Archives for category: Billionaires

Ross Douhat is a conservative columnist for the New York Times. Maybe he wrote this column to help Trump, yet it rings true.

He writes:

For a long time the notion of a Michael Bloomberg presidential candidacy seemed like a Manhattan fancy, a conceit with elite appeal but no mass constituency, a fantasy for Acela riders who imagine that the American people are clamoring for a rich person’s idea of centrism.

This was especially true in the days when Bloomberg would advertise his interest in a third-party candidacy. Third parties are generally founded on ideas that elites are neglecting, like the combination of economic populism, social conservatism and America-first foreign policy that propelled Donald Trump to power. Whereas Bloombergism is elite thinking perfectly distilled: Social liberalism and technocracy, hawkish internationalism and business-friendly environmentalism, plus a dose of authoritarianism to make the streets safe for gentrification.

But with a populist in the White House, a socialist winning primaries, a Democratic electorate desperate for a winning candidate and an establishment desperate for a champion, Bloomberg has become a somewhat more plausible presidential candidate than I imagined even six months back. So it’s worth pondering exactly what his still-highly-unlikely, but not-entirely-unimaginable nomination might mean, and what he offers as an alternative to both his Democratic rivals and to Donald Trump.

Inside the Democratic Party, Bloomberg’s ascent would put a sharp brake on the two major post-Obama trends in liberalism: The Great Awokening on race and sex and culture, and the turn against technocracy in economic policymaking.

Yes, Bloomberg has adapted his policy views to better fit the current liberal consensus, and his views on social issues were liberal to begin with. But he has the record of a deficit and foreign policy hawk, the soul of a Wall Street centrist, and a history of racial and religious profiling and sexist misbehavior. More than any other contender, his nomination would pull the party back toward where it stood before the rise of Bernie Sanders and Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, and root liberalism once more in professional-class interests and a Washington-Wall Street mindmeld.

These are good reasons to assume that he cannot be the nominee, and excellent reasons for social progressives and socialists alike to want to beat him. The only way they will fail is if Bloomberg succeeds in casting himself as the unusual answer to an unusual incumbent — combining the Democratic fear of a Trump second term, his own reputation for effective management and the promise of spending his fortune to crush Trump into a more compelling electability pitch than the race’s other moderates.

But Democrats considering this sales pitch should be very clear on what a Bloomberg presidency would mean. Bloomberg does not have Trump’s flagrant vices (though some of his alleged behavior with women is pretty bad) or his bald disdain for norms and rules and legal niceties, and so a Bloomberg presidency will feel less institutionally threatening, less constitutionally perilous, than the ongoing wildness of the Trump era — in addition to delivering at least some of the policy changes that liberals and Democrats desire.

However, feelings can be deceiving. Trump’s authoritarian tendencies are naked on his Twitter feed, but Bloomberg’s imperial instincts, his indifference to limits on his power, are a conspicuous feature of his career. Trump jokes about running for a third term; Bloomberg actually managed it, bulldozing through the necessary legal changes. Trump tries to bully the F.B.I. and undermine civil liberties; Bloomberg ran New York as a miniature surveillance state. Trump has cowed the Republican Party with celebrity and bombast; Bloomberg has spent his political career buying organizations and politicians that might otherwise impede him. Trump blusters and bullies the press; Bloomberg literally owns a major media organization. Trump has Putin envy; Bloomberg hearts Xi Jinping.

In our era of congressional abdication, all presidents are prodded or tempted toward power grabs and caesarism. But Bloomberg’s career, no less than Trump’s, suggest that as president this would be less a temptation than a default approach. And the former mayor, unlike the former “Apprentice” star, is ferociously competent, with a worldview very much aligned with the great and good, from D.C. to Silicon Valley — which means that he would have much more room to behave abnormally without facing a Resistance movement of activists and journalists and judges.

To choose Bloomberg as the alternative to Trump, then, is to bet that a chaotic, corrupt populist is a graver danger to what remains of the Republic than a grimly-competent plutocrat with a history of executive overreach and strong natural support in all our major power centers.

That seems like a very unwise bet. Democrats who want to leverage Trump’s unpopularity to move the country leftward should support Bernie Sanders. Democrats who prefer a return-to-normalcy campaign should unite behind a normal politician like Amy Klobuchar. Those who choose Bloomberg should know what they’re inviting: An exchange of Trumpian black comedy for oligarchy’s velvet fist.

David Dayen, executive editor of The American Prospect, expresses his concern about billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who is a plutocrat and an autocrat.

In many ways, Dayen writes, Bloomberg is like Trump, only richer. How strange would it be for the Democrats to nominate a Republican to run against Trump.

He writes:

This is an astonishing report about the destruction and privatization of public schools in Oakland, California, and the billionaires who facilitated the looting of that city. The article by Eugene Stovall appeared in “Black Agenda Report.” The audacity of this attack on public education is astonishing. The mechanism for the destroyers were graduates of the Broad Academy, known as Broadies. Since billionaire Eli Broad gave Yale University $100 million to take charge of his program, someone should warn Yale about its record.

Read it all. It will take your breath away.

Stovall writes:

Eli Broad (rhymes with “toad”) conconcted a scheme to privatize Oakland’s public schools and produce a revenue stream for his billionaire cronies.

Operating unethically and illegally, Broad managers used their training to cripple and plunder Oakland’s schools.”

Eli Broad is a liberal Democrat. He opposes Trump’s Muslim ban, immigration policies and withdrawal from the climate change treaty. In fact, like Democratic billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Blloomberg, Broad opposes Trump’s entire right wing agenda. However, just as the Trump Foundation created the Trump University scam, the Eli Broad Foundation created the Broad Superintendent Academy, an educational enterprise that has become so successful that it is now associated with the home of the Skull and Bones Society, Yale University. But despite its aura of respectability, the Broad Superintendent Academy is no less a scam than Trump University.

