Tag Archives: California Charter Schools Association

Two Of My Public Records Act Lawsuits Against Charter Schools Settled In April 2020 — ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ PUC Charter Schools — Between Them They Paid More Than $11K — Which Was Supposed To Be Spent On Educating Children — But Which These Privatizing Pirate Academies Wasted Due To Their Appalling And Antisocial Arrogance — Here’s Some Background And Copies Of The Settlement Agreements!

As you probably know I’ve been investigating LAUSD charter schools using the California Public Records Act since January 2019. I was moved to this work1 by the monumental UTLA strike and especially the union’s focus on charter co-location.

I obtained some striking early results including an incredibly consequential release of emails from Green Dot Charter Schools, some of the fruits of which got wide and fairly devastating coverage in the media, including the Los Angeles Times, and Capital and Main, and Diane Ravitch’s blog, and elsewhere.

But this kind of success breeds resistance, so a lot of charters lawyered up and stopped producing records in response to my requests, or even stopped producing without the benefit of a lawyer’s advice.2 The only option left in such a situation is to start filing lawsuits, and that’s just what I’ve been forced to do.

In January 2020, for instance, I filed two.3 One ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ and the other against white savior charter conspiracy PUC Charter Schools, in some vague sense co-founded by former LAUSD board member and convicted felon Ref Rodriguez.
Continue reading Two Of My Public Records Act Lawsuits Against Charter Schools Settled In April 2020 — ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ PUC Charter Schools — Between Them They Paid More Than $11K — Which Was Supposed To Be Spent On Educating Children — But Which These Privatizing Pirate Academies Wasted Due To Their Appalling And Antisocial Arrogance — Here’s Some Background And Copies Of The Settlement Agreements!

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The Charter School Industry Famously Wants To Shut Down Schools That Don’t Measure Up To Various Putatively Objective Standards — Part Of Their Narrative Of Government Inefficiency — Lack Of Incentives To Excel — The Usual Nonsense — And — Apparently To Demonstrate Ideological Consistency Or Something — Each Year The California Charter School Association Picks A Few Charter Schools And Publicly Advocates For Their Closure — In 2017 They Targeted Lou Dantzler Elementary School — A Co-Located South LA School Run By White Savior Charter Conspiracy The Inner City Education Foundation — But ICEF Unilaterally Closed The School Rather Than Undergo The Humiliation Of CCSA Openly Calling For Its Closure — Never Mentioned In The Discussion — The Trauma And Disruption In The Students’ Lives Caused By The High-Level Politicking Of These Charter School Geniuses — It’s Almost As If That Kids First Nonsense Is Nothing More Than Empty Sloganeering

One argument we see over and over and over again from school privatizers is that charter schools are more effective than public schools because public schools are not accountable for their performance. Because their funding, their very existence, are guaranteed by the government they have no incentive to improve.

That last sentence, by the way, reads very easily even without an explicit statement of what it is, according to privatizer propaganda, that the public schools don’t have an incentive to improve. Which is a sign of how thoroughly public discourse about public schools has been shaped by the charter school industry.

There’s no satisfying answer to this question of what public schools need to improve, at least not one that satisfies anyone who sees children, students, as actual human beings, of fully equal value to every one of the disrupting grifters corruptly siphoning off billions in public funds meant to educate these kids.

Privatizers try to make this narrative hang together by using vague nouns like “outcomes,” “results,” “accountability.” What is it that public schools need to be accountable for improving? Outcomes and results! But the story doesn’t really work, not to the extent that they need it to work, without there being some concrete, some superficially objective,1 way to measure this putative non-improvance.

The technical details of the actual metrics don’t matter much since all that’s needed to serve the purpose is a bunch of numbers. You can read about them here online if you want to but feel free not to as they’re all lies and also quite boring. And the flip side of this narrative is that charter schools are nimble2 and run like businesses3 unlike the public schools they’re out to destroy. To really underscore this last point it turns out to be politically expedient for charter proponents to once in a while toss one of their schools off the sleigh to be devoured by the hungry wolves that follow.

Which is exactly what the mainline charter conspiracy does in California. The California Charter School Association, premiere privatizer lobbying conspiracy, has a program called Public Calls for Non-Renewal whose sole purpose is to pick off a few schools each year that miss their benchmarks and publicly, that is in front of the authorizing entities, advocate against their targets being renewed. They openly justify this program, this process with an appeal to nothing more than its political expedience for their movement:

We applaud the many charter schools that are among the highest-performing schools in the state. However, we believe that a small number of chronically underperforming charter schools threatens the overall success of the broader charter school movement.

