Monday, May 14, 2007

Neal Kleiner lies? Say what?

Please Mr. Vladovic....You Know Better

By Diana L. Chapman

For a long time, I really believed I liked Richard Vladovic, but every time I received a new mailer from him for his campaign to run for the Los Angeles Unified School Board, my stomach ached, my head hurt and I began to wonder:

Is Mr. Vladovic really the man I thought he was? Apparently not.

How hard does he have to go to attack his opponent with accusations such as this: “I promise not to lie. I promise not to lie. I promise not to lie. I promise…” written on a chalkboard and accusing Neal of lying about the test scores when he was principal at Muir Middle School? It also gave Neal an “F” in bright red letters when he was one of those administrators who had the guts to go into the heart of South of downtown Los Angeles to try and bring students up who live in some of the most fearful, deteriorating areas of our sprawling, and at times, not-so-angelic city.

In the meantime, Mr. Vladovic often sat comfy as an administrator with Los Angeles Unified.

“Neal Kleiner does not deserve a promotion,” screams the latest of the ugliest fliers I’ve received Monday afternoon, just before Tuesday’s election. For awhile there, I was entrenched with the idea that while I liked Neal better much because he did not accept money from Los Angeles Mayor Richard Villaraigosa -- who for some reason he believes he can run the district more efficiently when the city really needs to focus on its very own messy inefficent backyard -- I at least thought Richard would still be a good man for the post.

Now, I’m just very disappointed – to say the least. I wanted to fall off my chair in laughter when he made this accusation: “Kleiner failed to meet federal standards.” Does Mr. Vladovic just not know how many school’s fail to meet those standards as they are next-to-impossible to meet?Educators from many walks of life have told me this repeatedly – and I know Mr. Vladovic knows this too.

Then, the flier campaigned: “Neal Kleiner does not deserve a promotion”

First, I’d never call being a school board member a “promotion,” as it’s an incredibly time-consuming job – with no money for that time (I think the post pays $25,000-a-year) and why not give Neal a promotion? Richard Vladovic was with the same district for years and we can most certainly point to the many failing schools that exist in the district – now – the very same district he worked for dozens of years.

While I was nurturing myself into believing that Neal might lose this election – I at least lulled myself into thinking that Mr. Vladovic would still be a good choice. Now, my opinion of that has been buried.

Mr. Vladovic, I most certainly hope that if you win this seat, this will not be the way you represent us. The need for an upstanding, honest individual – such as our prior board member Mike Lansing – is of the utmost importance. No matter what people want to think of Mike, there’s one thing I knew about him always – he protected the kids, the students. Neal Kleiner is the same. And for along time, I believed this too of Mr. Vladovic.
It’s just now that I’ve really realized; I am no longer, by any means, sure when I saw the latest release of campaign literature.