Sunday, December 7, 2008

"This is why people move to South Pasadena"

It would appear that our old boss is in a little bit of trouble up in L.A. Former Navy admiral David Brewer is currently the superintendant of the L.A. Unified School District and is fighting for his $300,000/year job which includes a $45,000/year expense account. Yeah, not too shabby. Brewer recently survived an attempted coup earlier this month when the Board of Education failed to muster the necessary votes to oust him. A manuever that involved emergency meetings, a Raymond Chandler-like scene at Union Station and, of course, race.

Brewer had agreed earlier in the year to hand over day-to-day operations to retired Supt. Ramon C. Cortines so the taxpayers are continuing to foot Brewer’s salary and expense account to be merely a figure-head. But Brewer’s compensation package is not the problem, it's merely the symptom of a larger problem in the LAUSD. The articles linked to reminded us of the spot (H/T: KT) that detailed the plight of Locke High School and the battle over whether to keep Locke in its deplorable state of non-achievement or hand it over to the non-profit Green Dot Public Schools who would operate it as a charter school.

What struck us while watching this was the teachers’ union’s complete disregard for the welfare of the children and the naked aggression displayed for preservation of a rotten status quo. The school board did indeed vote to give Green Dot a crack at running Locke as five separate schools starting with this school year.

We’re bringing all this up as more or less a reminder of sorts. Just a reminder of how broken the system is and how education seems to be merely a political football to our friends in Sacramento to be tossed about whenever budget cuts are threatened.

And as for the myriad of articles espousing ideas and opinions as to what the Republican party needs to do to “fix” itself and what they need to do to reach out to blacks and latinos, how about starting with education and specifically with strong support for school choice, vouchers and charter schools?

We’ve been banging on this drum for years and the Republicans continue to squander a golden opportunity to make their case to inner-city minorities that they do indeed have their and their children’s best interests at heart.

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