Friday, March 11, 2011

Gates' Yolie Flores lauded by LA Weekly's Yellow Journalists

‎"In California, 15 years ago those who made over 250,000 a year paid 10% in taxes, those over 500,000 year paid 11%. Today both pay 9.3%! No wonder we dont have money for schools, the rich have not paid their fair share!" — José Lara

Corporate Yolie Flores always has and always put charters first.
Jill Stewart's trashy masseuse and porn ad pennysaver has printed yet another homage to the princess of privatization, corporate "ed-reformer" Yolie Flores-Aguilar. Known currently for yellow journalism exclusively, this isn't the LA Weekly that used to employ real journalists like Marc Cooper and Howard Blume. Instead this is the corporately owned rag run by the vile right-wing libertarian Jill Stewart. LA Weekly's current staff writers, hacks like Stewart herself, serve as little more than a Public Relations arm of school privatization organizations like the DFER, CCSA, and Parent Revolution.

The Weekly's latest pernicious mendaciousness? School Reformer Yolie Flores Departs LAUSD to Fight From Outside. A piece chock full of inuendo, lies, and corporate cheerleading.

Had the author done any research, like a real journalist, they wouldn't have made the erroneous statement about "explicitly prohibited for-profits" in trying to defend the vile Flores-Aguilar against "The argument was that [she] was giving away schools to the private sector."

Since 501C3 non-profits are corporations by definition (that's what the C in 501C3 stands for), they are part of the private sector. Every time a public school is handed over to a CMO (Charter Management Organization), or other 501C3, they are being given to the private sector.

Now she is moving full time to her current employer, The Gates Foundation. LA Weekly's gushing servile mention of the convicted predatory monopolist, Bill Gates, doesn't paint an accurate picture of what the plutocrat's role has been in school privatization circles:

Gates Document Details Plans for Influence Peddling and Propaganda War for Corporate Ed

Who's striking out and who's sliding home?

Gates, a repugnant member of Broad/Gates/Walton Triumvirate's agenda, like that of the like minded Phillip Anschutz and the Koch Brothers, is clear. Flores-Aguilar serves that agenda, and no amount of spin about "putting children first" vapidness the LA Weekly writes changes that equation. Her concerns, first and foremost, are that her corporate backers achieve their agenda without any messy public backlash. Yolie Flores, like her equally vile counterpart Michele Rhee, blazed the path for teabaggers including Scott Walker to dismantle public institutions and implement neoliberalism.

A perfect example of Flores-Aguilar's duplicity and mendaciousness can be found here: Gates' Yolie Flores displays an all new level of mendaciousness on ACLU settlement. She is hated in communities and schools like Garfield HS and Huntington Park HS precisely because everyone recognizes her disdain for parents, community, and students.

Here is an email exchange a Huntington Park student started with me in December regarding the Gates Foundation employee in question:

Hey, my name is [REDACTED] and i am a senior at Huntington Park High school. Our school has been around for more than a hundred years and as of 2010-2011 Yolie Flores Aguillar an Alumni of Huntington Park high school is pushing for five small schools. She hasn't really told us her true definition of a "small school"...but we fear that she will make changes that could be related to her "pilot schools" or "charter schools". I read your article of "Solidaridad: Response to wild accusations by Yolie Flores Aguilar, Inc." It was shocking and embaressing to hear an Alumni of Huntington Park high, a hispanic women who has lived in our community, to be advocating such a thing!

I really appreciate your research.(:

just on top of all i want to say thank you. For keeping the "people" informed.

My response:

Thank you for reaching out, and I'm glad my writings were informative.

It is really unfortunate that there are people that would choose to serve their oppressors rather than their own community. We call it "self colonized." Collaborating with our oppressors never brings liberation, it only further oppresses us.

I was present when Ms. Flores met with the Garfield HS community and was shocked at both her arrogance towards and disdain for that community.

Your community should be the one empowered to make decisions about Huntington Park HS. Ms. Flores shouldn't be allowed to make decisions that effect entire communities for her personal gain. While both small schools and pilot schools are infinitely better than charters, your community should fight for ESBMM (Expanded School Based Management Model), which would keep it a public school with control by the teachers, parents, students, and community instead of people like Ms. Flores. If your school holds a forum, I'd be happy to speak to many of these issues.