And this is a really disconcerting position to be taken by people who will not for an instant shut up about how they put kids first, how they’re the most overwhelmingly efficient educators in history, how they are the only ones who can save children from the horrors of government incompetence. This kind of realpolitik calculus is fine4 when all the parties involved are adults, are responsible and able to look after their own interests. But real human children are gravely harmed when their schools close down.
Continue reading The Charter School Industry Famously Wants To Shut Down Schools That Don’t Measure Up To Various Putatively Objective Standards — Part Of Their Narrative Of Government Inefficiency — Lack Of Incentives To Excel — The Usual Nonsense — And — Apparently To Demonstrate Ideological Consistency Or Something — Each Year The California Charter School Association Picks A Few Charter Schools And Publicly Advocates For Their Closure — In 2017 They Targeted Lou Dantzler Elementary School — A Co-Located South LA School Run By White Savior Charter Conspiracy The Inner City Education Foundation — But ICEF Unilaterally Closed The School Rather Than Undergo The Humiliation Of CCSA Openly Calling For Its Closure — Never Mentioned In The Discussion — The Trauma And Disruption In The Students’ Lives Caused By The High-Level Politicking Of These Charter School Geniuses — It’s Almost As If That Kids First Nonsense Is Nothing More Than Empty Sloganeering

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PUC Charter Schools — Former Home Of Convicted Felon And Disgraced Former School Board Member Ref Rodriguez — Sued To Enforce Compliance With The California Public Records Act — They Refused To Respond At All And Now They Will Have To Pay — And Comply!

In January 2019 I started investigating Los Angeles charter schools using the California Public Records Act and immediately ran into the typical block-headed obstructionism so beloved of CPRA-subject public agencies. I got some pretty interesting material early on, when I was still focusing on how charters reacted to the UTLA strike. As I began to understand the issues better I started looking into co-locations in general and learned, e.g., a lot of important stuff about GANAS academy.

This material ultimately helped to some extent supporters of their co-location target, Catskill Elementary School, fight off their co-location attempt, which really started to show me the utility of the CPRA not just to scholars and journalists, but to anti-charter activists as well. But things really took off in June 2019 when I received a massive release of emails from Green Dot Charter Schools containing explosive correspondence with the California Charter Schools Association.

These documents revealed, among many, many other things, that LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner allowed CCSA lobbyists to vet and edit an advance copy of his first major policy speech. That board member Nick Melvoin asked CCSA lobbyists to write a board resolution for him that would facilitate charters expanding control over LAUSD facilities. That Melvoin shared confidential legal information with CCSA while they were actively suing the District.

That former Board member and now convicted felon Ref Rodriguez also allowed CCSA lobbyists to edit and vet at least one Board resolution. That CCSA intended to put all California students in charter schools by 2030. Revelations from this material were widely covered in the press, including the Los Angeles Times, and Capital and Main, and Diane Ravitch’s blog, and elsewhere. The ramifications of these revelations are still unfolding even now, more than six months later.
Continue reading PUC Charter Schools — Former Home Of Convicted Felon And Disgraced Former School Board Member Ref Rodriguez — Sued To Enforce Compliance With The California Public Records Act — They Refused To Respond At All And Now They Will Have To Pay — And Comply!

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In June 2018 The United Teachers Of Los Angeles Sent A Brown Act Demand Letter To Excelencia Charter Academy – Which In Case You Forgot Is That Co-Located Boyle Heights Horror Show That Galaxy-Brained Carpetbagger Ruben Alonzo Proclaims Himself To Be The Founder Of – And Most Interestingly LAUSD’s Charter School Division Got In On The Process And Demanded That Excelencia Hand Over A Bunch Of Evidence About UTLA’s Allegations – And Here Are Copies Of Everything! – Along With A Bunch Of Emails Between Alonzo And His Privatizing Sleazeball Of A Lying Lawyer – Wayne Strumpfer Of Young Minney Corr – Plotting Out Line By Line How They’re Gonna Respond – Important And Unprecedented Look Behind The Curtain At Charter School Deliberations Over Transparency Laws!

