Tag Archives: Charter Schools

Interesting New Records From Gentrification-Enabling Highland Park Charter Academy — El Rio Community School — Show How The Cultish Charter Grifters Known As Reframe Labs Funnel Public Money Into Their Own Deep Zillionaire Pockets — Reframe Labs By The Way Is Really Just A Front For Russ Altenburg — Also Chair Of The Board Of Astroturf Charter Lobbying Mafia Speak Up Parents — And How ERCS Supreme Commander Doctor Katie Chau Spent More Than $2K In Public Money — Meant For Educating Children — To Attend CCSA’s 2019 Annual Conference — And Learn How To Destroy Public Education — Which Is Appalling — And Ironic In A Bitter Way — But Not Surprising

El Rio Community School is a charter school opening in Highland Park in September 2020. Of course charter schools in California are subject to the California Public Records Act and so last summer I hit these folks up with a request. They demurred. I filed a freaking lawsuit. And, thank goodness, last week they started to produce records!1 The stuff they handed over is all interesting, even if it’s not close to everything they ought produce, and worth your time to look at:

Bank statements — January through July 2019. A rare look into the financials of an independent charter startup.

58 pages of emails — And also a bunch of contracts between ERCS and various vendors.

Like I said, it’s all interesting. But here I’m focusing on two particular items. The second is the bank statements, and read on for that. The first is this contract between ERCS Supreme Commander Dr. Katie Chau and a peculiarly cult-like outfit called Reframe Labs. Reframe’s founder and CEO is Russ Altenburg, famously also chairman2 of charter school astroturf conspiracy Speak UP Parents. For context, it’s worth taking a look at the Reframe Labs manifesto,3 or at least this snippet here:
Continue reading Interesting New Records From Gentrification-Enabling Highland Park Charter Academy — El Rio Community School — Show How The Cultish Charter Grifters Known As Reframe Labs Funnel Public Money Into Their Own Deep Zillionaire Pockets — Reframe Labs By The Way Is Really Just A Front For Russ Altenburg — Also Chair Of The Board Of Astroturf Charter Lobbying Mafia Speak Up Parents — And How ERCS Supreme Commander Doctor Katie Chau Spent More Than $2K In Public Money — Meant For Educating Children — To Attend CCSA’s 2019 Annual Conference — And Learn How To Destroy Public Education — Which Is Appalling — And Ironic In A Bitter Way — But Not Surprising

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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 Latest Episode In My Newly Revived Brown Act Enforcement Project – A Demand Letter To The Accelerated Schools Insisting That They Unconditionally Commit To Cease – And Desist – And Give A Hard Pass To – And Cut It The Heck Out With – Their Completely Illegal Practice Of Requiring Members Of The Public To Sign A Damn List Before Attending Their Board Meetings – Now They Have 30 Days To Surrender Unconditionally Or Else Face A Heaping Dollop Of Judicial Wrath! – To Be Served Up – If Necessary Of Course – By My Crack Team Of Litigation Specialists!

You might remember that in October that that white savior charter conspiracy, incidentally just yesterday served with a lawsuit seeking to enforce the California Public Records Act, known as The Accelerated Schools went and violated the Brown Act by requiring members of the public to sign in as a condition of attending their abortive board meeting, which was cut short by then-president Juli Quinn, acting impulsively in a fit of petulant rage at the insubordination1 of the audience.

Requiring people to sign in is forbidden by the Brown Act at § 54953.3 And you might also remember that one of the remedies for violations provided by the act2 is that a member of the public write to the violators requesting an unconditional commitment never in the future to violate the law in that particular manner.3 If they capitulate in the specified manner then there are extra consequences if they break their promise later. And if they don’t capitulate I get to sue them.

And finally, maybe you remember that last year I was sending a lot of these demand letters to business improvement districts. Priorities and lack of capacity forced me to lay that project aside for a while4 but it turns out, fortunately, that I have the resources to hold the tender toesies of some of these egregiously violating charter schools to the proverbial-ish flames, and thus, if you’re wondering, is the subject of this evening’s post this very letter right here, sent this very day to The Accelerated Schools, demanding that they stop with their nonsensical sign-in requirements. Now they have 30 days to give in or else!

