Tag Archives: Los Angeles Unified School District

In January 2018 — Just Mere Months After Millions Of Dollars In Charter School Money Bought Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin’s Election To The LAUSD School Board — He Asked The California Charter School Association To Draft A Board Resolution For Him — Outlining Proposal To Study How To Legally Sell Or Lease LAUSD Property To Charters — And To Take LAUSD Facilities Away From Public Schools And Give Them To Charters On The Basis Of “Performance” — And To List All Facilities So The Privatizers Would Know Which To Target — And To Put Prop 39 Co-Location Disputes In The Hands Of A Putatively Neutral Third Party — And To Work Some Incomprehensible Voodoo With Bond Money — And Then Melvoin Proceeded To Have Secret Meetings On The Subject With CCSA Flacks — And Other Privatizing Galaxy Brains — Like Emilio Pack — And Caprice Young — And Mark Kleger-Heine — And Cristina De Jesus — This Post Is Part One Of A Series Because The Whole Thing Is So Darn Complicated

We’ve already seen that LAUSD officials, both elected and appointed, have a sickening penchant for sharing confidential materials with Charter lobbyists, giving them advance input into official policy proposals, and so on. I’ve recently reported, e.g., on an episode from September 2018 where Austin Beutner allowed Cassy Horton and Jed Wallace of the California Charter School Association to vet an upcoming speech and also to talk in advance with his speechwriter to explain what they thought ought to be included. Convicted felon slash former schoolboard member Ref Rodriguez did the same thing in March 2018 with respect to a board proposal.

And it turns out that, beginning in January 2018, LAUSD Board member and charter school bootlicker Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin1 was involved in a very similar scheme having to do with LAUSD policies on school facilities, a subject which sounds tedious but is actually bureaucratic code for real estate, a subject which is at the very center of the zillionaire plan to loot the public treasure-stores for their own gain.2

Basically the proposal, which seems never to have made it out of the secret meetings, would have called for LAUSD to list all its facilities so that the privatizers could choose which ones to target, to allocate facilities between charter schools and public schools based on excellence and student success rather than on need, to authorize a putatively neutral third party to settle disputes over co-location offers, to study how to sell or lease LAUSD property to charters, and to do something complicated with bonds used to fund facilities. It all seems incredibly shady, shady beyond belief.

Icky Sticky Nicky was elected to the LAUSD Board in May 2017 after having been endorsed by the Los Angeles Times, which delusionally called him an “independent thinker” and also claimed that “Melvoin, who has worked for reform-oriented groups, is decidedly aligned with that movement but in a more balanced way than, say, Monica Garcia.” The LA Times reported on his July 2017 swearing in, and was, by then, after the election was over and the information could no longer sway a single voter, willing to state the relevant facts more explicitly, noting that Melvoin was “elected with the help of millions of dollars from charter school supporters.” The Times also quoted from Melvoin’s speech at the ceremony:

Today is not about the results of an election but about the emergence of a new paradigm.
[I am a product of] the coalition that arose to implore us to lead with a simple yet radical maxim: Put kids first.

And today’s story concerns some ugly truth about Melvoin’s putative more-balanced-than-Monica-Garcia alignment with Charter school zillionaires and about what they bought from him in exchange for their zillions of dollars.3 About how these matters actually played out during his first year in office and, by extension, exactly how he interprets his “simple yet radical maxim: Put kids first.”
Continue reading In January 2018 — Just Mere Months After Millions Of Dollars In Charter School Money Bought Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin’s Election To The LAUSD School Board — He Asked The California Charter School Association To Draft A Board Resolution For Him — Outlining Proposal To Study How To Legally Sell Or Lease LAUSD Property To Charters — And To Take LAUSD Facilities Away From Public Schools And Give Them To Charters On The Basis Of “Performance” — And To List All Facilities So The Privatizers Would Know Which To Target — And To Put Prop 39 Co-Location Disputes In The Hands Of A Putatively Neutral Third Party — And To Work Some Incomprehensible Voodoo With Bond Money — And Then Melvoin Proceeded To Have Secret Meetings On The Subject With CCSA Flacks — And Other Privatizing Galaxy Brains — Like Emilio Pack — And Caprice Young — And Mark Kleger-Heine — And Cristina De Jesus — This Post Is Part One Of A Series Because The Whole Thing Is So Darn Complicated

