Under Stephen Strachan, students wear uniforms, it takes a C to pass and a ‘fifth-year senior’ program is bringing dropouts back.
You can blame the failure of Los Angeles’ latest school superintendent on racial politics, an incompetent school board or a bureaucracy impervious to reform.
But you can’t sell that to Stephen Strachan.
Strachan is the principal at Jordan High in Watts. Like Supt. David Brewer, Strachan thinks big and is brimming with self-confidence.
But unlike Brewer, Strachan has managed to move beyond summits and slogans to remake a high school long considered one of the district’s worst.
I met Strachan two years ago — about the time Brewer arrived in Los Angeles. I visited Jordan High because I wanted to know what it was like running a school that bordered one of the city’s most dangerous housing projects.