13 Wednesday Jan 2016
Wednesday morning dawned a superlative sunrise here in LA ~ roseate clouds fronting exhilaratingly blue sky, a morning-after display suffused with color worthy of our news.
Not Obama’s Tuesday night swan song, nor Mayor Butts’ hyperbolic certitude regarding Inglewood’s free municipal lunch (at 5:10), but the naming of a successor for LAUSD’s hundreds of thousands of stakeholders, its children, its parents, its administrators and educators, its operatives and critics, disciples, roadies and acolytes, visionaries and venture capitalists.
Home town girl all growed up, weatherer of successive activist administrations through a battened down, pragmatic work ethic: Michelle King has surfaced to assume America’s most volatile and politically electrified superintendency – our LAUSD’s.
I’ve heard it remarked this is LA’s Hope moment, but I do not think so. King’s promise is not of suppressed anticipatory excitement, but of commonplace relief. None of us actively engaged in public education actually wants the drama of ideology, we want schools that work, institutions anchored to our communities, giving and taking in equal measure, part and parcel of our society’s bedrock. We don’t want to be utilized as part of neoliberal capitalism where education is a sector exploited for its privatization potential. Our kid’s education is not a commodity, it’s just part of their ontogeny. We want a village that will raise our children. Correctly, adequately, properly and in exactly the same way as are Walton or Gates or Obama children.
Traveling through public spaces in town yesterday everywhere could be witnessed folks high-fiving. I stuck my hand out and high-fived innumerable strangers. I knew what they were talking about without overhearing their words: everyone’s just plain relieved. She’s come home, the board’s recovered its senses. The tempering of jittery nerves regarding LAUSD and its future was palpable.
LAUSD’s school board made a very courageous decision in opting for the quietly competent administrative “tortoise” who has not been swinging from educational lianas, leveraging criminal racketeering into higher education diplomas. Michelle King is politically savvy perforce, and the board has satisfied its members through private conversations that her political ideology is sound enough. The prerequisites for this job are ultimately not complex, and the in-house candidate has an advantage in this politically charged climate: she is a known, knowing and competent candidate, and she demonstrably will in fact work for “the children” and not just pretend as much.
Thank you, Mes/sr.s Zimmer, Vladovic, Schmerelson, Rodriguez, Ratliff, McKenna and Garcia.