George McKenna’s feelings are hurt

Erin Aubry Kaplan is the daughter of former Inglewood school board member Larry Aubry, and a supporter of LAUSD school board candidate, Dr. George McKenna.  Neither her nor her father are “educators” of school age children, they are both columnists.  Her latest article describes the political “mudslinging” that has resulted in McKenna’s feelings being hurt.  He is taking this campaign personal.

Larry Aubry was on the Inglewood Unified School District board when they collectively voted not to renew Dr. McKenna as the superintendent.

I personally know students who attended Washington Prep while Dr. McKenna was principal.  He was a fearless man who proudly and confidently stood up to gang members to turn the school around, yet, those successes didn’t happen in the Compton or Inglewood school districts once he became the superintendent.  Perhaps it was due to a disjointed board.  Or was it easier to turn around a single school as opposed to two dozen, let alone one of the largest districts in the country?  In any case, his success at Washington Prep can not be ignored.

This election makes the first time Dr. George McKenna, has run for an elected seat.  He is now 73 years old.  A concern is his ability to appeal to the younger generation.  He chose a fellow elder, Jewett Walker, who is also a pastor, to lead his campaign.  McKenna has appeared at rap concerts to raise money, in attempts to appeal to the younger crowd, when in reality, the younger crowd probably doesn’t know who he is.

My belief is the campaign utilizes the made for TV movie on Dr. McKenna to associate Denzel Washington’s name to his own, to appeal to the younger voters.

No one said running in a political campaign would be easy.  Kaplan’s article goes on further to discuss McKenna’s friendship with L.A. county supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas.  Once upon a time, they were political allies.  Both fighting for social justice in the education of African-Americans.  Yet, MRT, as the seasoned political veteran and no spring chicken hisself, sees the future.  He understands when it is time to think about hanging up your boxing gloves and make way for the youngsters.

Alex Johnson represents that future.  He is a young attorney, an education advisor, who has worked under one of the most successful politicians in L.A. He has also worked on behalf of great programs he has been able to increase funding for to expand their presence.  He is also at an age where kids can look up to him and aspire to be like him.

Many argue the school board needs more educators on the dais, not charter school reformers.  Parents want options to failing schools.

McKenna was at one time a regional administrator for LAUSD but recently retired.  Perhaps the stress of the job and the board was getting to him.

To put things in perspective, Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) was taken over by the state in 2012.  Our board consisted of “educators” who knew nothing about running a multi-million dollar budget.  As a result, we have no local control, taxpayers blindly approved another bond and we discovered an “educator” former board member misappropriated taxpayers money towards his re-election campaign.

We are on our third state appointed administrator and our current is a retiree, as a direct result of the actions of “educators”.

Nothing has changed in the Inglewood Unified School District.  We continue to lose students.  Students do not have books to take home for homework.  No innovative programs have been introduced.  No increase in parental involvement and employee morale is low.  Our campus security was laid off and now they can come back if they have a license to carry a gun.

We need someone on the board who can address and inspire children to learn.

Our kids need resources and someone who is skilled in the ability to allocate those resources to the classrooms, without regard to whether it is a traditional school or charter.  I want my child to come home with books we can look at together to get homework done not an iPad.  I want programs my child will be proud to beg me to participate in not complaining about the cafeteria food.  I want schools that are aesthetically pleasing to look at not crumbling and without P.E. equipment.  I want schools my child is eager to attend everyday not dreading because his teacher was out all week.  Most importantly, I want a school I want to volunteer my time at and will encourage my neighbors to take their children.

I don’t want a board member whose feelings get hurt or takes it personal when he is challenged on how he will achieve the above.  How is he hurt by a campaign when he has stood up to gangsters?

Related article:  Schoolyard Bully?

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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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