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In March 2018 Then-LAUSD-Board-Member Ref Rodriguez Shared A Top Secret Confidential Copy Of A Board Resolution With Cassy Horton Of The California Charter School Association — Before Anyone Other Than Richard Vladovic Had Seen It — And Cassy Horton Of CCSA Inserted Comments And Rewrote Language — And Arranged For Marcia Aaron of KIPP LA — And Parker Hudnut Of ICEF Charter Schools — To Meet In Her Company With Rodriguez And Aixle Aman Prior To Its Introduction To The Board To Discuss It — And Shared It With Christina De Jesus Of Green Dot Charter Schools — And Emilio Pack Of STEM Prep — For Their Comments — And Rewrites

Remember how in September 2018 universally-reviled-by-sane-people LAUSD superintendent Austin Beutner gave an advance copy of a major policy speech to the California Charter School Association for their comments, and even organized a conference call between Jed Wallace, then supreme commander of the CCSA, and Beutner’s speechwriter Shira Fine so that Wallace could pass along pro-charter propaganda to Fine for inclusion?

And then, when it got tweeted about, reprehensible CCSA shill Cassy Horton responded with a particularly mendacious claim that this kind of thing was just business as usual and everyone does it?1 Well, today’s story, about Horton getting top secret information from Ref Rodriguez in March 2018, may tend to support her claim that it’s just business as usual. But I still haven’t seen any evidence that anyone other than CCSA flacks is getting advance information out of LAUSD officials.

Before he was investigated by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, before he resigned in what passes for disgrace in municipal politics, before he pled guilty to a felony and assorted misdemeanors, before all that nonsense, former school board member Ref Rodriguez was famous for being the handpicked stooge of the CCSA. And, like his asshole buddy Austin Beutner after him, it turns out that Ref Rodriguez also secretly shared major policy documents, including at least one LAUSD board resolution, with CCSA flacks for them to revise to better reflect their interests.

The story begins with this email from Cassy Horton to four of the very creepiest of creepy charter creeps, which is to say Marcia Aaron of KIPP LA, Emilio Pack of STEM Preparatory, Christina De Jesus of Green Dot, and Parker Hudnut of Inner City Education Foundation Charter Schools.

Its subject alone tells quite a story: “<DO NOT SHARE OR FORWARD> Authorizing Resolution for Review and Feedback”. But the whole thing is essential reading. What’s at stake in the resolution is how charters should be authorized by LAUSD, how their performance should be evaluated, and so on. Not, sane folks might think, something which ought to be written by the very industry it’s meant to regulate. Evidently Ref Rodriguez disagreed. Here’s a transcription of the email:
Continue reading In March 2018 Then-LAUSD-Board-Member Ref Rodriguez Shared A Top Secret Confidential Copy Of A Board Resolution With Cassy Horton Of The California Charter School Association — Before Anyone Other Than Richard Vladovic Had Seen It — And Cassy Horton Of CCSA Inserted Comments And Rewrote Language — And Arranged For Marcia Aaron of KIPP LA — And Parker Hudnut Of ICEF Charter Schools — To Meet In Her Company With Rodriguez And Aixle Aman Prior To Its Introduction To The Board To Discuss It — And Shared It With Christina De Jesus Of Green Dot Charter Schools — And Emilio Pack Of STEM Prep — For Their Comments — And Rewrites

