Author Archives: Lloyd Lofthouse

About Lloyd Lofthouse

Lloyd Lofthouse earned a BA in journalism after fighting in Vietnam as a U. S. Marine. He then taught English and journalism in the public schools by day (for thirty years) and for a time worked as a maitre d' in a multimillion-dollar nightclub by night. Later, he earned a MFA in writing. He lives near San Francisco.

Carol Burris: Don’t Let Democratic Candidates Get Away With: “I’m Against For-Profit Charters”

Discover why and how most non-profit corporate charter schools are not non-profits.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education, writes here about the efforts by most Democratic candidates to avoid confronting the dangers of privatization:

When Democratic candidates are questioned about charter schools, many typically reply, “I am against for-profit charter schools.” Everyone cheers. Politicians have created a convenient (and false) dichotomy that says nonprofit charter schools are good, and for-profit charter schools are bad.

Don’t be fooled. There are now only 2 states that allow for-profit charter schools—Arizona and Wisconsin. California changed  its laws. 

However, 35 states allow for-profit Charter Management Organizations (CMOS) to run their nonprofit charter schools

40% of the charter schools in Florida are run by for-profit charter management companies. While the individual charter is a nonprofit, it can turn over everything from hiring, to curriculum, to financial management to a for-profit corporation. In Michigan, 80% of the so-called nonprofit charter schools are run…

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Posted by on July 7, 2019 in Uncategorized


Red Queen in LA: Deciphering the Charter Chaos and Shape-Shifting

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is another brilliant post by Sara Roos, known as Red Queen in LA.

She read the report of the leaked emails among charter advocates. She notes their double talk, their rhetorical legerdemain, their organizations that pop up like mushrooms, then morph into new organizations.

Behind this seeming chaos is a steady purpose: to disrupt and destroy public education.

Behind the chaos is the steady flow of millions from the billionaires who despise the commons.

The connect between the chaos and the billionaires are outstretched hands for hire.

She begins:

Charter schools in California band together as an embattled group, agitating for hostile takeover of the Public Commons. They serially convene, dissolve and reform a plethora of working groups to bombard public schools with “messaging” and disinformation.  The groups as well as charters themselves of course, drain resources from schools, necessitating capital (monetary and human) defending what should be protected…

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Posted by on July 5, 2019 in Uncategorized


Peter Greene: How to Make a Profit from Non-Profit Charter Schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

We have recently heard from political candidates who claim they oppose “for-profit charter schools” but support “non-profit charter schools.”

What they don’t know is that this is a distinction without a difference. Many “non-profit charter schools” are managed by for-profit EMOs (Education Management Organizations). Some are theoretically “non-profit” but pocket big money on their lease agreements (paying exorbitant sums to lease their space from a real estate company who is owned by the charter owner).

Peter Greene explains here how non-profits make a profit. It is legal graft, in which entrepreneurs figure out how to profit from taxpayers’ money intended for students and teachers.

His article originally appeared in Forbes.

He writes:

There is such a thing as a business that specializes in charter schools and real estate. In some states, the government will help finance a real estate development if it’s a charter school, and in general developers have…

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Posted by on June 27, 2019 in Uncategorized


Carol Burris: Federal Charter School Program is a Slush Fund

Diane Ravitch's blog

Back in March 2019, Carol Burris and Jeff Bryant released a study of the federal Charter Schools Program on behalf of the Network for Public Education.. That study, “Asleep at the Wheel,” found that about a third of the charters that received federal grants in the $440 million program either never opened or closed soon after opening. The amount of money wasted was about $1 billion over several years. The Department of Education failed to monitor wherevthe Money was going and how it was spent.

Burris has been analyzing states that received federal charter money and has concluded that the initial estimates were understated. In the states she has reviewed, 40% of the charters were failures. Some had no name. Some were not even charters.

The extent of waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal CSP is appalling, as is the ED department’s failure to pay attention to where…

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Posted by on June 25, 2019 in Uncategorized


ProPublica: How Teach for America Became An Arm of the Charter School Movement

TFA is a tool the Walmart Walton family uses in their subversion to take over the United States.

Diane Ravitch's blog

ProPublica reports on its investigation of the funding and mission of Teach for America, in which it discovered that TFA is an arm of the charter movement, which aims to replace public schools with non-union private charter school.

This is an eye-popping article, an exemplar of investigative reporting.

It begins:

When the Walton Family Foundation announced in 2013 that it was donating $20 million to Teach For America to recruit and train nearly 4,000 teachers for low-income schools, its press release did not reveal the unusual terms for the grant.

Documents obtained by ProPublica show that the foundation, a staunch supporter of school choice and Teach For America’s largest private funder, was paying $4,000 for every teacher placed in a traditional public school — and $6,000 for every one placed in a charter school. The two-year grantwas directed at nine cities where charter schools were sprouting up, including New…

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Posted by on June 19, 2019 in Uncategorized


Mercedes Schneider: Bill Gates Has Been Spending Millions to Buy Influence for Years

If you admire Bill Gates and think he is a great man, think again. Bill Gates misleading image is manufactured by his lying PR image machine.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Mercedes Schneider was a little surprised that Bill Gates is setting up a lobbying organization. Why should he? He has been shelling out millions to buy Influence with state and federal policy makers for years.

She writes:

Whereas the idea of Gates paying individuals to lobby to alter policy in line with his billionaire preferences, the public should realize that Gates already has an oversized influence on legislators and other elected and appointed officials.

For example, from 2002 to 2018, the Gates Foundation has paid the National Governors Association (NGA) $33.2M for Gates-approved initiatives, mostly affecting K12 education.

Shall we pretend that Gates’ steadily funding an association of state governors to promote Gates goals does not sway these governors? I think not.

From 2002 to 2018, Gates has also paid $122M to the state education superintendent organization, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) on his K12 education preferences.


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Posted by on June 18, 2019 in Uncategorized


LAUSD’s Parcel Tax Failure and the *Reasonableness* of Teacher Pay in L.A.

I taught for thirty years in the public schools in California (1975-2005) and I know I was never paid what I was worth.

How do you measure worth?

I worked on average 60 to 100 hours a week. Those hours included teaching, planning lessons, calling parents, taking work home, correct that work, doing grades, et al.

Since I worked near LA Unified in South California, lets see how much I would have actually earned per hour based on that $75k.

That $75k is based on a salary. Teachers do not earn overtime pay. A general guideline is approximately 36 weeks of instruction a year, which comes out to about 180 school days a year. That means during the school year I worked 2,160 – 3,600 hours (I worked more because the 36 weeks does not count holidays when I always took work home to catch up).

$75k divided by 2,160 hours = $34.52 an hour.

$75k divided by 3,600 hours = #20.83 an hour.

The medium would be 80 hours a week or 2,560 hours and that would equal $29.29 an hour.


Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) includes “most of the city of Los Angeles, along with all or portions of 26 cities and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. About 4.8 million people live within the District’s boundaries.” In 2018-19, LAUSD’s estimated enrollment was 694,096 students.

On June 04, 2019, voters within the LAUSD boundary could have voted to approve or reject Measure EE, a school parcel tax measure authorizing LAUSD to levy 16-cents-per-square-foot tax over 12 years to fund the LAUSD as follows, in brief:

Proceeds from the Tax shall be used for: lowering class sizes; providing school nursing, library, and counseling services and other health and human services for student support; providing instructional programs, school resources, and materials; retaining and attracting teachers and school employees; and providing necessary administrative services. …

This Measure requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote for passage.

The opportunity to vote was there, but…

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Posted by on June 15, 2019 in Uncategorized