Tag Archives: Charter Schools

In January 2019 Larchmont Charter School Supreme Commander Amy Dresser Held Wrote To LAUSD Board Member Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin — And A Bunch Of His Most Seniorest Staffies — Allison Polhill Holdorff — Sarah Angel — Clayton Rosa — Expressing Solidarity In What She Called “Some Crazy Crazy Times” — The Craziness Being Anti-Charter Sentiment — And She Was All Like Do Not Be Bullied — She Actually Said Bullied — Which Demonstrates Her Utterly Characteristic Contempt For Democracy By The Way — Into Passing A Cap On LAUSD Charter Schools — It Is — Says Amy Dresser Held — “The First Step In Killing Charters” — So Even The Enemy Knows This Strategy Will Work! — And Nicky Wrote Back And Was All Like — Mmmm! You Are Right! Thank you Amy!! — Note That He Actually Did Use Two Exclamation Points!! — Cause That Is The Depth Of His Gratitude Towards Amy Dresser Held!!!

So you probably remember that one of the welcome outcomes of the courageous and world-shaking January 2019 strike against the Los Angeles Unified School District by the United Teachers of Los Angeles was a resolution to be considered by the school board on freezing the approval of new charter schools in Los angeles. This was considered and passed by the board on January 29, 2019, with pro-charter board member icky sticky Nicky Melvoin casting the lone vote against.1 This resolution, not really binding on anyone, is of course but one step in a journey whose ultimate goal is the elimination of charter schools in California.

And you may also recall that recently I obtained a huge, huge set of emails from the thermonuclearesque privatizers at the Larchmont Charter School.2 I used these the other day to write about how Amy Dresser Held, supreme Larchmontane shot-caller, used her publicly funded power and position to hook up some kid she knows privately with an internship with LAUSD in the sticky one’s office.

And today’s story has to do with an email that Held sent to Melvoin in the quasi-early morning of January 29, right before the fatal board meeting, expressing solidarity with whoever and saying a lot of fairly kooky stuff about how she was thinking of Nicky and these were crazy times and thanks Nicky for caring about kids and don’t be bullied into voting for this charter cap crap because to zillionaires political pressure to do what they don’t want equals bullying.

Most importantly, Held states in a remarkably self-contradictory sentence that a charter cap is “the first step in killing charters and there’s no good argument for it.” She is right, of course, that this is the first step in killing charters. Somehow3 she misses the point that this very fact is the good argument for it. And because of that tired nonsense about bread, butter, sides, and so on,4 El Ick-Stick got right back to Held with this little email here. Took him a mere 17 minutes to send this response.5 And he was really feeling it, yes indeed, thanked her profusely!

And because why waste a good email she didn’t just send this email to Nick M. but also to a bunch of his senior staffies, with a slightly different subject line and other minor mods. But their response was much more muted, and I won’t speculate on why that might be.6 Read on, friends, for transcriptions of the Held/Melvoin part of this exchange!
Continue reading In January 2019 Larchmont Charter School Supreme Commander Amy Dresser Held Wrote To LAUSD Board Member Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin — And A Bunch Of His Most Seniorest Staffies — Allison Polhill Holdorff — Sarah Angel — Clayton Rosa — Expressing Solidarity In What She Called “Some Crazy Crazy Times” — The Craziness Being Anti-Charter Sentiment — And She Was All Like Do Not Be Bullied — She Actually Said Bullied — Which Demonstrates Her Utterly Characteristic Contempt For Democracy By The Way — Into Passing A Cap On LAUSD Charter Schools — It Is — Says Amy Dresser Held — “The First Step In Killing Charters” — So Even The Enemy Knows This Strategy Will Work! — And Nicky Wrote Back And Was All Like — Mmmm! You Are Right! Thank you Amy!! — Note That He Actually Did Use Two Exclamation Points!! — Cause That Is The Depth Of His Gratitude Towards Amy Dresser Held!!!

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Larchmont Charter School’s High-Concept Constructivist Educational Programs “Help [Students] Continue To Grow [And Become] Able To Gain Entrance To The College And Career Path Of Their Choice” — And Amy Dresser Held — Supreme Boss Of The LCS — Will Use All The Force Of Her Personal Relationships With Stratospherically Elite LAUSD Staff To Get A Family Friend An Ultra-High-Powered Internship In Nick Melvoin’s Office — Which Is A Much More Realistic Picture Of How The Ruling Class Reproduces Its Power Than All That Booshwah About “Gain[ing] Entrance” Through Education

Here’s the short version of charter school theory from the point of view of the privatizers: people who run public schools are dumb and incompetent which is harmful to kids therefore pay a bunch of zillionaires and their usefully idiotic minions to create private schools and run them with essentially no oversight and they’ll innovate the hell out of everything and also the kids will be better off, so yay!

