Send a Tweet
- Advertisement -
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 8 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/27/19

Who Elected the California Charter School Association?

Author 503224
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Carl Petersen
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)
- Advertisement -


(Image by CCSA)   Details   DMCA

"We ask that you please do not forward or otherwise share this document." - CCSA Staffer Cassy Horton

- Advertisement -

While Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) District 4 Board Member Nick Melvoin has laughed off the idea of holding public meetings in the eveningwhen more stakeholders can attend, an agendasecured by Michael Kohlhaas dot orgshows that Melvoin is perfectly willing to reserve that time for members of the charter school industry. After a 9:00 AM "special" (i.e. no general public comment allowed) LAUSD Board meeting and a 1:00 PM session of the Committee of the Whole, Melvoin and his Senior Advisor and Director of Community Engagement Allison Holdorff Polhill met with three staffers from the California Charter School Association (CCSA) and representatives from three charter school chains. The subject of this meeting was an attempt to make it easier for charter schools to obtain LAUSD facilities, "framed as a draft resolution for Nick's consideration" but actually "explicitly" requested by Melvoin.

The fact that Melvoin, who was elected to represent the 80% of students who attend LAUSD schools, outsourced the writing of a resolution to the CCSA should not be surprising. After all, this is the same board member who spearheaded the effort to allow charter schools to write the ruleson how they would be overseen by the district. He also has at least two former CCSA staffers, Chief of Staff Sarah Angel and Director of Strategy and Community Engagement Clayton Rosa, on his payroll. However, the confidential emails exposed by Michael Kohlhaas dot orgshow just how deeply the lobbying group for the charter industry has integrated itself into the operations of the public schools they are supposed to be competing against.

These confidential emails also add some explanation as to why the charter industry-backed board members pushed through a "school performance framework" before losing their majority due to Ref Rodriguez ' felony conviction. While touted as a way to provide parents with data about schools within the district, a recent presentation of the beta version of the web site showedthat this data is heavily editorialized and will be manipulated in order to create a yelp-style ranking of schools. True to form, the parents invited to participate in focus groups were not selected from the committees who advise the district but from Melvoin's mailing lists.

- Advertisement -

Under the resolution crafted by the CCSA, this ranking system would be used in a system in which "facilities allocations will be reduced toallow for the development and establishment of other programs better able to excel with students are [sic] receive high levels of demand from parents." Under the principle titled by Horton as "access to facilities based on performance and student demand", charters would have been rewarded for cherry-picking their student body and public schools with high numbers of English learners or students with special education needswould have lost space. The Prop 39 invasions faced by schools like Catskill Elementary would have become more commonplace throughout the district.

Luckily for the 80% of students who attend district-run schools, it appears that Rodriguez' conviction short-circuited the ability to turn this resolution into official policy. However, the disclosure of the efforts should serve as a red flag to voters in the 2020 elections.

Like the schools that they represent, the CCSA is a private organization with no accountability to the public. Their power comes from their ability to throw money at elected representatives through legalized bribery and they have made it clear that they intend to spend heavily to defeat Scott Schmerleson, George McKenna, and Jackie Goldberg next year. In fact, if the rumors are true, Melvoin's Chief of Staff is poised to run against Schmerelson. A defeat for any of the pro-public education board members would give control of the school board back to the charter industry and, therefore, the ability to enrich their own schools at the expense of the majority who attend public schools.

 

- Advertisement -

Rate It | View Ratings

Carl Petersen Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

Carl Petersen is a father of five, including two daughters who are on the autism spectrum. His involvement in education issues began when the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) refused to provide services that his daughters' teachers (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Make it a Headline When Trump Actually Tells the Truth

California Senate Candidate Alison Hartson on Education

Three Headlines That Got Buried Last Week

If Money Continues to Talk, We're Screwed

Finding Hope in Florida

Bright Shiny Objects: Trump's Real Art is Diverting Attention

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

No comments