David A. Walsh: Sure, Ravitch may “cherry-pick” her facts and sound like the tobacco companies, and Brill may be a defamatory admirer of Joel Klein, bosom buddy to Rupert Murdoch, but at least those are creative attacks.
Sikivu Hutchinson: In a district where black students are already presumed guilty until proven innocent, Gardena High School’s racially lopsided awards ceremony was not only criminal, it was yet another indication of how black students are still being systematically discarded, held hostage not only by blatant push-out strategies but by bogus reform that straightjackets children of color with one-size-fits-all bromides. Where is the outrage?
Mark Naison: It behooves us, as progressive organizers and justice fighters, to keep the lines of communication open to people in these organizations, and be there to work with them if they join us in resistance to policies that concentrate economic sacrifice amongst America’s poor.
David Love: But the larger picture here is that corporate education reform is big business. And the rightwing, plutocratic agenda – of school privatization, government austerity measures and deunionization – clashes with the needs of poor, working class, and disproportionately black and brown public school students.
Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: As long as the N.E.A. as well as organized labor in general remain tied to the corporate-dominated Democratic Party, public education will deteriorate, critical thinking will be undermined, wages will remain low, and the working class will continue to suffer a decline.
Leonard Isenberg: Ex-LA Mayor Richard Riordan, who is now chairman of the board of cash-strapped ICEF Public Schools, is now in the process of trying to get his board to vote control of the charter’s 15 schools over to Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, another large, local charter-school group.
Leonard Isenberg: What motivates me is something rather positive and comes from the fact that I am a product of what was best at LAUSD from 1952 until 1964, where I got an excellent education.