Tensions are on the rise between top administrators and the new majority on the Los Angeles Unified School District school board – underscoring the perils inherent in Gov. Jerry Brown’s move to push more control and authority for what happens in schools down to the local level.

Brown’s efforts are an attempt to reverse the top-down impulses that have characterized California’s – and the nation’s – approach to school reform over the past decade – embodied both in the federal No Child Left Behind law and California’s Public Schools Accountability Act.

His potentially transformational revision of the state’s school funding system is intended to give far greater decision-making responsibilities to local school boards to decide how state funds should be spent.  The shift embodies the principle of “subsidiarity,” a theological concept which represents “the idea that a central authority should only perform those tasks which cannot be performed at the more immediate or local level,” as Brown explained in his January State of the State speech.

But that could mean that decision-making will be thrown back into the often messy conflict zone between elected (and often changing) school boards and the paid (and often changing) school administrators and superintendents.

What is happening in LA Unified indicates just how complex local politics can be, with arguably even more potential to frustrate successful implementation of reforms than edicts from Sacramento or Washington. The relationship between the school board, with a newly elected majority, and School Superintendent John Deasy is at breaking point, causing Mayor Eric Garcetti to step in this week to try to mediate the conflict.

Said Garcetti, “I’m concerned that there will be a culture that will drown out innovation and that may ultimately leave the superintendent feeling like he can’t do his job well.”  Garcetti has taken on the issue after barely 100 days in office — an indication of how seriously he views the brewing conflict in the Beaudry Building.

Adding to volatile mix was the sudden resignation last week (effective in December) of the district’s Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Jaime Aquino. Aquino said he could no longer tolerate his dealings with the board and board President Richard Vladovic in particular. The resignation came following an eight-hour board meeting that ended with the board refusing to endorse a plan presented by Aquino for how to spend the $113 million that the district will receive from the state to implement the Common Core State Standards.

The money was a key part of Gov. Brown’s $1.2 billion fund to make sure that California moves ahead in an expeditious fashion with the Common Core, slated for full implementation in the 2014-15 school year. The board finally got around to approving the Common Core plan on Tuesday – with Aquino nowhere in sight.

Deasy himself had reportedly threatened to resign should Vladovic become president, and tensions between him and the board seem to be rising incrementally with each passing day.

These kinds of conflicts are often most acute in large urban districts, where school board politics are often the most extreme, and district administrators are under pressures to improve the performance of students whose test score results typically lag behind those of their suburban counterparts – and with fewer resources.

What happens in Los Angeles is arguably more important to the state’s bold attempt to devolve more power to local authorities than anywhere in the state. The stakes are exceptionally high. The district has more than 650,000 students, more than 10 percent of all public school students in California – and 763 schools. It is also likely to be the greatest beneficiary in dollar terms of the restructuring of California’s school finance system, because of the huge number of “high needs” students in the district who will get additional funds under Brown’s plan (now passed into law in AB 97) by the State Legislature.

A slew of reports and studies over the past decade have taken a closer look at whether the basic governance model of an elected school board and an appointed superintendent can hinder or help reforms – studies that should get a closer look as the locus of reform moves closer to the school district level in California.

A 2003 report by Education Week, for example, noted “dissatisfaction with the way many local school districts are governed runs deep,” citing a poll showing that more than half of superintendents judged to be outstanding by their peers felt that the basic school governance model should be “seriously restructured.”

Interestingly, Stanford professor Michael Kirst, several years before he became president of the State Board of Education for the second time, was quoted in the same report as saying that the school board/superintendent model can be effective. “Of course it can work,” Kirst said, pointing to several California school districts like Elk Grove and Long Beach. “What you have are traditional, superintendent-run districts with supportive school boards working very much in the background and a strong community consensus to keep it going. They’re getting good results and it’s because of the quality of the district leadership.”

That kind of leadership will be needed to ensure that California’s new school reforms succeed – reforms that Kirst, a close adviser to Gov. Brown over many years, has played a key role in making happen. Whether the school board-school superintendent relationship in Los Angeles will pass the leadership quality test is an open question. At the moment it is getting a failing grade.