Billionaires Want More

Eli Broad created two Fortune 500  companies, Kaufmann-Broad Homes and SunAmerica Bank. With an estimated net worth of $6.7 billion, Eli Broad ranks as Forbes  Magazine’s 78th wealthiest man in the United States. But like many billionaires who create mechanisms to increase their wealth, Broad created a “non-profit” academy as his entré into the private education market. The Broad Superintendent Academy attracts applicants who willingly pay exorbitant tuition fees for the chance to get placed in a top management public education position. Broad academy applicants do not need educational degrees or teaching certificates. Neither are they experienced teachers or successful school administrators. The Broad academy is uninterested in strategies for improving student achievement and does not teach its students about fundamental educational issues, pedagogies and methodologies. The Broad academy only indoctrinates and commits its students to the privatization of public education and the generation of revenues for private corporations. Broad Academy attendees are taught the disruptive management tactics needed to ignore “best educational practices.” They are taught how to overcome objections when mandating school closures and school property sell offs to the billionaire-owners of private schools. When Broad placed his academy graduates in management positions at the Oakland Unified School District, they left a trail of fiscal mismanagement, budget overruns and demoralized staff, students and teachers. Operating unethically and illegally, Broad managers used their training to cripple and plunder Oakland’s schools.

The Broadies Who Plundered Oakland’s Schools

In 1998, Eli Broad recruited Jerry Brown, the former Governor of California and a former presidential contender, to become mayor of Oakland. Broad needed someone with Brown’s political clout with the Democratic Party to implement his plan to privatize Oakland’s schools. Broad had been a close personal friend of Jerry Brown’s father, Pat Brown, and had financed all of Jerry Brown’s political campaigns. Now Broad realized California’s top Democrat and his control over the statewide Democratic Party machine gave him a unique opportunity to make money from private education.

Broad’s scheme to privatize Oakland’s public education resources required the support of other billionaires capitalizing on the private education market. Netflix founder, Reed Hastings, a Bay Area resident with a net worth of $3.7 billion, was associated with the multi-million dollar Rocketship Charter Schools. The late founder of The Gap, Don Fisher, with a net worth of $3.3 billion, was associated with the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), one of the largest chains of charter schools in the country. With a net worth of $3.5 billion, John Doerr, partner in the investment firm, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, the firm that brought Google and Amazon to the market, cofounded the New Schools Venture Fund which sucks public school resources into for-profit K-12 corporations. Another critical partner in Broad’s clique of billionaires was the bishop of Oakland’s catholic diocese, a representative of the multi-billion dollar, worldwide Vatican empire. With its profound interest in co-opting public funds and real estate for its own network of parochial schools, Oakland’s catholic bishop gave Broad’s unholy coalition a solid block of votes that not only put Jerry Brown in City Hall, but changed Oakland’s charter into the ‘strong mayor” form of government, that gave “Boss” Brown the power function as Eli Broad’s “bag man.” In return for its electoral support, the diocese of Oakland received a multi-million dollar cathedral on the downtown shore of Lake Merritt.

Once “Boss” Brown controlled City Hall, Reed Hastings went into action. Hastings funded another charter amendment that gave the mayor the authority to pack the school board with his own unelected appointees. Greasing the wheels of the Democratic machine, Hastings financed the passage of a State Assembly bill that permitted charter schools to operate without  accreditation and to hire teachers without  teaching credentials. Then Hastings funded the Proposition 39 campaign to force local school districts to share revenues with charter schools. “Boss” Brown’s buddy, Democratic Governor Gray Davis, who later was recalled on corruption charges, put Reed Hastings on the State Board of Education. In the meantime, Don Fisher gave Jerry Brown’s wife, Gust Brown, the position of CEO over The Gap Corporation.

Getting Control Of The Schools … And The Money

In 2001, the Oakland Unified School District had a $37 million budget deficit. The district’s fiscal managers decided to resolve the shortfall by borrowing from its construction fund, a practice other California school districts in similar situations routinely used. But Brown and Broad saw the school deficit as an opportunity to advance their scheme.

Brown contacted Tom Henry, CEO of the Fiscal Crisis and Management Team (FCMAT), a firm located in Sacramento and staffed by lobbyists and political hacks. Brown used Henry’s services, on occasion, when he was governor. FCMAT did “hit” jobs for anyone willing to pay. Brown paid Tom Henry to prevent Oakland from solving its fiscal problem. FCMAT lobbied the State Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, the former Democratic Assemblyman from Alameda, to rule that Oakland’s plan to borrow construction funds was a violation of state and local law. Then Henry worked with Don Perata, the State Senator for Alameda County, to lobby a bill through the state legislature that forced the Oakland school district to accept a $100 million loan to cover its $37 million shortfall. In addition, the bill put the Oakland school district under the control of a state administrator to be appointed by Jack O’Connell, the State Superintendent of Public Education. When Jack O’Connell campaigned for state superintendent, he received financial support from Eli Broad’s billionaire cabal. Reed Hastings contributed $250,000, John Doerr $205,000 and Eli Broad, himself, contributed $100,000 to O’Connell’s campaign. With the state takeover of Oakland’s schools, O’Connell agreed to appoint anyone “Boss” Brown wanted. Thus Eli Broad and his cronies got complete control over the $63 million slush fund  forced on the Alameda County tax payers. Jerry Brown described the state takeover as a “total win” for Oakland’s schools. In reality, the state takeover was a total win for Eli Broad and his billionaire cronies. For the tax payers forced to repay the loan and for the Oakland school children whose schools were plundered by malicious billionaires, the state takeover was a disaster.

The Table Was Set And The Feasting Began

The Democratic state superintendent of education, Jack O’Connell, appointed Randolph Ward, a graduate of Broad’s superintendent academy, as Oakland’s state administrator. Ward appointed Arnold Carter, another Broad academy graduate, to serve as his chief of staff. Both state administrators appointed a bevy of Broadies  to fill the Oakland school district’s top management positions. Then Ward implemented Broad’s privatization agenda. He closed public schools and opened charter schools. He created additional management positions for Broad academy graduates and issued multi-million dollar consultation and construction contracts to private corporations. Randolph Ward gave Broad’s billionaire cronies complete access to the $63 million slush fund created by top Democrats, Jerry Brown, Bill Lockyer, Don Perata, Jack O’Connell, Tom Henry as well as other members of “Boss” Brown’s Democratic machine.

