I wrote yesterday about how Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner and Rebecca Kockler, at that time Beutner’s chief of staff, allowed privatization lobbyists the California Charter School Association to vet the content of a major policy speech he gave on September 13, 2018, supplying them with an advance copy and talking repeatedly with their representatives. If you’re not familiar with the issues or the people that post is a good place to start.
This evening’s story is about more covert meetings between Beutner and his staff and CCSA regarding the content and even the specific wording of the speech.1 The story begins on September 7, 2018, when Jed Wallace, at that time the CEO of CCSA, talked to Beutner on the phone about the speech. The next day Wallace sent an email describing the conversation to his close associates Marcia Aaron of KIPP LA, Emilio Pack of STEM Preparatory Schools, Christina de Jesus of Green Dot, Myrna Castrejon, then of Great Public Schools Now,2 and the famous Cassy Horton, CCSA’s Greater Los Angeles minister of propaganda.
According to Wallace, Beutner promised to keep charters out of negotiations with UTLA. Beutner also said that he was planning to “get further left than UTLA,” whatever that might mean to a guy like Beutner, and he said that he was planning to discuss an (unrevealed) additional policy item that might have to do with charters. Wallace, by his own account, fed Beutner the party line on charter oversight and some other issues. The money shot, though, is this statement:
Continue reading More On Covert California Charter School Association Involvement In Austin Beutner’s 13 September 2018 Policy Speech — Then-CEO Jed Wallace Spoke To Beutner On Sept. 7 — Beutner Was Impressed So Had His Flacks Arrange A Conference Call Between Themselves And His Speechwriter And Wallace So Wallace Could “walk through how he thinks Austin should be talking” — And Beutner Chief Of Staff Rebecca Kockler Opened A Back Channel With Green Dot Boss Christina De Jesus — And Shared The Speech Language With Her To “Ease [Charter Proponents’] Minds” — But Was Paranoid About Leaks So Refused To Share A Copy — Insisted On Reading It Out Loud Over The Phone — Apparently At The Behest Of CCSA The Speech Was Edited So As To Not Even Mention Charters — Because Evidently That’s What It Takes To Ease Their Damn Minds