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  1. Bonnie 5 years ago5 years ago

    The attempts to discredit/disempower local school boards seems to be part of the privatization ploy. Marc Tucker, perhaps THE chief architect for Reformy, has been the America's choice- "non-profit" NCEE-Pearson connection. In the March 2010 Phi Delta Kappan magazine, he put forth his view of local school boards. The full article - "Changing the System Is the Only Solution" by Marc Tucker- is worth reading (wish I could just attach) - and can be ordered: http://www.kappanmagazine.org/content/91/6.toc or … Read More

    The attempts to discredit/disempower local school boards seems to be part of the privatization ploy. Marc Tucker, perhaps THE chief architect for Reformy, has been the America’s choice- “non-profit” NCEE-Pearson connection. In the March 2010 Phi Delta Kappan magazine, he put forth his view of local school boards. The full article – “Changing the System Is the Only Solution” by Marc Tucker- is worth reading (wish I could just attach) – and can be ordered:
    http://www.kappanmagazine.org/content/91/6.toc
    or downloaded from Amazon
    http://www.amazon.com/Changing-system-only-solution-improving/dp/B003ETPDQU

    Abstract of Article:
    In order to improve the U.S. education system, the author proposes that school boards no longer hire and employ teachers. That function would be handled by the states, thus eliminating a source of corruption at the local level. School boards should get out of the business of running schools, instead hiring private contractors to do so. This would result in leaner staffs and lower costs for education. (3pp.)

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    • el 5 years ago5 years ago

      Agreed, Bonnie - much of this is about privatization, about making schools more amenable to the harvest of profit and to put them under the thumbs of other elected officials who want to expand their sphere of influence. Given that my district's school board is unpaid, it's hard to understand how the state could do it more cheaply, especially from many hours of driving time away. Currently, the school board hires a public employee, a superintendent, to … Read More

      Agreed, Bonnie – much of this is about privatization, about making schools more amenable to the harvest of profit and to put them under the thumbs of other elected officials who want to expand their sphere of influence.

      Given that my district’s school board is unpaid, it’s hard to understand how the state could do it more cheaply, especially from many hours of driving time away.

      Currently, the school board hires a public employee, a superintendent, to run the schools. Said public employee must disclose financial conflicts of interest and is bound only to the board and the students. Hard to see how privatizing this helps in any way.

  2. Pvmar 5 years ago5 years ago

    All should not be judged by the actions in the LAUSD. If all board members were trained to know their job and how to do it. (Perhaps by CSBA) and if special interests and partisan politics kept their distance and the focus was on the kids things might just work.

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    • navigio 5 years ago5 years ago

      I have heard the criticisms in many more places than LAUSD. I think the LAUSD situation is a great example of a community disconnect that can happen anywhere, and that probably could do well to be discussed in more detail.

  3. Fredrick Bertz 5 years ago5 years ago

    There is no problem. The Superintendent needs to remember that the Board of Education is his boss. They make policy and his job is to put it into action. Since becoming Superintendent, Mr. John Deasy (his doctorate is a fraud and he resigned from a prior position before he could be fired over that) has used a friendly Board to make policy. Now that he has to deal with a Board … Read More

    There is no problem. The Superintendent needs to remember that the Board of Education is his boss. They make policy and his job is to put it into action. Since becoming Superintendent, Mr. John Deasy (his doctorate is a fraud and he resigned from a prior position before he could be fired over that) has used a friendly Board to make policy. Now that he has to deal with a Board that questions his recommendations, he has repeatedly failed to do his job, which is to implement the policy set by the School Board. His annual review is coming up in October, and due to this problem in knowing the limits of his job, he should be removed from office, and an internal administrator who has been climbing the ladder within LAUSD beginning as a teacher should be placed as an interim superintendent while a true search is done.

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    • Manuel 5 years ago5 years ago

      True dat. But the politics surrounding his tenure at LAUSD would make him a martyr of the “Reformers” if he was fired.