When the state took over the Oakland schools in 2002, Randolph Ward fired the superintendent, Dennis Chaconas. When Ward resigned in 2006, Broadie Kimberly Statham replaced him. A year later, Statham left and her chief of staff, Vincent Matthews, another Broadie, took her place.

In 2008, Oakland Assemblyman Sandre Swanson broke with “Boss” Brown and introduced a bill to force the state to relinquish its control over Oakland schools. Eli Broad gave a Sacramento lobbyist $350,000 to oppose Swanson’s legislation, but Swanson’s bill passed and local control was returned to the Oakland School Board. In July 2009, the school board hired Anthony “Tony” Smith as the district’s superintendent.

Smith was not associated with Eli Broad. However, even though local school board resumed control over the schools, Eli Broad was not finished, He funded a front group, Greater Oakland [GO], which financed the election of five Broadies to the Oakland school board. In 2014, the Broadie school board forced school superintendent Tony Smith to resign and appointed another graduate from Broad’s academy, Antwan Wilson , Oakland’s next school superintendent, resuming Broad’s decade-long privatization scheme.

A Decade of Corruption

Under Randolph Ward, Oakland Schools struggled with the overwhelming debt imposed by the Democratic Party machine. When Ward left Oakland, millions of dollars went missing with him. Though FCMAT received a multi-year contract to help manage the debt, Tom Henry provided little substantive support, financial or operational. In 2007, Jerry Brown left Oakland for his cattle ranch in Northern California. In its 2007-08 report, an Alameda County grand jury investigation found that the Oakland Unified School District had been looted.

Between 2003 and 2006, Ward shut down 14 public schools and opened 13 charter schools. He increased the district’s shortfall by nearly $15 million. Ward’s successor, Kimberly Statham, another Broadie, opened 4 charter schools and Broadie Vincent Matthews, who followed Stratham as state administrator, opened 9 charter schools. Under state control, the district’s debt ballooned from $37 million to $89 million while school enrollment, the district’s primary source of funding, dropped from 55,000 in 2002 to 38,000 in 2009. When Assemblyman Sandré Swanson forced the state to return local control, Oakland’s schools had $5.6 million less than what was reported and a total of $9 million unaccounted for and completely missing. But with the return of local control, the district’s fiscal mismanagement problems only worsened. Eli Broad now directed his Broadie school board to support his schemes. 

Antwan Wilson: The Most Corrupt Broadie Of Them All 

When the Broadie school board replaced Tony Smith with Antwan Wilson, it hired a thoroughly corrupt, incompetent and morally reprehensible superintendent to run the Oakland Unified School District. Ignoring all budgetary, ethical and legal constraints, Wilson zealously implemented Broad’sprivatization plan. Wilson overspent the school district budget by overpaying Broadie administrators and conniving with Broadie consultants. In 2015, though the school board authorized only $10.4 million, Wilson paid consultants $22.6 million. The board approved only $7.1 million for administrators and supervisors, but Wilson spent $22.3 million. From July 2014 to January 2015, Wilson spent $22.3 million on district office managers while Smith spent only $13.1 million the entire previous year. From 2013-2014, Tony Smith spent $10 million on classified managers, but in 2015-2016, Antwan Wilson spent $22.3 million. Under Wilson, the number of students shrunk, but spending for administrators and supervisors with teaching certificates grew from $13.9 million in 2013-2014 to $20 million in 2015-2016. Wilson increased spending on outside consultants from $22.7 million in 2013-2014 to $28.3 million in 2016-2017. In Wilson’s last year with Oakland schools, he exceeded the budget for consultants by 32 percent.

These revelations galvanized Tom Henry’s FCMAT into action. Henry immediately lobbied for another state take over even as he collaborated with the Broadie school board to close even more schools and make even more valuable real estate available to billionaire-owned charter schools. But without Boss Brown’s backing, Henry was unsuccessful in getting Governor Gavin Newson’s support for another state takeover.

Open the article and read the ending. It doesn’t get better for the students of Oakland. Eli Broad, Jerry Brown, and their allies used Oakland as their Petri dish. Oakland was raided and looted. Antwan Wilson left Oakland to become chancellor of the D.C.schools, where he was booted out after seeking preferential treatment for his own child. Upon Wilson’s abrupt departure, the mayor of D.C. replaced him with Lewis Ferebee, superintendent of Indianapolis, who is also a graduate of the Broad Academy.

A front group for the California Charter Schools lobby, which calls itself “Families and Teachers United,” released a flyer that attacked school board member Scott Schmerelson, a pro-public school member of the LAUSD school board and well-qualified educator. Schmerelson has been endorsed by every Democratic club in Los Angeles.

The scurrilous flyer accuses him of investing in mutual funds that include products that are harmful to children (tobacco). Anyone whose pension is invested in large mutual funds knows that individual shareholders do not choose the stocks in the fund’s portfolio. My own pension fund includes companies I find abhorrent and there’s nothing I can do about it.

The flyer accuses Schmerelson of “double dipping” because he collects a pension for his decades of service as an educator in the LAUSD schools and a salary as a board member, like other board members.The flyer does not mention that board salaries were increased in 2017 based on the recommendation of an independent commission.

Should he give up his well-earned pension? Of course not! Should he refuse to take the same salary as other board members? Of course not!

Who paid for this vile, lying, unethical anti-Semitic ad?

Ad paid for by Families and Teachers United, sponsored by California Charter Schools Association Advocates. Committee major funding from
Charter Public Schools PAC
Not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.
Funding details at http://www.fppc.ca.gov.

This may be the most expensive school board election in LA history, even though the billionaires have no ideas other than charter schools. None.

Who are they? Blogger Sara Roos names names. 

