By Rick Orlov, Staff Writer | LA Daily News
June 8, 2010 -- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday praised the work of Los Angeles Unified school board member Yolie Flores Aguilar, who announced last week that she will not seek another term in November.
Three years ago, Villaraigosa encouraged Aguilar to run for the school board, where he said she has acted as a change agent.
"We are going to have to draft someone, or see if someone steps forward, who can do the same work she has done," the mayor said.
"She was the author of the school choice resolution and we are going to miss her."
The school choice resolution, one of the biggest reforms at LAUSD in decades, allows charter schools, teacher collectives and non-profits to compete to operate new and underperforming schools.
Flores was elected to the LAUSD board in 2007 to represent Local District 5, which has about 115,000 students at more than 115 schools primarily in Southeast Los Angeles.
Supporting Flores and other members of the school board was part of an effort by Villaraigosa to gain more control of the school district. His plans were eventually denied by the courts.
"Public safety is my priority, but public education is my passion," Villaraigosa said. "I have not been deterred, even when my effort to get state legislation was ruled unconstitutional. I think you will see the improvements we have made when the next test results come out."
Flores will leave her seat when her term ends in June 2011. Flores will begin leading a newly created education advocacy organization backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that will focus on education reform.
At first she will work part-time as an executive director and then shift to full-time when her school board term is over.
●●smf's 2¢: Orlov and The Daily News’ timeline is a bit skewed, producing history that is 180° separated from the facts: “Supporting Flores and other members of the school board was part of an effort by Villaraigosa to gain more control of the school district. His plans were eventually denied by the courts.”
- Mayor Tony’s first plan to ‘gain more control of the school district’ (ie: by takeover by legislative fiat) was
eventuallyinitially denied by the courts 1-2-3 – Superior, Court of Appeals and State Supreme. The plan was unconstitutional. In other words: Illegal …only more so.
- His Plan B for takeover: ‘Supporting Flores and other members of the school board’ – and then removing Superintendent Brewer and installing – in a two step* process - his own deputy mayor as superintendent - and imposing his control through a series of board resolutions and school giveaways (Does the Mendez’ Learning Center ring a bell?) has been, from the mayor’s viewpoint –real success. Not of education …but of control.
- Now he declares: “We are going to have to draft someone, or see if someone steps forward, who can do the same work she has done.” “We…..?” Does Tony have a mouse in his pocket?
Maybe gentle readers, someone needs to step forward to do other/better/different work.
And maybe “We” needs to be “We the People” – parents, educators, taxpayers and lest-we-forget-why-we’re-here: students …not the royal “We” …or the corporate Gates/Broad/Walmart “We” of what Diane Ravitch calls the “Billionaire Boys Club” of unaccountable corporate foundation agenda-driven ‘reform’.
* The new dance sensation: The Mayor Tony Plan B Two-step.