Just for instance, consider the Larchmont Charter School, a self-proclaimed fermentatory constructivist1 hotbed of quantumly cosmic disruptive innovation, diverse by design, guided by the idea that racially integrated classrooms are good for the kids of color, who gain all the apparently myriad benefits of going to school with the white kids.2 And what they claim is that they’re going to teach these putatively disadvantaged3 kids how to pull themselves via an extraordinary education right on up:

The high expectations of Larchmont Charter School’s High School Program prepare students for college … rigorous college preparatory humanities, mathematics, and science instruction from quality educators who focus on the unique needs of the learner through the constructivist lens … positively address challenges occurring in the world around them … leadership and arts opportunities … grow as well-rounded, successful persons, able to gain entrance to the college and career path of their choice.

And although around this blog we never ever take any of these people at their word for anything because it’s turned out always, every last time, that they were lying, well, at least I’ll admit that if we were naive enough to take them at their word in this case all this nonsense wouldn’t be so bad. Teach poor kids, kids without the social connections to skip to the head of the line, kids whose parents can’t afford to pay a zillion dollars in bribes to get them into USC, teach them the skills they need to get into “the college and career path of their choice.”

But whatever the delusional conscience-easing narrative according to which these Larchmontane privatizers have managed to convince themselves they’re operating, the truth, as revealed by a massive steaming heap of emails I recently obtained from these antisocial parasites on the public realm,4 turns out to be quite different. Behold 27 emails, mostly between LCS supreme boss Amy Dresser Held and senior supremo-slash-advisory Icky Sticky Nicky5 staffer Allison Polhill Holdorff.6

These reveal a much, much different set of rules. When it comes to students, not even LCS students, who are friends of the family, Held is not so much about hard work, education opening doors, and so on. Instead she’s all like phone a friend for the kid, get her an internship. A service, I am going to go out on this limb now, I would wager, access to which she does not facilitate for the students whose career-path-choosing skills she’s meant to be cultivating, that she’s paid out of public funds to cultivate.

And even worse than that from Holdorff’s side, two months after she started in with these conversations between her and Held about internships LAUSD posted the position, presumably inviting members of the public to apply, but the fix was in, as you’ll see below. Many organizations have rules requiring jobs to be posted widely, precisely to preven the kind of nepotism you’ll see unfolding here. The conversation kicked off on December 14, 2017, when Held wrote to Holdorff thusly:
Continue reading Larchmont Charter School’s High-Concept Constructivist Educational Programs “Help [Students] Continue To Grow [And Become] Able To Gain Entrance To The College And Career Path Of Their Choice” — And Amy Dresser Held — Supreme Boss Of The LCS — Will Use All The Force Of Her Personal Relationships With Stratospherically Elite LAUSD Staff To Get A Family Friend An Ultra-High-Powered Internship In Nick Melvoin’s Office — Which Is A Much More Realistic Picture Of How The Ruling Class Reproduces Its Power Than All That Booshwah About “Gain[ing] Entrance” Through Education

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Sakshi Jain — Self-Proclaimed Founder And Head Of School At Universally Loathed Co-Location Horror Show GANAS Academy — Reacting Badly To Catskill Elementary School Folks’ Opposition To Her Plans For World Domination — Another Instance Of Jain Asking LAUSD To Intervene — But They Would Not — And Then There Are Her Obsequious Begging Letters To Various City Of Carson Electeds — And Her Board Member Gaetano Scotti’s Request To Port Of LA Police To Attend Board Meetings — Because The Catskill Parents “Are All Pissed Off” — Which The Cops Refused To Do Unless Someone Actually Committed An Actual Crime — Like The Los Angeles County Sheriff Before Them — Hate To Say It But — These GANAS Folks Could Really Use Some Professional PR — Cause This Amateur Stuff Is Getting Them Nowhere

This is part two of a short series on a rich set of emails I recently obtained from the universally reviled privatizers at GANAS Academy via the California Public Records Act. You can read part one here, a post which also includes some background on the situation. Today I’m just transcribing and commenting on a few more of these emails.