      As for who should replace him, if it was up to me I’d elevate Michelle King, Senior Deputy Superintendent for School Operations. She started as a science and health middle school teacher and has been climbing the ladder for a while.

  4. navigio 5 years ago5 years ago

    It seems very odd that Vladovich was totally taken by surprise. It seems equally as odd that the resignation came without the two discussing at all, especially given that the BoE prez indicated Aquino was at the top of his field and of his game. I agree with Manuel that there is MUCH more to this than we're actually getting. Regardless, I love that we are focusing on the question of contention between BoEs and staff, … Read More

    It seems very odd that Vladovich was totally taken by surprise. It seems equally as odd that the resignation came without the two discussing at all, especially given that the BoE prez indicated Aquino was at the top of his field and of his game. I agree with Manuel that there is MUCH more to this than we’re actually getting.

    Regardless, I love that we are focusing on the question of contention between BoEs and staff, and what the former’s role should be. I tend to agree with El that the community gets what they deserve if in fact they create such tensions with their votes, though I dont think children deserve to live through the effects of adult stupidity.

    I think its fair to re-assess the role of BoEs every now and then. I have heard the criticism of micromanaging BoEs in more than one district. The statement tends to highlight a disconnect between what staff believes a BoE should be, and what the BoE believes.

    And finally, BoEs have the ultimate responsibility for everything that happens in a district. They can hire (hopefully good) people and hope everything goes well, but when it doesnt, they have to do something about it, or risk negligence. Remember, they are the community’s kids, not staff’s, and staff are not hired by the community.

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    • Manuel 5 years ago5 years ago

      Funny you should mention that some boards micromanage. While I used to like to think that the Board could tell the staff what to do and do it right now right now, I no longer think they have that power. Some time ago, I was talking to a Board staffer when I happened to mention some factoid. He immediately asked me where I got it because they've been asking the Superintendent's Office for it and never got … Read More

      Funny you should mention that some boards micromanage.

      While I used to like to think that the Board could tell the staff what to do and do it right now right now, I no longer think they have that power.

      Some time ago, I was talking to a Board staffer when I happened to mention some factoid. He immediately asked me where I got it because they’ve been asking the Superintendent’s Office for it and never got it. That’s when I realized that one way to keep the Board off your back is to stonewall them. Wow. Un-freaking-believable. Doesn’t the staff work for the Board?

      And I was just looking at the video of the September 10 Board meeting when I happened onto the testimony of a high school student telling the Board her horror story. Then the most amazing thing happened: Board President Vladovic said that he could not fix this school’s problem because the Board does overall policy and only supervises that Superintendent. That the Superintendent staff had to solve her problem and so on. The young lady stood her ground and told Vladovic that she had already talked to them and they did nothing. Vladovic then continued to tell her that, yes, he has met with her and her school mates and has tried to help but “sometimes we don’t get the answers we want.” He told her to keep fighting the good fight. Yeah, right. (If you are curious, the video is at this web page and these “revelations” start at 6:52:14 and end at 6:57:34).

      To me, this was a stunning admission of impotence. For the Board to be accused of micromanaging when this is publicly stated is simply ludicrous. That the Board can’t do a thing to school administrators who have gone rogue because their immediate supervisors won’t do their jobs is simply unbelievable. Maybe it is legal, but it shouldn’t be. Who else are you going to go for help if those charged with providing it refuse to and, worse, cannot be held accountable?

      Given the current situation, the LAUSD Board can either fire the Superintendent or make his life miserable so he will leave on his own. Considering the politics of “reform,” what do you think they can do? What would you do in your own district, dear reader? I’d guess that the relationship between BoEs and their staff can be as thorny as in LA because this does not depend on district size.

      Because LCFF involves money, the stakes will be even harder in ensuring that funds are properly spent by the staff hired by the boards all over California. Boards will have to figure a way to work to keep it together. Else, the public will come for them.

