Update: Greuel discovers education reform after mayoral lambasting, challenges Garcetti to debate. See on next page.

Will political twins and L.A. mayoral candidates Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti — a.k.a. “Greuel-Cetti” — ever talk specifics, and not just platitudes, about the most serious problems facing Los Angeles? The kind of problems that can determine the future of a young kid from Boyle Heights or South Los Angeles?

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa brought that into sharp focus yesterday during his farewell State of the City speech at UCLA, where he slammed Greuel-Cetti for their disinterest in education.

“It has been so disheartening to see our mayoral candidates devote so little time to a serious discussion of how to deliver a quality education for all our children,” Villaraigosa said. “Education reform can't be a footnote on a campaign mailer or fodder for an attack ad.”

Whoa! In fact, Greuel-Cetti have been so dispassionate about public schools that one has to wonder if they know anything about them. So as required reading for the candidates, here's the Essential L.A. Weekly Guide to Education Conundrums and Screw Ups

First up, writer Hillel Aron explains how famed attorneys Ted Boutrous and Ted Olson, who recently argued against Prop. 8 before the U.S. Supreme Court, are suing California over the protection of educators who should never be allowed in a classroom:

Firing the Bad Teachers: Ted Olson and LAUSD Parents Sue

And writer Simone Wilson explains that there are plenty of scary teachers right here in Los Angeles:

LAUSD Has Dug Up 500 Cases of Unreported Teacher Misconduct Since Miramonte Scandal

And writer Beth Barrett examines how bad and incompetent teachers have been protected for decades at the L.A. Unified School District by a secret policy called “Dance of the Lemons”:

LAUSD's Dance of the Lemons

And this reporter explains how the worst-hit schools, saddled with teachers who can't teach, are in poor and working-class Latino and minority areas of Los Angeles where smart kids get little education:

Educating Maria

And this reporter also explains how parents finally got somebody on their side, in the form of Democratic state Senator Gloria Romero, who pushed through the Parent Trigger law that gives parents real power against the system:

California's Parent Trigger

Any questions, Greuel-Cetti?

Update: Is it possibloe that Villaraigosa's strong words aimed at Garcetti and Greuel lit a fire under Greuel? She has challenged her rival to debate the schools disaster today at Camino Nuevo Charter High School in Downtown Los Angeles.

No word on how long this has been planned, but Greuel's camp says in a press release:

As an LAUSD graduate, and as the parent of an LAUSD student, education

is not a political issue for Wendy Greuel. It's personal, and it's a

critical part of her policy platform. This is why Wendy Greuel is not

only willing to debate Eric on education, she is ready to debate

today. Rather than holding a political press conference calling for an

education debate, let's use that time to HAVE an education debate.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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