Oh! And no doubt you remember the famous Denny’s episode! Where Sakshi Jain called the Sheriff on some peaceful protesters and the dispatcher was all like ma’am, we don’t arrest people for protesting because IT IS NOT ILLEGAL. Well, today’s first email, this April 2019 conversation between GANAS board member and not-so-nascent fascist Tom Scotti,1 Port of Los Angeles police officer Jose Alvarez, and Sakshi Jain, shows that she didn’t learn her lesson at all, not at all. It also shows that Scotti has some really, really weird ideas about what’s going on. E.g.

GANAS wants to open in Wilmington but LAUSD is forcing it to open on one of their campuses (Catskill Elementary) in Carson. Not GANAS’ fault but now the Catskill parents and UTLA (united teachers los angeles) are all pissed off

Anyway, turn the page for a transcription of the whole thing, commentary, and even more emails!
Continue reading Sakshi Jain — Self-Proclaimed Founder And Head Of School At Universally Loathed Co-Location Horror Show GANAS Academy — Reacting Badly To Catskill Elementary School Folks’ Opposition To Her Plans For World Domination — Another Instance Of Jain Asking LAUSD To Intervene — But They Would Not — And Then There Are Her Obsequious Begging Letters To Various City Of Carson Electeds — And Her Board Member Gaetano Scotti’s Request To Port Of LA Police To Attend Board Meetings — Because The Catskill Parents “Are All Pissed Off” — Which The Cops Refused To Do Unless Someone Actually Committed An Actual Crime — Like The Los Angeles County Sheriff Before Them — Hate To Say It But — These GANAS Folks Could Really Use Some Professional PR — Cause This Amateur Stuff Is Getting Them Nowhere

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New Los Angeles Charter School Board Member Financial Disclosure Forms Reveal Extent Of Zillionaire Infiltration And Control — Most Interesting Is The Case Of Bari Cooper Sherman — A Principal In Some Incomprehensible Financial Services Firm — Turner Impact Capital — Which Manages A Charter School Real Estate Fund — The Existence Of Such A Thing Is Entirely New To Me — May Be A Path Towards Understanding The Megabucks-Fueled Necromancy Behind Charter Schools

The Political Reform Act of 1974 requires various public officials in California to file financial disclosure forms, known to the locals1 as Form 700s. In many cases it’s very clear who has to file. Elected officials, high-powered appointed decisionmakers, like e.g. the City Clerk of Los Angeles. But when one descends into the peculiar brushy backwater thickets of privatization where are found the local agencies whose publicness is merely quasi, e.g. business improvements and charter schools, things become murkier indeed.

I don’t (yet) understand the details, but BID staff and directors are required to disclose in some jurisdictions, e.g. the City of Fortuna, California, and not in others, e.g. the City of Los Angeles. And I really don’t know what’s up with California charter schools in general, but I do know that LAUSD charter boards and executive staff are required to file disclosures. And these forms are very likely to make interesting reading, so they’re a must-request item for CPRA sleuths!2

And just recently a stack of Form 700s came in from our old friends at New Los Angeles Charter Schools came in! You can read the whole spool here in a single PDF and there are links to some individual files below. And they’re pretty various. Some have nothing to declare and it seems legit. Others have nothing to declare and appear to be lying about it. There’s one guy with a zillion small positions in various individual stocks, not that creatively chosen. See that an apparently inordinate number of these folks are associated with The Wildwood School. But one of these forms really stands out to me,3 and that’s the one belonging to board member Bari Cooper Sherman.
Continue reading New Los Angeles Charter School Board Member Financial Disclosure Forms Reveal Extent Of Zillionaire Infiltration And Control — Most Interesting Is The Case Of Bari Cooper Sherman — A Principal In Some Incomprehensible Financial Services Firm — Turner Impact Capital — Which Manages A Charter School Real Estate Fund — The Existence Of Such A Thing Is Entirely New To Me — May Be A Path Towards Understanding The Megabucks-Fueled Necromancy Behind Charter Schools

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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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March 27, 2019 — Sakshi Jain — Privatizer And Founder Of Charter School Ganas Academy — Famously Seeking To Co-Locate At Catskill Elementary School In Carson — Was Trying To Hold A Meeting At A Denny’s — But Protesters Were There Too — And Not Only Does Sakshi Jain Hate Public Schools — She Also Hates Democracy — So She Called 911 To Complain That They Were Being Really Really Really Mean To Her — And The Dispatcher Was All Like — Ma’am — It Is Not Illegal For People To Be Mean To You — And Sakshi Jain Was All But This Is A Private Event — At A Private Denny’s!