      (Gary, don’t even remind us that it is all supposed to be simpler now 🙂 )

      • navigio 5 years ago5 years ago

        I totally agree about BoE impotence in personnel matters. This is one of the most confusing aspects of district oversight given that staffing decisions are pretty much the most important determinant of district 'quality'. Ironically, when it involves personnel, sometimes even internal staff doesnt have access (ie only personnel commission or whatever its called at the district in question). I also think that its lame in 'rogue cases' that the only 'power' the board has is … Read More

        I totally agree about BoE impotence in personnel matters. This is one of the most confusing aspects of district oversight given that staffing decisions are pretty much the most important determinant of district ‘quality’. Ironically, when it involves personnel, sometimes even internal staff doesnt have access (ie only personnel commission or whatever its called at the district in question).

        I also think that its lame in ‘rogue cases’ that the only ‘power’ the board has is essentially to threaten the super with action. I mean, really, would a board fire the super because of one principal or teacher? But thats essentially what they have to threaten unless they play some other back scratching games…

        • el 5 years ago5 years ago

          Well, ideally the board hires the right superintendent in the first place, one that shares goals with the board, one that can work cooperatively with the board. There's an assumption in the piece that it's the superintendent that's right, all the time every time. But the superintendent reports to the BOE and they have a great deal of responsibility to know what is going on in the district and to ensure the superintendent is going … Read More

          Well, ideally the board hires the right superintendent in the first place, one that shares goals with the board, one that can work cooperatively with the board. There’s an assumption in the piece that it’s the superintendent that’s right, all the time every time. But the superintendent reports to the BOE and they have a great deal of responsibility to know what is going on in the district and to ensure the superintendent is going in the proper direction.

          The only other way to go would be to have the superintendent directly elected. I don’t think that’s a winner for a thousand reasons that I could go into.

          The community has said here that they didn’t like the way the superintendent was going, and acted by giving him a more skeptical board. It is the community’s right and responsibility to do so.

          I would suggest that the BOE should never directly supervise or direct staff, but that’s not to say they don’t or shouldn’t have influence. Simply by having regular conversations with a superintendent, one has influence. When it works it is a cooperative venture.

      • Gary Ravani 5 years ago5 years ago

        Who, me?

  5. CarolineSF 5 years ago5 years ago

    It sounds like LAUSD, instead of getting the quantity discount, paid the innovative *quantity surcharge* and paid more per iPad for their 640,000 units than you or I would if we just walked into the Apple store and bought one.

    When fishy stuff like that is happening and people quit suddenly, you have to wonder if there’s a little backstory going on…

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    • Manuel 5 years ago5 years ago

      Certainly there is little (or big!) backstory here, but isn't that the case in every other human enterprise, whether it be public or private? Except, of course, that this one is supposed to be run for the public good and, as usual, has attracted every kind of person into it, from the snake-oil salesman to the self-aggrandizing buffon to the naive person who thinks can make a difference. In regards to the iPad cost, that's an oversimplification … Read More

      Certainly there is little (or big!) backstory here, but isn’t that the case in every other human enterprise, whether it be public or private?

      Except, of course, that this one is supposed to be run for the public good and, as usual, has attracted every kind of person into it, from the snake-oil salesman to the self-aggrandizing buffon to the naive person who thinks can make a difference.

      In regards to the iPad cost, that’s an oversimplification fed by the media. They should tell us how much of the $678/iPad is for the iPad itself (4th gen, 32 GB, WiFi only), the included Apple software (iWorks for OS, I think), the included three-year, no-questions-asked, free-shipping warranty (you can only get two years at retail and you have to pay $50/shipping with up to two “replacements”), the fancy protective case, and, more importanly, the Pearson software. When I looked at the retail costs of these (minus Pearson), the cost came to around $850. Given that, I would not say that the LAUSD is paying retail. If I can pull these numbers from the InterTubes, why can’t reporters (or their editors) do the same and explain to the public what’s what?

