EDUCATION POLITICS-On March 7, 2017, Los Angeles will play a duplicate round of last November’s presidential election, and we’ll have the opportunity to trump last year’s presidential fiasco.
Since January 20, the billionaires have displayed a dummy hand of hubris, lies and slander. That is, the same hand playing out right now in D.C., is being played right here in LA by multi-millionaire, former-mayor Dick Riordan. It’s the choice of the monied-1%, the champions a dystopian DeVos-flavored future devoid of truly accountable or equitable public education.
In contrast, our path of Resistance steps neatly across the millions of dollars employed to hobble Steve Zimmer’s people-responsive, and people-powered policies. You vote to resist deep-pocketed, super-wealthy, 1%-politics when you vote in March for LAUSD School Board District 4’s incumbent, Steve Zimmer.
These are some issues to consider when reviewing the leaflets and innumerable forums and conversations littering the landscape:
1) A school’s “chartering” agency is tasked with its oversight. That means assuring its policies and operations are truly accountable to the public; that means assuring all the public is served, and not just some of it.
At the same time there is inherent tension between any special interest and its regulators, even not-for-profit Charters.
So what will a school-regulatory system look like when it is governed by electeds who are financed by Charter partisans such as the CA Charter Schools Association and private equity education-sector investors?
Two of Steve Zimmer’s challengers are beholden financially to precisely such groups and individuals vested in the special-interests of Charter Schools.
But Steve Zimmer is not.
So who will be free of bias to regulate these schools in the best interests of all our public school children?
2) A school board is concerned with ideology; its superintendent and staff with operations and realizing policy.
LAUSD’s expensive escapades with technology-driven chicanery were coaxed by LAUSD staff, approved and overseen by its board. It’s an intimate tango to be sure, but the original sin lies in the folly of its architect and engineers, not the signal operators.
The financial underwriters of the creative team choreographing LAUSD iPad ignominy were Eli Broad and his allied billionaires. John Deasy was their impresario, hand-picked to lead LAUSD. And it was the leadership of Mónica Garcia that orchestrated board approval and oversight of Deasy’s debacle; Eli Broad’s billions supported both Deasy and Garcia.
Deasy is long-gone but his operations remain under legal scrutiny. Garcia is displaced as board president yet her role as promoter of Deasy’s technology-agenda is unchallenged and her mantle as Broad’s acolyte uncensored.
Fast-forward to March’s school board election where three candidates benefit directly from Broad and his allies’ wherewithal. Two would tar Zimmer falsely with exclusive blame for the iPads via mailers from Independent Expenditure Committees of the 1%, while the third – Garcia – actually was the scheme’s chief champion. Taxpayer accountability should swamp all three.
3) Broad’s wealthy billionaire-class underwrites and motivates a central stalking-horse of “Education ®eform”: to disintegrate that core of the teaching profession, its professional teachers.
As financiers of the defeated Vergara v California, the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of five statues “protecting” classroom teachers, Education-®eforming industry titans seek to circumvent this judgment through elections. By supporting a plaintiff’s witness for LAUSD school board, a defendant would be transformed to plaintiff; the LAUSD itself would accuse its very own constituent teachers.
This trojan-horse strategy could inflict widespread collateral damage on business-labor relations, tilting the advantage toward those billionaires whose special interests are advanced in supporting their candidate’s role-reversal.
Obligated by financial support and legal testimony, such a board member’s fealty would be inherently compromised. These candidates are unqualified, in the paradigm of Rick Perry who would shutter the department he is appointed to run, or Steve Mnuchin who would abolish all populist protections governing his department of Treasury.
Consider how these three issues support the billionaires’ latter-day agenda for a privatized America.
Resisting the will of the 1% means transcribing the will of the 99% onto ballots.
Listen carefully to the underlying agenda of transformative candidates: reconstitution is not necessarily constructive or progressive.
Vote for Steve Zimmer and Resist Trumpism.
(Sara Roos is a politically active resident of Mar Vista, a biostatistician, the parent of two teenaged LAUSD students and a CityWatch contributor, who blogs at redqueeninla.com) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.