The LA Times has written another diatribe peddling Eli Broad’s privatization plan for Los Angeles public schools (Eli is certainly getting his money’s worth in underwriting the LA Times education coverage).
“What the [LA School Board's] resolution [opposing the Broad plan] might accomplish is to continue making this a politically divisive issue. Potential donors might then decline to join the effort, but would that really be helpful to students?”
Really? Is it the democratically elected representatives’ vote to support public schools against a hostile private takeover that is the problem here? Is it LAUSD’s fault for discouraging otherwise willing donors to pay for the weaponry that would destroy its schools?
The LA Times goes on: “A better move would be to call on Great Public Schools Now [Broad's group] to provide a place at the table for the district’s new superintendent, Michelle King, to participate in the planning process. If the new nonprofit organization hopes to overcome resistance in the community, it needs to be more open about its planning and it needs to open the process to public discussion…”
In its ongoing effort to convince the city that a huge public entity should be handed over to a private group of titans, the LA Times now suggests inviting the public official to the table to give the effort some credibility. This is the superintendent, who was appointed by the democratically elected board, to lead the public entity the titans seek to control.
As Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis has said, “You can’t have a seat at the table when you’re on the menu.”
The LA Times even suggests the plan should include funding for outside auditors. I guess that’s to head off the mob that will cry foul at circumventing public process.
It seems the LA Times needs a civics lesson.
The things they think would make this process go better are the very things that define democratic process—the things inherent in a public school system: Public hearings. Involvement of experts. Inclusion of all stakeholders. Service to all not some.
If this group of do-gooders has such a bright idea, why don’t they come to a school board meeting, present it, and participate in the discussion that any of us does? Let’s hear a discussion about the educational value, the impact on desegregation goals, the research-based evidence, the cost, etc.
They won’t do that because they’re titans. They think they should run things without the inconvenience of public interference.
The LA Times has backed itself into a corner in advocating for the private takeover of the public school system. Now calling for a *public* process into a private takeover does not fix that.
The LA Times’ conflict of interest in promoting Eli Broad’s plan remains a problem. Just as every LA Times article about education now comes with an asterisk, so does this version of a public process.