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Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

PYFC, Rod Gould And The Discourse Of Measurement

Posted May. 23, 2013, 9:50 am

Letter To The Editor

At the historic January 8 City Hall meeting over 200 people marched to save the PYFC, the only organic youth center built by Pico Corridor residents, and decry the City reports as false (This month the city opens PYFC's allocations to outside groups through an "RFP"). 

Twenty eight of twenty nine benchmarks were met, yet the city staff, under the direction of City Manager millionaire Rod Gould, asserted that PYFC did not pass the test.

This is what rhetoric scholar Ralph Cintron calls the "Discourse of Measurement."

The City Staff's requirements, modes of measurement, and their selective (if flawed) interpretation of numbers makes up the discourse of measurement.

Since the times the first Europeans landed in the Americas and read edicts in foreign languages, drew maps and claimed "ownership," the discourse of measurement has been an "instrumental rationality." It is a discourse with material effects. The discourse of measurement belittles other knowledge systems.

This discourse of measurement does not measure love (of people or learning), intercultural understanding, self-esteem, cultural awareness, improved relationships, new beginnings, mentorship, close calls, awakenings, safe spaces or inspiration. Like standardized testing, the discourse of measurement is not concerned with these things.

The discourse of measurement magnifies the most minuscule of dangers and sets off a new round of instability.

The discourse of measurement does not measure racism or challenge it. It is an instrument of (institutionalized) racism.

Elias Serna, Ph.D., A.B.D.

"The Mayor of Virginia Park"

Santa Monica

May 23, 2013

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May. 23, 2013, 1:54:27 pm

Jon Mann said...

To: Elias Serna, Ph.D., A.B.D. "The Mayor of Virginia Park" I noticed you didn't ask if the discourse of measurement measures corruption of the management staff feeding at the public trough and diverting money allocated for services to pad adminstrators' pension fund...?

May. 27, 2013, 3:25:36 pm

Mayor of Virginia Park said...

to "John Mann": look, man, are you serious? Re-read your comment for its racist content: (animals) "feeding at the public trough" ... are Pico Neighborhood residents, are Pico youth, are Black,Brown people, are social workers, people that CARE about youth.. are they NOT taxpayers? Why aren't you critical of the FREE billions that developers, police and tourist industry get each year? Huh? Maybe your interests are not with youth of color, but with the color of moneyed individuals. Be critical of yourself, as much as you are critical of my words, and you may find your way back toward the human ......

May. 27, 2013, 3:36:49 pm

N/A said...

The city of Santa Monica provides the best services for homelessness throughout the state but REFUSES to fund the PYFC to help the children of the community. Am I the only person that sees something wrong? Here's the irony: the majority of the homelessness are white males and the majority of the students are Latino. WOW, prejudice on that level. Santa Monica city/staff how do you sleep at night?

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