“Everything we do from now moving forward, will be to expose all of Green Dot’s lies and everything they lied to us and to our parents.” — Animo Justice Student

A 'revolution' funded by Wal-Mart and Microsoft.

Beginning of the false narrative

The corporate media has been all awash with Ben Austin’s apparent hostile take over of another public school. Using the so-called parent trigger, legislation cobbled together by Austin, outgoing State Senator Gloria Romero, and Arnold Schwartzenegger’s staff to make it easier for the CCSA to increase market share, Parent Revolution’s paid organizers ostensibly managed to obtain signatures to hand the school over to a private CMO.

I wrote a quick piece when I heard the terrible news.

Vielka McFarlane and Ben Austin orchestrate hostile takeover in Compton

“We don’t want to focus on how the history of the country has been checkered but on how do we dress for success…” — historical revisionist and Celerity CEO Vielka McFarlane on why she insists on hiding the history of Emmett Till’s brutal murder at the hands of white supremacists.


First read Teresa Watanabe and Howard Blume’s obsequious homage to the corporate school privatizers in this story. Here’s my quick response:

Big news! Ben Austin helps the wealthy Vielka McFarlane, owner of the Celerity corporate charter-voucher chain, increase her market share and revenue stream. Too bad for the community. For anyone deluded enough think that Ben Austin cares about anyone’s kids, try taking a look at Part VII of his 501c3’s 990 form.

Austin‘s quote about transferring power to the parents is laughable considering that parents are POWERLESS over CMO charters — maybe the parents should have asked how much decision making power they would have once the school was seized by McFarlane and her board. Of course, Austin never addresses those questions. Remember when Austin and his privatization junta hid cowardly while parents from his previous parent organization were cast to the curb when Marco Petruzzi shut down Animo Justice by fiat declaration? Was that a “unapologetic transfer of raw power?” The community, on the other hand, protested the gross injustice at the hands of the corporate charter-voucher sector’s elite executives.

Give Austin some credit, for a guy on the corporate payroll, he sure finds creative ways to co-opt the language of struggle. A “revolution” funded by Wal-Mart and Microsoft? Please!

Wait until McFarlane and company start pushing out children impacting their inflated API scores like they have in all their other schools. Sorry, but if a school takes public funds, it should be OBLIGATED TO EDUCATE EVERY CHILD.

Today we’ve seen yet another “unapologetic transfer of” public funds into private hands.

The false narrative begins to unravel

In order to document their secretive and nefarious operation in Compton for posterity, Eli Broad’s planners arranged for the “alternative” newspaper, the LA Weekly, to trumpet what was to be Austin’s triumphant moment.

Of course this wasn’t the LA Weekly that used to employ real journalists like Howard Blume or Marc Cooper. No this is the corporately owned rag run by the vile right-winger Jill Stewart, who turned the Weekly into a trashy masseuse and porn ad pennysaver. LA Weekly‘s current staff writers, hacks like Stewart herself, serve as little more than a Public Relations arm of the CCSA/DFER/Parent Revolution.

That said, the Weekly’s account does serve as a rough guide to some of what occurred in Compton. Respected journalist Caroline Grannan provides some of the best analysis of the LA Weekly‘s coverage in Is the non-parent Parent Trigger backfiring? Using Patrick Range McDonald’s gushing, servile, account of how the Walton and Gates Foundation funded “Parent” Revolution employed what he calls “a radical new law,” Grannan demonstrates just how cynical and insidious the corporate charter trigger law actually is.

I wrote McDonald trying to figure out how any paid journalist could write such a biased piece.

Mr. McDonald:

It looks like Ben Austin and his astroturf Parent Revolution are pulling out all the stops now that they’ve been exposed to the light for deceiving parents in Compton. Look for big celebrity names supporting the astroturf organization in Compton, and more feel good pieces from right wing supporters like the LA Weekly. The Gates and Walton Foundation funded Parent Revolution has spawned an entirely new phony parent organization. For details see these two brief articles.

Astroturf Spawns Ever More Astroturf, Plus Parent Revolution Lies about Celerity Special Education Again!

