Blogger Michael Kohlhaas continues to pore through the treasure trove of leaked emails that he received concerning the charter industry in Los Angeles. There apparently are thousands of them, and he reports them as he finds interesting ones.

One thing shines through his reports: The charter industry is greedy, self-interesting, and not at all interested in education, only in growing their market share.

He recently discovered that a charter founder in Los Angeles had hired a consultant to find students for her charter school. She offered to pay him $850 for every student he enrolled. 

Apparently there is no “waiting list” for the new Ganas Academy. There are not thousands of children lined up to enroll. Kind of knocks a hole in the charter marketing plan. The charter was not able to find enough students and it will not be opening.

The school wanted to open in a community that opposed it.

The community fought back.

The community celebrated its victory over a charter that had to pay a recruiter $850 a  head to find students.

Kohlhaas writes:

Somehow, even though it makes no freaking sense whatsoever, we are continually asked by innumerable mobs of kool-aid-drunken pro-charter ideologues to believe that somehow their damnable publicly funded private schools are more efficient1 than publicly run public schools. Thus, the argument goes, we are lucky to be able to funnel public money and other valuable assets to them for their supernaturally efficient use in the pursuit of what they’re pleased to present as public goods.

But just logically, theoretically, even without reference to facts, how could this possibly be true? Like how does it make sense to pay the supreme commander of some random charter school out in Northwest Zillionaireville a significant fraction of a zillion dollars in exchange for her skilled elite commandery when we’re already paying Austin Freaking Beutner an equally significant fraction of a zillion dollars for his equally elite equally skilled commanderistic talents? How many damn commanders do we even need?…

Like for instance, this link to a contract between Sakshi Jain, supreme commander and founding heroine of the lately placed-on-hiatus GANAS Academy, and some guy named Ed, whose LinkedIn profile identifies him as an educational consultant. The purpose of the contract is to engage Ed’s services to recruit students to attend Jain’s star-crossed but nevertheless self-proclaimedly world-class private school. And what is most amazing to me is that Ed is to be paid per piece. Not a joke. Eight Hundred And Fifty Freaking Dollars per student signed up.

And not only that but every student that signs up after the contract is signed is to be attributed to Ed. Is this normal? Does anyone out there know if this is how charter schools actually get students? Like they actually pay some guy named Ed $850 per student that signs up? This, obviously, is completely incompatible with any argument whatsoever that giving public money to private charter schools is more efficient than…well, than anything….

Also she hired Ed to do PR for her infernal school and to find them some other location so they wouldn’t have to co-locate on the campus of Catskill Elementary which is why everyone hated her in the first place and why she was rapidly lapsing into outright lunacy. Which he evidently was not able to do. He was also supposed to change the anti-charter narrative and find supporters in the community, which he really failed at. I don’t know yet whether Jain paid the guy any money, but we are certainly well-rid of these fools.

The “Ganas” charter school apparently is using the word associated with Jaime Escalante and the movie “Stand and Deliver,” where he told his students they needed “ganas,” desire, motivation, grit, to succeed.

The story doesn’t end here. Kohlhaas subsequently released the document that Ed-the-recruiter sent to the charter school founder to describe his plans to recruit students at a supermarket called “El Super.”

Kohlhaas seems to have a large supply of documents and emails. Everyone interested in Los Angeles education is waiting for the next shoe to drop, with the expectation that Kohlhaas has a whole closet full of them.