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Green Dot Charter Schools CEO Cristina De Jesus Served On Gavin Newsom’s State Charter School Task Force Earlier This Year — According To Tony Thurmond The Point Was To Identify “what is truly best for kids” — But De Jesus Told Her Colleagues That Her “Representation On The Task Force” Gave Green Dot “The Ultimate Voice” — And She Used Her Knowledge Of Task Force Meetings To Shape Green Dot PR Messaging On Charter School Controversies — None Of Which Sounds Like Thinking About What’s Best For Anyone Other Than Green Dot — Oh And Also It Seems That In Early 2018 De Jesus And The California Charter School Association Were Just Sitting Around Waiting For Michelle King To Die — So They Could Start Manipulating The Choice Of Her Replacement — Which As We Now Know They Ultimately Managed Really Well — At Least From Their Infernal Point Of View — And Making Insensitive Remarks While They Waited — Which Is Not A Good Look For A Bunch Of Privatizing Vultures — Especially Given How Their Hand-Picked Dude Is Working Out

Earlier this year Governor Gavin Newsom asked State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to convene an expert task force to study some aspects of charter schools in California and to issue a report by July 1, which task they duly completed. Here’s what Tony Thurmond had to say about what all these experts were going to get up to:

I am excited that we have this incredible assembly of experts from all sectors to help lead this charge, to take a deeper look at the impact of charter schools. We plan to research data and facts, and will review the fiscal impact and authorization process of charter schools. But more importantly, we are going to do this with thoughtful intention and through the lens of identifying what is truly best for kids.

And one of the putative experts appointed thereto was Cristina De Jesus, mostly famous for being the supreme commander of behemothic privatizing charter school organization Green Dot California. And even though Tony Thurmond thought the task forceers were going to think about the kids, well, as might be expected by the cynical,1 it turns out that, as shown in some emails I recently obtained via the California Public Records Act, De Jesus had very, very different ideas about her role on this expert body.2

The story begins on March 27, 2019, when Anna Phillips published a story in the Los Angeles Times, privatizers-into-a-tizzy-throwingly entitled How a couple worked charter school regulations to make millions. And into a tizzy indeed were thrown the privatizers, especially their ministers of truth.3 Thus did Green Dot commo-king Sean Thibault write an email to his Supreme Commander CDJ,4 proposing a response, perhaps to be submitted as a letter to the editor, which Thibault refers to as an LTE because of course he does.

This proposed LTE is incredibly worth reading for its crackpot accusation that “ideological charter critics” essentially caused Clark and Jeanette Parker to steal all that money from Today’s Fresh Start Charter School because they “have focused their legislative proposals on areas that already have healthy public scrutiny” rather than what, according to Sean Thibault, they ought to have been doing, which is “partnering to update charter laws and regulations to help catch bad apples.” But what we’re really interested in here is Thibault’s summing-uppery, directed at his boss CDJ:
Continue reading Green Dot Charter Schools CEO Cristina De Jesus Served On Gavin Newsom’s State Charter School Task Force Earlier This Year — According To Tony Thurmond The Point Was To Identify “what is truly best for kids” — But De Jesus Told Her Colleagues That Her “Representation On The Task Force” Gave Green Dot “The Ultimate Voice” — And She Used Her Knowledge Of Task Force Meetings To Shape Green Dot PR Messaging On Charter School Controversies — None Of Which Sounds Like Thinking About What’s Best For Anyone Other Than Green Dot — Oh And Also It Seems That In Early 2018 De Jesus And The California Charter School Association Were Just Sitting Around Waiting For Michelle King To Die — So They Could Start Manipulating The Choice Of Her Replacement — Which As We Now Know They Ultimately Managed Really Well — At Least From Their Infernal Point Of View — And Making Insensitive Remarks While They Waited — Which Is Not A Good Look For A Bunch Of Privatizing Vultures — Especially Given How Their Hand-Picked Dude Is Working Out

