Tag Archives: California Charter Schools Association

GANAS Academy Founder Sakshi Jain Emails Now Available — Showing A Pattern Of Increasing Anxiety And Paranoia About Anti-Co-Location Activists — Appeals To LAUSD To Punish Catskill Elementary Employees Who Seemed To Oppose Co-Location — Discussions With The California Charter School Association On Media Strategy — Wild Accusations Of “borderline libelous and slanderous accusations – not just about the Founder, but about the school as well” — Whatever The Hell That Means — Resignation Of A Board Member Who Did Not Want “to be villainized by the community [he] was hoping to help” — Other Essential Information — Including A Potential Brown Act Violation In February 2019 — Read All A-Freaking-Bout It!

Here’s more on the anti-colocation battle being fought by a brave and devoted band of teachers and parents at Catskill Elementary School in the City of Carson against impending plans to install upstart charter school GANAS Academy on their campus. I have been investigating this story using requests made to GANAS via the California Public Records Act.1 And just recently these GANASsholes handed over a trove and a half of goodies. You can read about the video over here, and today we’re talking about the emails, which, as always, are where the serious action is. Browse them yourself, of course, or download the whole damn stack of them, right here on Archive.Org.2

And today I’m just going to run through a few highlights with transcriptions and a little light commentary. They paint a revealing picture of the effect that the anti-co-location protests have been having on GANAS, with at least one board member having resigned when he became aware of the intensity of the animosity towards his charter school. They also show the growing anxiety, shading into abject paranoia, of galaxy-brained GANAS founder and head of school3 Sakshi Jain as it became increasingly clear to her that she was in for a long and bitter struggle, and that there wasn’t really much help forthcoming from either LAUSD or the California Charter School Association.
Continue reading GANAS Academy Founder Sakshi Jain Emails Now Available — Showing A Pattern Of Increasing Anxiety And Paranoia About Anti-Co-Location Activists — Appeals To LAUSD To Punish Catskill Elementary Employees Who Seemed To Oppose Co-Location — Discussions With The California Charter School Association On Media Strategy — Wild Accusations Of “borderline libelous and slanderous accusations – not just about the Founder, but about the school as well” — Whatever The Hell That Means — Resignation Of A Board Member Who Did Not Want “to be villainized by the community [he] was hoping to help” — Other Essential Information — Including A Potential Brown Act Violation In February 2019 — Read All A-Freaking-Bout It!

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Video From GANAS Academy Now Available! — See Chanting Catskill Protesters Following Sakshi Jain And Juliana Mercurio Out Of A Carson City Council Meeting In April! — But From Jain And Mercurio’s Point Of View!! — With Their Commentary!!! — See Video Of Mercurio And Jain Driving Away From The Protesters! — Shot From Inside The Getaway Car!! — Mercurio: “We’re About To Be Blocked In … Again …” — Video From The Famous Carson City Council Meeting — California Charter School Association Flackie Gives Public Comment — Very Interesting Stuff Here Friends!

Here’s more on the anti-colocation battle being fought by a brave and devoted band of teachers and parents at Catskill Elementary School in the City of Carson against impending plans to install upstart charter school GANAS Academy on their campus. I have been investigating this story using requests made to GANAS via the California Public Records Act.

Recently, for instance, I obtained a copy of a call to 911 made by GANAS’s shockingly unsocialized founder, Sakshi Jain, in March 2019 during which she pleaded persistently with an unsympathetic dispatcher at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to come arrest a bunch of protesters whose presence she found dismaying despite the dispatcher’s repeated admonition that protesting wasn’t illegal.

And, as these defenders of Catskill Elementary School’s resources and autonomy are a feisty bunch of folks, that March protest is not the only direct action they’ve taken to further their goals. For instance, on April 10, 2019 they attended a meeting of the GANAS Academy directors and gave vigorous and extended public comment, which was not gracefully received by the privatizers on the board.

The board ultimately tried to shut down the meeting and it ended with the Catskill folks following them out to the parking lot chanting. The Catskill defenders posted an uplifting video of this event and the chaos starts here at 1:10:20, with board chair Juliana Mercurio’s angry pronouncement that if the protesters don’t sit down she is going to close the meeting. A few days later the Carson City Council considered and ultimately passed an anti-GANAS resolution.

