"The definition of insanity is to continue implementing the same failed policies with the expectation of a different result.
While that seems to be a pretty good explanation of the militant ignorance that continues to drive public education policy into the ground, there now seems to be an even better definition:
"The definition of insanity is to continue using the same corrupt and mediocre people whose failed policies destroyed public education in the past to try and fix it today."
Case in point, Richard Riordan, Caprice Young, and Judy Burton to name just a few of the usual suspects that continue to implement simplistic charter school policies that elude scrutiny by the corporate controlled mainstream media in the implementation of a clear corporate agenda to privatize the $250-370 billion "business" that public education represents, while dumbing down the public education essential foundation of this democracy to assure that corporate actions motivated solely by greed/profit go unchallenged.
Ex- Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, who is now chairman of the board of cash-strapped ICEF Public Schools, which is one of the nations largest charters is now in the process of trying to get his board to vote control of the charter's 15 schools over to Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, another large, local charter-school group.
"ICEF Chief Executive Caprice Young holds out hope that the group can remain independent and that the debt load, though bad, is not as catastrophic as Riordan fears." Could ICEF's bankrupt position have anything to do with the exorbitant salaries Caprice and others in the top-heavy administration of ICEF take, along with the sweetheart deals of those supplying goods and services to ICEF?
"Alliance Chief Executive Judy Burton has said that any merger would have to protect Alliance schools from being damaged financially by ICEF's problems." As of this writing, it looks like Alliance isn't going to go for the takeover of ICEF.
So let me put this little incestuous game being played at the expense of Los Angeles students, educators, and ultimately California taxpayers into focus with a little historic context. Although charters have no data to show that they do any better than public schools, which initially came into existence at the beginning of the last century to try and deal with the corruption of small charter-like schools of that time, not the Los Angeles Times nor any other local or national mainstream media entity will do anything to question why failing charters are allowed to exist, but public schools need to be dismantled, instead of reformed.
The first thing that Riodan did when he left the mayor's office was to bale out his friends at O'Melveny and Meyers, one of the oldest and largest law firms in the state, that had profited with a conflict of interest by representing both the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the developer of the irremediable toxic waste dump that remains the Belmont Learning Center. Riordan was able to get Belmont occupied by predominantly minority children in order to knock out the necessary damages element of the prima facie case for conflict of interest against O'Melveny, so O'Melveny dodged the $350 million damages it would have had to pay.
Caprice Young was the president of the LAUSD Board when all this nonsense was going on, until Eli Broad offered to pick up the debt of the then nearly bankrupt CANEC charter association, if they would just make Caprice the boss. She's continue to fail upward every since. The present LAUSD Board as LEA oversight of most charters in L.A. doesn't seem to care much about the track record of those who operate charters like ICEF that she and Riordan now focus their incompetence on.
As for Judy Burton, she's also a good-old-girl from LAUSD who has also continued to fail upward from her last LAUSD position as superfluous Local District head, which continues to cost LAUSD a fortune, even though there is a $408 million deficit to fill. If she couldn't turn around LAUSD, why would she be qualified or expected to do any better with charters that only have only 17% doing better that LAUSD schools, 47% doing the same, and the rest doing worse. Not much on critical thinking involved here.
If you want to know what LAUSD and public education is about, since it is surely not competence, check out Leslie Dutton's , where she shows what was done at the Belmont site under the watch of Riordan, Young, and Burton. In addition, she shows how ex-Inspector General of LAUSD Don Mullinax uncovered $350 million in fraud at the Belmont site having to do with bogus construction deals, but neither the LAUSD Board nor the L.A. City Attorney would file charges. Network site
Anyana Leonard, a 17 year-old Black student at View Park Prep, one of ICEF's schools might have unknowingly hit it right on the head when she mistakenly called Richard Riordan Richard Nixon, "I'm not a crook?"
NATIONAL EDUCATION REFORMERS
Dick Price and Sharon Kyle
Dick and Sharon firstname.lastname@example.org
Dick and Sharon are a pair of citizen journalists and information activists who were fed up with mainstream media. Rather than just kvetch about the media, they decided to try to become the media. So, together they founded the LA Progressive. Dick is the editor and Sharon is the publisher and webmaster, handling all technical aspects of the site.
This site was launched in March 2008, with Dick and Sharon doing most of the writing. Today, a host of gifted writers contribute to the LA Progressive's daily offering which typically amounts to about 45 articles a week. Dick and Sharon continue to write for as well as edit and publish the LA Progressive and distribute its daily e-news each morning.
