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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Baghdad Roy?

Superintendent Roy Romer sounds and looks more and more like Former Iraqi Information Officer Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf (better known as Baghdad Bob).

Let’s Compare Quotes:
"The Americans are going to surrender or be burned in their tanks. They will surrender, it is they who will surrender."

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraqi Information Officer

“It's just not a failing district; it's an improving district,'' Romer said. ''To represent it otherwise is not telling the facts.''

Roy Romer, LAUSD Superintendent
Clearly Iraq was dead wrong about their spin. Just as Baghdad Roy is about his.
Study Estimate
Urban Institute - 45.4% Graduation Rate
Manhattan Institute - 54% Graduation Rate
Harvard Civil Rights Study - 48% Minorities Graduation Rate
Ed Week - 44% Graduation Rate
LAUSD cooked numbers - 75.5% Graduation Rate
Baghdad Roy should learn some lessons from his old friend Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf and not spin so hard.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Baghdad Bob was just ahead of his time (like Nostradamus). He knew sooner or later people like "war her" John Kerry would wear people down until a date for withdrawal was set (read "surrender").

June 24, 2006 6:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I love the nicknames Mayor Sam comes up with!

Baghdad Roy -- i'll be using this term forever!



June 24, 2006 7:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hilarious. About as funny as Vietnam Villaraigosa or maybe Antoneli Villariordona. Antonio, stick with the job you were elected to do. Before Mr. Governor are terms they'll prevent you from being referred to.

P.S. Word up - Eli is not happy with you.

June 24, 2006 8:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Speaking of nicknames, how about you finaly drop the Mayor Sam moniker? Embrace yourself, Fatboy Higby.

June 24, 2006 10:22 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

I have a feeling that, in a few years, we will look back at this period wistfully as the "Golden Age" of the LAUSD.

Here's why: people assume, from the high drop-out rate, that the LAUSD is mismanaged. The data, however, suggest that the problem is not management, but the quantity and quality of students we are asking them to educate.

I am not aware of any other school system anywhere in the world that is supposed to educate massive numbers of children from other countries who do not speak the local language, and whose culture does not value education. Add to that the fact that many of these poor kids are working jobs when they're not in school, and you're going to get a high drop-out rate, no matter what.

Unless and until someone can identify different teaching methods that have produced better results with a similar population, I think we are fooling ourselves when we blame management for the low graduation rates.

I love a simple solution as much as the next guy, but I just don't think the evidence -- low graduation rates -- proves mismanagement in this particular situation. I think we need to be a little more deliberate.

June 24, 2006 11:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter is spot on. LAUSD will continue to be a disaster for at least decades to come regardless of who runs it.

June 25, 2006 12:53 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I would love to see this as a mail piece !!

June 25, 2006 1:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Perhaps you were in another City or country when we had our elections last year.

But Mr. Villaraigosa stated then that reforming our schools was his top priority, in fact there were TV ads that even stated this fact.

He then when on to give Jim Hahn the ass kicking of his life, which means Angelenos wanted their new mayor to get involved, help, cajole and make our schools more accountable and the labs of innovation we want them to be.

June 25, 2006 1:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"Ass kicking" I DON'T THINK SO.

Give me a break the mayoral election was the lowest ever for this city. Wasn't it less then 10%? Now all those who didn't vote are furious that Antonio has turned this city into a joke. I'm beginning to like the LA Times. They have a great opinion piece that shits on Antonio for his actions in Sacramento and LAUSD. They basically say HE CAVED to conflicting interests. I haven't read not one positive story on Antonio's school bill. Every newspaper is slamming him.

June 25, 2006 6:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You should be posting these stories. The dailynews.com has a poll asking if "City Hall is corrupt" go online and vote, its on front page.
L.A.'s ethical void
City agencies not notified of bidders' past violations
The City Ethics Commission has violated the law for a decade by failing to notify city agencies of sanctions against dozens of people who money-laundered tens of thousands of dollars to political candidates. The notification failure means leaders of city agencies - who award millions of dollars in contracts - may have been unaware that some bidders who laundered campaign funds should be ineligible for city business under the four-year-ban rule.
As investigations of possible City Hall corruption continue, the breach in ethics enforcement rules raises new questions about whether effective measures are in place. While it's not clear whether campaign law violators slipped through the breakdown of rules, critics suggested that the commission's failure is symptomatic of lax ethical attitudes at City Hall.

June 25, 2006 7:08 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

LAUSD is overwhelmed with students that either don't speak English as their home language or that come from impoverished families. The Mayor can't change that.

June 25, 2006 7:43 AM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

You're right, the mayor cannot change that. Plus, he can make matters far worse than they are by: i) insisting, through his veto power, that a political hack rather than an educational professional become superintendent; and ii) letting each school devise its own curriculum without "checks and balances" as to the quality of the content, and without any consistency between schools (which matters when kids transfer).

