Tag Archives: Nick Melvoin

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 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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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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