I don’t know if you’ve been following the thrilling tale of privateering charter school Ganas Academy, its astoundingly unsympathetic founder Sakshi Jain, its misbegotten plans to co-locate at the well-loved Catskill Elementary School in Carson, and the refreshingly vigorous battle being waged by a brave and devoted band of parents and teachers pushing back against the privatizers. But if so, well, today I have an interesting bit of information on one episode in the struggle.

It seems that on March 27, 2019, Sakshi Jain and her co-locationist co-conspirators were holding a meeting of some kind at a Denny’s in Carson. And the Catskill supporters showed up to protest. And because she hates the public realm Sakshi Jain didn’t appreciate this. She didn’t like it one bit. And so, in the grand tradition of life-denying totalitarians everywhere, she called 911 on the protesters.

And today I am pleased to present to you a copy of that 911 call! You can listen to it here on YouTube, and download it here on Archive.Org in whatever format suits your needs.1 And it’s really heartening, actually. Jain tells the dispatcher that there are protesters at this Denny’s and the dispatcher keeps telling her that protesting isn’t illegal and they won’t be able to do anything.

Jain can hardly believe her ears. She keeps saying that it’s a private event! In a private Denny’s!2 That she paid for! None of this is surprising coming from a woman who hates the public realm so much that she wants to make a living by privatizing public schools, but it’s a little shocking to hear it said out loud.

And I also have a copy of what the responding deputies sent to dispatch when they closed out the call, which was that they didn’t do anything because the protesters weren’t breaking the law. If you don’t feel like playing the audio there’s a transcription right after the break!


Dispatcher: Hi, this is Sheriff’s
[unintelligible], how can I help you?

Sakshi Jain: Hi, I’m at a Denny’s in Carson and we’re having a private event that is being bombarded by protesters who are harassing us and making videos.

Dispatcher: OK, I’ll send deputies out there but you know protesting is not illegal. But I will…

Sakshi Jain: [interrupting] We understand but we’re at a private event so they’re trying to crash it.

Dispatcher: I’ll send someone out there but like I said I don’t think we’ll be able to make them leave but I’ll send someone out there to talk to you guys, OK?

Sakshi Jain: OK. They’re inside too, so that’s why… They’re inside a private Denny’s and like our guests can’t come in now.

Dispatcher: OK. And do you own Denny’s? Are you working there? Or are you just there having the event?

Sakshi Jain: No, no, no. I’m paying for an event.

Dispatcher: OK. What’s the address there?

Sakshi Jain: Alright, excuse me? The address? Yeah, hold on one second.

Dispatcher: And what’s your name while you’re getting it?

Sakshi Jain: My name is ■■■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■■■ and one second. It’s in the Carson Plaza Drive.

Dispatcher: And what’s your phone number?

Sakshi Jain: ■■■■■■■■■

Dispatcher: OK, I’ll send someone out there to talk to you guys.

Sakshi Jain: Thank you.


Image of Sakshi Jain on her bullshit is ©2019 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and she looks even crazier in the damn original!

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LAUSD Has About 60,000 Employees — Doctor Pamela Magee — Supreme Boss Of The Palisades Charter High School — Makes More Money Than All But Three Of Them — Which Certainly Proves Something — But Not Anything Good — Presenting Salaries Of All Pali High Employees — And Employment Contracts For Senior Staff — And Pleadings From Roya Saghafi’s Civil Rights Lawsuit Against The School — Which Makes Allegations Both Lurid And Extensive — And Entirely Freaking Believable If You Know The Palisades At All

As you may recall I’ve been working on obtaining public records from charter schools in Los Angeles, with some success.1 And one of my prime targets presently is that spider’s nest of privatizing privilege, the Palisades Charter High School. A few weeks ago, for instance, a small set of PCHS boss-lady Doctor Pam Magee’s emails revealed some interesting and reprehensible shenanigans on the part of the interesting and reprehensible California Charter School Association.

And just yesterday the Palisadesean privatizers released another small batch of goodies, which you can get your hands on here on Archive.Org. This set consists of copies of the employment contracts of PCHS senior administrators as well as a list of all PCHS employees by name, salary, and total compensation. The contracts aren’t that interesting, but there’s some good info in the list of salaries, the utility of which is a little attenuated by the fact that for whatever reason2 PCHS Director of Human Capital Exploitation Amy Nguyen3 didn’t include any of these folks’ job titles.

