, and I don't care who runs them. I only care about the quality of education and whether there's a system of accountability."

What part about EMO/CMOs run by private corporations lend themselves to accountability?

Oh, yes, is it that their obtuse accountability lies in their ability to fire teachers at the drop of a hat? Given your obvious disdain of teachers and organized labor, that makes sense. Other than that they have nothing approaching accountability. Do tell Mr. Lopez -- just how accountable are the unelected boards of Alliance, Brightstar, and Green Dot? While sucking up all our tax dollars, CMOs have no transparency or accountability whatsoever to communities, parents, or anyone else -- save their well heeled executives and nefarious benefactors.

All the while, corporate CMOs dump special education, ELL, and other "problem" students back onto real public schools to try and boost their APIs. Is that accountability Mr. Lopez? Why no scathing pieces on Steve Barr's Animo Watts having a 494 API? Why no clever articles on Green Dot having 4 schools in the lowest 35 of SAT scores in LA County? Is all your vitriol reserved for hard working teachers and unions?

So glad you don't care who runs schools Mr. Lopez, but some of us do. Unlike you, we refuse to relegate impoverished schools and communities of color to the lowest common denominator. Especially to corporate CMOs funded in large part by right wing ideologues including convicted predatory monopolists, convicted insider traders, and shady real estate tycoons. Those who really care about what's best for our children and communities are resisting the march towards corporatization and privatization.

Do us a favor before writing another servile, obsequious, Green Dot cheerleading editorial -- do your homework! Please read the recent Stanford/CREDO and USC reports on corporate charter under-performance. Look into the disaster, especially the race gap in math, Duncan and Daily created in Chicago Public Schools using precisely the methods you espouse with such gusto. Look at the money trail involved with EMO/CMO/Corporate Charters.

You should have met with me instead Mr. Duffy, I'd have at least given you something to think about before you wrote another piece to further Steve Barr's fortunes.

Robert D. Skeels


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