For middle-class LA parents who want to educate their children without filing for bankruptcy — or moving to Portland — writer Sandra Tsing Loh‘s Scandalously Informal Guide to Los Angeles Schools provides insight in how to game the system and when to give up in despair.
. . . a small number of hardy middle-class families were bravely waddling, March of the Penguins-like, across the unmapped vastness of LA Unified. Using nothing but love, optimism, and the stubborn gifts of their belly fat, they were noodging their children from K through 12 and on into college. Not just college, but colleges people have heard of–Harvard, Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley (and all the other UC’s, which are now super-hard to get into)!
These middle-class, English-speaking children had gotten a stellar education in LA Unified, and they had paid no money.
. . . I believe the most helpful image for you is to think of the LAUSD as like Costco.
Costco has frightening parking, ugly lighting, and daunting 30-foot-high high towers of Bounty paper towels. But look closely and you’ll find a jaw-dropping price on Glenlivet, hothouse cherry tomatoes and, oh my God. . . Yo Yo Ma. What is YO YO MA doing here?
Alternately, the LAUSD is like IKEA. Some boxes of treasure, some boxes of crap–their titles a nightmare of umlauts. . . all of which you will have to self-assemble.
Via Cathy Seipp, who thought she was the last middle-class person in Los Angeles.