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On September 13, 2018 Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner Gave A Major Policy Speech — The Week Before That Beutner Staffers Rebecca Kockler And Elmer Roldan Met Separately With Lobbyist Cassy Horton Of The California Charter Schools Association To Vet His Proposals With Her — I Have A Copy Of Horton’s Extensive Notes On These Two Meetings! — On September 7 Beutner Met With Christina De Jesus Of Green Dot And Emilio Pack Of STEM Prep For The Same Purpose — And On September 12 Cassy Horton Had An Advance Copy Of Beutner’s Speech And Shared It With Those Two For Feedback — Ironically In The Speech Beutner Touted The Importance Of Transparency — But Didn’t Mention Word One About All This Back Channel Commo With Elite Privatizers About The Very Speech In Which He Was Touting Transparency!

A little history and a list of the dramatis personae are in order before we begin. In May 2018 noted zillionaire Austin Beutner was appointed superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District via a shady, probably illegal, backroom process pushed through by noted charter-lovers Monica Rodriguez and later-indicted-and-convicted criminal Ref Rodriguez.1 Subsequently Beutner hired Broad Foundation alumna Rebecca Kockler away from the already-pretty-wrecked state of Louisiana where she was famous for privatizing everything in her reach and thereby wrecking everything even more as his chief of staff2 and some dude named Elmer Roldan as his director of civic engagement.

Then there’s the shady charter school lobbying conspiracy known as the California Charter Schools Association, sitting like a fat green spider at the center of the various ickety-stickety webs of privatization spritzed all over our fair city by behind-the-scenes zillionaires. These privatizing peddlers of metaphorical poisoned apples are not just lobbyists, but also actively gather what passes for intelligence in privatizerlandia and spread it around among their members. They’re probably reading this very blog post. Their local capo is Cassy Horton.

And one of the CCSA’s creepiest little Southern California projects is something called the Los Angeles Advocacy Council, a shadowy website-lacking group of twenty-ish super-elite local charter leaders who convene regularly to discuss how to privatize everything they can lay their greedy paws on, to meet with politicians, propose policy, and so on.3 And among these elite privatizers there is an even eliter bunch, the so-called LAAC Leadership. This hyper-exclusive crew consists of Green Dot Charter Schools CEO Christina De Jesus and STEM Preparatory School boss Emilio Pack, facilitated by Cassy Horton.

And it came to pass that after Beutner had been on the job for a few months, in September 2018, he decided that he wanted to give a major policy speech, explaining just what the hell he planned to get up to way high up on the zillionth floor of the Bastille on Beaudry.4 And how does a galaxy-brain like Beutner prepare for such an event? Well, perhaps he thinks about things, reads up on things, talks about things with his senior staff, goes out in the field and looks at things.

And maybe Beutner did all of that and more. But he also had two of his senior staff, the aforementioned Kockler and Roldan, meet with Cassy Horton to run all his proposals by her. And the next day he met with LAAC elites Christina De Jesus and Emilio Pack. We know about this first meeting from an email which Horton sent to De Jesus and Pack, ensubjected “<Confidential/For Review> Preview of Austin Convo for Tomorrow” describing in astounding detail both the content and her thoughts on these two meetings with Beutner’s staffies.
Continue reading On September 13, 2018 Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner Gave A Major Policy Speech — The Week Before That Beutner Staffers Rebecca Kockler And Elmer Roldan Met Separately With Lobbyist Cassy Horton Of The California Charter Schools Association To Vet His Proposals With Her — I Have A Copy Of Horton’s Extensive Notes On These Two Meetings! — On September 7 Beutner Met With Christina De Jesus Of Green Dot And Emilio Pack Of STEM Prep For The Same Purpose — And On September 12 Cassy Horton Had An Advance Copy Of Beutner’s Speech And Shared It With Those Two For Feedback — Ironically In The Speech Beutner Touted The Importance Of Transparency — But Didn’t Mention Word One About All This Back Channel Commo With Elite Privatizers About The Very Speech In Which He Was Touting Transparency!

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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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