Which brings the story up to yesterday, when I received almost an entire gigabyte of public records from GANAS via their lawyers at Young, Minney, & Corr, a law firm specializing in the affairs of California charter schools.1 Included in this release, most of which I’m still prepping for publication, were a number of videos shot by GANAS Academy people in the performance of their duties. You can browse the collection and download copies here on Archive.Org and also here on my YouTube channel.


There are links to the individual videos with brief descriptions below, but before we go there, you must, must watch two of these clips. These were filmed by GANAS board member Juliana Mercurio after the Carson City Council meeting on April 16. They capture the protesters following Mercurio and Jain to Jain’s car and the subsequent vehicular escape. The first one features the protesters as seen over Mercurio’s shoulder and includes Mercurio’s commentary, e.g. she describes the protesters as “an irate mob of people.” The second is shot from inside their getaway car. As they’re driving away Mercurio wearily predicts that they’re “about to be blocked in … again …”
Continue reading Video From GANAS Academy Now Available! — See Chanting Catskill Protesters Following Sakshi Jain And Juliana Mercurio Out Of A Carson City Council Meeting In April! — But From Jain And Mercurio’s Point Of View!! — With Their Commentary!!! — See Video Of Mercurio And Jain Driving Away From The Protesters! — Shot From Inside The Getaway Car!! — Mercurio: “We’re About To Be Blocked In … Again …” — Video From The Famous Carson City Council Meeting — California Charter School Association Flackie Gives Public Comment — Very Interesting Stuff Here Friends!

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The California Charter Schools Association Is Not Just An Insidious Privatizing Pro-Zillionaire Lobbying Group — They Also Evidently Facebook-Stalk Anti-Charter Folks On Social Media And Then Distribute Their Findings To Their Members — Like Memes About How Damn Much Money These Charter Bosses Make — And Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin’s Staffer Allison Holdorff Thinks Normal Political Speech Is “Disconcerting”

My new charter school project is starting to pay off to some extent. Just this morning, for instance, Ms. Dr. Pam Magee, well-esteemed and intensively bowed-down-before head honcho of that otherworldly bastion of zillionaire privilege known to the world as Palisades Charter High School sent me a big pile of emails between her profusely respected self and the Los Angeles Unified School District in some date range that’s presently escaping me. And for your viewing pleasure I popped the whole steaming pile up to Archive.Org and you can take a look at it right here.

And as expected, for such is the nature of CPRA-fueled public interest voyeurism, most of it is tedious chaff. But as is often the case there’s a little bit of gold to be found in there. And the text for today’s sermon is this anxious little exchange between Keith Dell’Aquila, who’s some kind of lobbyist with the California Charter Schools Association, and various “charter leaders” flipping out over a meme he found on the internet about how much charter bosses get paid. He sent the first email on January 18, 2019. Right in the middle of the strike.

And man! Keith Della’Aquila is not just upset by the meme. He’s getting ready for bread riots, for the last charter school director being strangled with the guts of the last zillionaire, and so on. These privatizers were really worried that the UTLA strike was the beginning of the freaking revolution. Here’s what El Dude had to say about it, and then turn the page for a transcription of the rest of the conversation, including a really unprofessional comment from Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin’s senior advisor Allison Holdorff Polhill:

From: Keith Dell’Aquila <KDellAquila@ccsa.org>
Date: Friday, January 18, 2019 at 2:16 PM
Cc: Cassy Horton <chorton@ccsa.org>, Chris Copolillo <ccopolillo@ccsa.org>, Jason Rudolph <jrudolph@ccsa.org>, Luis Figueroa <lfigueroa@ccsa.org>
Subject: Your Organization Featured in Online Posts

Good afternoon, Charter Leaders,

We wanted to let you know that the names of your schools and reported salaries of senior leaders are being circulated in UTLA-aligned online communities (Twitter and Facebook groups). This post does not appear to have been shared widely and does not appear to have been shared by official UTLA accounts or reflected in any media coverage. Still, we want to flag it for you in case it get gains additional traction or if your organizations receive additional attention.

Please let us know if you need any support or if you and your schools have been targeted in any way.

Thank you for continuing to serve LA students and families well during this challenging time.