How about full public disclosure of the income and investments of the billionaires who fund the CCSSA?

Sara declined to reproduce the flyer, so as not to give more visibility to this trash.

Methinks the charter billionaires  are angry at Scott for telling the public that more than 80% of LA’s charters have empty seats.

Schmerelson, a man of unblemished integrity, responded to the anti-Semitic flyer with a statement denouncing the depths to which the charter lobby is willing to sink. He notes that the group that produced the flyers by the billionaire Waltons and Reed Hastings.

The election is March 3 but early  voting has started.  VOTE  FOR SCOTT SCHMERELSON!

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The munificently-funded Thomas B. Fordham Institute, based in D.C., controls Educatuon Policy, graduation requirements, curriculum, and testing in Ohio. Mr. Fordham, for whom the institute is named, had no known interest in education, but his namesake is part of the rightwing ALEC nexus, where contempt for public schools, hatred for unions, contempt for gun control and environmental regulation are reflexive.

Laura Chapman, who lives in Ohio, writes:

 

This numbers game is routinely pushed by the Ohio arm of Thomas B. Fordham Institute/Foundation. Oped’s written by employees at criticize the Fordham routinely criticize teacher unions for pointing out the debilitating affects of poverty on students. In a typical rhetorical move, the Fordham “expert” will find one exceptional school with an “A” rating of the state report card rigged to ensure few schools are rated A. Then when you read in detail, you will see that the most exceptional thing about this school is really rare. The same principal has been there for 18 years, lives in the community, and has an uncommon level of trust from her community, the teachers, and students. Test scores were a byproduct of that not the aim of her work as an educator.

In Ohio, the writer most responsible for this misleading journalism and “research” is Aaron Churchill, the Institute’s Ohio Research Director. The Institute says this: Since 2012, Aaron has worked on “strengthening” Ohio policy on standardized testing and accountability, school evaluation, school funding, educational markets, human-resource policies and charter school sponsorship. He writes for the Fordham’s blog, the Ohio Gadfly Daily and contributes op-eds to the Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Dayton Daily News, and Cincinnati Enquirer. Aaron previously worked for Junior Achievement.”

He has not an ounce of documented experience in teaching or studies of education as an undergraduate or graduate student. He gets a free pass on almost everything he submits to the Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Dayton Daily News, and Cincinnati Enquirer. These local newspapers are shrinking and have few if any staff available for questioning this “throughput” of misleading but ready to post news.


Jackie Goldberg is running for re-election to the Los Angeles Unified School Board. She is an experienced public official who has supported public schools for decades as a school board member and state legislator. A rightwing billionaire dumped nearly half a million into her low-budget race to try to stop her in the March 3 election (early voting has already started.)

Jackie was endorsed by the UTLA along with Scott Schmerelson, George McKenna, and Patricia Castellanos. Vote for them if they are candidates in your district.

Jackie sets the record straight here:

Dear Friends, Families, and Board District 5 Voters,

By now, you may have received a number of mailings telling you to “Vote ‘No’ on Jackie Goldberg”, all of which are being sent by a man named Bill Bloomfield, who lives in Manhattan Beach, CA.

Bloomfield is extremely wealthy and was a Republican until 2011 when he became an “Independent.”  He avidly supports charter school candidates and opposes all progressive Democrats.  So far this election cycle, he has spent almost $130,000— on “hit” pieces against me.  But this is far from his first rodeo.  He was part of the $13 million worth of lies that were used in 2017 against then-Board President Steve Zimmer, and he helped bankroll part of the $10 million spent to spread lies about Board Member Bennett Kayser in 2015.

In 2019, Bloomfield’s contributions to the California Republican Party totaled $445,000.  He also spent $7,583,806 to try to elect Marshall Tuck to be State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Tuck ran on a platform of increasing support for the state’s charter schools.  Bloomfield not only supports charter schools over district public schools, he also opposes raising taxes on the wealthy to increase funding for public schools.

This very, very rich financier has never met me, never interviewed me as to my views, and has repeatedly distorted the truth to send you bald-faced lies about me and my 22-year record of public service.  His goal is to defame me to stand in the way of my quest to raise taxes on the rich and to make charter schools more transparent, equitable, and accountable.

Let me respond specifically to some of the many lies Bloomfield has been peddling about me in his monstrously misleading mailers.

LIE:  Bloomfield’s mailers attempt to paint me as a racist.

TRUTH:  I have lived in Echo Park for the last 40 years.  My son went to LAUSD schools that were primarily composed of Latino students.  I taught high school in the Compton Unified School District for 17 years and was one of two teacher-leaders to define plans that raised the reading of our students from the bottom of state testing in reading to the State average.

Among my campaign endorsers are Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farmer Workers, County Supervisor Hilda Solis, State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, La Opinion, Maywood City Councilmembers Elizabeth Alcantar and Eddie de la Riva, Bell City Councilmembers Fidencio Gallardo and Alicia Romero, Padres Unidos in South Gate, and Congressmembers Maxine Waters and Judy Chu, among others.

These leaders and community organizations, as well as La Opinion, do not endorse racists!

LIE:  Bloomfield claims my “agenda is too extreme and too dangerous for kids!”  He attacks me for removing funding for DARE, an anti-drug program for which the district paid millions of dollars to the Los Angeles Police Department.

TRUTH:  The LAUSD Board of Education discontinued funding for DARE after a study revealed that, in spite of great intentions, the program was a complete failure in reducing student drug use.

LIE:  Bloomfield, remarkably, suggests that the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) loves me.

TRUTH:  I have a lifetime “F” grade from the NRA because when I was on the Los Angeles City Council, I wrote and passed a measure that outlawed sales of cheap “Saturday Night Specials” in Los Angeles.  While on the Public Safety Committee in the State legislature, I helped kill major legislation that would have made gun ownership more protected, and thus increase the chance for all of us and our children to be victims of gun violence.  What I actually voted against that Bloomfield’s mailer attempts to misrepresent was a bill that would have automatically expelled a student for bringing to school a toy gun that may look like a real gun.  Though I do think this would be a dangerous and foolish thing for a student to do, I believe that all students should have a right to a hearing before being expelled.