Update on the veracity of McKinley Parents for Change

I know the LA Weekly is a fairly right wing paper, but you couldn’t have at least reported on some of the things that I just did, based on a modicum of research?

Don’t you think it is entirely disingenuous for Gabe Rose to create a flyer in the name of parents? Don’t you think it beyond the pale that Parent Revolution is lying about the SWD issue? Have you taken the time to examine their 990 forms and their funders to see how well their paid the executives are and whose interests they serve?

Instead of a servile gushing story about Mary Najera, could you have looked into her role in the whole Garfield HS controversy?

What you are doing is not reporting, it’s advertising.

Advocating Pubic Education

Robert D. Skeels
CEJ, ISO, SCIC, VFP

McDonald fired back, first he feigned surprise that I didn’t support the Broad-Gates-Walton Triumvirate‘s corporate charter-voucher trigger law in the comments of his supposed article:

I’m surprised Robert D. Skeels, who seems to have a background in standing up for those without power, doesn’t support this kind of political tool. Low-income, immigrant parents in Compton, who had little to no political leverage in the past, now have to be taken seriously with the Parent Trigger at their disposal.

And then in an email:

Hi Robert,

We’re not right-wing or left-wing. Thanks for reaching out.

Patrick

Patrick Range McDonald,
Staff writer
LA Weekly

I couldn’t allow such statements to go unchallenged:

Mr. McDonald

Your prose: “But Parent Revolution staffers never once talked about slick ways to deceive parents…”

Please explain to me how you could write such a statement knowing that Gabe Rose and Ben Austin created a fake group called “McKinley Parents for Change,” subsequently created a flyer full of falsehoods in their name, and then placed a paid Parent Revolution organizer’s phone number on the bottom of the flyer from this organization supposedly wholly unrelated to the billionaire financed Parent Revolution.* That doesn’t qualify as a slick way to deceive parents? Please explain!

You’re a “reporter.” Call the number on the bottom of their flyer and see who answers:

and then tell me in all honesty that “we also find the deception charge hard to believe.” I find it inconceivable that you could even write something like that.

As a long time social justice writer, public education advocate, and immigrant rights activist I’m not fearful to search for the truth. As soon as a Compton parent sent along a copy of the fake McKinley Parents for Change flyer via a substitute teacher, I called the number and left a message. Yuritzy Anaya of Parent Revolution called me the next morning, spoke with me,  and told me that their Deputy Director Gabe Rose created the flyer. No story there? That isn’t “slick” and “deceitful?” In fact, such tactics may be illegal, hence I a carbon copying this to the Attorney General’s office, since the flyer may serve as strong evidence for the claims against Parent Revolution. Compton community members deserve better than to be deceived by Ben Austin. What’s more likely; that a self-serving Benedict Canyon lawyer, whose ongoing employment, bonuses, and future are tied to increasing market share for his CMO/EMO charter-voucher school clients might bend or break rules, or that dozens of parents, students, and community members are liars? I’d wager the former and not the latter.

Only covering one side of the story, and making no effort to interview members of Coalition for Educational Justice or other groups opposing 501c3 front groups for the school privatization industry hardly qualifies as politically neutral. Your paper made no effort to discuss “Parent” Revolution’s origins or funders. Your exclusive access didn’t lead you to ask questions about Ben Austin’s qualifications or motivations. Did you know that for a time Austin was under investigation (Case # 2010-36) by the City Ethics Commission for his activities in Parent Revolution?

Privatization via charters and vouchers has long been the dream of fringe right political persuasions as long as memory serves. “School choice” was the clarion call of segregationists. Recent peer reviewed studies by both UCLA and Duke University have shown that school privatization via charters and voucher exacerbate segregation — another long treasure goal of the right wing. If you feel promoting segregation, neoliberalism, corporatism, and privatization aren’t right wing, then Jill Stewart’s vile politics clearly pervade your entire editorial department.

I’m clearly not going to win you over to the social justice side of this issue, but at the very least I’d like to win you over to factual reporting.

