Privatization Report - September 21, 2020

California: Carl Petersen has penned an interesting report on what’s become of El Camino Real High School after it was privatized under a law created to allow parents to privatize “underperforming” schools. He ties the history to upcoming school board elections. “As voters in LAUSD’s Board District 3 get set to choose between a life-long educator and a charter school employee, this lack of accountability should be at the forefront of the discussion. Incumbent Scott Schmerelson has a proven track record of supporting successful charter schools while holding these publicly funded private schools accountable when they break the rules. The challenger, Marilyn Koziatek, works for Granada Hills Charter, which is also a conversion charter that had an excellent record as an LAUSD school. Instead of looking out for stakeholders, her record shows that she is willing to keep violations hidden from parents. Koziatek’s elevation to the board would guarantee that betrayals of the public trust would continue unabated.”

Read the complete report on the In The Public Interest website.


Carl J. Petersen: Why Los Angeles Voters Should Re-Elect Scott Schmerelson to the LAUSD School Board

Ravitch writes: "Carl J. Petersen is a parent in Los Angeles. He is supporting Scott Schmerelson for re-election to the LAUSD school board because of his experience with Scott’s opponent, who works for a charter school."



Carl J. Petersen: LAUSD Stood by While Charter Executive Embezzled $3.1 Million


"Carl J. Petersen, a parent advocate for students with special needs in the public schools of Los Angeles, wrote here about the failure of the LAUSD school board to monitor graft in the charter sector.

He writes about the deliberate negligence of board members supported by the charter industry:"

Read the article on Diane Ravitch's Blog.


Carl J. Petersen: Los Angeles Charter School Took $4.6 Million from PPP, Then Laid Off Employees


"Carl J. Petersen, writer and public school parent in Los Angeles, writes here about a Los Angeles charter schools that took millions from the federal Paycheck Protection Plan, then laid off employees anyway.

The purpose of PPP was to help small businesses and to ensure that they did not fire employees because they couldn’t afford to pay them. But charter schools, which had suffered no economic harm, cashed in on the program…because they could.

Petersen writes:"

Read the article on Diane Ravitch's Blog.

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CA: Charter Decides To Grab A Small Business Loan

"What makes Palisades special is that we have video of their board discussing the issues of accepting the loan. (A hat tip to Carl Petersen, who has been watching these folks for a while.)"

Read the full article on Curmudgucation.


Is There a Need for School Resource Officers?

Dr. Mike Robinson:  Carl Petersen, please share your opening thought on the issue of SRO in schools and the recent protests taking place across America?

Carl Petersen: As protests continue into the fourth week after the murder of George Floyd, more attention has been placed on the defunding of police forces. As this is a concept that has arisen organically and not from the messaging of establishment politicians who run everything through controlled marketing studies, there is not always a clear definition of what this would look like. For purposes of this discussion, I will define “defunding” as systematically eliminating the existing policing system and rebuilding it from the ground up. The goal is to create a system that actually “protects and serves” rather than acts like an occupying force...


Read the full article on OUR BLOG: YOUR VOICE


Will Social Distancing Work in Schools?

Dr. Mike Robinson: How can schools practice social distancing when kids return to school? 
Carl J. Petersen:  If there is a bright side to this crisis it may be that students finally get the smaller class sizes that they deserve. Unfortunately, it took a health care crisis to get it done.

While administrators will bear the responsibility for ensuring that there are fewer students in a classroom, teachers are going to have to be empowered...


Read the full article on OUR BLOG: YOUR VOICE


Headlines: LAUSD Earns High Marks For “Grab And Go”, Rough Financial Times Coming and More on Elections.

"Meanwhile, there’s still an election going on for LAUSD Board seats. Former candidate Carl Petersen skewers the attempt by charter school strategist Ben Austin to sustain an ‘anti-semitism sweepstakes’, falsely equating and comparing UTLA with the charter school lobby. During the primary season, anti-semitic flyers deluged board district 3 in the Valley and Austin claims these are subordinate to UTLA ads targeting high profile allies of Austin’s decades-long campaign to privatize public education."

Read the full article on the Los Angeles Education Examiner.


Do Not “Pass” at the Polls

This feature would of course “help expedite the voting process” since voters using passes would not have to manually select any choices at the polls.  Elections officials want short lines at polling places, so they’re quite fond of Poll Pass.  “Unfortunately,” as Knock.LA blogger Carl J. Petersen put it last year, “the convenience of Poll Pass will come at a steep price for our democracy.”

Read the full article on the LA Progressive.


Power of Political Sound-Bites


(Note: This interview was based on my article that was originally titled "Losing the Sound-Bite War." You can also read the article on Medium.)

Tune in to “Be Bold America!”  with host Jill Cody on Sunday, October 13 at 5:00 pm on KSQD.

What does it do to democracy when the President of the United States uses political sound-bites to capture the country’s attention such as “coup” and “civil war?”

Read more