LIE:  In one of his most insidious smears, Bloomfield claims that I support sexual predators.

TRUTH:  I voted against a bill that included so many limitations for where a convicted sex offender could live that there literally would be nowhere left for them to go.  And I did so because I knew that the California courts would overrule the bill and we would be left with noprotections on where sex offenders could live after being released from prison.  Sure enough, after its passage, the California Supreme Court did just that, ruling that the law was unconstitutional because the state could not have a law that left people with no place to live.  The following year, my Assembly colleagues and I passed a law preventing sex offenders from living near schools, parks, and other places where children might be.

LIE:  Bloomfield attacks me for the terrible crisis at Miramonte school.

TRUTH:  I was not even on the Board at that time of the Miramonte crisis.

LIE:  Bloomfield suggests voters have to choose between me and President Obama, claiming that I voted to shut down Teach for America.

TRUTH:  I did not vote to shut down Teach for America.  What I did do is raise the issue that a great many Teach for America teachers leave our District in two or three years.  I said that the District should recruit people who want to be teachers, not build their resumes—and I still believe that to be true.

LIE:  Bloomfield misleadingly claims that I cut programs for students of color.

TRUTH:  In the 2001-2002 school year, the state legislature was facing a huge budget shortfall.  The state was in a deep recession.  Yes, I voted for the budget.  In those days, it took a 2/3 vote to pass a budget, so allAssembly Democrats had to vote for the budget, or else the state’s services—including funds for schools—would be shut down.  Did I have to vote on a budget that took $9.8 billion from schools and public universities?  Sadly, I did.  But that was after fighting and winning the battle to avoid larger cuts of $14 billion.

LIE:  Bloomfield claims that I “forced Latino students to attend academically inferior and dangerous schools.”  He then points to a 1985 U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the District.  Notably, his source relates to issues in South Gate and Watts.

TRUTH:  The boundaries of the Board Districts that each School Board member represents were not the same in 1985 as they are today.  Though South Gate is currently in my Board District, I did not represent either South Gate or Watts during my first time on the Board when the Department of Justice’s investigation began, and I had nothing to do with the issues that brought upon the investigation.

LIE: Bloomfield claims that in my first tenure on the Board, student scores dropped.

TRUTH:  Student test scores were low in the 1980’s.  Why?  Because when Proposition 13 passed, the District literally lost 25% of its General Fund money due to big corporations and the wealthy no longer having to pay their fair share in property taxes.  Schools became overcrowded.  Most were on multi-track, year-round schedules, and funding to build new schools was rigged against the District.  It was because of my work and the leadership of then-Speaker of the State Assembly Robert Hertzberg, however, that the Assembly and Senate finally set aside several billion dollars for LAUSD and other severely overcrowded districts, which resulted in 131 new schools being built.

My record of support for public education is long, significant, and well-documented.  That is why UTLA, the teachers’ union, SEIU Local 99, the union representing teacher aides, cafeteria workers, CSEA Local 500, which represents library aides, the Teamsters AND the union representing school principals and administrators have all endorsed my campaign.

So, I urge you not to believe the vicious lies that this conservative, anti-public school millionaire is spreading about me in order to try to stop my work trying to tax the great wealth in this state and get our state legislators to invest in our children and youth again.  My mother taught in LAUSD for 40 years.  I grew up committed to public education, and I have never wavered in my support for full and adequate funding for public schools—from pre-school through college.  I was a youth activist in the civil rights movement, and I continue to spend my life working to improve the lives of the next generation.

I often remind people that our children are not part of the future—they are our entire future.  We must all work together to improve our state and federal governments’ investment in our children and youth.  California, if it were a separate nation, would be the fifth richest nation in the entire world.  While New York spends $29,000 per student in their schools, California only spends $16,500 per student.  Great change is needed.  I ask you to join me in this fight for FULL FUNDING for our public schools.  The time is NOW!  Please honor me with your vote on or before March 3.

Thank you,

Jackie Goldberg
Board Member, LAUSD Board of Education, Board District 5

Estimados amigos, familias y votantes del Distrito 5 de LAUSD,

Les escribo porque seguramente ya  han recibido en su correo uno de varios anuncios que les han enviado pidiéndoles que “Voten No por Jackie Goldberg”,  de parte de alguien llamado Bill Bloomfield, que vive en Manhattan Beach, CA.

Bloomfield es alguien extremadamente rico quien había sido Republicano hasta el año 2011, cuando cambió a ser “Independiente”.   El apoya firmemente a los candidatos que cuentan con el apoyo de las escuelas charter y se opone a todos los candidatos Demócratas progresistas.  Hasta la fecha ha gastado casi $130,000 atacandome en anuncios como éste. Pero no es la primera vez que hace esto.  En el 2017 fue uno de los que pagó por los anuncios llenos de mentiras sobre Steve Zimmer, presidente de la Junta Escolar. Y en 2015 ayudó a financiar los $10 millones de dólares que se gastaron para esparcir mentiras en contra de Bennett Kayser.

En el 2019, contribuyó $445,000 al Partido Republicano de California.  También gastó $7,583,806 para tratar de elegir a Marshall Tuck como Superintendente de Instrucción Pública. La postura de Tuck fue de apoyar el apoyo para las escuelas chárter. Bloomfield no sólo apoya a las escuelas chárter en vez de las escuelas públicas del distrito, además se opone a alzar los impuestos a los ricos para aumentar los fondos para las escuelas públicas.

Este hombre de finanzas tan pero tan rico, no me conoce, nunca me ha entrevistado para conocer mis puntos de vista, sin embargo se ha dedicado a distorsionar repetidamente la verdad con terribles mentiras sobre mí y mis 22 años de servicio al público. Su objetivo es difamarme por el hecho que yo busco aumentarle los impuestos a los ricos y lograr que las escuelas charter se comporten de forma más transparente, equitativa y responsable.

