The Hostile Corporate Takeover of America’s Public Schools Opens a Pandora’s Box

Unless you live in a closet or cave without electricity and the internet, it’s no secret that the hostile for-profit corporate takeover of America’s democratic public schools has led to billions of tax dollars lost to white collar fraud and crime with a lot more to come. > Despite Big Problems Charters Attract Hedge Fund Support and Presidential Candidates Hungry for Dollars

One of those attempted hostile takeovers is happening in Los Angeles, I read about this at John Thompson: Dare Anyone Say No to Eli Broad on Diane Ravitch’s Blog.

Thompson wrote, “It (Broad) produces a multicolored map of clusters of low-performing schools (in the city of Los Angeles), while pretending that it doesn’t undermine their case. The graphic supposedly shows, ‘These areas are especially ripe for charter expansion.’”

The Broad report doesn’t mention the poverty in those same areas of low-performing schools, but, and this is a BIG but, there is more than just poverty in Los Angeles. With that poverty comes extremely dangerous street gangs, and Los Angeles is home to the largest population of street gangs in the United States.

It would be nice to compare the Broad map to two other maps—the Los Angeles Street Gang map and a second map—if I could find one—that reveals where the most poverty is in Los Angeles, because in 2012, 29.9% of the children in Los Angeles lived in poverty.
Child Poverty in California

In addition, Los Angeles is home to more street gangs than any city in the United States. Will Broad’s opaque, authoritarian, for-profit corporate Charter school scheme identify all the gang members and make sure none of them get in to his charters—I think this is unlikely?

I taught for thirty years in an area of Los Angeles County where the local street gangs pretty much ruled the streets around the schools—even the local police didn’t risk patrolling some of those streets at night.  In fact, I witnessed with my own eyes a drive by shooting from my classroom doorway in the street beside the high school where I taught as school was letting out.

Hardly a week went by without one of our students being gunned down due to rival street gang violence. For instance, one night while working late with the editors of the high school newspaper, a hard core teenage gang member was gunned down and murdered with a shotgun blast to his guts on campus at 7:00 p.m. right outside of that classroom where I was working late with the seven female student editors of the high school newspaper. The poverty rate in that community was and still is higher than 90%.

“Gang presence in U.S. schools is a formidable obstacle for educators, law enforcement, and other youth-service professionals. Street gangs are linked to crime in elementary, secondary, and high schools, and on select college campuses. Schools provide fertile grounds for recruitment and many public schools are rife with gang activity such as assaults, robberies, threats and intimidation, drug distribution, and weapons offenses. Gang presence on college campuses is a growing concern as more gang members are gravitating toward colleges to escape gang life, join college athletic programs, or to acquire advanced skill sets for their gang.”
> FBI’s 2013 National Gang Report

Approximately 1.4 million people were gang members as of 2011, and more than 33,000 gangs were active in the United States. Los Angeles has been nicknamed the Gang Capital of America, with an estimated 120,000 gang members as of 2007 (11.6% of the nation’s total). According to a May 2001 Drug Threat Assessment by the National Drug Intelligence Center, Los Angeles was home to 1,350 gangs.

But the Los Angeles police department only has 9,843 officers, who were outnumbered more than 12 to 1.

I wonder if Eli Broad plans to privatize the police force in Los Angeles too, so he can wage war against these gangs to clean up the streets and keep their members out of his corporate Charters. Imagine what that will cost the tax payers when the police work for an autocratic, opaque, for-profit corporation that doesn’t have to answer to the same rules and regulations that the public police must follow or else. And if Broad ends up buying the Los Angeles Times newspaper as he wants, he’d also control the media in Los Angeles so his corporate police crimes would probably not appear in his newspaper.

Street gangs are expanding in Los Angeles, and Eli Broad—even if he doesn’t know it yet—is going to end up competing with them, because Eli Broad is an autocratic billionaire at war with democracy, but so are the street gangs in Los Angeles.

“Various Crip and Blood factions have shown an inclination to cooperate with one another based on drug trafficking. They have established funds from drug money to provide for bail and lawyers. The traditional ‘dope lawyers’ are showing up on non-drug gang cases. These lawyers are not local attorneys but are from Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. This illustrates the growing wealth and sophistication of these gangs. Some of the older and more successful street gang members in Los Angeles County have purchased legitimate businesses to launder drug money. Some of these businesses are car washes, auto painting/body and fender shops, motels, auto dealerships, and liquor stores. The next step could be respectability in the community for these drug-trafficking gang members, as well as involvement in politics. The wealth and sophistication of the gangs, coupled with their penchant for violence gives them the potential for becoming one of the largest and most dangerous crime problems in the region if not the Nation.”

Eli Broad wants to replace the transparent, democratic, public schools in Los Angeles with his own opaque, autocratic, for-profit, corporate charters. The street gangs already have a strong presence in the public schools to recruit new members, so Broad’s charters will be in competition with the gangs as they attempt to infiltrate his corporate schools. This means Broad will soon be at war with the largest and most dangerous crime problems in the region if not the Nation.

In fact, the gangs might even take advantage of the opportunity Broad wants to create and open their own corporate charters through front organizations.

Eli Broad had better tread carefully with his hostile goal to grab the public schools in Los Angeles. He and his entire family might not wake up one morning to discover that he has been eliminated by the Crips and/or Bloods because he dared to invade their turf.

Before the hostile corporate takeover of public schools started with NCLB and Obama’s RTTT, the gangs couldn’t buy the public schools and own and manage them but now they can.  The door is wide open. If one secretive Islamic Turkish Cleric can own 120 American Charter Schools, what’s going to stop the gangs from doing the same thing? > The Atlantic

Then again, maybe the Sinaloa drug cartel already owns Eli Broad, and he is allegedly their legitimate but corrupt front. After all, the feds say that Los Angeles is the epicenter of cartel money laundering, and what better business to launder money than an opaque corporate charter school chain that doesn’t have to make its money transactions public like the public school?