I have a new request in for that essential information, but irrespective of that, we do learn the fairly stunning fact that Dr.4 Pamela A. Magee is paid $218,855 per year for her labors.5 Now, everything I know about salaries at charter schools I learned from this fine article by the incomparable Red Queen in LA. And the folks she talks about there make an awful lot of money. Cosmic money. More money than Doctor P.A.M.

But they’re not actually running individual charter schools like Doctor Magee.6 So I thought I’d check out how much LAUSD pays its principals, you know, for the sake of comparison. A little Googlism7 revealed this LAUSD administrative salary schedule and this organizational chart. And what these documents reveal is pretty surprising. It turns out that there are only three LAUSD employees out of more than 60,0008 that earn more annually than Dr. Pamela A. Magee. Those are:

☆ Chief Academic Officer Frances Gipson — $255,000
☆ Deputy Superintendent Vivian Ekchian — $262,500
☆ Superindendent Austin Beutner — $350,000

So what does this mean? Well, I don’t know. The familiar things about how charter schools suck public money out of public use and use it to enrich the already-rich, I guess. About how zillionaires, intent on destroying the public realm, pay their minions well. Whatever it means, though, it’s a pretty nice illustration of one of the central paradoxes of value with LAUSD employees playing the role of water and Dr. Magee that of diamonds.

And here’s my candidate for the non-sequiturish-segue-of-the-moment, which is that whatever it is that Dr. Pam Magee is doing out there in Northwest Zillionaireville9 to earn10 her bread in the sweat of her brow, she doesn’t seem to have been able to put an end to a years-long series of despicable racist shenanigans directed against former PCHS teacher and current civil rights litigant Roya Saghafi by various PCHS employees and students and described in this complaint, filed in Superior Court in June 2018.11

And you know how we love lawsuits around these parts! I’m collecting pleadings from this one over here on the Archive. And not only that, but the trial is scheduled for July 29, 2019 at 10 a.m. in Department 72 at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. I expect to attend, and maybe I’ll see you there! Meanwhile, turn the page for some transcribed selections from the complaint.
Continue reading LAUSD Has About 60,000 Employees — Doctor Pamela Magee — Supreme Boss Of The Palisades Charter High School — Makes More Money Than All But Three Of Them — Which Certainly Proves Something — But Not Anything Good — Presenting Salaries Of All Pali High Employees — And Employment Contracts For Senior Staff — And Pleadings From Roya Saghafi’s Civil Rights Lawsuit Against The School — Which Makes Allegations Both Lurid And Extensive — And Entirely Freaking Believable If You Know The Palisades At All

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Johnathan Williams Of The Accelerated Schools Charter Empire And Marie Rumsey Of Zillionaire Terrorist Front The Central City Association Of Los Angeles — Working Together To Destroy Public Education In Los Angeles — One Of Their Weapons? — Commercial Real Estate Of Course — With Guest Appearances By Nightmare Zillionaire BID-Adjacent Clown Crew — Tom Gilmore — Adele Yellin — Steve Needleman — Wayne Ratkovich — Who Should Mostly Be In Literal Chains Rather Than Email Chains — But Here We Are In 21st Century Los Angeles

As you may recall, I got interested in charter schools in Los Angeles during the recent UTLA strike, and after learning that they are subject to the California Public Records Act I submitted a bunch of requests, and after a little amateurish obstructionism the goodies are starting to trickle in.1 Today’s installment is this small set of emails between Johnathan Williams, founder and head honcho of charter school empire The Accelerated Schools, and various people associated with zillionaire terrorist front group The Central City Association.

And one thing I’ve been learning recently, confirmed by these emails, is that there’s an extensive nexus of relationships among BIDdies and Charterites. BIDdies and their hired guns, like e.g. Jessica Lall and Noel Hyun of the CCALA, serve on many a charter school board. Their companies fund charters, arrange their real estate deals, introduce their executives around in the local zillionaire communities, and so on. Ultimately this shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, although it was.

Both BIDs and charter schools serve the zillionaire privatization agenda. Both are attacks on the public realm, seeking to destroy it so that it can be replaced with private institutions even more firmly under direct zillionaire control. The emails at hand give the tiniest glimpse into this world, just consisting of zillionaires and charterites passing names and email addresses around trying to find a place where the staff of one of Williams’s schools, the Wallis Annenberg High School, can hold a two day retreat.

