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Public School Choice Politics

February 21, 2011

UPDATE 2/22/11:  All four schools got much friendlier reviews by the Superintendent’s Review Panel so I am going to assume (even being the glass half empty kind of gal that I am) that this is a good sign.  I really thought the Green Plan was excellent and  wonderfully written All four plans were recommended making planning more stress free.  This will be a long journey with many ups and downs and I have to prepare myself for that

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The plans for the four small schools at Central and Gage were reviewed by several reviewers and they were all over the map : Some individual schools received everything from “exemplary” to “well-developed” to “have severe concerns”- the last one from the public school choice peer review group that included  UTLA President AJ Duffy and  Secondary Vice- President Greg Solkovits, who we all know stood up tall for Fremont teachers (ha, ha). They wondered how we would pay for the retreat and PD we wrote into the plans for the most of the schools.

Hmm.  Well Duffy, how do you pay for the  extravagant love fest at La Quinta every year and the other conferences UTLA  officers attend- that’s right, our union dues!! (By the way, that breakfast, as one attendee stated, looks like the best breakfast she has ever seen!)

And since your union, UTLA is actually a partner in this plan, how about you pony up some cash for actual education instead of  an excuse to vacation and party ,while failing to negotiate even letters of recommendation for your displaced teachers?  Or why not put some UTLA employees to work  writing grants?  Just a thought.

The bottom line is that with the district  low on money, they are much more likely to approve charters so I won’t be surprised if they approve 1 or 2 schools and the other ones with be charters, even though technically we don’t have competition.  The city of Los Angeles is beginning more and more to mirror the New Orleans school system- a haphazard system of charters (affiliated, etc) and  a separate and unequal regular public school district that will always be struggling for funds and always be blamed as “failing.”  In New Orleans, that is the Recovery School District.  If we had an earthquake the way that New Orleans had the Hurricane and flooding,  the splintering would have been accelerated. Instead it is happening a bit slower but being accelerated by the budget crisis.   It all started, however, when Proposition 13 was passed by voters in 1978 or 79.

1 of the 4 small schools was approved outright for pilot status, the other three were not rejected but are in limbo.   We of course await the advisory vote from the community to see if that will tip us over the edge but I have a feeling the budget will be the deciding factor.

The phony review by the “PSC steering committee”  citing “severe concerns” for two of the small  schools was just Duffy’s kick in the ass before he takes a position at the CTA.  Now that the Superintendent’s review panel is out, this is less of a concern.

Oh, and lest I forget, please vote WARREN FLETCHER for UTLA President.

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