The Los Angeles school board has a new president, Dr. Richard Vladovic, and a new member, Monica Ratliff, a working fifth grade teacher, who won her seat despite being hugely outspent more than 10-1 by the corporate reform crowd, including $1 million from NYC Mayor Bloomberg. (UPDATE: counting independent expenditures, it was more like 42-1; see comment below.)
|LA Superintendent John Deasy|
The LA principals and teachers unions subsequently sent a letter of protest to the board about Deasy’s intention to defy their decision.
This was breathtaking. You can’t see this because of the camera angle, but Board Member Galatzan was visibly angry at this point. A little subtext here.
Both Galatzan and Monica Garcia have strongly backed the private charters in general—and the ones mentioned by Zimmer in particular, while at the same time, lambasting teachers in the traditional public schools and those teachers’ union, UTLA for doing a lousy job, and “obstructing reform” and being “defenders of a failed status quo,” and on and on… (In the process, Galatzan and Garcia are parroting the talking points of the “reform” organizations who pumped millions into their campaigns… but that’s another story).
In 2009, Galatzan and Garcia also voted to raise class size in the traditional public schools—and saying nothing about the ratios at their beloved charter schools. While the state budget was a contributing factor to the vote, Galatzan and Garcia also cited in part the following reasons for raising the class size in the traditional public schools:
1) “Lowering class size is just about teachers unions wanting more members and more dues, and more power… with no proof that it helps kids.”
2) “Lowering class size is about advancing adult interests at the expense of children’s interests.”
3) “Lowering class size is just so teachers, who have it easy enough already, will have it even easier, with less work required from less students.”
Zimmer makes brief reference to these objection ”to those who think that (lowering) class size is solely about jobs.. ”
For Galatzan and Garcia, they take a seemingly contradictory (hypocritical?) stance on this, as again, they bend over backwards supporting and praising the charter schools whose success is in part due to their low class size—the low class size the charters tout on their websites.
Anyway, back to the video.
Galatzan starts picking up the papers that Zimmer flings indiscriminately over his head and slapping them down angrily on the counter, and says to him, “Are you gonna clean this up?”
Not flinching a bit, Zimmer continues his laser-like focus, not even looking sideways at Galatzan as he snaps, “I’ll clean it up!” as if to say, “Don’t butt in… I’m on a roll here.”
Again… a breathtaking performance.
It is especially breathtaking for those of us here in NYC, whose children continue to suffer from rising class sizes because of mayoral control and a lack of democracy, with a school board whose decisions are in lock step with their master, Michael Bloomberg.