  6. Manuel 5 years ago5 years ago

    Well, I have been watching the whole drama/farce with much interest and I have to state that this entire "crisis" has been precipitated, in my opinion, by the behavior of Superintendent Deasy on his death march to Common Core. If the self-labeled Reformers had won all three of the Board elections, they would have a majority. The fact is they only won one and the public has spoken. The new Board member as well as one … Read More

    Well, I have been watching the whole drama/farce with much interest and I have to state that this entire “crisis” has been precipitated, in my opinion, by the behavior of Superintendent Deasy on his death march to Common Core. If the self-labeled Reformers had won all three of the Board elections, they would have a majority. The fact is they only won one and the public has spoken.

    The new Board member as well as one of the returning incumbents have allied themselves with three other continuing members and they have managed to bring a level of scrutiny that was not there before. Until now, the Superintendent had managed to convince the Board that his actions could not be questioned because they were tantamount to violating the civil rights of LAUSD’s children.

    The rush to Common Core started when the Superintendent attempted to strong arm the Bond Citizen Oversight Committee to approve the use of nearly $1 billion of construction money for the purchase of tablet computers for all students and teachers as well as the installation of sufficient bandwidth district wide together with the personnel needed to run the entire new IT system for two years. The primary purpose was that these tablets could be used to deliver the Common Core curriculum, interim assessments, as well as the summative assessments. That did not happen at the first meeting (in November 2012) but managed to ensure sufficient attendance two months later to obtain the necessary votes to take the plan to the School Board for approval.

    His original plan to run a pilot program, install all necessary infrastructure, evaluate software, train teachers, and purchase tablets for all (640,000+ tablets!) in the span of 10 months was delayed and had to settle for waiting until August 2013 to start the pilot and August 2014 to deliver tablets for all. In the meantime, Deputy Superintendent Aquino headed the procurement program culminating with three plans: one from Apple, and two from Arey Jones, one using Dell tablets and one using HP tablets. All three plans, however, contained educational software from only one vendor: Pearson. This last fact raises sole-source and no-bid questions. Naturally, this has reflected on Deputy Superintendent Aquino since he worked for Pearson prior to coming to LAUSD. As you all probably know, the staff recommended Apple’s plan.

    Now that the pilot implementation is under way, other questions have come up that have reportedly made some BCOC members unhappy as they feel that their votes were not obtained with full information, to put it politely. This together with the fact that Superintendent Deasy wants to establish a “Common Core trainer corps” very reminiscent of the “Open Court Police,” has caused UTLA and AALA (the administrators union) to oppose the Common Core implementation plan. Given that the new majority consists of former administrators and teachers, it is understandable that there is great weariness to go down that path again.

    Hence the long meeting discussing this particular plan that took place on September 10 which only discussed this item for a little bit more than one hour and not the eight hours that Mr. Freedberg reports. (You can actually watch a streamed video of the meeting at the Board’s web site, if, of course, you have the time.)

    So why did Mr. Aquino resigned? Is it because the Board is dysfunctional or is it because it does not want to simply rubber-stamp the staff’s recommendations? Given that the Board’s majority is not fighting among itself, I’d say that it is the later rather than the former.

    But that’s not all! 🙂 There is a rumor that Mr. Aquino’s behavior during the tablet negotiations has triggered an investigation due to his immediate prior employment. Until the LAUSD Inspector General confirms this, we will not know if this is true but given the current environment, well, why should we be surprised that this is making the rounds?

    There is still another fight looming: how will the extra money brought by LCFF be distributed. Currently, students in schools with less than 50% poor students do not get any Title I funds. Not surprisingly, there is great unrest among these schools as they feel they will again receive bare-bones funding as they have for the last 4 years or so. Do not be surprised if “class warfare” is not brought up repeatedly.

    Stay tuned.