Advocating Pubic Education

Robert D. Skeels
CEJ, ISO, SCIC, VFP

I suppose catching Mr. McDonald in such a conundrum, caused him to stop corresponding. A real reporter would have called the number and would have had to admit there was rampant deception involved. Given all the dirty tricks Austin and company employed at Locke, Garfield, and Emerson, a real reporter would have at least looked at allegations seriously. But the LA Weekly‘s coverage of Austin’s junta was never intended to be a fact finding or truth telling enterprise, it was PR right from the get go.

Some of the most glowing coverage of the tragic community rending in Compton was that of the fringe right. Remember charters, vouchers, and privatization have long been their most cherished goals. I saw a piece on the infamous Hoover Institute propaganda site in which the author, a sure Bircher, can’t contain his praises of Austin. I made sure I sent Austin a quick note:

Ben Austin lauded and praised by American Enterprise Institute, the  Manhattan Institute, and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation’s extremist  Peter Meyer. You just can’t garner better fringe-right wing  credentials than that.

http://educationnext.org/ready-aim-fire-californias-parent-trigger/

Congratulations Mr. Austin on being a reactionary far-right spokes-tool for corporate America and a hero of all the rabid teabaggers!

Your Georgetown University Law School predecessor, Milton Korman,  would have been so proud of you and your efforts.

Mark my words Austin — we social justice activists and public school  advocates will struggle against your vile, racist tactics and your  corporate privatization junta to our very last breaths.

August Spies: “…movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil and live in want and misery—mdash;the wage slaves—mdash;except salvation—mdash;if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here we will tread  upon a spark, but there, and there, and behind you and in front of  you, and everywhere, flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire.  you cannot put it out.”

With the deepest possible contempt

Robert D. Skeels
CEJ, ISO, SCIC, VFP

The corporate charter trigger’s co-author, who, like Austin, was guaranteeing herself future work through it’s implementation, has been very outspoken about the corporate coup in Compton. Gloria Romero, whose love for Eli Broad, and disdain for communities and working people earned her the outright rejection of the voters in the recent election for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, was rewarded for her loyalty with a lavish position at the newly coined California Branch of the disgusting DFER. She was quoted in an Los Angeles Times piece in which she defended the covert and misleading tactics of her good friend Ben Austin. I felt the self-colonized former State Senator deserved a missive:

Senator Romero:

Here are some pointed questions and thoughts I had regarding your cynical comments in today’s Los Angeles Time piece:

“Parents present signatures to take over a Compton school”

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-compton-school-20101208,0,1038265.story

Good to see the reactionary pro-corporate Gloria Romero side with of parents that signed the petition and utterly ignore the wishes of parents and community members that opposed it. Why did you want to “prevent opposition” Senator? Is it because giving the parents all the facts and multiple choices instead of a hand picked single choice would have prevented the well heeled Vielka McFarlane from increasing her market share? Or is it that you and your fellow wealthy elitist Ben Austin felt those parents weren’t capable of making informed decisions outside of those you already made for them?

Can’t wait to see the DFER 990 filing to see how well Romero is compensated for her loyal devotion to the lucrative corporate charter-voucher industry.

One thing Austin, Romero, Barr, and Schwarzenegger don’t mention is that their petitions can legally contain parents who won’t send their children to the school including: parents sending their kids to parochial schools and parents that will move before their kids attend a school. They also don’t bring up the fact that community members (ie. taxpayers that finance the school) have no voice in the corporate trigger process. In other words, a tiny minority of the ‘stakeholders’ have sway over the process. How convenient for the well financed proxies of the charter-voucher sector, like Parent Revolution, are able to use this carefully crafted legislation to subvert any semblance of democratic processes. That’s how corporate America rolls, right?

Lastly, I’m hope all the McKinley parents with special needs children will be sure to thank Ismenia Guzman for essentially casting their children to the curb. Given the dearth of Celerity’s special education capacity, that future Guzman speaks of will be quite grim for the neediest children of all. But charter-voucher supporters don’t care about ‘those’ kids. Greedy, heartless, and selfish doesn’t begin to describe…

With less than 1/5 of CMO/EMOs outperforming average public schools, you’ve got to wonder why all the “free market” kooks support them. How does railing against “big government” schools explain the fact that 83% of public schools are better than charter-voucher schools. Further, unlike charters, public schools are required to educate every child, and they still outperform their privatized counterparts. Sadly these charters eschew responsibility to special needs children for no other reason than it cuts into profitability. That’s a coup de grace argument against the private sector, but corporate charter supporters ignore the facts for of one of two reasons.