For the first time in my limited and ever-shortening memory, I agree 100% with the LA Times editorial today. Romer has an informative article in there, too, and this is a guy who, as far as I can tell, no longer has any axe to grind, which increases his credibility in my book.

The mayor's new "plan" makes no more sense to me than having three people drive a car: one to steer, one to run the gas pedal, and a third to operate the brake. I just don't see any benefit, aside from letting the Mayor claim he "got a bill" and produced "reform." Reform for the sake of reform is a bad idea.

June 25, 2006 8:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Every story on the LAUSD takeover is saying the same thing, that the bill is too confusing as far as who has power and for what. Mariel Garza writes the most ridiculous personal opinion piece on Antonio's first year. She basically states he's done nothing but been a man with a big smile. These women reporters are embarrassing.
Affirmative Action in Michigan big story.
Advocates Seek Injunction To Halt Affirmative Action Ballot Question
Advocates of affirmative action programs are asking a federal judge to issue an injuncition against a ballot referendum that would ban some Michigan institutions from using the practice.The ballot referendum stems from complaints made by a former applicant to the University of Michigan.
Jennifer Gratz says she wasn’t chosen to be a student in Ann Arbor because the university gives extra weight to applications from minority students.

June 25, 2006 9:08 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well Well look what I got e-mailed.
Jury found in favor of the company and awarded it $12.4 million. A judge increased the award by nearly $19 million in penalties and interest.
A long-running lawsuit over the expansion of the Hyperion sewage treatment plant near LAX has culminated with a blow to Los Angeles that will cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
Contractor Dillingham-Ray Wilson brought the case in 1999, charging that the city withheld millions of dollars in payments for construction work on the Hyperion project amid disputed time and cost overruns.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury found in favor of the company this month, hitting the city with a $12.4 million verdict. A judge followed up this week by awarding the firm nearly $19 million more in penalties and interest.


June 25, 2006 9:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jackie Goldberg as superindent?!.. oy vey..

Reform for the sake of reform is a bad idea. But AV can claim "victory," and gain the perception of momentum and shaking up the status quo if this confusing plan is implemented. But it's doubtful whether anything meaningful will change based on factors WM and others have outlined. Better have the $$ to send your kids to private school as I understand AV does.

June 25, 2006 9:49 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Roy Romer coming off as credible??? this guy wanted to have a legacy ending year, hence he's always touted all the school bonds he got passed not education reform.

Now that the Mayor has effectively placed reform on the agenda for our children Romer looks like he was an ineffective Sup all these years, which he was.

Heck Romer even listed his legacy statement in the LA Times today to show that he cared about how history viewd him, and having an asterik by his name now, fumes him.

Romer being about education reform is about as honest as Baghdad Bob being baout democracy.

June 25, 2006 10:47 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I think if we were all to look carefully behind the story, we would find many disturbing aspects of this issue. Forget the crazy "takeover" idea. Nobody knows who the next mayor will be, much less whether they will be able to do their portion of the task they get. (be it steering, operating the brake or the gas pedal)

So we all know that Villaraigosa has to do this because of his campaign promises to Riordan and Broad. If he wants to be governor, he has to forget the needs of the second largest city in the United States, which he has not proven himself capable of running, and concentrate on fucking up the already fucked up school district. Therefore we know he isn't doing this for reasons based on his own personal convictions. So there must be something that we aren't getting yet.

What we aren't hearing about is LAUSD's money. I would like to know how much of the budget will be taken away from LAUSD's coffers and funneled into the city's general fund.

Will the city pay off its deficit in a couple of years if Villaraigosa gets what he wants? Does he just want control over that money?

Why wouldn't he just go for a break up of the district? Let each and every other city take control of their own schools. It didn't make sense that they were under our control anyway.

When things are illogical and simply don't make sense, there is usually a lot of money motivating the issue. I wish we knew what the real issue was here.

June 25, 2006 12:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

whadaa hapnd to jennifer Sol Is?

spell check porfavvvvor.

June 25, 2006 1:25 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Funny you should mention that "we won't know who the mayor is," because the bill includes a "sunset provision," i.e., all of this disappears and reverts to the old system in six years. So this is clearly designed to benefit Villaraigosa, and not to be a long-term solution.

June 25, 2006 3:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Romer needs to focus on the really important things like finding his lost wallet that caused him to stay in LA for all this time

June 25, 2006 4:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Apparently somewhere deep in our state constitution it says that only education entities can run schools.

If this plan passes, it will be caught up in litigation forever, by the way costing tax payers $$$.

However... the mayor at that point can say, he did it, he got the laws changed but it got held up in the courts. He's off the hook... and then who gets to be our new governor...

June 25, 2006 10:39 PM  

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