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    • Rene Diedrich 5 years ago5 years ago

      Class warfare is an accurate tag. The power point Aquino delivered to the board is a study in hypocrisy and incompetence. It is a. Very weak presentation in every sense. The glaring ommissions are troubling, but it would be easy to assume Apple and Aquino had tgese issues coveredeven without defference to thwm. The problems with Pearson are very profound as plenty of teachers are pointing out the flawed and unreliable quality of its … Read More

      Class warfare is an accurate tag. The power point Aquino delivered to the board is a study in hypocrisy and incompetence. It is a. Very weak presentation in every sense. The glaring ommissions are troubling, but it would be easy to assume Apple and Aquino had tgese issues coveredeven without defference to thwm. The problems with Pearson are very profound as plenty of teachers are pointing out the flawed and unreliable quality of its programs and products. The tests are full of culturaly biased questions, most generated from test banks and often inconsistant with grade level standards ( why pay teachers to frame these things in the contexts of their audiences and content? Hell, why pay teachers or put up with them at all?) .the apps and test software are notoriously buggy and some teachers express valid conceens about the potential diasters that loom when the students beging taking tests on the ipads or computers because of Pearsons third rate approaches. This company is earning trillions annually. We must make others see how the influence of Pearson, Scholatic and others has negatively impacted instruction, purpose, politics and progress in public education. While others buffer their assertions prudently, I put it on the line; Pearson, Aquino, Broad and Deasy are white chalk criminals who need to be indicted for crimes that are consistent but not limited to RICO statutes . If we had upright leaders in the BOE, the state ( though I believe Brown has been fairly noboe in his resistance) and the white house, there would be oversight and accountability in place to deter these antics. .

    • darlene 5 years ago5 years ago

      Well… interesting…. how many person knew prior to the proposal that Deasy was a minor stakeholder in Apple. I believe the word is 1 billion being directed to IPADS. Someone had to take the fall!!!!!

      • el 5 years ago5 years ago

        Superintendents, board members, and other people who direct public money have to file Fair Political Practices Commission financial disclosure forms.

    • darlene 5 years ago5 years ago

      Well… interesting…. how many person knew prior to the proposal that Deasy was a minor stakeholder in Apple. I believe the word is 1 billion being directed to IPADS. Someone had to take the fall!!!!!

  7. el 5 years ago5 years ago

    I think the first sentence has an editing error that needs a fix. Can an elected school board + superintendent that serves at its direction work? Of course it can. When it does, no one writes articles about it. If a particular board member is causing acrimony, it's worth considering what forces created that selection. Did the public actively choose acrimony? Were there no better candidates? Did a few deep pockets create a disruptive candidate? It's the public's … Read More

    I think the first sentence has an editing error that needs a fix.

    Can an elected school board + superintendent that serves at its direction work? Of course it can. When it does, no one writes articles about it.

    If a particular board member is causing acrimony, it’s worth considering what forces created that selection. Did the public actively choose acrimony? Were there no better candidates? Did a few deep pockets create a disruptive candidate?

    It’s the public’s right and responsibility to choose good people for their school district trustees.

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    • el 5 years ago5 years ago

      I have to say, from the Daily News article I get a quite different feel for the situation than I get from this article. I'm not in LAUSD, I certainly don't know the players and it's totally not my say, but Deasy isn't entitled to a rubber stamp for his policy or his agenda. It seemed to me that the recent election sentiment went that way as well. The concerns raised by the Board in … Read More

      I have to say, from the Daily News article I get a quite different feel for the situation than I get from this article. I’m not in LAUSD, I certainly don’t know the players and it’s totally not my say, but Deasy isn’t entitled to a rubber stamp for his policy or his agenda. It seemed to me that the recent election sentiment went that way as well. The concerns raised by the Board in the article sound pretty reasonable and high level, and if time is of the essence, special board meetings are always an option.

      I hope, as Zimmer does, that the kids are the first priority for all the adults involved. It’s not necessarily wrong that not everyone will see the path to that end as being the same.

      • Rene Diedrich 5 years ago5 years ago

        It sounds like you know more than most, El, and you are probably a tax payer so you are indeed entitled to weigh in on how so much money is spent as well as a member of the village it takes to raise our children. Zimmer is beginning to stand out as one of the board members who actually does something, and these things count as much as the much balley-hooed board conflicts with Deasy, … Read More