It turns out that in June 2018 the United Teachers of Los Angeles sent a letter to Ruben Alonzo, galaxy-brained creepy-stalky founder of the co-locational privatizer conspiracy known as Excelencia Charter Academy, demanding that his organization cease, desist, and cut it the heck out with all the Brown Act violations they had been getting up to. This story is revealed by a collection of emails I recently obtained from Excelencia via the California Public Records Act, which are available here on Archive.Org.

UTLA accused Excelencia, with good reason, of “engag[ing] in a pattern of secrecy by holding meetings at locations inaccessible to the public,” specifically to do with, among some other things, board members teleconferencing into putatively public meetings, a practice which is allowed by the Brown Act but only in a highly constrained way.1 In addition to demanding that Excelencia cut it out, UTLA also demanded that they fix some of the errors and additionally publicly promise never to do those things again.2 They also sent a copy of the letter to LAUSD’s Charter School Division.

On receipt Alonzo’s first move was to forward the letter not only to his board members, but to Keith Dell’Aquila and Josue Cofresi, a couple of flacks at the California Charter Schools Association, to ask their advice. Which was, obviously, to ask a damn lawyer. Alonzo proceeded to hit up this blog’s old friend Wayne K. Strumpfer, of counsel3 to privatizing law powerhouse Young Minney Corr. Strumpfer didn’t take anywhere near the statutorily allowed 30 days to drop a letter on UTLA containing complete and utter concessions to their list of demands.

And most interestingly from my point of view, seeking as I always am, seemingly in vain, nonjudicial remedies for outlaw charter school behavior,4 the Charter School Division sent a letter to Excelencia demanding that they respond in detail to UTLA’s allegations. And Excelencia did take this requirement seriously. I have also complained to the CSD about various charter school violations and they brushed me off, but nevertheless I am glad to learn that there is some kind of channel for LAUSD to handle such complaints.

And after much back and forth Strumpfer wrote a letter for Excelencia Board President Ana Lasso to sign her name to capitulating to their demands in that way lawyers for outlaw government agencies have of agreeing to stop breaking the law even as they assert on every possible level that they have never actually done anything wrong.

That’s the short version, but the emails themselves reveal a lot of detail about the process that Excelencia went through in responding to UTLA’s demands. This is important in itself because, as we know, these charters can not, will not, follow the law if left to their own devices. I’ve sent a number of these demands, including two to The Accelerated Schools which are still pending,5 and it’s interesting to get some insight into what kinds of things are going on behind the scenes. Read on for the long version of the story with links and transcribed selections!
Continue reading In June 2018 The United Teachers Of Los Angeles Sent A Brown Act Demand Letter To Excelencia Charter Academy – Which In Case You Forgot Is That Co-Located Boyle Heights Horror Show That Galaxy-Brained Carpetbagger Ruben Alonzo Proclaims Himself To Be The Founder Of – And Most Interestingly LAUSD’s Charter School Division Got In On The Process And Demanded That Excelencia Hand Over A Bunch Of Evidence About UTLA’s Allegations – And Here Are Copies Of Everything! – Along With A Bunch Of Emails Between Alonzo And His Privatizing Sleazeball Of A Lying Lawyer – Wayne Strumpfer Of Young Minney Corr – Plotting Out Line By Line How They’re Gonna Respond – Important And Unprecedented Look Behind The Curtain At Charter School Deliberations Over Transparency Laws!

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When Protesters Shut Down Extera Charter Schools’ March 2019 Board Meeting They Criticized Extera For Taking Money From Privatizing Walton/Broad Front Group Great Public Schools Now – And Doctor Jim Kennedy Tacitly Accepted The Validity Of Their Criticism By Mumbling Non-Denials About How Extera Had Not Yet Accepted Any GPSN Money – But Emails Obtained Via The CPRA And Published Here Show That Even While Kennedy Was Mumbling His Mumbles – Even Then – Extera Was Actively Seeking GPSN’s Money – With The Active Support Of CCSA – To Support Their Expansion Into The Montebello Unified School District – In Other Words Precisely The Kind Of Colonial Charterism Opposed By The Protesters – Showing The Utter Dishonesty Of Kennedy’s Claims

So you probably heard about how activists from Centro CSO and the United Teachers of Los Angeles and Eastside Padres Unidos Contra la Privatizacion protested vigorously and shut down the March 19, 2019 meeting of the Extera Charter Conspiracy Board of Directors to express their opposition to Extera’s colonial co-location at Eastman Avenue Elementary School in Boyle Heights.