But don’t be turned off by the triviality of the subject. The real story here is the existence of the network that allows such transactions as these to be negotiated seamlessly, effortlessly, genially, without friction. The shared presupposition of the value of charter schools revealed by the fact that no one questions it. That’s ultimately what we’re learning about, and such knowledge, like all knowledge worth having, comes a speck at a time. Until a vast panorama is revealed, like pointillism. Turn the page for transcriptions and links to the emails!
Continue reading Johnathan Williams Of The Accelerated Schools Charter Empire And Marie Rumsey Of Zillionaire Terrorist Front The Central City Association Of Los Angeles — Working Together To Destroy Public Education In Los Angeles — One Of Their Weapons? — Commercial Real Estate Of Course — With Guest Appearances By Nightmare Zillionaire BID-Adjacent Clown Crew — Tom Gilmore — Adele Yellin — Steve Needleman — Wayne Ratkovich — Who Should Mostly Be In Literal Chains Rather Than Email Chains — But Here We Are In 21st Century Los Angeles

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At The March 18, 2019 Meeting Of The West Adams Neighborhood Council When The Charter-Free Zone Resolution Was Considered — Kate O’Brien Of New Los Angeles Elementary School Distributed A Document To The NC Board Putatively Refuting The Position Of The Baldwin Hills Elementary School Parents Who Were Seeking The Resolution — Here’s A Copy Of That Document! — And Here Is Not A Refutation Of The Refutation — Because It’s Self-Refuting!

Super-short recap! New Los Angeles Charter Elementary School was forcibly co-located on the campus of the public Baldwin Hills Elementary School leading to a great deal of tension which came to a head during the UTLA strike in January and NLA boss Brooke Rios said that her school would try to find somewhere else to have their school but then they couldn’t find another place so parents from the public school proposed an anti-charter-school resolution to the West Adams Neighborhood Council which approved it by a vote of 8 to 3 and you can read a copy of the resolution here.

And here’s some video of the whole damn meeting, or at least the part where they’re discussing the charter school stuff. And right here, just after the NLA elementary school principal, Kate O’Brien, comes on to speak her piece, she mentions that she’s prepared a document that’s “just a response to the resolution.” The purpose of tonight’s post is to provide a copy of that response, which I just recently obtained from the super-helpful president of the West Adams NC, Mr. Steven Meeks.

As I said in the title, though, the thing is self-refuting. So I won’t insult you by commenting on or even mocking the damn thing. There is a transcription after the break so you can mock for your own self! OK, take it back! I can’t help it! Just take a look at this one little bit:

The document the Baldwin Hills Governing Council submitted repeatedly refers to New LA as “privately invested” and “operated by corporate investors.” New LA is a public school funded by public money.

The problem here is that even if what these privatizers at New LA is saying is technically true in some highly mediated fashion, the point they pretend to contradict, not to understand, that charter schools are “privately invested” and “operated by corporate investors” makes perfect unmediated sense. And no one has ever convinced anyone of anything ever by pretending not to understand what they’re talking about.

It’s an entirely true fact that charter schools in general were created by laws which exist only because zillionaires paid zillions to pass them. The laws are administered by school board members and other electeds who owe their seats to zillionaire payola. Without zillionaires there would be no charter schools in California. And zillionaires don’t get to be zillionaires without being corporate investors, or at least their daddies were.

And when it comes to New LA in particular, well, just look at their board of directors. There are basically two kinds of people on there: corporate investors and people who work for other schools whose boards of directors are also full of corporate investors. There’s no plausible sense in which it’s false to say that New LA is operated by corporate investors.

And as for being a public school? Well, when people talk about public schools, or public anythings for that matter, what they generally mean is institutions every aspect of which is under public control by people chosen through a direct political process. Like LAUSD schools, which are controlled directly by an elected school board. Not at all like New LA, which is controlled by a board of directors chosen according to some opaque and non-political process, and staffed by staffers hired by the board. Not public.

And as far as the money being public? Well, obviously that’s not what’s meant by public. Public money supports all kinds of private institutions. Being supported by public money doesn’t make an institution public. This statement is a disingenuous non sequitur. Anyway, turn the page for the transcription of the response.
Continue reading At The March 18, 2019 Meeting Of The West Adams Neighborhood Council When The Charter-Free Zone Resolution Was Considered — Kate O’Brien Of New Los Angeles Elementary School Distributed A Document To The NC Board Putatively Refuting The Position Of The Baldwin Hills Elementary School Parents Who Were Seeking The Resolution — Here’s A Copy Of That Document! — And Here Is Not A Refutation Of The Refutation — Because It’s Self-Refuting!

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