“[O]ther education providers to COMPETE with public schools for the opportunity to educate children.” — The Heartland Institute (Bigoted Reactionary Right Wing “Think Tank”)
“There’s nothing the matter with teachers that a little less unionization and more COMPETITION couldn’t cure.” — Ann Coulter (racist reactionary right wing pundit)
“It would force the district to learn how to run great schools by forcing them to COMPETE.” — Ben Austin (Executive Director LAPU/PR)
The brilliant piece by renowned journalist and Parents Across America co-founder Caroline Grannan entitled Parent trigger misfires by disrupting and dismantling local schools documents some of the more egregious problems with the so-called Parent Empowerment Act in California (aka Parent Trigger — since the wealthy Ben Austin, who lives in an affluent area that is “87.5% white and the median household income is $169,282,” is blissfully unaware of how culturally loaded, and frankly racist, the word trigger is to use in conjunction with low income areas like Compton). Most importantly, Grannan, who is one of several experts on Parent Revolution, points out the organization is “not a parent group but was founded by charter school operators, backed financially by billionaires and corporate interests.”
Parent Revolution’s paid staffer Linda Serrato attempts to argue in response to Grannan’s article using a series of straw men and non sequiturs. She also included a host of links to right wing articles supporting Parent Revolution’s hostile takeovers of public schools on behalf of their charter-voucher client base. You can check out Serrato’s comments below Grannan’s essay, Serrato’s prose and logic smacks of a fifth grade charter school drop out. At no point does she offer a cogent argument disproving Parent Revolution’s deep ties to the charter-voucher school sector. We’re supposed to take her word for it, that’s right, the word of a poverty pimp and privatization pusher collecting a check from plutocrat foundations. My response, which still hasn’t made it through the moderation pipeline, follows:
I’ve been researching and writing about the plutocrat funded 501C3 Parent Revolution from back when it was run by Ryan Smith and was called Los Angeles Parents Union. The well paid Linda Serrato, who is a recent Austin hire, insists her corporation doesn’t just represent charter interests. Let’s put that specious assertion to the test.
During the entire existence of LAPU/Parent Revolution, there have been many local events that directly concerned both public school, and yes even charter school parents. In every case I can recall, unless the issue was directly related to increasing charter-voucher school market share, Parent Revolution was nowhere to be found. In fact last year I created a table of all the events Parent Revolution should have been involved in, but weren’t, in my extensive biography of Mr. Ben Austin:
Political Patronage for Green Dot Public Schools’ Chief Propagandist
That’s twelve important education actions the foppish millionaire from Benedict Canyon and his staff could have supported! Rather than write new prose discussing the table, let me quote my same article:
“What’s conspicuously obvious is that Austin and his henchmen only support things that increase charter-voucher market share, enable hostile takeovers of public schools, hamper organized labor, and boost the charter-voucher industry’s chances of increased profits. Forget about what’s best for the community or something that effects public schools (you know, that other 95% Dr. Shaffer was discussing above). Some child and parent advocate. Austin and his group didn’t even have the dignity and courtesy to support the Ánimo Justice community — one of their own, in their greatest time of need!”
More to the point, Parent Revolution’s major funders, the Walton Foundation, The Broad Foundation, The Gates Foundation, and the Annenberg Foundation are the largest charter-voucher school advocates around. Do you expect any rational person to believe that they just fork over funds and then let Austin use them for an opposite agenda?
Heck, Parent Revolution’s own website used to list all the Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) that comprised it. The sentence started “The Parent Revolution was started by a coalition of organizations, led by the Los Angeles Parents Union (LAPU).” I see that page has been deleted from the poverty pimps’ website, probably because it made it easy to identify who they actually served. Of course, I still have copies of the infamous “Annenberg Document” that outlines the entire foundation of Parent Revolution (née LAPU).
Still want to maintain that your reactionary and divisive 501C3 isn’t in the service of the lucrative charter-voucher school industry Ms. Serrato?
“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” — Paulo Freire
In the battle between corporations against communities, you can only pick one side. I choose communities. Given that Parent Revolution is hosting an event next week with the vile extreme right wing reactionaries of The Heartland Institute, it clear which side you’re on.