LAUSD: When did education become political? The Board of Education

The seven members of the school board are elected. Do they care about education or is it politics they care about? Are they educators, parents with school age children or are they aspiring politicians?

Warren Furutani and Jackie Goldberg, former school board members, got elected to serve in Sacramento. Rita Walters and Jose Huizar got elected to the City Council. Bobbie Fielder went to Congress.

It is name recognition. Once they are serving on the School Board, they find an elected seat that is to be vacated, they run, and since their name is known they win. Look at all the politicians who have switched between Sacramento and the Los Angeles City Council. They have become career politicians enjoying the perks, the attention, the limelight, and the fame. What else can they do?

When they see another elected office opening up do they remain on The Board of Education or are they bored of education?

Since so many members of the Board are not educators, how to they get their information?

The well entrenched bureaucrats.  

Those administrators and others in their section or department who have been there for years. Those same administrators who keep themselves in power by supplying information to the Board members and the Superintendent.  Those same administrators who never go to schools or talk to teachers. Those same administrators who set up programs, and create paperwork to keep themselves in office, and who are out of touch with the realities of education today.

These top administrators and their assistants, the Superintendent and his assistants, and the Local District Superintendent and assistants scratch each others backs, keep each other in authority, and maintain the bureaucratic excess and waste.  

A commenter to one of my columns wrote the following:

“At Beaudry, there is whole army of people who every day, all day long, go to meetings talking about things they know nothing about."

It is like the case of the chicken and the egg.  What comes first a new Board members seeking information from the well entrenched bureaucrats or the District downtown bureaucrats seeking to gain favor and maintain position and bureaucracy by offering information to the new members of the Board?

If the district were run as a business there would be someone to evaluate the value of the downtown bureaucrats. 

If the reputation of the District was not so overall poor maybe people would care about electing people who are not politicians but educators solely concerned about the students.

If the District’s record of poor test scores, of drop outs, of protecting administrators by moving them from site to site, of underpaying teachers while overpaying an overstocked bureaucracy, of not maintaining its schools, of building new schools too late, of wasteful construction projects, and so many other negative things were not so obvious and so much in the news, more people might care about who makes the decisions regarding their child’s education.

We do not need politicians who are working their way up, we need school board members who want to make things right for the schools.

We need leaders who will cut the bureaucratic waste, cut the financial waste and boondoggles, and who will redirect the fund to the schools, and the attention to the student’s successes.

Look up in the sky, is it a bird, is it a plane, no it’s Superman.

The District needs Supermen and Superwomen who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in their bare hands, and change the District from a top down system to a 


Everything for the students and their education. Period.