And one of the key exchanges was between a protester, whose name I don’t know, and self-proclaimed doctor and supreme Extera commander Jim Kennedy, and you can watch it here.1 The backstory is that Corri Ravare had been talking previously about how Extera was getting some money from famous Walton/Broad privatizing front organization Great Public Schools Now, which, as the protester notes, is extraordinarily revealing with respect to which team Extera plays for.2

The protester called Dr. Jim Kennedy out on this and he denied that they had taken any money from GPSN: “At this point we have not …” But the truth, as the protester said, is that Corri Ravare had already “said we pretty much have the money.” And the problem with this? Well, clearly, it is that “Great Public Schools Now have declared themselves an enemy of public education. Those are the people we have to work against because they are selling out our public schools to Eli Broad and the Walton Foundation.”

She’s absolutely right about that, of course, and Doctor Jim Kennedy seems to understand that, or at least to realize that Extera’s association with GPSN doesn’t look so good. No doubt this is why he went on to tell her straight out that “[Extera has] not yet accepted that money.” But, as you may already have guessed, Doctor JK is being extraordinarily deceptive here with his mumbled half-denials. In fact Extera had been actively pursuing money from GPSN since December 2018, four months before the date of this meeting.
Continue reading When Protesters Shut Down Extera Charter Schools’ March 2019 Board Meeting They Criticized Extera For Taking Money From Privatizing Walton/Broad Front Group Great Public Schools Now – And Doctor Jim Kennedy Tacitly Accepted The Validity Of Their Criticism By Mumbling Non-Denials About How Extera Had Not Yet Accepted Any GPSN Money – But Emails Obtained Via The CPRA And Published Here Show That Even While Kennedy Was Mumbling His Mumbles – Even Then – Extera Was Actively Seeking GPSN’s Money – With The Active Support Of CCSA – To Support Their Expansion Into The Montebello Unified School District – In Other Words Precisely The Kind Of Colonial Charterism Opposed By The Protesters – Showing The Utter Dishonesty Of Kennedy’s Claims

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Community Activists From Centro CSO And The United Teachers Of Los Angeles Protested Extera Charter Schools’ Co-Location At Eastman Avenue Elementary School – And Extera Flipped Out And Stalked Them – And Called The Cops About Them – And Consulted With The California Charter School Association – And Creepy Lawyers – And Fantasized About Confiscating Their Cell Phones – And Cultivated Informants To Ask About Them – And Worst Of All Extera Gleaned Activists’ Personal Contact Information From Very Likely Illegal Meeting Sign-In Sheets – An All-Round Lawless Crew At Extera – Surprised Anyone Thinks It’s A Good Idea To Let Them Care For Children

Earlier this year there were a series of protests against Extera Charter Schools co-location at Eastman Avenue Elementary School in Boyle Heights organized by Centro CSO and the United Teachers of Los Angeles. One of these protests was held at the March 2019 meeting of the Extera board of directors, and you can watch a video of it here on the Facebook page of activist group Eastside Padres Contra La Privatizacion. It is well worth your time to watch these powerful, clear-eyed parents bearing witness to the damage that this charter school does to their community.

The protest set off a fairly crazed and surprisingly whiny-baby series of responses from the privatizers. This story is revealed by emails recently produced to me by Extera in response to a request under the California Public Records Act, a selection of which is available here on Archive.Org. In particular Extera staff began stalking the protesters on social media, complained about them to LAUSD’s Charter School Division and, separately, to board member Monica Garcia. And to the Los Angeles Police Department, who they tried to get to commit to attending future board meetings to arrest troublemakers.

Had their lawyer, Lisa Corr no less, name partner at privatizing powerhouse law firm conspiracy Young Minney Corr, advise them on how to lawfully eject people from public meetings. Arranged to meet privately with Ilse Escobar, perceived by Extera Commander of Operations Corri Ravare to be the protesters’ “ringleader” and other protesters, floated plans to confiscate their cell phones at the meeting, and then whiningly cancelled the meeting on short notice. Consulted continuously with the California Charter School Association on messaging against the protesters.

