Blob/union thuggery at its worst
Just when I think I've seen Blob/union thuggery at its worst… In LA, low-income, Latino parents are being disenfranchised in one of the slimiest, most despicable things I've ever encountered.
Here's the background: As I've covered in previous emails (http://edreform.blogspot.com/2010/12/parent-trigger.html and http://edreform.blogspot.com/2010/12/at-california-school-parents-force.html), California's parent trigger, which allows a majority vote by a school's parents to trigger an overhaul of the school, is a potential game-changer (it was passed largely due to the efforts of former State Senator Gloria Romero, who is now head of DFER-CA). The Blob/unions know it – they're DEATHLY afraid of parents having the power to force change at failing schools – and are pulling out all the stops to block it. One step is to get new Gov. Jerry Brown to sack the State Board of Education (see below), and another is to fight to prevent its implementation at the first school to try to use the parent trigger, McKinley Elementary School, which according to a NYT article last month (below) "is one of the lowest performing on state tests, with less than 25 percent of fifth-grade pupils at grade level in math and reading." No wonder 87% of the parents who were given the opportunity to sign the Parent Trigger petition did so (see data below).
So what is the Blob/union doing to fight this? Though there is no provision for this in the legislation, the Compton Unified School District sent a letter to all parents requiring them to come to the school – giving them only two windows on a single day – to "verify your signature on the Petition" and, worse yet, the letter says (in bold, underlined letters): "Please make sure to bring official photo identification (such as a California driver's license", as you will be asked to show identification before being provided a signature verification form."
The district is doing this to try to disenfranchise the mostly poor, Latino parents, many of which it knows work long hours and might not be able to take the time off, or might not have "official photo identification", or might feel intimidated about showing up.
This reminds me of the racist literacy tests that were used in the Deep South to prevent blacks from voting ("Most African-Americans in the south were effectively disenfranchised from the 1890s until the 1960s."; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy_test). Here's a "joke" I heard long ago about it: A black man courageously shows up to vote. The racist white poll monitor asks, "What's the capital of North Dakota?" The man answers, "Bismark." "What's pi?" Answer: "3.14159265." Finally, the poll monitor pulls out a copy of the History of the Peloponnesian War, written in the original ancient Greek, points to a sentence, and asks the man if he can read it. "Sure," he replies. Amazed, the poll monitor asks what it says. Answer: "This is one black man who isn't going to vote today."
For full coverage of this disgrace, see the web site of Parent Revolution at: http://parentrevolution.org (its Executive Director is Ben Austin, one of the people Gov. Brown just sacked – see below).
Here's the actual letter that was sent to parents: