Das Krapital

Arnold Schwarzenegger Bravely Takes On Teachers Union Goliath In Washington Post

Ha ha, someone could make a sequel to Kindergarten Cop about a shadowy corporate villain called "Celerity" that tried to terminate all the teachers at McKinley, but no one would do that because everyone in Hollywood has a hardon for Michelle Rhee, oh well.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has an op-ed in the Washington Post today about how great some new thing is working in California. Now, I know what you are thinking. "But nothing works in California! If I have learned anything from reading the Washington Post, it is that it is impossible to relay information about the political system of California without using the word 'dysfunctional'!" Well, thanks to the outgoing Governator, "school reform" is remarkably quite the cinch to pull off in the Golden State. And as we have discussed here before, the Post op-ed page loves nothing more than school reform, except possibly centrist politicians working hard to cooperate like grownups in the name of shared bipartisan goals such as busting unions and easing the tax burden on the rich. But anyway, here's Arnold:

Using a new power known as the "parent trigger," which I fought for and state legislators approved last year, these Compton parents banded together to demand change. The legislation allows parents of students at troubled schools to demand such significant reforms as closing a school, replacing a school's management or most of its staff, or reorganizing a school into a charter, if 51 percent of parents sign a petition. McKinley Elementary is being reorganized and will soon be transformed into a charter school run by Celerity Educational Group, which is successfully operating three other schools in California.

Gosh, even if you haven't managed to stay on top of the Post's relentless efforts to inform its readers about the limitless virtues of charter schools, doesn't this just sound inspiring, the idea of concerned parents in the one of the most impoverished swaths of Southern California gathering together to exploit some new law named for the specific part of a gun you use to kill people, to hand the reins of a struggling inner-city elementary school named for one of those dead presidents no one remembers over to a successful new outfit called "Celerity"?

Yeah, well… leave it to the haters on the state board of education to Californicadysfunctionalize this tale by calling for an attorney general investigation of the whole racket. At least Schwarzenegger has the heart to leave out this last part and save the dysfunctional reality from sullying his otherwise hope-filled op-ed. Which is why I will do my part and abstain from quoting anything from today's LA Times story about corrupt and secretive astro-turf campaign to sucker parents into signing this petition; I don't want to trigger any un-productive sentiments here.


  1. #1

    "Which is why I will do my part and abstain from quoting anything from today's LA Times story about corrupt and secretive astro-turf campaign to sucker parents into signing this petition."

    Uh huh. And teachers lying to parents, concocting threats, and berating students doesn't even merit a mention, eh Moe? The McKinley teacher making stuff up on YouTube got caught in your snark filter, did it? I guess we'll find out what the Attorney General has to say. My guess -- and it's only a guess at this point -- is Parent Revolution will be just fine.

  2. #2

    If it was astro-turfed, that sucks, but the teachers haven't done a damn thing to cut through the mistrust and confusion--and in fact have willfully added to the climate of mendacity for what reasons is not clear. Because they were told time and again that they wouldn't be judged by "past" misdeeds.

    So a reader can only conclude that 1) these teachers sometimes thought the "students" were really dumb and not just "playing dumb" out of caring and sigh loyalty. 2) they didn't really want to be up there "at the blackboard" or whatever, even if they somehow thought they did. (Not a crime by the way.)

  3. #3

    hey ill tell ya what.

    if parents can vote on charter schools, howsabout clerks can vote to join a union?

    ya know, the checkout people at target, the movie theatre ticket takers, the grocery store stockers...

    i mean elections are good rite?

  4. #4

    The California Board of Education is doing the right thing in asking the AG to investigate the allegations of threats, etc of parents who signed the petition. There are ALOT of people in Compton who do not fully understand this "trigger law" (doesn't that just SCREAM better education??); The Compton Unified School District is preparing to launch a 'parent education initiative' as a result. Additionally, it should be noted that not all parents signed the petition and many in the community do not find "outsiders" coming in to force changes favorable. It should also be noted that this law seems based on rules already set in place as it relates to poor performing schools; It just gives the power to the parents to act before a school makes the state's worst list. A good thing? Perhaps. Imagine a district already in the process of reforming/realigning several schools that are poor performers and then the trigger is pulled; A recipe for havoc indeed. It is also interesting to note that McKinley Elementary was not one of the 5 schools in Compton that made the state's worst list earlier this year. McKinley, though still a poor performer by anyone's standards, has actually been making significant gains this past year in respects to scores.

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