        It sounds like you know more than most, El, and you are probably a tax payer so you are indeed entitled to weigh in on how so much money is spent as well as a member of the village it takes to raise our children. Zimmer is beginning to stand out as one of the board members who actually does something, and these things count as much as the much balley-hooed board conflicts with Deasy, which frankly, are a new ripple that Vlad the impaler is getting the credit for when he is a stellar example of compromised, cut throat good old boy politics. He has accepted contributions from Eli Broad every step of the way. And while much is being made of his ponderous approach to board meetings ( they are supposed to be boring, folks!) and mercurial tempermet, this so called Dr. Death is really inclined to get along to go along. He is probably more seasoned and aware of the complexities in the system than most, or he should be, since he has been part of it since before Zimmer or Ratliff were born. Yet, he has sat there and accepted Deasy’s lawlessness and lies without comment for far too long.
        The common misconception about the board is that it operates either for the district, which is Deasy, the despot right now or the union, which is represented by Fletcher, who is best described as Deasy’s eager whipping boy and an outragious enemy of teachers ask one and he or she will tell you what a bitter disappointment he is. When teachers wax nostalgic about AJ Duffy, it is pretty bad.
        With all this said, neither district nor union operates in behalf of the groups we assume they are set up for. Unfortunately, the union and district are symbiotic self-serving elements in a system that serves careerists, bigger systems and an urgent agenda of corporate education reformers who do not care about the community or its children. I am inclined to see no good in any of it as this board has allowed teachers to be laid off, displaced and jailed without much protest. Zimmer’s passionate pleas about class size were conspicuously empty in light pf the causes. How can anyone on the board miss the connection between the 50 kids in classes that accomodate 30 ? How. Can they abide by Deasy’s willful resistance to CA ED Codes he routinely steps all over with cuts never mind the way he uses money wit utter disregard for how it is supposed be spent? Ipads are being purchased with money meant for neglected schools, some which are rodent infested, asbestos heavy dumps that do impact academic achievement profoundly. There is no technology hat will ever get around the problem of poverty. Howvever, Deasy’s deal with Apple may very well bankrupt the district. Which is probably part of his peverse privatizing plan. The board is apparently negating its fiduciary duties in favor of the deep pockets of bsy body bullies like Eli Broad, Walton and Bill Gates.
        It has routinely disrespected parents at the BOE meetings ( held at a time of day when few can partake in the Democratic process) and said nothing to the DAC parents ordeal with Deasy whose sticky fingers were all over title one funds, whiich this group is elected to oversee. In true top down form, Deasy disbannded the group ( 30 years standing ) and sent campus cops to threaten them with deportation after banning them all from campuses of the schools their children attend.
        The board is set up to protect these parents, which they have not done. The board has turned a blind eye to Deasy’s degenerate and destructive abuse of resources, power and people as well. If I am hip to the plot Broad and Deasy are executing thanks to ready access to truth through credible scholars like Dr. Lois Weiner and Diane Ravitch, not ro mention Noam Chomsky, how is that that this board is not? Okay. Garcia and the lady prosecutor are clearly not going to investigate, but Zimmer should be and LaMotte with Vlad, should have been blocking that element reflexively from the start. Call me a fool, but I have faith in Monica Ratliff, and suspect she is empowering the others by being an earnest witness to these flawed machinations rather than going along without question. She knows she beat the odds and she owes it to us who elected her to move against this sick, sad status quo.
        In Zimmer’s defense I will also add he alone has answered poor. parents when they needed intervention. His efforts are freqently referred to in meetings, and as an advocate, I have seen him working diligently to defend the rights of special education which has been upended by the charters, triggers and terrible roll of Deasy’s unseemly whims. Until the board acts and throws him out as tge people urged it to earlier this week in an internet call to action that defied Deasy and his installment as school chief, well you can pretty much assume the worst. We need to heed that call to action without these board members who can and should be recalled . Let’s find a leader who is working for the people not the billionaires. Does anyone think Michael Kirst is worthy of an interview?

        • darlene 5 years ago5 years ago

          Thank you Rene!!!! This is right on. However, I am disappointed that the parents, who children generate significant dollars are being left out in the cold. For example Common Core which has been on the map for many years prior, there is no professional development lined up for parents. Training would help align the home to school. Alot has transpired with the previous Board leadership and much was not good.