Scholarship Prep is a chain of charter schools in Southern California recently expanded into the Los Angeles Unified School District with a school in Lomita. Charter minion and former state legislator Gloria Romero is one of the founders of the school, locally famous for having conspired with Sakshi Jain to accept the students left without a Fall 2019 school to attend by the spectacular implosion of Jain’s weirdo vanity charter project, GANAS Academy.
And, as you know if you followed that Jain/GANAS thing at all, those Harbor Area public education supporters are fierce. They’re tough as nails and they don’t like charter schools. And having shut down Jain, well, it’s not a surprise that they might be, to understate matters somewhat, not a hundred percent thrilled by Romero’s imperialistic designs on LAUSD kids and money.
And like many of us do these days, they have some presence on social media. For instance, there’s Harbor Area Defenders of Public Education on the Facebook and various Twitter accounts that take an interest, maybe most prominently LA County Leaks. This last account recently, just for instance, tweeted some info about Scholarship Prep’s board of directors and their lack of experience in education.
And the Harbor Area Defenders have also shared some important info about the Board, like for instance this post about Board member and music professor Charles Friedrichs who, despite being in control of a multimillion dollar publicly funded school that serves predominantly Latino populations, probably not entirely documented, will nevertheless gleefully retweet some incredibly xenophobic remarks about immigrants.
You might think, by the way, that Scholarship Prep wouldn’t worry about this kind of talk. They’re a multi-zillion dollar organization, well-funded, thoroughly lawyered up, on the right side of the powerful, and so on. Why would anyone think they might be worried about a little ragtag band of partisans sniping at them from the most obscure of the obscure little backwaters of Twitter.1
But no doubt the fact that this same ragtag band, or one quite like them, recently obliterated GANAS Academy, is very much present in their minds, probably in the minds of all our local privatizers. In that sense, anyway, it’s not surprising to learn that Scholarship Prep is very much aware of these accounts. In fact, emails I recently obtained from them show that their staffer Jarryd Gonzales, actually stalks Twitter and Facebook for negative comments, evaluates their significance, and reports his findings to his superiors.
For instance, here is Gonzalez on August 31, 2019 emailing Gloria Romero and assorted other Scholarship Prep honchos. He mentions that he will continue to monitor the accounts but, due to their low follower counts, he recommends that Scholarship Prep decline to “get in a tit for tat and stoop to their level.” Note that this email is transcribed fully at the end of this post.
And again, here’s Gonzales a few days later informing his superiors of Harbor Area Defenders’ post about Board member Charles Friedrichs’s retweets of despicable racist Trumpista weirdo Ryan Fournier‘s hate-filled ravings. Again, Gonzales downplays the significance, although he does note that “if true, a retweet from Dr. Friedrich could become an issue at some point. And not so much from @Riddlesha (who’s tweeting), but could be fodder for a story, etc.”
And that, no doubt, is why @CharlesCjfried‘s Twitter account is now locked away out of public view, on the advice of PR flackie Gonzales, who certainly doesn’t want fodder for stories on his xenophobic board member floating around in the world. And who knows what other horrors are lurking behind that lock screen that might “be fodder for a story, etc.”?
On the one hand it’s easy to get outraged that these charterites not only take public money out of our public schools but that they spend it on paying Jarryd Gonzales an actual salary to Facebook stalk and monitor people engaged in political speech. What a waste of money that could be educating children instead of squelching discussion about how they ought to be educated.
But on the other hand it’s really encouraging that these privatizing destroyers of the public realm are so worried about their future in Southern California, which really does look grim, that they’re willing to spend their good money monitoring the very people who, if I am not very much mistaken, are well on their way to shutting down these pirates once and for all.
From: Jarryd Gonzales <email@example.com>:50:47 -0700
Subject: Negative social media posts
To: Gloria Romero <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Acongo@scholarshipschools.org
Just FYI. See screenshots to two recent social media posts.
1. Twitter from @lacountyleaks (54 followers and low engagement). This post attacks Scholarship Prep for appointing board members without education experience. I’ll monitor this account, but I don’t think we should get in a tit for tat and stoop to their level. The release of our test scores (soon) and other posts get (and will continue to get) better engagement than what’s posting by them.
2. Facebook post by Harbor Defenders with a link to email conversations between CCSA, Jain of Ganas, and Gloria. I don’t think a response is warranted. This group gets about 5 or so likes per post, and it seems to be an echo chamber for its own union followers. I don’t imagine this info actually gets read by folks outside its organizers. We should continue to monitor.
Image of Jarryd Gonzales is ©2019 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and you could do worse than clicking right here, friends!
- @LACountyLeaks, I am being rhetorical! I do not think you’re obscure, or in a backwater, or any of that nonsense! Proud to follow you!