Permítame responder, de manera específica, a algunas de las muchas monstruosas  mentiras que Bloomfield ha estado diciendo sobre mí.

LA MENTIRA: Los anuncios intentan decir que yo soy racista.

LA VERDAD:  He vivido en Echo Park durante los últimos 40 años. Mi hijo fue a una escuela de LAUSD, cuyos estudiantes en su mayoría eran Latinos.  Fui maestra de preparatoria en el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Compton durante 17 años y junto con otra maestra líder, preparé un plan que logró mejorar la lectura de nuestros estudiantes, y subir nuestros resultados de los más bajos en el estado a el nivel promedio.

Entre las personas que apoyan mi campaña cuento con Dolores Huerta, co-fundadora de la Unión de Campesinos, Hilda Solís, Supervisora del Condado de Los Angeles, la Senadora María Elena Durazo, La Opinión, los Consejales Elizabeth Alcantar y Eddie de la Riva de Maywood, Fidencio Gallardo y Alicia Romero de Bell, el grupo Padres Unidos de South Gate y la Congresista Maxine Waters y Judy Chu, entre otros.

Ninguno de estos líderes, ni de estas organizaciones de la comunidad, ni el diario La Opinión apoyan a candidatos racistas.

LA MENTIRA: Bloomfield afirma que “¡mis propuestas son muy extremas y muy peligrosas para lo estudiantes! Me ataca por haberle quitado fondos al programa DARE, “ un programa contra drogas en el que el Distrito pagó millones de dólares al Departamento de Policía de Los Angeles.

LA VERDAD:  La Junta Escolar de Los Angeles descontinuó los fondos para el programa DARE después de que un estudio demostró que a pesar de tener buenas intenciones, el programa fue un verdadero fracaso en reducir el uso de drogas entre los estudiantes.

LA MENTIRA:  De manera muy extraña, Bloomfield sugiere que la Asociación Nacional de Rifles (NRA por sus siglas en inglés), me adora.

LA VERDAD:  La NRA, me dió una calificación de “F” de por vida cuando era Consejal de la Ciudad de Los Angeles, debido a que logré que se aprobara una medida que prohibía la venta de las armas baratas llamadas “Saturday Night Specials” en Los Angeles.  Cuando fui miembro del Comité de Seguridad Pública en la Legislatura, ayudé a darle fin a una ley que protegía aún más la compra de armas, pues esto aumentaba la posibilidad de que cualquiera de nosotros, incluyendo a nuestros hijos, fueran víctimas de la violencia armada. A lo que se refiere Bloomfield es que voté en contra de que un joven se le expulsara por traer un arma de juguete que parece de verdad. Aunque creo que esto es algo peligroso y tonto, creo que todos los estudiantes merecen una audiencia antes de que se les expulse.

LA MENTIRA:   En una de sus ataques más engañosos, Bloomfield alega que yo apoyo a los depredadores sexuales.

LA VERDAD:  Yo voté en contra de una ley sobre dónde puede vivir un depredador sexual, que resultaría en que no pudieran vivir en ningún lado.  Voté de esta forma porque sabía que las cortes de California iban a revocar esta ley y que entonces no tendríamos ninguna protección para determinar donde los depredadores pueden vivir al salir de la prisión. Como lo predije, la Suprema Corte de California revocó la ley, dictando que la ley no cumple con los requisitos de la Constitución puesto que la ley no permite un lugar en donde vivir. El año siguiente, mis colegas en la Asamblea y yo pasamos una ley que evitaba que los depredadores vivieran cerca de escuelas, parques y otros lugares cerca de dónde hay niños.

LA MENTIRA: Bloomfield me ataca por la terrible crisis que sucedió en la escuela Miramonte.

LA VERDAD:  Yo ni siquiera era miembro de la Junta Escolar cuando sucedió la crisis de Miramonte.

LA MENTIRA:  Bloomfield sugiere que votar conmigo es votar contra Obama, porque voté para que se cerrara el programa Teach for America.

LA VERDAD: Yo no voté para cerrar el programa Teach for America.  Lo que sí hice fue expresar preocupación por el hecho de que una gran mayoría de los maestros de Teach for America se van del Distrito en dos o tres años. Dije que el Distrito debe reclutar a personas que realmente quieren ser maestros a largo plazo en lugar de hacerlo solamente para mejorar su currículum – y aún mantengo esta opinión.

LA MENTIRA:  Bloomfield dice, de manera engañosa, que yo recorté programas para estudiantes de color.

LA VERDAD:  En el año escolar 2001-2002, la legislatura estatal se enfrentaba a un tremendo déficit.  El estado se enfrentaba a una profunda recesión.  Sí, vote a favor de presupuesto.  En ese tiempo, se requería que ⅔ de los representantes en la Asamblea votarán a favor, y por lo tanto todos los Demócratas tenían que votar a favor, o de otra forma los servicios que provee el estado, tendrían que recortarse. ¿Fue necesario que votara por un presupuesto que le quitó $9 mil millones de dólares a las escuelas y a las universidades públicas? Tristemente, lo fue.  Pero esto fue después de luchar y de ganar la batalla para evitar mayores recortes, de $14 mil millones.

LA MENTIRA: Bloomfield alega que yo forcé a “estudiantes Latinos a que asistieran a escuelas académicamente inferiores y peligrosas”. Para demostrarlo, presenta una investigación del Distrito que llevó a cabo el Departamento de Justicia en 1985. De forma notable, ésta investigación se refiere a los temas de las escuelas en South Gate y Watts.

LA VERDAD: Los límites de los Distritos que cada miembro de la Junta Escolar representa no eran iguales a los límites de hoy.  Aunque South actualmente está en mi Distrito, yo no representaba a South Gate ni a Watts cuando yo fui miembro de la Junta Escolar y cuando la investigación del Departamento de Justicia se inició y yo no tuve nada que ver con los asuntos que resultaron en esa investigación.