There’s a camp getting obscenely wealthy from charter bubble. charter CEOs are making whopping six figure salaries, and others are scoring big too. Real estate and vendor contracts are so lucrative that the hedge fund parasites and even the big dogs like Goldman Sachs and Tilson Funds are in on the action.

Then there’s a camp ideologically wedded to privatization despite the overwhelming evidence it doesn’t work. While this includes extremist right wing think tanks like Cato, AEI, and Hoover, it also includes so-called philanthropists manipulating behind the scenes. Unfortunately this camp hasn’t figured out that Galt and Rourke are fictional characters from a depraved woman’s mind.

Advocating Public Education

Robert D. Skeels
CEJ, ISO, SCIC, VFP

Of course, all of the Broad-Gates-Walton Triumvirate‘s employees were required to declare a new dawn in the unbridled power of the corporate charter-voucher schools unleashed by the trigger law. The the philandering Mayor of Los Angeles had to throw his hat into the CCSA ring. The DLC styled right leaning Huffington Post gave the reactionary mayor a bully pulpit in which to crow about corporate charters. His piece, “Compton Parents Are First to Enact Parent Trigger” is another testament to his mendacity. I had the following to tell the Mayor (all of which were censored by Huffington Post’s right wing moderators):

Mayor Villaraigosa:

As of Spring 2010 Green Dot Public Schools’ average API 657, Compton’s McKinley 684 [2]. Who determines failing schools? Oh yeah, the foppish millionaire from Benedict Canyon (aka CEO of Parent Revolution).

Mayor, we know Eli Broad’s money is critical for your political future, but could you please stop the constant dishonesty? The trigger law was leveraged into the State legislature by the biggest enemies of parental and community control there are — Ben Austin of LAPU/PR and Gloria Romero of DFER. Please Mayor, tell us how much power parents have over the unelected, secretive, private boards of charter-voucher schools?

We also understand that Ben’s wife, Tracy Austin of Austin Egoscue Development (whose office is conveniently a block or two from Eli’s headquarters) is your primary Fundraising Consultant.

http://austinegoscue.com/clients

Mayor, your long history of malfeasance and collusion in conjunction with Ben Austin in order to capture market share for your CCSA allies is well documented:

http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_13185224

In other words, you’re not fooling anyone.

Instead of constantly serving the interests of the well heeled charter-voucher industry, could you just once listen to the community and what we want? We want public schools run by our communities, not privatized schools run by the CMO/EMO plutocrats.

Advocating Public Education

Robert D. Skeels
CEJ, ISO, SCIC, VFP

Of course, the corporately sponsored Mayor has been lashing out against communities and teachers on a constant basis as of late. His vicious attacks on UTLA and unabashed protection of Ben Austin have earned him some well deserved criticism as of late.

Education reform the union way
A Bizarro World where teachers are to blame

Things begin to turn ugly for Austin, Tulloss, Rose, et al

Like all grand lies, Austin’s narrative rife with contradictions from the get go, began to get questioned even in the corporate media. The Los Angeles Times prints a groundbreaking piece that shows their is community resistance to the takeover and that many parents were deceived by Parent Revolution’s paid organizers. Effort to convert Compton school to charter draws fire presents the truth, which causes the charter-voucher shills at the LA Weekly to attack the Times and for more stories to come out about Parent Revolution malfeasance. Here are a samplng of pieces that took a critical look at the hostile corporate takeover:

Parent Empowerment or Parent Manipulation?

Parent Trigger, Media Coverage, and More…

The ‘Parent Trigger’ doesn’t help schools or parents

Parent Revolution Incorporated

Is Superman Headed to Compton?

I wrote the following in response to the charter charlatans and their pernicious methods.

Charter Charlatans Caught Cheating in Compton!