The letter is transcribed below, but before we go there I just want to point out one important thing that was too qualitative to make it into the demand but is nevertheless really crucial. Here you can watch video of the incident which precipitated my demand. This is an employee of The Accelerated Schools telling me that I wasn’t required to sign my name to attend the meeting but rather was required to sign my name to enter the campus on which the meeting was held.
Continue reading The Latest Episode In My Newly Revived Brown Act Enforcement Project – A Demand Letter To The Accelerated Schools Insisting That They Unconditionally Commit To Cease – And Desist – And Give A Hard Pass To – And Cut It The Heck Out With – Their Completely Illegal Practice Of Requiring Members Of The Public To Sign A Damn List Before Attending Their Board Meetings – Now They Have 30 Days To Surrender Unconditionally Or Else Face A Heaping Dollop Of Judicial Wrath! – To Be Served Up – If Necessary Of Course – By My Crack Team Of Litigation Specialists!

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The Accelerated Schools Sued To Compel Compliance With The California Public Records Act – My First CPRA Petition Against A Charter School – But Not The Last – Not – By – Any – Means

As you may know I have been making requests of charter schools under the California Public Records Act for about a year now. Some of them have been incredibly cooperative while others, well, you know how it goes, have been less so. And no doubt you’re aware by now that the only mechanism to compel compliance with the CPRA is to file a lawsuit. Which brings us to that shady criminal conspiracy known as The Accelerated Schools. I’ve written a lot about these folks and their cartoonishly wicked white supremacy but, you may have noted, none of it has been based on public records apart from this very first thing I did in April 2019.

So I sent them a few more requests after the one that post was based on and they made a few desultory stabs at answering me in compliance with the law and then stopped responding at all. But as you’re probably aware, the situation with this Klown Kar Krew has grown ever more urgent, more of public interest than ever before.

What, that is, with their retaliatory firing of long-time employee Hilda Guzman and subsequent unfair labor practices complaint by her union, with repeated community protests at their infernal board meetings, and the unexpected1 recent petulant rage quit by now thankfully former board chair Juli Quinn. We need to be able to understand what these folks are up to! Which is why their special variety of unhinged intransigence can’t go unanswered, not if we expect government of, by, and for the people to not perish from this earth.

And in pursuance of it not perishing, therefore, I filed a writ petition against these privatizing creepers a couple weeks ago. And for this reason and that reason it took a while to get it served, but it was served this morning, and at long last I can publish a copy of it. And there are transcribed selections below, so stay tuned for updates and, eventually, more of the spicy records-based mockery you’re here for!
Continue reading The Accelerated Schools Sued To Compel Compliance With The California Public Records Act – My First CPRA Petition Against A Charter School – But Not The Last – Not – By – Any – Means

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Remember How Juli Quinn – Chair Of The Board Of Directors Of The Accelerated Schools Charter Conspiracy – Rage Quit Her Job Last Week Because It Finally Occurred To Her That She Was Less Than Universally Admired By Her Victims? – Well That’s What Happened – And Then After She Sent An Extraordinarily Stupid – And Self-Serving – And Delusional – And Hyperdimensionally Cringey – A Cringe Paradigm Shift – Farewell Letter To Her Imaginary Audience – That Is To Say – The Staff Of The Accelerated Schools – And Here Is A Copy Of That Letter! – It’s Not As Kooky As You’d Expect – It’s Way Freaking Kookier!

Ah, friends! Remember how Juli Quinn, the chair of the board of directors of that in-the-process-of-being-dismantled charter conspiracy known as The Accelerated Schools, got all mad and stuff that a bunch of people who in her mind ought to be grateful to her for her condescension and great-white-saviorism were not only not grateful but they were vocally and visibly angry?

And in her rage she resigned from her position on the board and slunk back to Palos Perverdes or whatever white supremacist stronghold she’s presently calling home? Well, all that did happen. And then, because it turns out that she’s too cheap to hire a good crisis communications outfit or maybe it just didn’t occur to her that she needed one, she went and sent out an extraordinarily kooky and unintentionally revealing mass email to the school staff outlining her vision for what the school should be.

And it’s kooky, it’s kookier than I’d have thought. Too kooky to need commentary. It’s transcribed below. Oh, I guess I will say that it’s really disconcerting to read something this delusionally detached from educational reality, so clearly written by someone who has no idea what it takes to teach children, by someone who thinks it’s only necessary to say words like excellent, joyous, and nimble to make them be true, and realize that someone somewhere thought it was OK to place actual human children into this person’s care. It’s not OK.