LA MENTIRA:  Bloomfield alega que durante mi primer término en la Junta Escolar, los resultados de los exámenes de los estudiantes disminuyeron.

LA VERDAD: Los resultados de los exámenes eran muy bajos en los años 80. ¿Por qué? Porque cuando se aprobó la Proposición 13, el Distrito perdió literalmente el 25% de los fondos generales debido a que las grandes corporaciones y los ricos no querían seguir pagando lo que les correspondía en los impuestos sobre la propiedad.  Aumentó la sobrepoblación en las escuelas.  Muchas de ellas estaban en calendarios de todo el año y el financiamiento para construir nuevas escuelas estaba diseñado en contra de las necesidades del Distrito.  Fue debido a mi esfuerzo y el de Robert Hertzberg, entonces líder de la Asamblea que la Asamblea y el Senado finalmente destinaron varios miles de millones de dólares para LAUSD y otros distritos que sufrían de sobrepoblación, lo cual resultó en la construcción de 131 nuevas escuelas.

Mi record de apoyo por la educación pública es largo, importante y bien documentado.  Es por esto que UTLA, la unión de maestros, el Local 99 SEIU que representa a los asistentes de maestros y trabajadores de cafetería, el Local 500 de CSEA que representa a bibliotecarios, el sindicato de los Teamsters y el sindicato que representa a los directores y administradores, todos apoyan mi campaña.

Por todo esto, les pido que no crean las mentiras que dice este millonario conservador quien se opone a las escuelas públicas. El quiere evitar que yo pueda seguir trabajando para poder lograr que la gente que cuenta con tantos recursos, tenga que pagar más en impuestos para lograr que nuestros legisladores puedan invertir en nuestros niños y nuestra juventud.  Mi madre trabajó en LAUSD durante 40 años.  Yo crecí comprometida a la educación pública y mi compromiso por un financiamiento completo y adecuado para los escuelas públicas – desde la pre-escuela hasta la universidad – nunca ha disminuído.  En mi juventud fui activista del movimiento de los derechos civiles y cada día de mi vida trabajo para mejorar la vida de las generaciones futuras.

A veces le recuerdo a la gente que nuestros hijos no son parte del futuro — ellos son el futuro entero.  Debemos trabajar juntos para mejorar la inversión que hace el gobierno en nuestros hijos y en la juventud. California, si fuera una nación separada, sería la quinta nación más rica del mundo entero.  Mientras que en Nueva York se gastan $29,000 por cada estudiante en las escuelas, California gasta $16,500 por estudiantes.  Se necesita un gran cambio.  Te pido que te unas a mi en esta lucha por lograr que nuestras escuelas tengan un FINANCIAMIENTO COMPLETO.  ¡Este es el momento!  Espero contar con el honor de tu voto el día 3 de marzo, o antes, si votas por correo.

Gracias,

Jackie Goldberg
Miembro, Junta Escolar de LAUSD, Distrito 5

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Four years ago, Michael Bloomberg spoke candidly in Aspen about his stop-and-frisk policies that targeted young black  and Hispanic men, but he immediately requested that it not be released to the public. Although he was proud of his policy, he knew there was something that wasn’t right about targeting young minority males.

Charles Blow of the New York Times wrote about the racist, disastrous policy of stop and frisk.

Let me plant the stake now: No black person — or Hispanic person or ally of people of color — should ever even consider voting for Michael Bloomberg in the primary. His expansion of the notoriously racist stop-and-frisk program in New York, which swept up millions of innocent New Yorkers, primarily young black and Hispanic men, is a complete and nonnegotiable deal killer.

Stop-and-frisk, pushed as a way to get guns and other contraband off the streets, became nothing short of a massive, enduring, city-sanctioned system of racial terror…

In 2002, the first year Bloomberg was mayor, 97,296 of these stops were recorded. They surged during Bloomberg’s tenure to a peak of 685,724 stops in 2011, near the end of his third term. Nearly 90 percent of the people who were stopped and frisked were innocent of any wrongdoing.

A New York Times analysis of stops on “eight odd blocks” in the overwhelmingly black neighborhood of Brownsville in Brooklyn found close to 52,000 stops over four years, which averaged out to “nearly one stop a year for every one of the 14,000 residents of these blocks.”

In 2009, there were more than 580,000 stop-and-frisks, a record at the time. Of those stopped, 55 percent were black, 32 percent Hispanic and only 10 percent white. Most were young, and almost all were male. Eighty-eight percent were innocent. For reference, according to the Census Bureau, there were about 300,000 black men between the ages of 13 and 34 living in the city that year.

Not only that, but those who were stopped had their names entered into a comprehensive police database, even if they were never accused of committing a crime. As Donna Lieberman, then the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in 2010, the database became a place “where millions of completely innocent, predominantly black and Latinos have been turned into permanent police suspects.”

The state outlawed the keeping of these electronic records on the innocent, over the strong objections of Bloomberg and his police chief…

Bloomberg’s crime argument was dubious. The Columbia Law School professor Jeffrey Fagan produced a report that became part of a class-action lawsuit against the city in 2010. It found that: “[s]eizures of weapons or contraband are extremely rare. Overall, guns are seized in less than 1 percent of all stops: 0.15 percent … Contraband, which may include weapons but also includes drugs or stolen property, is seized in 1.75 percent of all stops.”

This article in TIME summarizes my new book SLAYING GOLIATH.

Read the book to learn the stories of the brave heroes who have stood up to billionaires, financiers, and profiteers intent on harming the democratic institution of public education.

Carol Burris wrote about Michael Bloomberg’s education ideas several years ago when she was a high school principal on Long Island in New York.

You have to love New York City’s mayor. Michael Bloomberg speaks his mind, never holding back. While most self-proclaimed school reformers do the Dance of the Seven Veils, slowly revealing their agenda, the mayor jumps up on stage and gives you the ‘full monty.’ He’s sure he has the solution for all that ails New York’s schools, and he is not shy about sharing.