“We are giving away our schools and now we want to get rid of transparency… so we can do whatever we want in the dark of night.” — Marguerite P. LaMotte in response to Yolie Flores Corporate Charter Choice Resolution

LAPU-Parent Revolution's foppish millionaire from Benedict Canyon -- the mendacious Ben Austin
Wow! A sudden lapse in the normally dishonest dominant discourse by the charter-voucher sector sycophantic Los Angeles press? Effort to convert Compton school to charter draws fire.

The mendaciousness of the wealthy Ben Austin and his junta of school privatization drones including Gabe Rose, Pat DeTemple, Shirley Ford, and Mary Najera is legendary. While I was researching my first article on LAPU/Parent Revolution’s foppish millionaire from Benedict Canyon, I had parents from Garfield HS tell me that Mary Najera used to go monolingual Spanish church services with English petitions and tell them to sign the petition if they wanted their children to go to college. Of course, there’s also the well documented incidents of shameful class and race-baiting discussed in Code Words and Green Dot’s Pandering to Westside Racism. It doesn’t take much to understand that the Gates and Walton Foundation funded “Parent” Revolution are still employing such deceptive and deplorable tactics.

The entire network of charter-voucher front groups for the CCSA and DFER, which are a collection of astro-turf 501c3s including Families in Schools, Alliance for a Better Community, Families That Can, and first and foremost — Parent Revolution (née LAPU), are a despicable collection of liars and thieves.

I want to commend Howard Blume and Teresa Watanabe for having the courage to write this article given Russ Stanton’s editorial policy of non-stop charter-voucher industry cheerleading.

Of course this was the tip of the iceberg, as the truth about Ben Austin’s antics became widely known, the desperation of the school privatization junta became very clear. Gloria Romero compared parents that didn’t support her and Austin’s handpicked choice of Celerity to batterers. Disgusting on its face, Romero’s comments reeked of the CCSA/DFER’s standard tactics of trying to paint the community as the problem. The school privatizers often create fake flyers and then try to shift the narrative by using guilt by association tactics. However, people began to call Romero out for her wrongheaded and completely insensitive analogy.

Parent Trigger Supporters Attack PTA, Compare Schools To Batterers

More disgusting still, was Parent Revolution’s insistence that Celerity wouldn’t councel out students with special needs, and more egregious, created a fake front group to hide their activities. I wrote about this as soon as I was informed by Compton parents.

Astroturf Spawns Ever More Astroturf, Plus Parent Revolution Lies about Celerity Special Education Again!

“The idea of the parent revolution is to say fuck you.” — Ben Austin [1] (Executive Director Parent Revolution)

The phonies, fakes, and frauds running the pernicious asto-turf Parent Revolution, which sprang fully formed from Green Dot Public [sic] Schools Los Angeles Parents Union, has spawned yet another “parent” group. The name of the new group? McKinley Parents for Change, a group whose authenticity and grassroots credibility is best summed up by Caroline Grannan’s descriptive passage:

an organizing drive from within a school community does not require paid organizers to cold-call all over town, asking strangers if their children attend the school.

So what does a newly formed, pro-charter-voucher “parent” group, supposedly wholly unrelated to the highly paid staff at the billionaire financed Parent Revolution do first in the midst of the scandal Parent Revolution managed to create in Compton? They produce a flyer announcing another Ben Austin/Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa style closed town hall. You know, one of those meetings where softball questions lobbed up by charter-voucher supporters like Marlene Romero and Ismenia Guzman are answered by slick charter school marketing professionals and the foppish millionaire from Benedict Canyon. Dissenting questions and legitimate concerns by parents like Karla Garcia and Lee Finnie will be patently ignored, or worse, dismissed as supporting the mythical status quo. These corporately controlled closed town-halls are notorious for, in the words of the snarling vicious corporate troll Michelle Rhee, “creat[ing] a hostile environment when parents speak up.” [2]

The amateurish prose of the flyer, which sounds suspiciously like it was written by a recent Political Science undergraduate with Coro affiliations, makes the bold assertion that the wealthy Vielka McFarlane’s corporate charter has to accept all students under the law [3] and then provides a passage from the proposed regulations of the corporate charter trigger law ostensibly as “proof.” While the proposed regulations make vague mention of admitting all students within an attendance boundary, there is no language discussing charters being required to accommodate special education pupils, students with disabilities, or English Language Learners at all. [4] None.

