Home > Uncategorized > Los Angeles School Board Election, Most Expensive in History, Won By Pro-Charter Candidates Supported by Arne Duncan

Los Angeles School Board Election, Most Expensive in History, Won By Pro-Charter Candidates Supported by Arne Duncan

Over the past several weeks, Diane Ravitch has devoted several posts to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s election, which pitted two anti-charter candidates funded by teachers’ unions against two “reform” candidates who want more school choice. It shouldn’t be too difficult to guess who Arne Duncan supported. But if you need help figuring it out, this article from the March 29 LATimes will help…. and, yes, Mr. Duncan supported the “reformers”, support that should come as no surprise to anyone who watched what the Obama administration DID as opposed to what the Obama administration SAID. These two paragraphs tell the story:

Like President Trump and his Education secretary, Betsy DeVos, Melvoin and Gonez (the pro charter candidates) strongly support privately operated, publicly funded charter schools. But so does Duncan. And so did the administration of President Obama, who also maintained close ties with leaders of teachers unions critical of charters.

The union message to liberal Los Angeles voters has been that Melvoin and Gonez will pursue the Trump education agenda. But the candidates insist the more apt association is with Obama.

And here’s the question for those who supported Hilary Clinton: would SHE have changed directions at USDOE? My hunch is that she would have continued the “privatization lite” plans Obama launched: privatization that favored for-profit non-sectarian charter schools and omitted any support for vouchers that can be used by homeschoolers ad those attending religiously affiliated schools. That’s the “third way” of neoliberalism: support the spread of capitalism (i.e. free markets) at the expense of democracy (i.e. locally controlled “government schools”). 

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