Ms. Flores was rewarded for her loyal promotion of school privatization with a cushy high profile job at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (one of the biggest charter-voucher supporters).

You might want to consider joining Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ). They are by far the best group advocating public education.

¡La lucha sigue!

Robert D. Skeels

By the way, I'll be running for the District 2 Board Seat of LAUSD against Monica Garcia 2012-2013

The student wrote back:

wow, im really glad to hear from you, will you be attending the LAUSD board meeting in january. i'll be going like at four in the morning to speak for 3 minutes, because it turns out that super intendent Cortines said i should go speak, my opinion should be heard. maybe it'll put some thought into these board members on changing the system and rethink the way students are evaluated.

and also Yolie did so happen to read my emails and she came to Huntington Park high school for a visit and the students stepped up to her and asked really good questions, some questions she even refused to answer...its politics.

we managed to document this meeting and now its on youtube: Parent Center smack it was uploaded by skwash4
if you would like to see it, and congrats, hope all goes well and wish you the best.

In the end, that student has done more for public education by standing up for their school than Yolie Flores has done in her entire corporate serving career. Of course the right wing author of the LA Weekly piece sees community members defending themselves from Flores' corporate agenda as a "Kafka-esque setting." Progressives see Yolie's moves as the "false generosity of paternalism." [1]

Lastly, the best part of the Weekly's gushing press release posing as an "article" is how it ends with a quote from the racist poverty pimp Ben Austin. How much of a pariah is the wealthy Austin in our communities? He recently made the "Crooks and Liars" website under the post: The "Parent-Trigger".

[1] "false generosity of paternalism" Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. An excellent explanation of the phrase: "False generosity and paternalism: The point Freire is making with these terms is that when a system is structured so that there are oppressors and oppressed, some of the oppressor class feel genuine compassion toward the suffering of the oppressed. They move to isolate that suffering and to aid it, not to address the structures of society which are the root causes. Thus, to the extent that they relieve any suffering they do so by hiding from themselves the genuine causes, their own privilege as oppressor class members."

[click here if you can't view the video]



Anonymous said...

Totally in agreement with you, but don't count Marc Cooper as ood indicative of LA Weekly's dwindling legacy of good journalism. Let us not forget his own tarnished legacy when he degenerated into a moderate windbag who incessantly based the anti-war movement while drinking the kool aid of islamophobia bill maher-style. He's the reason why I stopped reading the la weakings.

Robert D. Skeels * rdsathene said...

Point well taken.

Anonymous said...

I had a hard time understanding the dynamic in the HP video with Yolie-Flores. What issues were on the table and what was she proposing?

Robert D. Skeels * rdsathene said...

@Anonymous Yes, she wanted a drastic reconstitution of the school. From what I understand, she was angling to divide the school up into small schools. Given her long history of working for the corporate charter industry, it may have been a ploy to privatize the schools and hand them over to her well heeled colleagues.

I'm not fundamentally opposed to small schools per se, so long as the remain public schools. But like the sage instructor in the video said: studies have shown they don't improve test scores, but they do provide for a more personalized atmosphere for students and staff.

Her mendacity and rudeness towards everyone in this video is very reminiscent of her behavior at Garfield. It's funny that the libertarian wing-nuts at the LA Weakly [sic] lauded her as being so aware of data. If she was, she would have agreed with the instructor's assertions. The Gate Foundation stopped funding small schools because they were an abject failure in the one metric that Gates is obsessed over -- tests scores. In fact, Diane Ravitch's book has a whole discussion about this. The fact that Flores-Aguilar was unaware of this speaks volumes to the fact that she isn't qualified to hold any post related to education.

Given how she's pilfered so many public schools on behalf of the lucrative charter sector, she should be a long term guest of the California Department of Corrections.

Anonymous said...

Money rules and this actress pol is following it. and Gates writes her press releases as he does for Arne Duncan. disgusting.