Lundquist.jpgWhat is most disconcerting about the systematic and purposeful dismantling of public education in this country by LAUSD- and other entrenched mega school districts like it around the country- is that they literally make no attempt to cover up their reprehensible and often criminal behavior in fixing assessments and grades to justify graduating students that objectively have virtually none of the skills supposedly subsumed under a high school diploma.

And yet nobody in either commercial or public media or elsewhere is willing to independently investigate, verify, and report what is actually going on. Rather, they limit themselves to parroting LAUSD party line that "more are graduating," when even a cursory audit of this system by a truly independent entity would show that these students are nowhere near the long ago established level of even minimal academic achievement that a high school diploma should stand for.

But who is going to call LAUSD on their continuing fraud, when the same corporations that control the media are also the same corporations having a feeding frenzy in supplying all LAUSD's goods and services at inflated prices?

Students who don't have enough education to be able to understand the ramifications of leaving K-12 education without enough literacy in any subject, which is a prerequisite for them being able to be further educated with a professional skill are in no position to. Neither are their parents, who were pushed through the same corrupt system not so long ago.

I recently taught a Government class at ORT College in Los Angeles, where there was not one student in my class who could understand the text or any of the concepts in it, even though Government was supposedly a high school graduation requirement that they already had passed. The administration at ORT in a style very reminiscent of LAUSD made it very clear that i had to create a paper reality showing attendance and passing student achievement, irrespective of what these students were actually doing, which for the most part was nothing. And since they had already become accustomed in both high school and ORT to getting credit for doing nothing, me asking them to work at even their academically appropriate level was something they were not willing to do.

What I learned very quickly at this supposedly non-profit 130 year old ORT was that their real business was in combing the unemployment and welfare rolls to get "students" that they would then apply on behalf of to receive $10,000 plus student loans to pay for their tuition at ORT. No tuition, no ORT jobs, and one must wonder just what kind of salary the administrators- who clearly knew what I have just described- were making. Needless to say, I'm no longer working at ORT.

And then I read about Melanie and Richard Lundquist, who have given $50 million over the years to LAUSD for "schools in the most impoverished Los Angeles neighborhoods." And now they have agreed to spend another $35 million over the next 10 years. It occurs to me that if they didn't give this money to those in LAUSD and Partnership for L.A. Schools, but rather established an independent auditing entity, that independent entity might finally be able to hold LAUSD's entrenched bureaucracy and corporate friends accountable. Yes, I still believe in Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy.


06 2018

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