Education Green Dot LAUSD

LA Schools Progress Report – Charter Schools: 2, LAUSD: 0

Hot on the heels of the Green Dot/LAUSD battle for the hearts, souls, real estate and per student dollars that make up Locke High School—with the advantage, thus far, going to the Green Dot Charter Schools—we have another splashy charter schools move.

At a press conference this morning, LA’s main zillionaire mogul and purse-string school reformer, Ely Broad, together with former Mayor Richard Riordan, will announce a $6.5 million gift by Broad to another up-and-coming charter group, the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools. The gift will allow the Alliance to open several new schools, with three of them planned for this fall in the areas around Jefferson, Fremont and Locke High Schools.

The $6.5 million comes on top of $10 million Broad gave to Green Dot last year.

The LA Times reports this morning that right now about 6% of the roughly 708,000 students in the district attend charter schools.
Next fall that number is expected to go lots higher.


  • Give parents vouchers and let them decide where to send their kids based upon school performance. Competition is good, but it requires working harder and better–something that the teachers’ unions oppose.

  • Fine Woody I’ll support vouchers under the followinmg conditions:

    1. The voucher covers 100% of the cost. No added fees may be charged

    2. The school must take aall who apply. If there is limited space a lottery will be used

    3. School must comply with all laws like title 9, ADA, etc.

    4. School is subject to same monitoring as “public” schools. I.e. NCLB, state proficiency tests etc.

    5. (bonus round) staff must be allowed to join a union

    How about it Woodster?

  • Charter schools are proposed as a less strigent alternative to vochers. But in each case the assumption is made that outcomes will be better. Nonsense. Better than Beverly Hills High?, Lowell in San Francisco?, Kennedy in Cerritos? (subject of a fascinating book. People in Asia relocate there just so their kids can go there).

    First of all a lot depends on parental involvement. Then the quality of the teaching staff. Then the resouces available. And finally the composition of the student body. And vouchers or charter schools don’t magically cure any of this.

    We’ve known this for decades. Charles Silverman’s “Crisis in the Classrooms” was written in 1971. It’s still valid. So are the works of Jonathan Kozol who has been in the trenches and keeps getting angrier and angrier over the last thirty something years.

    And for the “Break-up the LAUSD” crowd I would just note that one of NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s acclaimed “Reforms” was the re-centralization of the NY Schools and the elimination of those local districts that made Albert Shanker a household word (and butt of a Woody Allen joke – see “Sleeper”) back in 1968 with the Harlem “District 18” wars.

    Guiess what? It ain’t simple.

  • What Richard said.

    With one caveat: I’m beginning to lose faith that anything substantive is ever going to happen with the district’s organization and size as it is. It’s just that the previous Break Up LAUSD plans were all about making it better for the San Fernando Valley, and didn’t take into account the damaging effect the proposed break-up would have on East and South LA schools.

  • And you think the “Break up the LAUSD” crowd isn’t all abouit that? Not having to mix their kids with “those” people?

  • rlc: Fine Woody I’ll support vouchers under the following conditions: …5. (bonus round) staff must be allowed to join a union.

    So, it doesn’t matter how much good vouchers could do for the parents and their children, you’ll put unionizing teachers ahead of the education and future welfare of the kids. No union, no vouchers.

    Let me refresh your memory of what I wrote above: Competition is good, but it requires working harder and better–something that the teachers’ unions oppose. I guess that I am right.

    Our local schools rank in the top 2% in the nation, and the schools have significant black representation as principals, teachers, and students. But, we don’t have any unions beyond the sorry, liberal, teacher-protecting, student-ignoring GEA, which no one is required to join.

    Georgia is a right to work state, where teachers are not forced to join unions. Maybe California could learn a lesson from us.

    As Columbo would say, just one more thing…ALL schools would benefit by allowing qualified people to teach even if they haven’t gone through useless and silly education courses to achieve “certification” of nothing useful. I personally know of several excellent teachers who have taught for years in private schools or two years in public schools but who were forced to take further education courses, including those having them sit in circles on the floor, take part in free practice teaching, and pay hundreds of dollars to be “supervised,” just so that they could teach for the county.

    Why, I bet that Celeste, who teaches in a university, would not meet the certification rules to teach in the LAUSD. It’s a damn racket.

  • Richard, I think they’re totally about that. But just because the Valley “Break up the LAUSD” folks are self-servingly ill-intentioned, doesn’t mean the district shouldn’t be smashed. That’s why I like the break-up-from-the-inside thing that the Green Dot folks seem to be moving toward. Steve Barr and a bunch of others have tried everything to work with the district. Much more so than has ever been entirely reported (because it gets so inside-baseball-ish that editors tend to roll their eyes). But administrative entropy plus an absolute unwillingness to power share among a lot of the forces within the mix have defeated all meaningful cooperative ventures. So I say blow the mo-fo up. I’m getting to the Kozol point of pissed off beyond any return. But what bugs me about Kozol is that he never proposes solutions. It’s not enough anymore, IMHO just to say it’s all bad.

    BTW, your point about the necessity of involving parents (that you’ve made a couple of times earlier) is so, so well taken and important. I intend to blog about it in the future.

  • Yeah right woody, everyone kwows the great educational achievments of the Georgia schools. How about them Bulldogs!

    You did not answer the question, of course. I guess you like the idea of throwing money at a problem since you ignored my calls for responsibility in funding vouchers.

    But it is irrelevant as vouchers will never happen. The suburban school districts are well liked by their customers who will always vote “No” on any plan that could defund their schools. They’ve done it twice in CA and I see that the new FL Governor is backpeddling on all of Jeb’s “Reforms” as fast as he can.

  • I wouldn’t lump other systems into ours. Ours, however, has achieved what I stated.

    You can put condition upon condition on the vouchers and soon you end up right back where you started.

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