Sun, Jul

When Lightning Strikes Twice


MUSE WITH ME - Across Los Angeles, parents understand it is no mere accident of the vote that twice in as many months, and twice in two different parts of the city, lightning has struck in the very same place. Twice now in successive elections Mayor Villaraigosa’s cabal of mostly out-of-state, neoliberal, information-obsessed tech-coons has been outvoted in spite of the shock and awe of their exogenous overspending


With Monica Ratliff’s win in LAUSD6 on Tuesday, two data points have been firmly staked down in the public’s electoral landscape. Both Ratliff and Steve Zimmer before her were Davids to the very same set of agents, provacateurs, Goliaths. In their victory both represent voter discontent with the misnomer of “School Reform” championed by Villaraigosa’s Coalition. For recall that two points make a line and a line has direction. This one trends toward a belated but gathering disavowal of what the Chicago Teachers’ Union president Karen Lewis calls “neoliberal savagery masquerading as school reform“.   

Mayor Villaraigosa’s Coalition For School Reform “supports candidates who’ll push for reforms to teacher evaluations, grow charter schools, and support Superintendent John Deasy”, according to its campaign manager, Janelle Erickson. Voters, parents and otherwise, understand that in repudiating these candidates they are opposing this radical ideology. 

So with great urgency to reverse the damage of misguided priorities, these two elections explicitly mandate a change-of-course, rather to: 

collectively negotiate any, not simply “push for” reform of teacher evaluations,

halt, not “grow” charter schools, obligate parasites of our public unified school district system and

withdraw support, not give “support” for Superintendent John Deasy. 

That is the unequivocal message of this election cycle. 

Long has our public school system – workers, learners and faculty alike – been slowly sabotaged by systematic privatization. The demise of truly public, truly egalitarian education threatens to destabilize the system of our very democracy itself. We have voted for a course-correction. We want to see our public district schools unified by ALL of our children, thriving and well-served within them.


(Sara Roos is a politically active resident of Mar Vista, a biostatistician, the parent of two teenaged LAUSD students and a CityWatch contributor, who blogs at redqueeninla.wordpress.com





Vol 11 Issue 42

Pub: May 24, 2013



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