Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pots And Kettles

Mira Loma Detention CenterAnyone who Googled 'Yolande Beckles' during the past couple of months, only to discover absolutely no trace of someone who can hardly be called publicity shy, could be excused for concluding that she'd been interred incommunicado all summer in a Los Angeles institution. Well, if you were hoping for the Mira Loma Detention Center you'd be wrong, but not necessarily a million miles from the truth. Yo has been head down beavering away for LAUSD or, to be more accurate, for the LAUSD Compensatory Education Advisory Committee (CEAC) of which she is a volunteer Executive Officer, rather than a paid employee.
A stern warning was posted here in April by an anonymous contributor: "there is no way that LAUSD will hire or pay anyone who cannot be verified via an I-9 or e-verify which LAUSD is mandated to use - providing false documents will subject the offender to serious Federal jail time and big money fines". Quite right, but this doesn't apply to volunteers and Yo has been working unpaid on behalf of LAUSD all summer. Moreover, according to a friend of Beckles Watch, "she's been a very busy little bothersome bee".

So what has she been buzzing away at all summer, you ask? Well, the answer was provided two weeks ago when Lupe Inabu, LAUSD Administrator of Instruction issued an email to the Principals of elementary, middle and high schools in the District about a CEAC report that was being compiled by a team including Miss Beckles. With LAUSD facing massive budget cuts this year, schools short of staff and a host of other problems facing the city's education services, you might have thought Yolande would have been developing programs to help address the problems faced by kids in Los Angeles. Not a bit of it. She's launched a witch hunt, looking for corruption and administrative incompetence in schools administration across the city.

Apparently, Yolande requested and received the Assurances & Justification Pages for every one of the nearly 400 schools in LAUSD and combed through the reports for every one of the schools, looking to see whether the signature of the corresponding committee chair matched that on each report. As you can well imagine, this was not an easy task and occupied a significant part of Miss Beckles' summer holidays. The outcome was a set of letters to schools across LA stating that investigation of their affairs was needed and demanding an explanation for the signature discrepancies by this Friday.The pot calling the kettle...

What makes all of this even more extraordinary is that Yolande has been engaged in these activities at a time when she continues to be under a disruptive parent notice issued by the Principal of her youngest child's school and is not allowed on the school campus other than for the child's drop off and pick up. Hardly a sound basis from which to investigate the integrity of the other 400 public schools in Los Angeles!

It will be interesting to see how the schools respond to Yolande's quirky demand at this worst of all possible times, now that the new academic year has begun. And how LAUSD reacts to the news that one of its most disruptive parents is conducting investigative audits of the city's schools. Watch this space for an answer.

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