Leaving Finland

Lake Jyvasjarvi I have never lived anywhere for 5 months other than Jyvaskyla, Finland. As my Fulbright journey concludes, there is so much to still digest. It will take months, if not years, to truly assimilate all the learning. Before I left Southern California, I wrote about the what I would miss the most from home and what I  looked forward to experiencing in Finland. It is safe to say I met my goals. Top 7 Goals 1. Discussing Education Helsinki Workshop Through professional development programs, Fulbright Finland connected teachers with scholars and researchers, for the purpose of putting inquisitive minds together. The Making Democracies Resilient to Modern Threats seminar provided participants with fascinating research and presentations. 2. Nordic Model Bus station in Espoo What does an efficient and earnest country look like?  It looks like Finland. Yes, people pay higher taxes, but get so much in return. I for one appreciated the well-maintained ro

LAUSD School Board Gives Management of 36 Schools to Teacher Collaboratives, the Mayor, and Charters (But Did the Parents Win?)

Photo by Andy Holzman, Daily News

Today, the Los Angeles Unified School District School Board voted on which organization they would select to govern 36 new and "underperforming" schools. Charter schools had submitted several bids, all but one for new schools, but were only selected to govern four new schools. Coverage here from L.A. Times.

But they wanted more schools. And they're mad. @parentrev (the Parent Revolution is a "parent activist" group with paid organizers on staff, closely affiliated with Green Dot charter schools) on twitter fumed, "LAUSD proved again today why parents can't count on politicians to bring change. Parents will use parent trigger & transform their schools."

************Okay ********************** Not Okay

I'm confused. I thought the Parent Revolution was all about empowering parents. On their website's blog, Gabe Rose states, "
We are talking about finally giving parents, the most important stakeholder yet the one with the least power, the ability to say enough is enough, and bring about radical change." Giving public schools away to private corporations is radical indeed. The whole "Public School Choice process," as misguided as it truly is, has given parents an opportunity to examine the proposals and vote for the one they believed best for their children. Parents overwhelmingly selected the teacher-written plans over the charter plans.

I guess this is not the radical change the charters were hoping for.

So parent power is only good when it is used to trigger the closing of a school, or reconstituting it. Parent power is not good when parents say to outsiders, "thanks, but no thanks, we know who has the best interest of our kids in mind." Truly, charter groups can't have it both ways.

For more coverage from a person at the actual board meeting, read Scott Folsom's blog here.
Charter school parents photo by Andy Holzman, Daily News


  1. Thank you, this was an excellent analysis. It really brings to fore the abject hypocrisy of Austin, Rose, and their little Eli Broad funded astro-turf group.

  2. I'd like to know what one and all think about http://oxtogrind.org/archive/483 . It's a proposal for action that follows a new paradigm, one that's NOT CONTINGENT UPON winning over politicians or authority figures. It can be tweaked to serve your purposes, but I recommend that we connect about it ASAP. The upcoming March 4th demos are doomed, as I see it. In part because there is an absence of unified action/demands. Everyone doing there own thing at the various educational centers throughout the state will not do the trick. That's too fragmented to force the powers that be do transform their plans for you. Contact me at tosca.2010[at]yahoo.com OR at 831-688-8038. Blessings in solidarity, Ricardo

  3. LAUSD was formed in 1903 to overcome the rampant fraud of small charter-like school districts- the same thing took place in NYC in 1905. People who don't know their history are doomed to relive it 107 years later. When dealing with the pillars of a corrupt society, whether it is healthcare, the banks, Wall St. or public education, no matter what the fraud, these institutions remain unchanged. If LAUSD, an institution that has a bigger budget than the City of Los Angeles, was not the continuing permissive failure that it has always been, charters and other "reforms" would not be necessary. Isn't it funny (sick) that all forms of reform have to factor in the continued existence of a totally failed LAUSD...hmm, I wonder why that is? Why not just fix the underlying problem. The vast majority of people want LAUSD gone, it is only their fear, apathy, and cynicism (teachers) that allow them to continue to be bamboozled by a large LAUSD dinosaur with no brain, just a common self-serving party line. Come to www.perdaily.com and talk about what you know. Teachers, you're going to get scapegoated anyway.

  4. With all the cuts in personnel, schools are making a show of teaching; they don't have the time to teach all the children who've been squashed into one classroom and way too much time is spent on testing. DIS providers have too little time at each school and way too many schools to provide effective help. It's all a sham and it's getting worse. The staff who are left are so stressed out trying to keep up with an impossible caseload that most of them look like they're on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Nice going LAUSD. Waste money where the media scream, like at Miramonte, and ignore everybody else. LAUSD has a toxic mentality.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Leaving Finland

The People who Make Fulbright Happen

When Typical Means Outstanding