Keith Dell’Aquila

Director, Regional Advocacy, Greater Los Angeles
213-864-6310 | kdellaaquila@ccsa.org

Continue reading The California Charter Schools Association Is Not Just An Insidious Privatizing Pro-Zillionaire Lobbying Group — They Also Evidently Facebook-Stalk Anti-Charter Folks On Social Media And Then Distribute Their Findings To Their Members — Like Memes About How Damn Much Money These Charter Bosses Make — And Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin’s Staffer Allison Holdorff Thinks Normal Political Speech Is “Disconcerting”

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Emails From New Los Angeles Charter Schools About The UTLA Strike Shine Some Light On Various Interesting Matters — Uncomfortable New LA Charter Co-Location At Baldwin Hills Elementary School Will Probably End Soon Due To Tensions Exposed By Pickets — “We Are Not Welcomed There” Says New LA Charter Boss Brooke Rios — Speaking Of Pickets, New LA Charter Staff Filmed UTLA Strikers At Baldwin Hills Elementary — And Copies Of CCSA Anti-Union Propaganda And Some Info About Astroturf Demonstration — And A Poignant Little Episode — New LA Charter Teachers Quasi-Union Asks Rios If They Might Please Also Maybe Get A Raise Too If UTLA Does — Pretty Please?

I hadn’t thought much about charter schools in Los Angeles for quite a while, but as happened for many people the dazzling success of the UTLA strike brought them back into my attention. Combine that with the fact that they are subject to the California Public Records Act and the next step was inevitable! And the first of the many many requests I have out came in recently! Part of which I wrote about the other day!

After a little of the usual back and forth about what’s required by the law, New Los Angeles Charter Schools head honcho Brooke Rios actually did hand over the goods. And thus did I drag myself all the way out to the corner of Washington and Burnside, where they have their secret headquarters, and sit in the office of operations director Xochitl Lira and scan a ton of paper! And it’s all available on Archive.Org!1

I chose New LA because of this fine LA Taco article by Daniel Hernandez about the tensions created by that school’s so-called co-location on the campus of Baldwin Hills Elementary School. To summarize Hernandez’s piece is to degrade it, so read it, but co-location, in which LAUSD schools are forced by the 2000 Proposition 39 to yield space to charter schools if it’s not actually being used to house an actual class, is the main site of contention.2

It has really hurt the LAUSD schools who lose space to charters. And the space lost to New Los Angeles Charter was a big issue with UTLA picketers at Baldwin Hills Elementary, who shouted slogans like “Privatization leads to segregation” and “Privatizers take a hike!” And, according to some of the emails I obtained today, it looks like the pickets were successful in that New Los Angeles will be looking for a new space for next year.

The emails also demonstrate the tension there during the strike, with police being called, with New LA staff filming the picketers, and so on. There are links and transcriptions below the break. Also below the break are links to a wide variety of fascinating emails about other strike-related topics. There are propaganda pieces from the California Charter Schools Association, giving talking points, tips for handling worried parents, polemics on how bad it is that everyone hates charter schools, and so on.

There are rumors about charter school kids being targeted on public transportation and so on, leading New LA to suspend its dress code during the strike, there are organizational communications having to do with the astroturf pro-charter rally that the CCSA organized outside the LAUSD board meeting where a recommendation for a charter cap was voted on.

And, most poignant of all, there’s a pleading letter from something called “The Teacher Collective” asking Brooke Rios in a markedly subservient tone if New Los Angeles teachers will also get a raise if the UTLA teachers win one in their strike. Sounds like some folks are ripe to be organized! Turn the page for links to everything and transcriptions of some things!
Continue reading Emails From New Los Angeles Charter Schools About The UTLA Strike Shine Some Light On Various Interesting Matters — Uncomfortable New LA Charter Co-Location At Baldwin Hills Elementary School Will Probably End Soon Due To Tensions Exposed By Pickets — “We Are Not Welcomed There” Says New LA Charter Boss Brooke Rios — Speaking Of Pickets, New LA Charter Staff Filmed UTLA Strikers At Baldwin Hills Elementary — And Copies Of CCSA Anti-Union Propaganda And Some Info About Astroturf Demonstration — And A Poignant Little Episode — New LA Charter Teachers Quasi-Union Asks Rios If They Might Please Also Maybe Get A Raise Too If UTLA Does — Pretty Please?

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