Attended a meeting of Centro CSO to spy on the opposition. Cultivated informants to provide information on Escobar. And as if not more creepy than any of these severely creepy actions is the fact that Extera asked members of the public to sign in at their meetings and then used the personal contact information collected to help them stalk the protesters.1

This kind of reaction to community disdain is commonplace among charter school boards and, for that matter, their privatizing colleagues in business improvement districts. They’re not used to attention from the public, and somehow they think they ought to be immune to it. They’re happy to take public money from the government to carry out defined public governmental purposes, but as soon as the public treats them like the government agencies they are under California law, they flip out and use that public money to fund these insane, immature responses.

Regular politicians and the staff they hire are used to protests, criticism, and petitioning for redress of grievances. For the most part don’t react so aggressively, so insanely. Can you imagine if it came out that members of the LAUSD School Board or the LA City Council had sent infiltrators to community meetings, or used information gathered from sign-in sheets to investigate protesters by interviewing their acquaintances? It would be a huge scandal, and rightly so. It’s no less scandalous when these charter operators do it. Read on for transcribed selections from some of the emails. And you can download the whole set from Archive.Org as well.
Continue reading Community Activists From Centro CSO And The United Teachers Of Los Angeles Protested Extera Charter Schools’ Co-Location At Eastman Avenue Elementary School – And Extera Flipped Out And Stalked Them – And Called The Cops About Them – And Consulted With The California Charter School Association – And Creepy Lawyers – And Fantasized About Confiscating Their Cell Phones – And Cultivated Informants To Ask About Them – And Worst Of All Extera Gleaned Activists’ Personal Contact Information From Very Likely Illegal Meeting Sign-In Sheets – An All-Round Lawless Crew At Extera – Surprised Anyone Thinks It’s A Good Idea To Let Them Care For Children

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The California Charter School Association Provides Free And Discounted Lawyers To Charter Schools To Help Them With Co-Location – And Putative Good Guy Lefty Law Firm Public Counsel Evidently Provides Free 501(c)(3) Work To Incipient Charter Schools – Which Is Totally Freaking Not Consistent With Actual Good Guy Lefty-Ism – Oh Also – Excelencia Charter Academy Founder And Head Boss Ruben Alonzo Is A Childishly Moronic Clown Who Can’t Stand Criticism – And Goes Running And Crying To Authority Figures Trying To Get People In Trouble – And Then Cackles Like A Poobutt About It With His Self-Proclaimed Wife – Those Are My Stories And I’m Sticking Him To Them!

There are many, many, many problems with charter schools in Los Angeles,1 not least of which is this co-location nonsense they get up to, authorized by some malcriado state law known as Prop 39 which allows charter schools to vampiratically fasten themselves to the necks of genuine public schools and drain their life and vitality by aggressively colonizing their physical classrooms and school spaces.2

Everybody sane hates this, and it’s the occasion for protests across LA Unified, like e.g. at Baldwin Hills Elementary School, and at Catskill Elementary in Carson, and at Sunrise Elementary in Boyle Heights. And while it is true that everybody sane hates this well, tragedy indeed, it’s also true that not everybody is sane. In particular let us consider the California Charter School Association, about as unsane a gang of grievous grifters as can be.

These appalling privatizers not only want to use the next ten years to put every kid in the state in a damn charter school, but they openly3 scheme with self-proclaimed boy genius and lame duck school board member Nick Melvoin to further this scheme by weaponizing the already weaponized-by-design Prop 39. And not only that, but a set of newly released emails, obtained via the CPRA, shows that they also fund free lawyers to help charters navigate the apparently complex process of applying to colonize actual public schools via Prop 39.

The program pays for the first 5 hours from one of California’s pre-eminent privatizing law firms, Young Minney Corr or Procopio. After that CCSA funds an additional 5 hours at the discount rate of $200 per. And there’s other help available to new charters, this time, more surprisingly, from the famously leftish pro bono law firm Public Counsel, which seems to provide lawyers to charters to help them form their governing 501(c)(3) corporations.

Not sure what the deal is about this but it was fairly shocking news to me so I am sharing it with you here. Perhaps it’s part of their low-income-serving non-profit formation program. Which makes about as much sense for charter schools as calling Dracula a local peasantry-serving aristocrat.

