This is the most important story you will read today. It is a warning about where School Choice is heading, what it will do to the democratic institution of the public schools, what it has already done to the schools of one district in California. If we don’t reverse the tide, more districts will be drowned by choice and debt.

Retired physics teacher Tom Ultican has been researching the Destroy Pubkic Education movement. This movement creates nothing positive. It tears down what once belonged to the community, paid for with their tax dollars.

The story of Inglewood, California, is a textbook case of the destruction of a small district, brought low by NCLB, then strangled and left for dead by a series of Broad-trained superintendents and the steady expansion of privately managed charter schools.

The story of Inglewood is an indictment of the so-called reform movement, which destroyed the public schools of that district.

Are Public Schools in Inglewood, California a Warning?

Ultican begins:

“In 2006, the relatively small Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) had over 18,000 students and was a fiscally sound competent system. Today, IUSD has 8,400 students, is 30% privatized and drowning in debt. In 2012, the state of California took over the district, usurped the authority of the elected school board and installed a “State Trustee” to run it. IUSD is on its sixth state appointed trustee in six years.

“This crisis was created by politicians and wealthy elites. It did not just happen. Understanding the privatization of Inglewood’s schools through the choice agenda is instructive of the path that could lead to the end of public schools in California…

“NCLB set the table. Students in poor communities were guaranteed to produce bad test results. Billionaires were pouring huge money into developing the charter school industry. State leaders were putting privatization friendly leaders in charge of school districts. The state trustees were never in place long enough to provide stable leadership.

“Eli Broad attended public school and went on to become the only person ever to develop two Fortune 500 companies, Sun America and KB Homes. Broad, who is worth $6 billion, decided that public schools should be privatized and established a school for administrators to promote his ideology.

“In Oakland, the first state trustee was a Broad Academy graduate named Randy Ward and three more of the next 6 superintendents who followed Ward were also Broad trained. Oakland suffered nine superintendents in 13 years.

“In Inglewood, one trustee was a charter school founder who was concurrently serving as a board member of the charter school and the last two superintendents were Broad trained. Inglewood received six state appointed trustees in six years.

“How much longer before large school districts like San Diego and Los Angeles – with 25% or more of their students in privatized schools – are forced into bankruptcy and taken over by the state? Both districts are currently running massive deficits caused primarily by charter school privatization and unfair special education costs.”