The general attitude of the public education establishment toward charter schools has long been one of hostility. Charter schools and other school choice policies empower parents and teachers (as distinct from teachers unions), which means less control by the bureaucracy and unions over public school resources.
Since the accession of government union activist Al Jabbar to the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) Board of Trustees and the subsequent appointment of liberal activist Mike Matsuda as superintendent, the district has waged an aggressive political campaign against charter schools (while simultaneously inserting its snout into the City of Anaheim’s budget).
The latest salvo in it’s war on charter schools was AUHSD’s special screening this week of a new anti-charter school documentary called “Killing Ed.” Yes, the same AUHSD leadership that came poor-mouthing to the Anaheim City Council last year for a share of the city’s budget apparently has the resources to participate in a film publicity campaign. Priorities, you know — political priorities. Don’t hold your breath for the district to affect the pretense of neutrality by also sponsoring a screening of the pro-charter documentary “Waiting for Superman.”
In case you missed the thrust of the documentary’s oh-so-subtle title, “Killing Ed” bills itself as “a documentary film about charter schools, corruption and the Gulen Movement in America.” And to really drive the point home, the film’s logo is a schoolhouse emblazoned with both the Islamic crescent and a dollar sign – an interesting mixing of anti-capitalism and Islamophobia (whatever it takes to stop those awful charter schools):
I’ll post more next week on the Gulen Movement, charter schools and how the increasingly authoritarian, Islamist government of Turkey has hired a law firm to find plaintiffs to sue American charter schools the Turkish regime believes associated with the Gulen Movement – which is headed by an ally-turned-critic of Turkish strongman Recep Erdogan. One of those plaintiffs who has enlisted in the cause of the Tukish government (which is busily squashing the civil liberties of its citizens) is Dr. Jose F. Moreno. Moreno has also been promoting “Killing Ed”:
How is it even appropriate for the AUHSD to use public resources to engage in such naked political advocacy? Doesn’t the district have enough on its plate in terms of trying provide all district students with a decent education – a goal it isn’t achieving? When a charter school application comes before the AUHSD Board of Trustees, does anyone think it will be given a fair and honest hearing? The reality is it neer would, and with this latest action in its war on charter schools, the district is tossing away even the affectation of impartiality.
Last year, at the same meeting where the Anaheim City Council cast a split and ill-advised vote to give AUHSD a cut of the city’s budget, the council also adopted a resolution putting itself squarely on the side of charter schools. Given the AUHSD’s aggressive pursuit of a political campaign that directly contravenes the official stance of the City of Anaheim, the council ought to re-visit that decision.