John McDonogh Flunkie “Manager” Steve Barr Is Doing Just Fine in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles (LA) Times has a column entitled, “Chat and Selfie.” On April 4, 2015, the column featured “education rabble rouser Steve Barr.”
The column featured Barr taking a “selfie” “in front of his Silver Lake (Los Angeles) home.” In California, of course, because that is where he lives.
Steve Barr’s Los Angeles “Selfie”
Barr is in Los Angeles– not New Orleans, where he decided in 2012 to long-distance “manage” the over-100-year-old John McDonogh High School– and decided in 2014 to long-distance ditch the project after two years of doing nothing.
McDonogh was supposed to be renovated. Nothing happened. (Photos below from Crazy Crawfish’s October 2013 posting on McDonogh.)
Rat feces/termites?/rotting wood
Asbestos, rat feces, rotting wood, and in October 2011, we have then-Recovery School District (RSD) superintendent John White basically telling McDonogh parents, students, and staff that renovation was contingent upon test scores rising. In the 12-minute Youtube video below, White also talks about finding the “right” operator for McDonogh.
That’s right, McDonogh parents: You put up with that asbestos and rat feces, those leaky windows and rotten floors, until your kids Make the Grade.
White throws the word “commitment” around often in his psychologically-twisted, “no renovation without higher test scores first” approach, but when it came to Barr’s commitment to McDonogh, failure was not only an option– it was a convenient escape without any inkling of consequence.
No loss to Barr. Not his community. Not his kids attending that school. (They attend school in Silver Lake, and I’m thinking their floors are rat-feces free.) Just a long-distance business deal that did not pan out.
And what with New Orleans being 1,892 miles from Los Angeles, few in the City of Angels likely understand the implications of Barr’s failure to follow through on his commitment in the City That Care Forgot.
There will be no Barr “selfies” in front of dilapidated, as-of-yet un-renovated, closed McDonogh High. The future of McDonogh remains unsettled.
Not Barr’s problem.
Hypocritically, in his “Chat and Selfie” moment, Barr criticizes Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti for being “M.I.A. on education.”
M.I.A., like the California-based charter “manager” of a now-closed New Orleans school.
In an attempt to compare education to a leaf blower, Barr responds, “The education debate has been loud and windy….”
Like the wind blowing through the vacant halls of a now-gutted McDonogh, 1,892 miles away from the man who agreed to “manage” it in 2012.
His lack of concern for his irresponsibility towards the New Orleans community for bailing on McDonogh aside, Barr ends his “Chat and Selfie” time by noting that he does not plan to “publicly scold” any “California public figure,” as the interviewer apparently asked. No. Not Barr. When it comes to California, he’s a man of responsibility, “the man in the mirror” who notes that “there is no reason why we”– California– “should not have the best schools in the country.”
To Los-Angeles-based Barr, “we” was never New Orleans, and it certainly wasn’t John McDonogh High School on Esplanade Avenue.