Education LAUSD Unions

Remaking the Schools (Let me! No, let me!)


Okay, we’ve got the mayor and his possible school cluster takeover and transformation.
And we have Steve Barr/ Green Dot and the possible takeover and charter conversion of Locke High School. And certainly we have LAUSD itself with its purported Small Learning Communities transformation plan (or whatever their latest we’re-saving-the-schools-honest-we-are! plan is).

And late last week, a new would be school transformer: The L.A, teachers union has announced it too has a potentially-revolutionary new education model it would like to try out if LAUSD will just give it a school to convert.

And the model is…. (DRUM ROLL PLEASE)… Small autonomous schools! With those schools having local control over budgets, hiring and curriculum! And….more parental involvement…!!!!

Stop me if this is sounding familiar.

In other words, it’s the Green Dot model—or very nearly so. But without Green Dot.


UTLA’s president, A.J. Duffy, proposes trying this out on the Woodland Hills Academy in the West Valley, which used to be Parkman Middle School.

It seems that rumors have been going
around that about a dozen valley schools are looking into become charters, Taft included.

Clearly the union is feeling pressure to do SOMETHING.

Nothing wrong with that exactly. On the other hand, it might be nice if, instead of this four way tug-of-war, all the would be transformers could…you know…COOPERATE.

Clearly, that would be asking too much.

The Daily News’ Naush Boghossian has the rest of the story.


  • Yes, I read about this too; so that is what the big announcement was at Crenshaw last week that I’d read about the night before. But it seems like this semi-charter plan would still give the “schools,” i.e., principal, autonomy, and would not allow parents to get rid of principals themselves, like the guy at Santee discussed in your earlier thread. In fact, if the principal is bad, giving him control over the budget will only exacerbate matters.

    Meanwhile, on MLK fallout: some black civil rights leaders want Molina to apologize for demanding that all the employees by retested before being reassigned to MLK or to other County hospitals — she won’t, good for her. Even now they’re making this a racial/ civil rights issue.

    And in today’s LAT, Zev comes up with one of the best excuses yet for why the Supes didn’t do anything sooner: the problem has been here long before any of us, he said (hasn’t he been there a dozen years, and so have most of them? Guess that’s not enough…). The problem “is in the walls.” So now it’s a haunting, is it?

  • I dont blame the Valley schools wanting to break. The majority of the Valley schools are working on automatic. The gang and racial issues are the only problems that the Valley schools refuse to accept. The majority of the school administrations and/or parents seem to turn a blind eye to it.
    Molina should also request all County employees to get drug tested. Specifically those working in MLK and GH.

  • Hard to see this latest move as anything other than a defensive strategy on the part of the teacher’s union. They see Green Dot coming, it’s inevitable, and they want to position themselves to preserve their bargaining authority and the terms of their current contract. If I were on the board of LAUSD I’d be inclined to tell them, Nice try, but sorry. If I were a parent in this district, I’d be inclined to call someone on the board and suggest, in no uncertain terms, they decline. Let an experienced group come in and do the demonstration, then if the teacher’s union wants to take a crack at it, they have a model to live up to – and be compared to.

  • Jonathan Kozol has a new book coming out – “Letters to a Young Teacher” – which, I suspect will pack more wisedom and insight than anything from either the board or UTLA.

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