P.S.: "Zip"--there's that word again! [Also 'whip'-ed Wow.] ...
P.P.S.: Most of Balko's piece is devoted to excoriating injured N.J. Gov. Corzine for his recent nauseatingly solipsistic performance, in which (as Balko notes) he was "contrite for putting his own life at risk, but not for jeopardizing the lives of everyone else on the road" while speeding to a photo-op at more than 90 m.p.h. ... [via Instapundit] 2:08 A.M.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Not Only Will the Revolution Not Be Televised--It Won't Even Make the Front Page:
"The more you fail, the more money they throw at you," he said. "We're filthy rich; I don't want any more of your money. Send me quality teachers."
That's Frank Wells, principal of Locke High, a key "troubled" high school near Watts in South Central L.A.. Or maybe I should say former principal. There have been wild and significant doings at Locke. A majority of the school's teachers have signed petitions supporting the school's conversion of into a group of smaller charter schools (under the aegis of charter entrepreneur Steve Barr's Green Dot organization). The central school district bureaucracy apparently then struck back at Wells, who was "escorted off campus and relieved of his duties late Tuesday afternoon pending the outcome of a district investigation into allegations that Wells allowed teachers to leave their classrooms to collect and sign petitions." [E.A.] ... The teachers' union, Eduwonk reports, has not surprisingly reacted angrily to the subersive challenge from its own members--asking for time to present it's own "reform" ideas.** ...
I don't know exactly what to make of this story (though I'm obviously rooting for Barr). If the problem with Locke is lack of "quality teachers," then who are the teachers who are signing the petition to become part of a charter school? Are they the good Locke teachers or the bad Locke teachers?
As usual, it's especially hard to discern exactly what's going on reading the LAT's account because the paper's tediously dull, formal, "neutral" style gets in the way of actually comprehending the forces at work. Here's the Times:
Underscoring the anxiety and anger the plan is unleashing within the district, Locke Principal Frank Wells was escorted off campus and relieved of his duties late Tuesday afternoon ... [snip]
Wells called the charges "a total fabrication," saying no classes were disrupted as teachers signed and collected signatures during non-class time. Teachers who helped collect signatures supported Wells' version of events. [E.A.]
I think the vague boldfaced words are journalistic code for something like this:
Terrified by the threat that if a big ghetto high school like Locke secedes the entire union-supported city schools bureaucracy might collapse like the East German government at the end of Lives of Others--and angered that Wells would even talk to the Green Dot charter people (in front of U.S. Education Secretary Spellings, no less)-- the school district's bureaucratic blob immediately and crudely retaliated against him by trumping up charges ...