So anyway, read on for links to salient emails, transcriptions therefrom, and, if you can make it all the way to the end, a transcription of an amusing, revealing, childish, and fairly reprehensible email chain involving Excelencia Charter founder and head boss Ruben Alonzo, and Luis Barraza, principal of Sunrise Elementary School, host organism of Alonzo’s vampirism, and Cynthia Kanagui who, in addition to being some kind of robotic lobbyist at robotic lobbying org Great Public Schools Now, is also Mrs. Ruben Alonzo.4 Alonzo is still angry that Sunrise Elementary teacher Mimi Duncanson is protesting his damn school and he cannot, will not, just stop whining about it.

By the way, this is the same Mimi Duncanson whose car Alonzo, in yet another of the overtop hissy fits for which he’s infamous, tried to get towed by the LAPD but they wouldn’t to it. In this email, transcribed below, Alonzo is all like “Luis she is really mean and called me a vendido!” And Luis is all like “don’t worry I will talk to her!” And then Alonzo emails Kanagui at her personal Gmail address5 and is all like “oooOOOH! Mimi is in big trouble!” Because he’s a childish whiny-baby; and also the kind of person that LAUSD seems to think is fit to educate and care for some actual human children.
Continue reading The California Charter School Association Provides Free And Discounted Lawyers To Charter Schools To Help Them With Co-Location – And Putative Good Guy Lefty Law Firm Public Counsel Evidently Provides Free 501(c)(3) Work To Incipient Charter Schools – Which Is Totally Freaking Not Consistent With Actual Good Guy Lefty-Ism – Oh Also – Excelencia Charter Academy Founder And Head Boss Ruben Alonzo Is A Childishly Moronic Clown Who Can’t Stand Criticism – And Goes Running And Crying To Authority Figures Trying To Get People In Trouble – And Then Cackles Like A Poobutt About It With His Self-Proclaimed Wife – Those Are My Stories And I’m Sticking Him To Them!

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Charter Schools Fought For Years To Reduce The Power Of LAUSD’s Inspector General To Oversee Them — In 2018 Internal Chaos In The Office Of The Inspector General Led To Restructuring Which Effectively Reduced Oversight Of Charters — According To The California Charter School Association “should be seen as a major win by and for the charter community.”

The Los Angeles Unified School District has a particularly powerful oversight office, the Office of the Inspector General, known in the trade jargon as OIG. And in 2018 the School Board failed to renew then-IG Ken Bramlett’s contract. According to LA Times education reporter Howard Blume, pro-charter board members Monica Garcia, Kelly Gonez, and Nick Melvoin voted against renewal, which was enough to deadlock the board and prevent Bramlett’s return. Blume also noted that Bramlett had aggressively investigated some charter schools, in some cases leading to criminal charges being filed, and that charter schools had been clamoring for limits on OIG’s ability to investigate them but he stopped short of saying that Bramlett’s fall from grace was due to charter school influence.

And later a bunch of overwhelmingly salacious details of a number of really appalling and quite serious hostile work environment complaints against some of Bramlett’s senior subordinates came out along with credible accusations that Bramlett had at best failed to take these complaints seriously. Regardless of the validity of the uproar, and it seems quite valid indeed to me, this had the effect of directing most of the media attention away from charter school involvement in Bramlett’s downfall. Not entirely, though. For instance, Kyle Stokes, education reporter with KPCC, did mention that charter schools had been seeking to limit OIG’s role in overseeing them, although in that same article noted that “sources who spoke to KPCC said that concern over charter oversight was not a factor in the board’s thinking”

But newly published internal documents from the Los Angeles Advocacy Council, a shadowy organization run by the California Charter School Association and about 20 local charter school leaders, paint a very different picture. In fact LAAC and the CCSA give themselves credit for taking advantage of the chaos at OIG in order to effectively remove oversight of charter schools from OIG’s purview.

Not only that but they claim to have kept quiet about the issue in order to protect their public image. In the same document they also claim that they were asked to do so by unnamed people in the District who promised CCSA and LAAC that “they would handle it, and they followed through” Given some statements in another document it’s not impossible that convicted felon and then Board member Ref Rodriguez was one of these unnamed people. The charterites were thrilled by the outcome of their work against OIG oversight, announcing that it “should be seen as a major win by and for the charter community.” Perhaps this media strategy underlay Stokes’s sources’ comment about charter involvement in Bramlett’s non-renewal.

And recently we learned from this same set of records that, for instance, LAUSD superintendent Austin Beutner allowed charter school lobbyists to write at least one of his major policy speeches. And that Board member Nick Melvoin leaked information about confidential legal strategies to them and let them write Board resolutions.