Last Thursday, he told an MIT conference audience how to quickly improve public schools. “I would, if I had the ability – which nobody does really – to just design a system and say, ‘ex cathedra, this is what we’re going to do,’ you would cut the number of teachers in half, but you would double the compensation of them and you would weed out all the bad ones and just have good teachers. And double the class size with a better teacher is a good deal for the students.”

Now that’s an interesting proposal to promote college readiness: lecture halls for third graders.

The mayor never cites any research to support his claims about what’s a good deal for students. Nor does he explain a sensible way to determine the bottom half of teachers — the ones who would be sent packing. But he should be forgiven on this point since there is, in fact, no such research and no such sensible way.

Yet as astounding as his statement might be, the mayor’s solution is not pulled from thin air. In fact, his assumption is the foundational belief on which the State of New York has designed its teacher and principal evaluation system.

The evaluation system, APPR, actually assumes that half of all teachers are not effective (ineffective or developing), although there is no evidence that that is the case. In fact, the State Education Department has created a bell curve evaluative system on which to place teachers to make it so. Now that, Mayor Mike, is ex cathedra.

Mayor Mike loved test scores and data. The fact that New York City made no more progress on national tests than any other city during his twelve years in office says something about his shallow knowledge of education. He left behind a school system that had gone through four major reorganizations; that relied on business consultants rather than educators for major decisions; that fired many teachers and principals and closed many schools; that introduced dozens of new selective schools; that won the title of the most racially segregated school system in the nation. He was really good at disruption, not so much at actually improving education.

Wendy Lecker is a civil rights lawyer who writes frequently for the Stamford (Connecticut) Advocate and is a regular contributor to the Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

Recently she wrote about Yale’s agreement to adopt Eli Broad’s school-wrecking “Broad Institute” in return for a donation of $100 million. The Broad Institute is a vanity project by a billionaire who readily admits he knows nothing about education but enjoys disrupting school districts because he can.

Lecker writes:

Wendy Lecker: Putting a price tag on public schools

When it comes to using one’s fortune to influence American policy, billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch stand out.
The Kochs have spent a fortune pushing American politics and policy to the right. Their secretive organization, Americans for Prosperity, is a major player in anti-labor activities, such as Wisconsin’s slashing of union rights, and fighting minimum wage increases nationwide. The Kochs poured money into the American Legislative Exchange Council (“ALEC”) a stealth lobby organization that writes bills that advance Koch industries’ interests specifically and the Koch’s extreme free market ideology in general, and then gets legislators all over the country to introduce them.
They have also donated millions of dollars to establish research centers at universities to push their brand of unregulated capitalism. They impose conditions and performance obligations on the donations, interfere in hiring decisions, and make curriculum and programming decisions. The Kochs often demand pre-approval of any public statements and include anti-transparency provisions in donor agreements. This research is then cited as the scholarly basis for Congressional decisions favoring the Kochs’ interests. The Kochs are proud of their integrated strategy to build a pipeline of influence. The president of the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation boasted that “(n)o one else has this infrastructure.”
Eli Broad, a billionaire who made his fortune through real estate and insurance, seeks to build a Koch-style infrastructure to push his education reform ideology. Broad recently announced that, with a $100 million donation, he is bringing his Broad Center to Yale’s School of Management (“SOM”).
The Broad Center trains school district leaders and those who seek to influence education policy. The center emphasizes applying business principles to running school districts and de-emphasizes education. In seeking candidates, the Broad Center prioritizes “a strong and direct alignment with specific (Broad Center) reform priorities” — which include school privatization and weakening labor protections. The Center openly aims to reshape American public education according to Broad’s ideology.
Eli Broad is a major player in some of the most aggressive — and controversial- education reform policies in America. Like the Kochs, Broad employs an integrated strategy of influence. For example, he bankrolled the education reform slate in the Los Angeles 2018 school board election. His star beneficiary, charter operator Ref Rodriguez, later resigned from the board and pled guilty to felony election fraud conspiracy. Broad also poured millions into Broad alumnus and charter operator Marshall Tuck’s 2018 unsuccessful campaign for California State Superintendent.
Broad used his money and influence to push the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) to run Detroit’s public schools. He provided significant funding and even summoned Broad alumnus and then Kansas City superintendent, John Covington, to be its first chancellor. Covington had wreaked havoc on Kansas City, firing hundreds of teachers and replacing them with inexperienced Teach for America members, and imposing other disruptive reforms. After his chaotic departure, Kansas City’s school district lost its accreditation. It then abandoned Covington’s reforms to regain its footing.
Covington left the EAA abruptly after charges of questionable spending, and the Broad Center hired him. The EAA was a devastating failure, plagued by financial mismanagement and abysmal academic failures.
A succession of Broad alumni ran Tennessee’s failed Achievement School District, which was also plagued by financial mismanagement and poor student achievement — worse than in schools under local district control.
Broad alumni were forced out of Seattle and Los Angeles amid financial impropriety, and Barbara Byrd Bennett, a Broad executive coach, is in federal prison after pleading guilty to a bribery scandal in which she engaged while head of Chicago Public Schools.
These scandals reflect poorly on Broad’s emphasis on applying business practices to school districts.
Much like the Koch’s foray into higher education, Broad’s move to SOM seems like an effort to profit from Yale’s name and perhaps sanitize the questionable track record of Broad alumni. Since Yale has no school of education — unlike other universities in New Haven — Broad’s interest is not to bolster any knowledge of how children can learn successfully.
In an effort to discern how much of the Koch playbook Broad is employing at Yale, I asked SOM about Broad’s involvement in the governance, curriculum, programming and hiring at SOM’s new center. After first indicating they would run these questions by SOM’s dean, SOM now fails to respond, despite my request for follow-up. Apparently, SOM’s Broad Center is adopting the Koch’s lack of transparency.
It is disturbing that a major university is helping enlarge the Broad pipeline, which has funneled scandal and upheaval across American public schools.
Wendy Lecker is a columnist for the Hearst Connecticut Media Group and is senior attorney at the Education Law Center.