Parent Revolut… er, I mean, McKinley Parents for Change might try to say that means Celerity could in theory support children with special needs, so let’s look at the facts.

Here is the [real] proof

Here are Celerity’s existing special education figures:

Not very promising if your child has special needs huh? Here is some more hard data disproving the Compton Charter Charlatan’s alleged “proof” and putting to lie their accusations that social justice activists spreading misinformation:

Pilot Study of Charter Schools’ Compliance with the Modified Consent Decree and the LAUSD Special Education Policies and Procedures

  • SWD attending charter schools made up 7.6% of the overall charter student population, while SWD consisted of 11.3% of the overall student population attending DO schools which indicates that SWD are disproportionately under-enrolled at charter schools.
  • Students with low incidence disabilities attended charters representing 1.11% of the total charter enrollment, while students with low incidence disabilities made up 3.09% of the DO school population of SWD. Based on this, the relative risk ratio for students with low incidence disabilities to be enrolled in charter schools is 0.36, which means that students with low incidence disabilities enrolled at LAUSD charters are significantly under-represented.
  • During the 2008-2009 school year, 12 of 148 (8.1%) charter schools offered a special day program as an option for serving SWD. In contrast, 87% of DO schools provided this same program option. Collectively, the lack of such programs indicates a disproportionate availability of special education services offered at charters.

Further, “accepting” all children from an attendance boundary is not the same thing as actively supporting all their needs. Charter-voucher schools, which typically pay their executives whopping six figure salaries, usually don’t have money left over for special education children, students with disabilities, or English Language Learners. What charter-voucher schools usually do is tell parents “your child is welcome here, but we don’t have the facilities to provide them with everything they need, we will do our best but…” At this point parents make the only rational decision they can make, and that is to place their child in a public school — a school where the obligation to educate every child comes before profit and executive salaries. The cynical charter-voucher operators are then able to say “the parent voluntarily withdrew their child, they chose to return to the district.”

Bear in mind that Yolie Flores’ vile Corporate Charter Choice Resolution [5] also contained so called provisions to accept every child in an attendance boundary (vehemently fought by the California Charter School Association). In practice when “Para Los Niños” was able to seize a portion of Evelyn Gratts Elementary School via Yolie Flore’s giveaway resolution, all the parents that had special needs children had to change schools after the charter takeover in order to get their children the resources they needed.

Unlike the heartless and greedy charter-voucher advocates at Parent Revolution (or whatever name they are calling themselves today), I remember the impassioned speech by a mother fighting to keep all of Gratts a public school so that her special needs child could continue attending Gratts. [6]

LAUSD said of PSC, like the CCSA/DFER says of the “trigger” law, that their corporate charter allies have to accept all students. Meanwhile they do nothing of the sort in practice. These pernicious, privately managed entities, have only one real priority — profit. According to Part VII of Celerity Educational Group’s 2009 Form 990 Vielka McFarlane pays herself a whopping $193,442.00 a year in salary. That ladies and gentlemen, is the motivating factor behind dubious trigger laws.

_____
NOTES
[1] http://blogs.uscannenberg.org/neontommy/2010/03/trigger-law-gives-parent-revol.html this one sided pro-privatization article quotes Austin as saying “The idea of the parent revolution is to say fuck you.” While we already knew that was how Austin felt about our communities, poor people, and people of color, to hear it coming from the wealthy white charter profiteer’s mouth was quite startling. (this footnote first published by Robert D. Skeels here)
[2] The evil empress of privatization pushing and poverty pimping is quoted here http://4lakidsnews.blogspot.com/2010/12/compton-triggertakeover-mckinley.html the hedge fund darling found time to support Ben Austin on her way to work for fellow teabagger Rick Scott.
[3] The extremely dishonest bullet point says the following: “Under the law, Celerity has to accept all students (including Special Education students) and all current students regardless of grades.”
[4] The closest thing to an obligation to educating every child appears in §4806 under “Permissible activities. An LEA [Local Educational Agency] may also implement comprehensive instructional reform strategies, such as: … (C) Providing additional supports and professional development to teachers and principals in order to implement effective strategies to support students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment and to ensure that limited-English-proficient students acquire language skills to master academic content;” In other words, educational programs for children with special needs are entirely optional, and not required. Once more the charter-voucher industry has found a way out of the obligation to educate every child! Proof indeed!
[5] Cynically named Public School Choice Resolution
[6] For the mother’s impassioned speech see the 08-25-09regbd video in this directory on LAUSD’s site http://audio3.lausd.k12.ca.us/cgi-bin/qt-dir-audio.pl?Reg_Bd_Mtg//2009regbdmtg/ This is the same board meeting in which Ben Austin called parent and community votes for community schools “soviet style elections.”