Given the magnitude of these revelations it’s pretty plausible that someone in the District was conspiring with CCSA and LAAC to take advantage of chaos in OIG to implement the charters’ desire to be free of meaningful oversight. It’s plausible, but it is in no way acceptable. It’s bad enough to reduce oversight of charter schools, which receive so many millions of dollars in public money. But to reduce it in response to their demands, according to their plan, and to do this in secret while they pretend to the world not to have been involved, is absolutely intolerable. Intolerable but, as I said, given recent events, not surprising. Read on for links to and detailed quotes from relevant documents.
Continue reading Charter Schools Fought For Years To Reduce The Power Of LAUSD’s Inspector General To Oversee Them — In 2018 Internal Chaos In The Office Of The Inspector General Led To Restructuring Which Effectively Reduced Oversight Of Charters — According To The California Charter School Association “should be seen as a major win by and for the charter community.”

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A Secret Powerpoint From The California Charter Schools Association Reveals 2019 Lobbying Priorities And Strategies — In Particular They Consider Positioning Themselves As Champions Of Equity And Equality But Worry That Their Supporters Might See That As “Mission Creep” — They Consider Supporting Equal Access To High Quality Schools But Worry That Such A Position Might Alienate The “Choice Wing” Of Their Base — They List Among The Greatest Threats The Bare Possibility That Charter Schools Might Be Required To Earthquake Proof Their Buildings To The Same Standard As Public Schools — In Short This Is A Seething Stew Of Privilege — And Arrogance — And Clueless Self-Exposure — In Other Words More Of The Damn Same Stuff!

As you must know by now the California Charter School Association is the premiere wingnut loony tunes mouth-frothing privatization advocacy organization in the state. And we’ve been learning an unprecedentedly awful1 lot about them since June due to a huge set of records2 released by Green Dot Charter Schools in response to a request I made of them under the California Public Records Act.

These records are so rich, so complex, so voluminous, that it’s taking me freaking forever to go through them, sort them, write about them, and I’m therefore laying them on you in increments. And the increment at hand is this powerpoint presentation, created by the CCSA in August 2018 to explain the next year’s goals and fears to their members. I have also exported this as a PDF for ease of use.3 There are also JPEGs of the slides at the end of the post if that’s better.

And my goodness, what a revealing heap of steaming and pernicious arrogance we have here. Under recent wins, for instance, we learn that the CCSA “Conditioned Legislature to defeat a half dozen harmful policy and budget proposals in preparation for less reliable Executive branch.” That’s the California Charter School Association right there telling how they “conditioned” the Legislature in preparation for Gavin “Less Reliable than Jerry Brown” Newsom’s ascension to the throne.

And further down the line we learn the assumptions behind CCSA’s policymaking agenda for 2019, probably actually for always, but I don’t (yet) have the evidence. And again, what’s revealed is appalling but not surprising. For instance they pledge that “CCSA will seek compromise on legislation that minimally constrains flexibility but only in exchange for new entitlements.” This item casts the CCSA’s support of SB126, which makes it exceedingly clear that charters are subject to both the CPRA and the Brown Act, in an interesting light.

Perhaps in 2018 they thought that this new law only “minimally constrain[ed] flexibility” and that they were going to get a bunch of goodies in return. But I’m willing to bet they’re rethinking that concession now given that the fruits of a single CPRA request have subjected them to months of pain-writhing exposure, some scathing articles in the Los Angeles Times, and may ultimately end the career of their manchild knight in shining hair product, Nick Melvoin.

And their listing of what they see as the greatest threats against them for 2019 is very instructive as well. I’m not up on the details enough to comment on all of these but the ones I do understand are as appalling as the rest of it:
Continue reading A Secret Powerpoint From The California Charter Schools Association Reveals 2019 Lobbying Priorities And Strategies — In Particular They Consider Positioning Themselves As Champions Of Equity And Equality But Worry That Their Supporters Might See That As “Mission Creep” — They Consider Supporting Equal Access To High Quality Schools But Worry That Such A Position Might Alienate The “Choice Wing” Of Their Base — They List Among The Greatest Threats The Bare Possibility That Charter Schools Might Be Required To Earthquake Proof Their Buildings To The Same Standard As Public Schools — In Short This Is A Seething Stew Of Privilege — And Arrogance — And Clueless Self-Exposure — In Other Words More Of The Damn Same Stuff!

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