Los Angeles, CA Full Disclosure Network presents Part three and four of the complete series covering the future of Public Education consisting of four half hour shows each with three segments. Here is an insiders view of Public Education featuring long-time Los Angeles Unified School District School Board Member David Tokofsky, who is a teacher and who presided over some of the most tumultuous and challenging years in the nations second largest school District. Presented here are six segments from Part 3 and Part 4 of the series on Streaming Video available here 24/7 and are featured on 47 cable systems in California, Washington D.C. and Massachusetts.
SEGMENT SEVEN: Politics, Power & Influence
According to David Tokofsky, Politics and education are inseparable. “Politics is the influence of other peoples behavior”. The Milken Institute estimates K-12 education in the United States is worth $250 billion. Billionaires Eli Broad, Bill Gates and Michael Milken are involved in Education and School Board governance, accelerating the struggle over power and control, efficiency, productivity, curriculum and instruction.
SEGMENT EIGHT:. “Belmont the Billion Dollar School”
David Tokofsky was a primary critic of LAUSD Belmont Learning Center, he describes how the school was not built to code with no accountability, no arbitration or litigation and acknowledges the same contractors have been rehired to build 170 new schools. Explains why Belmont was not funded by GO Bonds funds and struggles to explain how the District paid for books, desks, teachers and personnel after his parcel tax proposal did not fly.
SEGMENT NINE: “ District Flush With Billions in Bond Money”
David Tokofsky describes the LAUSD attitude toward the $20 billion school construction project as being “Afflicted with Comfort” and asked if the District is being ripped off by unscrupulous contractors once again. He describes the struggle within the District as to who will control the Office of Ethics. The Board has apparently decided the Ethics Office should be located in the Office General Counsel instead of the Office of Inspector General, opting to “build a culture of ethics” rather investigations.
SEGMENT TEN: “ What Is The Primary Mission of Public Education?”
According to Tokofsky, the Public Schools are providing much more than just education. Feeding children breakfast, lunch, counseling, health care, police protection. And, School Construction Program has been billed as an “Economic Stimulus” package to provide jobs, plus LAUSD owes billions for unfunded retirement benefits for teachers. He complains that schools are asked to do more that just educate, without funding.
SEGMENT ELEVEN “ Illegal Immigration Impacts Education”
For years the LAUSD has struggled with Immigrant Rights issues and student boycotts to demonstrate on such issues as their illegal immigration status. Tokofskysays students need to learn in class how to participate in the process and he points to the need to address other issues besides “status” there is the adult education issue.
SEGMENT TWELVE “What Is the Greatest Challenge to Public Education?”
Tokofsky feels that Term Limits should be changed to a rotation of office, that the Board Staff has marginalized the effectiveness of the Board Members. And, he points to “At Large” Districts that limit the scope of Members and result in “unintended consequences” (dilution of power). He feels his greatest accomplishment was instituting Full Day Kindergarten classes and laments that the City Developer Fees are not paid to the District.