Sunday, June 4, 2017

Was the most expensive school board race in history all about the money? — PS connect

Was the most expensive school board race in history all about the money? — PS connect:

Was the most expensive school board race in history all about the money?

Image result for big education ape bloomberg
When New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg spent half a million dollars to kick Steve Zimmer off the LA School Board, he picked up the phone. In a departure from his self-described “conflict averse” nature, Zimmer wanted to pitch his version of collaborative school reform to the “education mayor”.
The staffer screening the call told Zimmer that Bloomberg didn’t know who he was.
Sure he did. He just donated half a million dollars to beat me, Zimmer explained.
But the aide insisted.
Bloomberg, along with other billionaires, were disrupting public education. Anybody who wasn’t with them was facelessly labeled as the status quo.
That was four years ago. With the help of the teachers union and a small army of grassroots activists, the massive infusions of cash were understood as attacks on their community. Zimmer prevailed.
Last month, in a redo of the most expensive school board race in history, Zimmer lost to a candidate backed by the billionaire boys club, Nick Melvoin.
What changed in four years? That's an important question to anyone hoping to beat the deep pocketed privatizers in future elections.
Los Angeles is the biggest school district in the country that still elects its school board. That makes it harder to control by so-called education reformers, who seek to dismantle the public school system in order to create a marketplace of school choices, shifting billions of dollars in public moneys into private hands. Investment in elections here can pay huge dividends.
But the lessons to learn from Zimmer's defeat and the sweeping takeover of the LAUSD school board by charter school backers can apply anywhere.

If all politics are local, then maybe public schools are micro-climates, being such an integral part of a family’s daily existence.”
Public Schools Are Micro-Climates
Los Angeles has been described, not so much as a city, but a collection of communities, each with its own unique identity. Its schools are sprawled across 700 square miles: urban pockets of extreme poverty, areas of extreme wealth, and a lot in between.
Of the seven school board seats, none encompasses as diverse a range of Was the most expensive school board race in history all about the money? — PS connect:


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