Tag Archives: Jose Cole-Gutierrez

At Least Since February 2018 The California Charter Schools Association And The Los Angeles Advocacy Council Have Been Scheming To Get Jose Cole-Gutierrez — LAUSD’s Chief Charter School Watchdog — Fired — And They Have Been Scheming With Monica Garcia Mostly — And Kelly Gonez And Austin Beutner — And Formerly Ref Rodriguez — They Have Gone So Far As To Compile Lists Of Potential Replacements For Cole-Gutierrez — And Discussed How They Would Like His Replacement To Oversee Their Operations — The Foxes Don’t Want To Guard The Hen House But They Will Be Happy To Hand Pick The Guards — And Garcia Has Actually Advised Them On What Kind Of Evidence The Board Would Need To Have In Order To Move To Fire Him — Which Seems Like An Extraordinarily Unprofessional Way For Elected Officials To Treat Professional Staff

In June I received a massive set of really revelatory emails from Green Dot Charter Schools via the California Public Records Act. There’s a summary of what’s happened since then in this linked post. I have been working on organizing them to publish and at the same time telling stories based on them, and today’s post is another installment in that project.

The California Charter Schools Association sponsors a group of about 20 local charter school leaders, called the Los Angeles Advocacy Council, which meets regularly to plot and plan various pro-charter lobbying activities in LAUSD and a few other districts.1 The LAAC’s workings have hitherto been deeply buried. They don’t issue press releases for the most part, and they’re not really written about very much. As of right now, this blog is the top Google hit for them.

One thing revealed by these emails is that the LAAC is in no sense an egalitarian institution. There are about 20 members, but there is also an inner leadership group, consisting of Cristina de Jesus of Green Dot, Emilio Pack of STEM Preparatory Academy, and a bunch of CCSA flacks.2 This behind-the-scenes cabal shapes the activities of the group through weekly “check-ins,”3 at which they discuss their progress on their most cherished goals, which they call “North Stars”.4

And some of the most revealing records in this set are the leadership’s weekly updates. These are written by CCSA staff and show past progress and future plans for each of the North Stars. These, along with the monthly minutes of the meetings of the full LAAC expose all manner of wrongdoing, weirdness, and supervillainry, and are well worth your time to browse. They’re available on Archive.Org here:

Weekly updates — And lots and lots of other interesting items, too various to describe.
Agendas and minutes

And there are a million stories in those records, of which I can only tell one at a time. Today’s is about LAUSD’s charter school division, CSD in the vernacular. This office, headed by Jose Cole-Gutierrez, is charged with overseeing charter school operations in the district. And the charters don’t like it one bit. They don’t like being overseen, and they don’t like their overseers. And they would like to see Jose Cole Gutierrez fired and replaced with someone they see as more sympathetic to their cause.5

Some degree of antipathy between the overseen and the overseers is to be expected, of course. But CCSA’s antipathy, as exposed in these records, goes far, far beyond a bunch of charterites griping to the choir around some metaphorical cyberspaced water cooler.6 Whatever you as a sane person may think of privatizers, no one ever accused them of lacking initiative or imagination. In fact, CCSA has been trying to get Jose Cole-Gutierrez fired from his position at least since February 2018, using, at a minimum, the following tactics:

★ Surveying charter schools for stories about Cole-Gutierrez’s inconsistencies and putative incompetencies.

★ Meeting with LAUSD board members Ref Rodriguez, Monica Garcia, Kelly Gonez and Superintendent Austin Beutner to discuss how and why to fire Cole-Gutierrez and, egregiously, accepting concrete advice from Garcia about what kind of evidence the Board would need to be able to move forward on firing him.

★ Compiling a list of acceptable candidates to replace Cole-Gutierrez once they’d succeeded in having him fired.

So far Cole-Gutierrez has managed to hang on to his job in the face of this onslaught, but it’s not clear that he’ll be able to indefinitely. It’s possible that the only reason they haven’t been able to move in on him is that with Rodriguez’s ignominious departure they just don’t have the votes to finish the job.

