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Campaign 2013:: Two-Week Countdown In Los Angeles

Two weeks to go before primary election day, and the teachers union and the reform coalition in LA have already spent $2.2M on flyers, mailers, and TV ads -- and already raised more than double that.  

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AFT head Ranid Weingarten slammed NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg for putting $1M into the race -- but state and AFT are considering contribuing to the UTLA campaign fund themselves.

The LA Times editorial page endorsed two out of three reform candidates -- but in such harsh terms that the pull quotes will be worth more to their opposition than the endorsements themselves.  

Celebrity endorsements are all the rage -- Eva Longoria is backing one reform challenger (and might be dating LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa).

Superintendent John Deasy issued a teacher evaluation guidance on Friday telling principals to make student achievement 30 percent of the teacher evaluation -- a reasonable figure given what's being done in other states and districts -- but the district neglected to tell the teachers union ahead of time, and the underlying union-district agreement lacked any specific percentage.  

Last but not least, it's not all campaign battles and conflict in LA.  The school board recently approved 12 new "pilot" schools -- an in-district alternative to autonomous charters and parent triggers.  It's union's least favorite of the three autonomy models that have been negotiated, but appears to be popular among teachers.

All this and more at LA School Report

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Outrageous false equivalence: UTLA contributions are not equivalent to contributions from outsiders with no stake in Los Angeles schools. UTLA represents the teachers of Los Angeles.

read it again, caroline -- i'm talking about state and national union contributions, not local.

UTLA has asked CFT, CTA, and the two big nationals for help

I read it correctly. UTLA is making the donations, raising money to do so. That's not an outside force. UTLA is as much a stakeholder as they come. It's false equivalence, a journalistic sin, to liken that to the $1 million coming from Bloomberg and any other outside sources with no stake in L.A. school issues.

Caroline, LA candidate Robert Skeels says the false equivalence is orders of magnitude off:

"My campaign has raised $17,245.22 with just contributions from working class families and community members of $25—$50. One big check from AALA of $500. UTLA hasn’t even sent me their promised $300 check yet. But these billionaires are giving my opponent millions upon millions to offset some phantasmagorical union advantage? You’re more than a liar Mr. U., you’re a shill for power and privilege."
http://dianeravitch.net/2013/02/20/is-this-what-democracy-looks-like/

In Alexander's case, his journalistic contribution rises above liar and shill. He owes this community his allegiance, because he went there and wrote a book specifically proclaiming his dedication to their children. Nonetheless, he doesn't think it's appropriate to question his journalistic impartiality as a long-time apologist and enabler for Bloomberg, Broad, Klein and Rhee.

"read it again, caroline -- i'm talking about state and national union contributions, not local."

"UTLA has asked CFT, CTA, and the two big nationals for help"

Alexander, please play fair. Are you actually trying to equate the assistance the national office might provide to its local union with a one million dollar "donation" from the billionaire mayor of New York City?

I can see a clear connection between the work of classroom teachers, their local union, and the national office of that same union. Can't you?

But can you actually see a "natural" tie between Michael Bloomberg, an actress/celebrity, and a well-funded novice/newcomer who seems so very desperate to win this seat on the school board?

I actually can---but in THEIR case the linkage has nothing to do with children, except as props for a slick propaganda blitz.

Ultimately, control of that school board must be like "The Ruby Slippers" for the Rhee-Duncan-Bloomberg-Klein-Austin "Privatization Mafia". "Their power must be VERY strong, so please keep them away from the wicked witch!"

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