I’ll close with a word to the wise, and Juli Quinn can read it too! If you have a vision for the future of an institution you’re in charge of, no one really cares what it is after you rage quit. Want to implement your vision, pernicious as it might be? Don’t freaking quit your job. Want to quit your job? Shut up about your damn vision. That is all. Stay tuned for some really, really blockbuster news coming about this damn school, by the way. Very, very, very soon!
Continue reading Remember How Juli Quinn – Chair Of The Board Of Directors Of The Accelerated Schools Charter Conspiracy – Rage Quit Her Job Last Week Because It Finally Occurred To Her That She Was Less Than Universally Admired By Her Victims? – Well That’s What Happened – And Then After She Sent An Extraordinarily Stupid – And Self-Serving – And Delusional – And Hyperdimensionally Cringey – A Cringe Paradigm Shift – Farewell Letter To Her Imaginary Audience – That Is To Say – The Staff Of The Accelerated Schools – And Here Is A Copy Of That Letter! – It’s Not As Kooky As You’d Expect – It’s Way Freaking Kookier!

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Here’s Some Insight Into How Zillionaires Use Charter Schools To Skim Public Cash Into Their Own Pockets While Providing Exactly Zero Social Benefit In Exchange — Ruben Alonzo — Head Boss Of That Co-Locating Criminal Conspiracy Known As Excelencia Charter Academy — Got His School Approved By LAUSD In April 2018 — Six Weeks Later He Turned Around And Sold The School’s Future Income To Some Shady Finance Company At A Discount — The Extra Money Went Straight To The Finance Company — Why Is This Even A Thing? — How Is This Putting Kids First?

It is well understood that zillionaires are making tons of money from charter schools, even and maybe especially the putatively non-profit ones. And until recently I at least had assumed that this involved esoteric financial schemes that normal human beings like me don’t have a hope of understanding. This is roughly the impression given by various exposes, like this one in Forbes from last year.

But some records I recently obtained from that creepy little conspiracy known as Excelencia Charter Academy via the California Public Records Act show that, at least in some cases, the grift is very straightforward.1 Easy even for humans to comprehend. It’s called “selling receivables.” The idea is very simple. A charter school has guaranteed future income in the form of payments from the state. They sell those payments to a finance company at a discount.

The finance company also charges a transaction fee. So for instance, if a charter has enrollment worth $1,000,000 they might sell those future payments for $980,000 now, which is less 2%. That means that $20,000 of public money, meant to educate children, has just evaporated into some zillionaire’s pocket for no reason, with no social benefit, nothing.2

This is usury. Payday loans for putatively public institutions. It’s textbook predatory lending with the unique distinction that both the borrower and the lender are teaming up to prey on a third party, which is the public. And, as I said, none of this is theoretical. Excelencia Charter Academy actually did this last year, which was their first year in operation.
Continue reading Here’s Some Insight Into How Zillionaires Use Charter Schools To Skim Public Cash Into Their Own Pockets While Providing Exactly Zero Social Benefit In Exchange — Ruben Alonzo — Head Boss Of That Co-Locating Criminal Conspiracy Known As Excelencia Charter Academy — Got His School Approved By LAUSD In April 2018 — Six Weeks Later He Turned Around And Sold The School’s Future Income To Some Shady Finance Company At A Discount — The Extra Money Went Straight To The Finance Company — Why Is This Even A Thing? — How Is This Putting Kids First?

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The Accelerated Schools Board Meeting Will Take Place Thursday December 5 At 10 AM — Nightmarish Racist Automaton Juli Quinn — Soon-To-Be-Former President Of The Board Of Directors — Scheduled To Rage-Quit Over Protests — If You Can’t Stand The Heat Get Out Of The Damn Kitchen — As The Cliche Would Have It — But Also If You Can’t Stand The Heat Stop Doing Evil Stuff That Is Sending You Straight To Hell — Just A Parting Thought For Juli Quinn — Quinn’s Welcome Departure Likely To Usher In Amplified Reign Of Racist Terror — With Psychopathic Greed-Head Real Estate Grifter Leonard Rabinowitz Poised To Take Over Presidency — This Is A Guy Who Wants To Eliminate Special Education From His Damn School — And Only Has Not Because They Can’t Afford The Associated Pay Cut — Come Out To The Meeting And Watch History Being Made!