Better still is when I called the number on the flyer…

Update on the veracity of McKinley Parents for Change
“We want to keep McKinley open under new management (Celerity Educational Group).” — Parent Revolution’s Gabe Rose posing as McKinley Parents for Change

Gabe Rose, Deputy Director Parent Revolution aka McKinley Parents for Change

The bottom of the McKinley Parents for Change flyer states “You can also call 310 866 2118 to have your questions answered.” Considering the certainty and conviction of the bullet points on the flyer by this newly formed, pro-Celerity “parent” group, supposedly wholly unrelated to the well paid professional staffers at the billionaire financed Parent Revolution, I figured my questions and concerns would be promptly addressed.

I left a message with my name and number for McKinley Parents for Change last night, and lo and behold Parent Revolution returned my call this morning. Yuri (not sure if I’m spelling that right, my apologies if I’m not [it’s Yuritzy Anaya]) must not be aware of my years of investigative journalism exposing the insatiable greed of the lucrative charter-voucher industry. The poor woman couldn’t answer any of my questions about Celerity’s lack of compliance with the Modified Consent Decree or the State Board of Education’s proposed regulations on their Corporate Charter Trigger Law, so she said she’d have Gabe Rose call me back to clarify.

She also was very helpful and explained to me that Gabe Rose played a major role in the creation of the flyer (who would have guessed), so he was the best person to explain it. So much for McKinley Parents for Change’s claim that they are parents at McKinley Elementary School. I somehow doubt I’ll receive that second phone call.

By definition Astroturf.

I came as somewhat of a shock that Gabe Rose had gone from DLC/DFER playboy to a responsible parent of children at McKinley. I somehow doubt he’ll invite my wife and I over to his Compton home for tea. I decided I’d write Gabe Rose a letter letting him know how I felt about his despicable dishonesty.

Bravo sir. It takes real courage to hide behind desperate and impoverished parents, Mr. Rose, or should I say McKinley Parents for Change?

You and Mr. Austin have employed some despicable and deplorable tactics in the past, but this was below even what I thought the two of you were capable of. Is the money that good? Have you no conscious?

I suppose the old adage is apropos: evil is as evil does.

By the way, I’ve published about the whole “McKinley Parents for Change” fraud. I’ve also dissected your and Ben’s cynical and false statements trying to hide Celerity’s well documented under-representation of students with disabilities.

Astroturf Spawns Ever More Astroturf, Plus Parent Revolution Lies about Celerity Special Education Again!
http://rdsathene.blogspot.com/2010/12/astroturf-spawns-ever-more-astroturf.html

Update on the veracity of McKinley Parents for Change
http://rdsathene.blogspot.com/2010/12/update-on-veracity-of-mckinley-parents.html

With ever deepening contempt

Robert D. Skeels
CEJ, ISO, SCIC, VFP

The good news is that I contacted the Attorney General’s office with all of that information and more. While it’s likely that these bandits will still manage to steal another public school, this whole incident has given them as an organization, a black eye.

What we really need now is real grassroots organizing to combat these corporate charter takeovers. I recommend everyone join Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ) in order to further the struggle for real social justice solutions.

_____
NOTES

[1] Marc Cooper’s postmortem on the LA Weekly is a must read. L.A. Weekly: The Autopsy Report

[2] Thanks to Caroline Grannan for this important research. Of course we won’t see CCSA/DFER asto-turf groups collecting signatures at corporate charter-voucher schools — that’s their cash cows!