Monday, May 16, 2011

Reprint of letter to the 4LAKIDS editor on LAUSD District 5 race

Scott Folsom's 4LAKIDS site featured this letter with his commentary preceeding it on Saturday. I'm reprinting it here without modification or editing.

TUESDAY'S ELECTION: For your voting consideration

It doesn't take much to realize that Villaraigosa's Luiz Sanchez, whose backers and politics are identical to Flores, will treat our community with the same arrogant disdain.
[smf: I am forwarding the following unsolicited email from a 4LAKids reader and warrior in the battle for good public education in LAUSD. I have removed the writer's name because she is a district employee who should remain anonymous so as to stand a chance of keeping her job - and unfortunately it comes to that. Her opposition to Luis Sanchez is complete; her endorsement of Bennett Kayser is restrained ...but well reasoned. Let's face it: Thomas Jefferson is not a candidate in every election and there are many who couldn't vote for Tom! I don't necessarily agree with her opinion of the school police but she should say these things. She quotes me and I hate quoting myself ...but I did edit my comments because somebody should!]

Dear dear friends (sending to those I know - please feel free to forward),

Please allow me to weigh in on Luis Sanchez as I live in District 5. I have a kid in a good local school, and if he gets elected I believe PUBLIC education will be further at risk. Although I wish I were more enthusiastic about Bennett Kayser, I will vote for him because I believe he will be fair to ALL models of instruction and work hard for the success of all students in the district.

He is the better choice for me ---- Ah, democracy!

Here are just two of many reasons why I can't consider Sanchez:

Charter alternatives started by parents, teachers and other dedicated educators are great and necessary, and contribute to the mosaic of good education.
But there are corporations who view education as an industry to be conquered. They sit in the halls of Beaudry (LAUSD headquarters) and lobby Monica Garcia and her chief of staff Luis Sanchez. She ingratiates herself with business and succeeds in a divide-and-conquer effort to pit ALL charters (grassroots and corporate) and existing public schools against each other. Luis Sanchez is her mini-me, and favors charters over traditional public schools. It's not in children's best interests to pit groups of passionate people who have the same goals against each other. It's in all our interests to learn from each other and grow collaboratively.

Luis Sanchez cites LASPD support more than any other group. Isn't that a little weird? Do the LASPD teach our children? Are they publicly accountable? Are they even competent?
How much do they cost? Why is there a giant banner hanging on a building along the west side of the 110 that says "The Los Angeles School Police Department is Hiring!" when the district sends layoffs to 7,000?

Remember, this is the department of the idiot who shot himself and shut down the Valley. This is the department that still does not have any apparent public oversight for officer misbehavior. This is a department that costs the district money in legal settlements for said misbehavior. This is the department I called on March 8th of this year for parents whose daughter had run away as soon as she'd been dropped off at school, that didn't want to talk to the parents on the phone, and that then took an hour to get to the school. Fortunately I called the LAPD at the same time and they arrived in about 15 minutes. (The girl returned the next day, by the way. Phew!)

I could go on (and on!) but I'll end with this forward from PTA dad, friend, and advocate for kids Scott Folsom on his views of Luis Sanchez: "Luis's running like he's against the bureaucrats and he's the bureaucrat in chief. The most Inside of the Beaudry Insiders, He sits in the secret board meetings. Luis is a way to use shameless and shameful in the same sentence. Or perhaps ask 'Have you no no shame, sir?' On Monday the final pink slips go out - Luis might as well deliver them himself. But how do I really feel?"

Yours in the cause of quality, fun and loving education for all,



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