Our old friends at the white savior privatizing charter conspiracy known as The Accelerated Schools are having a board meeting tomorrow, December 5, at 10 AM on the main campus at 4000 S. Main Street 90037. You may well remember that at their last meeting chaos broke out in response to board president Juli Quinn’s high-handed disdain for the human beings her organization purports to serve, in particular their concern for the immoral and illegal firing of long-time TAS employee Hilda Guzman.

And it seems that Quinn is not only an unreconstructed racist but she’s also a thin-skinned whiny little baby who cannot stand even the slightest criticism. Which is why, according to the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting, Quinn is rage-quitting her position on the board because her fans just don’t love her enough. Oh, and if that’s not fascinating enough, according to this list of proposed officers Quinn’s slated replacement as board boss is thuggish real estate grifter Leonard Rabinowitz.1

By the way, shaming Quinn into quitting her position, making her too uncomfortable to continue, is not only a great victory for the activists responsible, but it’s exactly the kind of thing Americans have been doing to tyrants for centuries. This is how free people exert their power. For a powerful statement of this principle, see this Letter to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec, sent by the Continental Congress in 1774, explaining that one benefit of a free press is that it allows citizens to organize themselves, a process “whereby oppressive officers are shamed or intimidated, into more honourable and just modes of conducting affairs.”

Please come out to the meeting if you have time, then! You can support Hilda Guzman and the other activists who have been pressuring this board to do the right thing and meet some really brave, really wise people. People who are worth knowing. And not one of them is on the damn board of directors. Not yet, anyway…
Continue reading The Accelerated Schools Board Meeting Will Take Place Thursday December 5 At 10 AM — Nightmarish Racist Automaton Juli Quinn — Soon-To-Be-Former President Of The Board Of Directors — Scheduled To Rage-Quit Over Protests — If You Can’t Stand The Heat Get Out Of The Damn Kitchen — As The Cliche Would Have It — But Also If You Can’t Stand The Heat Stop Doing Evil Stuff That Is Sending You Straight To Hell — Just A Parting Thought For Juli Quinn — Quinn’s Welcome Departure Likely To Usher In Amplified Reign Of Racist Terror — With Psychopathic Greed-Head Real Estate Grifter Leonard Rabinowitz Poised To Take Over Presidency — This Is A Guy Who Wants To Eliminate Special Education From His Damn School — And Only Has Not Because They Can’t Afford The Associated Pay Cut — Come Out To The Meeting And Watch History Being Made!

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Ruben Alonzo — Carpetbagging Galaxy-Brained Founder Of Excelencia Charter Academy In Boyle Heights — Co-Located On The Campus Of Sunrise Elementary School — Surveilled, Stalked, And Photographed Anti-Charter Protester Mimi Duncanson — And Tried — Unsuccessfully — To Get The Cops To Tow Her Car — And Pretty Likely Violated The Brown Act To Prevent Her From Learning Of Impending Teacher Firings At Excelencia — And This Is The Kind Of Amoral Grifter The State Of California Entrusts With The Lives Of Small Defenseless Children

Excelencia Charter Academy is yet another creepy little charter school run by yet another shockingly unqualified creepy little galaxy-brained grifter, this one known as Ruben Alonzo, going about the place making creepy little announcements of delusionally impending disruptive excellence while lining his creepy little pockets with public money1 at the expense of the actual human children that the state legislature, for reasons they’re going to have to answer for eventually, has seen fit to place into his care.

In this regard Alonzo is much like Sakshi Jain, shockingly unqualified founder of the ill-fated GANAS Academy, whose plan to co-locate on the campus of Catskill Elementary School conjured up such a monumental hurricane of activist opposition and scorn that, it appears, she has had to put her school’s opening on hold while she slinks back to her lair to soothe her metaphorical wounds with a salve made of equal parts boorish self-pity and Walton family megabucks.

Unlike Jain, though, Alonzo did actually manage to open his school. In the Fall of 2018 as it happens and, like Jain’s fiasco, co-located, in this case on the campus of Sunrise Elementary School in Boyle Heights. And like Jain’s folly Alonzo’s weirdo little project conjured up some opposition, most publicly from Sunrise Elementary teacher Mimi Guzman-Duncanson.

Duncanson famously parked her SUV out in front of the school covered in flyers advertising the appalling lack of qualifications of Excelencia’s teachers, let alone Ruben Alonzo, the self-proclaimed founder. Duncanson’s protest was covered in the Los Angeles Times and by Jason McGahan, writing in The Baffler.

