Stop Cheering on Charter Schools

Matthew Taylor (the south area chairman for United Teachers Los Angeles, has taught English in Los Angeles schools for 23 years.) :

It’s apparent from The Times editorial, “Hope for Locke High,” and two previous articles why this newspaper deserves its poor reputation among local educators and informed community members when it comes to public education. A runaway bureaucracy, top-down authoritarian school administrations and a decided lack of collaboration are the real issues. It’s too bad that they remain hidden behind The Times’ blame-the-bad-teacher cries and charter-school cheerleading.
Can we at least talk about the real problem, the state budget, for a moment? Because California is one of the largest economies in the world, it’s a crime that the state ranks among the lowest in per-pupil spending and has such large teacher-student ratios. It would make sense to give a much greater financial priority to public education. What we don’t spend on now, we will have to spend much more on later. Incarceration, healthcare and welfare already cost our society too much.
Senior Deputy Supt. Ramon C. Cortines (who really should be called the superintendent in light of the vacant leadership of David L. Brewer) was clear and correct in taking responsibility for the latest outburst of violence at Locke High School. The Los Angeles Unified School District has “abdicated [its] responsibility” for too many years at a host of schools in inner-city Los Angeles. Years of inexperienced or despotic administrators have helped drive excellent, experienced teachers away. A lack of true collaboration with teachers and parents, turning a blind eye to the collective bargaining agreement and ignoring student-centered reforms lowered morale. When teachers aren’t valued, they try to find places where they are.

Related: Fearing for Massachusetts School Reform.

2 thoughts on “Stop Cheering on Charter Schools”

  1. Improving the dropout rate at LAUSD schools is a very complex issue involving many facets. One alarming issue is the fact that unless education is valued at home, it is difficult for the students to see how education can help them succeed in society. Teachers need the support and backing of the parents to work together in motivating students to want to succeed.
    Inspiration and success breeds more success. Economically disadvantaged families that offer a loving home environment and value education will help guide their children to value how an education can help them succeed in life. Unfortunately, all children do not have this environment.
    Hopefully, teachers can inspire students that are in this situation to value education. The task is difficult when teachers and parents are not on the same page.

  2. We can blame the problems of LAUSD schools on the sweet taste of lead paint and Al Gore’s diabolical plan to warm the earth. Al’s troupe of plotting floozies have been working overtime to recruit more groupies who have an affection for spewing their brand of environmental fundamentalism and the consequences of unabated gasoline consumption. This particular sect of quasi pseudo activists have been lingering on the fringes of the democratic party, clutching their rags of tie dyed bandannas, holding their tongues and waiting for that opportune moment of civilization’s impending collapse just so they can turn the knife with righteous pomp and say, “I told you so.”

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