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

99 Cent Graphic for Promomtion OCT 2015

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Stories from Success Academy

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Too bad I didn’t know this about Obama back then but I didn’t read Diane’s book “Reign of Error” until after Obama had been elected president for his second term. What a total false propaganda con-job the Obama campaign was. They fooled a lot of Americans and I was one of them, twice.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Over the past several years, I have been contacted several times by current and former Success Academy teachers. I met with each of them. They wanted to tell me what really goes on, and their stories sounded alike. They say the atmosphere for teachers is terrible. Teacher turnover is high. They say the children are subjected to pressures that make some of them crack. They say that children pee in their pants while prepping for the tests and taking the tests. They say the schools keep a supply of clean clothes for these incidents. They say that test prep starts in November and doesn’t let up until the tests are ended. They say that students who can’t keep up are subtly pushed out, for example, calling in their parent day after day until the parent gives up and withdraws the student and returns him/her to public school. Each of them…

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Posted by on October 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


Eva Rallies in My Backyard

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Eva Moskowitz does what public schools can’t, because it is against the law. She holds funded, staged, choreographed rallies to destroy transparent, community based,democratic public education so she can pay herself more than the half million dollars taxpayers are already paying her to segregate children.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

It is a school day in Néw York City. Across the city, over one million children are in class.

But not the children of Eva’s Success Academies! They (and possibly some allied charters) are holding a mass rally at Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn. The park is lined with rented buses. As the children and their parents step off the buses, an adult hands them a hand-lettered sign to carry, demanding more support for charter schools.

There are multiple buses for the recording and video services. This is a well-funded, professionally orchestrated demonstration of support for privatization. If public schools closed for a political rally, their principals would be fired.

The children and parents are all wearing identical red tee-shirts, with the slogan “Dont Steal Possible.” This slogan works nicely in suggesting that someone is trying to close down charter schools, and this imminent threat to their survival must be…

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Posted by on October 7, 2015 in Uncategorized


Common Core Proficiency Rates: All Over the Map

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The Common Core visionaries dreamed of a world where every student across the nation would have the same standards, a curriculum aligned with the standards, and all students taking one of two tests aligned with the standards. Everything would be RIGORous, we would find out how woefully bad our schools are, teachers would stop “lying” to students, and parents would flee to charters and voucher schools. Best of all, according to Secretary Duncan, parents in Oregon could compare their child with children in other states.

According to this story in the Néw York Times by Motoko Rich, the dream is falling apart.

Several states have adjusted their passing score to avoid telling 70% of the state’s students that they failed.

“The Common Core has been bedeviled by controversy almost from the start; because of the backlash, a few states have already abandoned the Common Core. Fewer than half of the…

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Posted by on October 6, 2015 in Uncategorized


Jan Resseger: Arne Duncan’s Shameful Legacy (LINK ADDED!)

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Arne Duncan changed the national education goal from equality of educational opportunity for all to a “race to the top” for the few, and President Obama did nothing to stop him.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Jan Resseger served for many years as program director for education justice of the United Church of Christ. She is a woman with a strong social conscience, who is devoted to the well-being of all children. She lives in Ohio. When I first visited Cleveland, I had the privilege of being escorted by Jan, who showed me the stark disparities between the affluent suburbs and the downtrodden inner-city.

Jan Resseger writes here of the calamities imposed on our nation’s education system by Arne Duncan, who changed the national education goal from equality of educational opportunity for all to a “race to the top” for the few. He shifted our sights from equal opportunity and equitable funding to test scores; he pretended that poverty was unimportant and could be solved by closing public schools and turning children over to private entrepreneurs who had little supervision.

Read Jan’s entire piece: Duncan was…

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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


Stephen Singer: How to Create Failure and Destroy Public Education

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Steven Singer, who teaches in Pennsylvania, explains the planned insanity behing standardized testing, rigged for failure. He likens the situation to a video game that he played with his friend as a child, where the questions and answers might suddenly and arbitrarily change.

In Pennsylania, the privatization movement started with deep budget cuts. Then comes a new standardized test. Too many students did well, so the tests were made more “rigorous.” Now, most students “fail.”

Did they get dumber? No. Did he become a worse teacher? He says no.

So what’s up? The students are set up to fail. The teachers and schools are set up to fail? Why? It clears the way for charters and vouchers.

One hopeful sign in Pennsylvania: Governor Tom Wolf wants to help public schools, not destroy them. Unlike his predecessor, Tom Corbett.

Singer writes:

“In my home state, the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment…

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Posted by on October 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


Don Armstrong: Do Florida Parents Have the Right to Opt Out?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

In the previous post, I referred to Din Armstrong of Lee County, Florida, as a hero for his principled stand against Florida’s insane obsession with testing.

Here is more from Don Armstrong:

“Good morning, everyone. Like always, I spend my Sunday, gathering my thoughts and thinking of the upcoming week over a cup of coffee.

“One thought that has crossed my mind this past week is regarding our Constitution. Perhaps this is due to the fact that last week was Constitution Week in the United States. Yet, while listening to our leaders in Tallahassee, as well as many here locally, it seems the Constitution is rarely considered in their talk about parent rights and student rights, specifically with regard to what options and control parents have in schools.

“Specifically, I am referring to our Lee County, FL school district’s stance on parent rights to opt out of testing. In a…

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Posted by on October 3, 2015 in Uncategorized


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