You can see a picture of Maestra Duncanson2 with her minivan somewhere near this sentence.That picture and another like it came from a huge set of emails released to me recently by Alonzo pursuant to the California Public Records Act.3 And if it looks like hostile photography, like surveillance, well, that’s because that’s precisely what it is. It turns out that aggressively callow hellbaby Ruben Alonzo just could not deal with the fact that anyone at all dared to question his galaxy-brained 29 year old self.

These emails reveal that Alonzo hated and feared the truth to such an extent that not only did he stalk and surveill her, take hostile photographs of her, not only did he whine about her to every reporter who’d sit still long enough, but he tried to convince police to tow Duncanson’s protest van, although they refused.

He also arranged for police presence at his school for the first few days of operation because of his hatred and fear of protesters. He almost certainly also violated the Brown Act by emailing information about firing two teachers to his board of directors in advance of the meeting, explicitly stating that he was doing so in order to keep Duncanson from learning it. You can find PDFs of the relevant emails here, and read on for quotes and links!
Continue reading Ruben Alonzo — Carpetbagging Galaxy-Brained Founder Of Excelencia Charter Academy In Boyle Heights — Co-Located On The Campus Of Sunrise Elementary School — Surveilled, Stalked, And Photographed Anti-Charter Protester Mimi Duncanson — And Tried — Unsuccessfully — To Get The Cops To Tow Her Car — And Pretty Likely Violated The Brown Act To Prevent Her From Learning Of Impending Teacher Firings At Excelencia — And This Is The Kind Of Amoral Grifter The State Of California Entrusts With The Lives Of Small Defenseless Children

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Accelerated Schools Board Meeting Shut Down — By President Juli Quinn — In A Petulant Gavel-Smacking Rage — Because Some Members Of The Public Spoke Some Truth In Her Presence — That The Board Members Are Racist — Incompetent — They Endanger Children — They Fired Hilda Guzman In Retaliation For Her Union Activity And Her Political Speech — TAS Violated The Brown Act At Least Three Times In Forty Minutes — Requiring Sign-In For Entrance And Illegally Holding Two (!) Separate Secret Meetings Out Of The Presence Of The Public! — Which May Actually Rise To The Level Of A Criminal Violation!

As you may know, Hilda Guzman was wrongfully fired by The Accelerated Schools in July 2019. Her union, SEIU Local 99, organized a powerful protest at the last board meeting in August and was poised to do so again last Thursday, October 24. You can read more about Hilda’s situation and the Union’s response here. You can also watch the whole meeting, only about 40 minutes, here on YouTube.1

And as you may also know, TAS has an illegal policy of requiring members of the public to sign in prior to attending their Board meetings,2 though, and it took the SEIU members so long to get through this process that president Juli Quinn had closed public comment by the time the SEIU members made it into the room where the meeting was being held.

Quinn tried to make this idiotic decision stand in the face of righteous outrage by the protesters, until she couldn’t bear the shame any longer and said “I’d like to ask the board if you’d like to take a quick recess.” Then she idiotically hit the table with her idiotic gavel3 and they all left the room. Which is so illegal. It’s jaw-droppingly illegal.4 All business of the Board must be conducted in public except for a short list of specific reasons, none of which apply here. Even if any of them had applied it’s not allowed to meet in private without agendizing it first.5

After about five minutes the Board came back in and Juli Quinn6 admitted that she and her stupid colleagues had made a decision while they were in the back.7 And the decision that she admitted that they had made is that they were going to reopen public comment for 15 minutes only. But, like the totalitarian martinet she is, Dr. Quinn decided to read the public comment policy out loud first.
Continue reading Accelerated Schools Board Meeting Shut Down — By President Juli Quinn — In A Petulant Gavel-Smacking Rage — Because Some Members Of The Public Spoke Some Truth In Her Presence — That The Board Members Are Racist — Incompetent — They Endanger Children — They Fired Hilda Guzman In Retaliation For Her Union Activity And Her Political Speech — TAS Violated The Brown Act At Least Three Times In Forty Minutes — Requiring Sign-In For Entrance And Illegally Holding Two (!) Separate Secret Meetings Out Of The Presence Of The Public! — Which May Actually Rise To The Level Of A Criminal Violation!

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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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