How is it a “fact” that “across the board re-staffing, which is what Zimmer, et al. have proposed [at the 6/18/13 LAUSD school board meeting], would bring back scads of positions and staff that schools don’t want or need any more [emphasis added]”?

Who is qualified to brand what is wanted or needed at ‘LAUSD schools’ as “fact”? An out-of-state observer? A private school parent? A partisan supporter of political opponents to the resolution’s authors?

Ideology cannot be allowed to cloud reality. As a parent of two LAUSD students I can assure you that it is my concerted opinion there are scads of formerly eliminated positions and staff that my children’s schools do indeed want and need. By way of rudimentary example, at one school the grounds staff diminished in the course of six years from 14 to 4 (-71%) and it is a very true fact indeed that the school has suffered badly for the decimation. System-wide, painters are gone. Plumbers are gone. Cleaners are gone. And as we all know, it is not just tradesmen who have been condemned, but academics and craftsmen as well. Gone are our librarians. And musicians and artists and athletes and aides and on and on and on and on. Our schools are devoid of administrators… at the school level at least.

The bare facts of the matter are that our schools have been stripped to the bone of personnel, all the marrow has been drained from those bones and the tendons holding it all together have just about dried up and fallen away. As if that weren’t enough the baby has slipped through the drain with the bathwater as our libraries themselves are locked up or left to wander away. Expensive tech equipment is likewise redundified for no reason short of lack of personnel to teach or care for it. The very real estate of our schools themselves is laid fallow and then given away to proposition 39 buzzards as children are stuffed into classrooms of ever-greater concentration, leaving rooms “empty” to be picked-off.

Here is a smattering of private, charter and district schools with class size and ratios abstracted and averaged by school type. These are in no way Screen shot 2013-06-27 at 6.54.57 AMrepresentative schools or a random sample of their type and even the data may not be perfectly or consistently abstracted. To make a fair comparison grade must be normalized; some of these schools are K-12, others high school only and everything in between. Consequently there is no statistical test to compare these numbers but a general sense of the difference is plain enough. The private schools attended by Reformers who subsidize their breathtaking tuition privately sport approximate average class sizes 1/2 that of public district schools and 3/5 the size of “public” charters (repeat: this is a “quick-and-dirty” estimate of relative effect only). Class size of charters is clearly less than that of public district schools.

Until each and every one of these public officials and philanthropists is willing to submit their own child to the same standards they advocate, their ideological opinions on the matter should carry little weight. I challenge these public figures to present a public school parent who believes an average class size of 29 is equivalent to 25 or 15.