I don’t have evidence that would explain Cole-Gutierrez’s survival, at least not yet. I am seeking it, of course, but the going is quite slow. It may well be years before we learn the rest of this story. And read on for links to documents and transcribed selections that tell this story in all the detail.
Continue reading At Least Since February 2018 The California Charter Schools Association And The Los Angeles Advocacy Council Have Been Scheming To Get Jose Cole-Gutierrez — LAUSD’s Chief Charter School Watchdog — Fired — And They Have Been Scheming With Monica Garcia Mostly — And Kelly Gonez And Austin Beutner — And Formerly Ref Rodriguez — They Have Gone So Far As To Compile Lists Of Potential Replacements For Cole-Gutierrez — And Discussed How They Would Like His Replacement To Oversee Their Operations — The Foxes Don’t Want To Guard The Hen House But They Will Be Happy To Hand Pick The Guards — And Garcia Has Actually Advised Them On What Kind Of Evidence The Board Would Need To Have In Order To Move To Fire Him — Which Seems Like An Extraordinarily Unprofessional Way For Elected Officials To Treat Professional Staff

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Galaxy-Brained GANAS Academy Charterscammer And Founder Sakshi Jain Kicked Off Her Co-Location Conspiracy In August 2018 With $325K From The Walton Family Foundation — And Immediately Commenced To Pay Herself Thirteen Freaking Thousand Dollars A Freaking Month — Probably Including Benefits — Add That To The $63K For Recruitment And Consulting — And The $15K For Lawyers — And It’s No Wonder She Burned Through A Quarter Of A Million Damn Dollars In Just Eleven Freaking Months — And There’s Not Even A Damn School To Show For It — Oh And Also It Was On June 26 2019 That She Informed LAUSD That Her School Would Not Be Opening In 2019 — But Recall That She Didn’t Tell Parents Until July 12 — Stealing More Than Two Weeks From Their Planning Time

I just got a small set of records from everybody’s favorite star-crossed charter school horror show, that is to say GANAS Academy. The set is woefully incomplete, and it’s pretty clear that Sakshi Jain is lying to her lawyer about it yet again, but nevertheless there is some essential material in there, and you can browse through the whole pile of it over here on Archive.Org.

And by far the most important material in here is GANAS Academy’s general ledger in MS Excel format1 along with monthly bank statements through June 2019. The ledger shows every credit and every debit from the inception of the school in August 2018 with very detailed descriptions. The story kicks off with a $325K grant from the Walton Family Foundation, deposited in the California Credit Union on August 11, 2018 as shown on that month’s bank statement and it’s all downhill from there.

In September 2018 she began paying herself $13K per month, as shown in that month’s statement and this continued at least through June 2019, which is the last monthly statement I have.2 But like I said, the real action is found in that ledger. It’s there that we learn that the $325K Jain has been burning through came from the Waltons. That she spent about $63K on recruiting students, which no doubt includes the $850 per kid bounty she paid her recruiter. And last but never least $15K to charter school contract killer law firm Young, Minney, and Corr.3

So that, friends, is the charter school innovation laboratory model. Get a ton of free money from an appalling gang of zillionaires and proceed to burn through it at an astonishing rate. A quarter of a million dollars between August 2018 and June 2019.4 And at the end, you don’t even have a damn school. Although I will say that given the horrific nature of these schools, the world is clearly better off having her spend all that money and not start a school than otherwise.

Oh, and recall that Jain didn’t publicly announce that her school wouldn’t open this Fall until July 12, 2019. I previously proved that she knew as early as July 1 that she wasn’t going to open but didn’t tell the parents of enrolled students, the people who needed to know as soon as possible.5 But evidence from this set of records proves that in fact Jain knew as early as June 26, 2019 that she would not open.

That’s the day that LAUSD received her “Back Out Letter”6 according to this letter to Jain from Jose Cole-Gutierrez, chief boss of LAUSD’s Charter School Division. So that’s an extra four days that Jain cheated the parents out of for purposes of figuring out what they were to do with their children in the Fall. Bad, irresponsible, selfish, but, sadly, not surprising. And read on for a transcription of Cole-Gutierrez’s letter and some screenshots from that ledger in case it’s hard to read on your phone or whatevs!
Continue reading Galaxy-Brained GANAS Academy Charterscammer And Founder Sakshi Jain Kicked Off Her Co-Location Conspiracy In August 2018 With $325K From The Walton Family Foundation — And Immediately Commenced To Pay Herself Thirteen Freaking Thousand Dollars A Freaking Month — Probably Including Benefits — Add That To The $63K For Recruitment And Consulting — And The $15K For Lawyers — And It’s No Wonder She Burned Through A Quarter Of A Million Damn Dollars In Just Eleven Freaking Months — And There’s Not Even A Damn School To Show For It — Oh And Also It Was On June 26 2019 That She Informed LAUSD That Her School Would Not Be Opening In 2019 — But Recall That She Didn’t Tell Parents Until July 12 — Stealing More Than Two Weeks From Their Planning Time

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