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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Up for grabs: your neighborhood school

Back-to-school sales are in full swing. But why settle for some new clothes and notebooks for your kids when you can shop for an entire campus? The Los Angeles school board earlier this week voted to allow charter schools and other groups to operate about 250 campuses as the part of the most recent effort to reform the Los Angeles Unified School District. But what schools are available? In response to a request by The Eastsider, the LAUSD provided a list of schools that are on the table.

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The most valuable properties on the list are the approximately 50 new and soon-to-open schools (this list includes only about 30 schools scheduled to open in 2010).

Smart shoppers looking for a diamond-in-the-rough might want to take a closer look at the more than 200 existing LAUSD campuses. The schools are ranked as among the lowest performing in the district based on rankings tied to the No Child Left Behind law and include many properties on the Eastside, including Belvedere Middle School in East Los Angeles; Eagle Rock High in Eagle Rock; and Logan Elementary (pictured) in Echo Park. Let the shopping begin.

1 comment:

  1. I am confused and would like to hear people's opinions. I am (sadly) not a parent, but I am an adult very concerned about public education in LA. I am a graduate of LAUSD, and my mother is a retired LAUSD teacher.

    We have argued about this issue. My question (perhaps naive) is this: if LAUSD has consistently not been able to improve performances and quality of education at certain schools—why is bringing in new resources such a bad thing? Is is because there is no accurate measure of what these new resources will be?

    I wish that LAUSD could provide each of its children the same resources, but clearly, it cannot. Some children in LAUSD benefit from excellent programs, but many do not. While LAUSD and the school board and teacher's union fight, children grow up and graduate or drop out of the system. While I support LAUSD sentimentally, my impression, especially after having lived in other cities, is that their refrain has been the same since I was a child 30 years ago: we are not ready, we haven't been given a fair chance, etc.

    It seems that parents and children—and those of us invested together in the future of the children of Los Angeles, as business owners and employers—deserve something more thorough and less disorganized than this constant complaint.

    Can someone explain to me why the option of charter schools is so bad?