Jo Scott Coe Riverside, California
Excellent Video Interview about Professor Coe
Assistant Professor of English at Riverside Community College and former high school English teacher. She is the author of Teacher at Point Blank and has been a teacher of English and literature in California since 1991. Her writing on intersections of gender, violence, and education has appeared in the Los Angeles Times as well as literary venues including Hotel Amerika, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, Ninth Letter, Memoir(and), Bitter Oleander, and Green Mountains Review. Her essay, "Recovering Teacher," won the NCTE 2009 Donald Murray Prize, and other selections of her work have received a Pushcart Special Mention as well as Notable listings in Best American Essays 2009 and 2010. As an independent researcher, Jo authored and published the most extensive study to-date of Adams v. LAUSD, a nearly 10-year legal case of student-on-teacher sexual harassment, in (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women's Experience (Cambridge Scholars Press). Jo values the aesthetic, political, and socially transformative powers of literary narrative--especially to dispel unhealthy silences and witness cultural blindspots. She works currently as an assistant professor of English at Riverside Community College in SoCal, and her book, Teacher at Point Blank (Aunt Lute 2010), has been selected as a Great Read for Fall 2010 by Ms. Magazine. Punk rock? Yes. Hockey games? Yes. Coffee? Always black. Find Jo on the web at joscottcoe.com and on Twitter @joscottcoe.
Betsy Combier New York, New York
Betsy Combier's blog http://www.parentadvocates.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleID=488
is a jewel that chronicles the corruption in NYC's Dept of Educations (DOE) . She has accomplished a wonderful piece of journalism, and created one of the rare places where corrupt educational governance is chronicled and revealed
Professor Samuel Culbert Los Angeles, California
is a professor at the UCLA Andersen School of Business who also teaches in the Education Department's Principals' Leadership Institute. Check out the following 3 minutes on ABC News
Stuart Goldurs Los Angeles, Califonia
Don't send LAUSD Librarians to the Inquisition, send the downtown bureaucrats
Tests, What Are They Good For? Absolutely Nothing!
LAUSD students to attend school on contaminated land, again!
Some schools teach only to the tests, so how are the students being prepared for the next grade and for life?
New LAUSD superintendent adds six-figure positions to management team
Has been a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 30 years. He is greatly aware of the district waste, large bureaucracy, and other major issues of the time. He started his blog with the sole purpose of informing the world about the truths of education in LAUSD. E-mail him at: StuartComputers@gmail.com.
LAUSD has selected a new Superintendent of Schools
Karen Horwitz Chicago, Illinois
Former award winning teacher who co-founded NAPTA, National Association for the Prevention of Teacher Abuse, and wrote the book White Chalk Crime: The REAL Reason Schools Fail to expose how teacher harassment and terrorization maintains a system of deeply hidden corruption. Disposing of dedicated teachers forms the core of the White Chalk Criminal's agenda since dedication and white collar crime do not mix. Given that all agree that good teachers are essential to good teaching, a system that cannot tolerate good teachers is worthless. This is what we have in place. With Bernie Madoff-like leaders - he was as much about investing as our school leaders are about educating - anointed with unlimited power, including the ability to fill the airwaves with propaganda, education is no longer about education. It is about money and power for those who play a very corrupt game and with an agenda of privatizing schools so their power will increase. (Privatization may have merits. NAPTA does not take a position on that. But privatizing a system that is rotten to its core - where quality teaching cannot survive, where a cover up of pretense that they do not know this despite so many of us reporting these truths prevails - documents that those advocating privatization cannot be trusted! It shows they want our schools for their own interests, not the children, nor the community.) NAPTA welcomes parents, teachers, students, citizens or anyone who understands that without a real system of education, we no longer have a democracy. Membership is free. Go to: EndTeacherAbuse.org or WhiteChalkCrime.com. Become educated about what is going on.
Jerry Mintz Director
Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO)
417 Roslyn Rd., Roslyn Hts., NY 11577
those of you who cannot wait for corrupt public education to be turned
around, AERO offers an excellent source to get connected with viable
alternatives right now.
Susan Ohanian Charlotte, Vermont
She is a longtime public school teacher who, after 20 years, became staff writer for a teacher magazine and then went freelance. I've maintained a website of activism for nearly 9 years--ever since the passage of NCLB. People can subscribe to the website and then they get updates about new content. I answer all the mail I get through the website and with the answer, people have my e-mail. I also try to stir things up on Twitter, though I find this medium frustrating. I have a Facebook page--just so people can find me. I don't initiate anything on it, The website keeps me busy.
Susan Lee Schwartz Suffern, New York
Susan studied literacy education, English literature, and fine arts and holds a BA ('63) and MS ('65) from Brooklyn College, and has the equivalent of two master's degrees, earned in graduate studies of literacy, arts and education. She taught literacy skills and art, for four decades in NYC in elementary and secondary school. In 1998 she won the New York State English Council (NYSEC) Educator of Excellence Award for her successful teacher practice, studied by Harvard and the LRDC at the University of Pittsburgh for the New Standards research. At the end of her research, her unique curriculum was selected by the LRDC to be used in their national staff development seminars for school superintendents. She was among six teachers -- from among the thousands across the nation-- observed during the research project, and her teaching practice met all the principles of learning. In the nineties, she rose to prominence in national educational circles, while teaching at a new magnet school, East Side Middle School. The reading scores of her seventh grade students were at the top of the city, and on the first ELA, which two thirds of city students failed, her former students (then in the eight grade) were TENTH IN THE STATE.
She writes often about what she learned about the genuine standards for learning, in an attempt to begin a national conversation about the authentic standards, so that there can be genuine reform. Her experience that ended her fine career in the NYC Public Schools has led her to write about the process that removed the top educators, silencing the voices of the classroom practitioners who would not accept anti-learning policies. Her essay here on Perdaily, is one that describes this process. Read more as she talks about education, literacy and learning on her site, from the perspective of the experienced teacher-practitioner of pedagogy. She is the voice of dedicated and talented classroom teachers who know why the schools are failing.
Her website is:
Joel Shatzky: Brooklyn, New York
Professor of English Emeritus--SUNY, College at Cortland (1968-2005)
Adjunct instructor-Kingsborough CC (CUNY) 2006-- )
Regular contributor to the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/searchS/?q=Joel+Shatzky
Author of "The Thinking Crisis" with Ellen Hill (Authors Choice Press: New York, 2001)
Numerous articles on education in Jewish Currents.
Script-writer for three YouTube satires on educational "reform."
"The Lessons": www.youtube.com/watch?v=D712J1V2Jsg&feature=player_embedded
"Numbers Lie": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57BRNLviVTQ
"The Charter Starters": www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnrrw5CV3Gw<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnrrw5CV3Gw>
Here's Joel's latest post about the low percentage of "college ready" high school graduates. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joel-shatzky/educating-for-democracy-t_2_b_821410.html
"I know first hand the financial, personal, emotional and physical damage that can result when school administrators, the Montana Education Association and the National Education Association put their own interests above the students, teachers and the taxpayers of the State of Montana My files contain mountains of paperwork including depositions, declarations of truth, notarized documents and exhibits resulting from an arduous legal process that finally ended when the Havre (Montana) School District settled two lawsuits - a Federal suit and one filed in State District Court. These documents also include a letter from a union representative stating, " This is nothing more than a witch hunt." Yet the union continued to allow the school administration to harass, bully and bring harm to me.
These two lawsuits resulted from a single incident that, had it been handled differently and under the light of public scrutiny, would not have snowballed into awards of more than $200,000 worth of damages. Funds that eventually came from the taxpayers' pockets. Ironically, as a taxpayer in Hill County, my family and I are helping to pay for the damages awarded to me. This covered the attorneys' fees. The settlement did not include my attorney fees, however the district, insurance and taxpayers paid the defendants attorney bills, which exceeded mine. The settlement was made on March 2, 2006."
Sabrina Stevens Shupe Denver, Colorado
"I went into teaching because I (mistakenly) believed the hype about bad teachers in our worst-performing schools, and I wanted to Be the change I wished to see in the world. When I was rushed to the hospital after fainting from exhaustion in my classroom, I started to suspect that the situation might be more complicated than the conventional wisdom on education reform would have us believe."
Excellent Colorado teacher who was forced out of the profession for being a dedicated and conscientious teacher.
@TeacherSabrina on Twitter
Jim Taylor, Ph.D., Psychology San Francisco, California
web site: www.drjimtaylor.com
Jim Taylor is an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco. He is the author of three parenting books and speaks regularly to students, parents, and educators around the U.S. He blogs on education issues for psychologytoday.com, huffingtonpost.com, sfgate.com, seattlepi.com, and other web sites around the country, as well as on his own web site.
Lois Weiner Jersey City, New Jersey
Professor, Elementary and Secondary Education
New Jersey City University
2039 Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, New Jersey 07305
Impact of urban school characteristics on teachers' classroom practice
How race, class, and gender mediate academic achievement
Teachers' work and the school as a workplace
Effects of changes in global political economy on teaching, teachers, and schools.