Costco, Ikea and LAUSD

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.

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  1. mike from oregon says:

    I’m not sure why you said … move to Portland. The schools up here suck – real bad. I’m not sure just how they would compare to the schools in LA, but I don’t send my kid to them and the public is moving OUT of the city and/or moving the kids to private kids in DROVES. The public schools up here are NOTHING to write home about, believe me.

    P.S. In two years, after my kid is out of school, I’m outta here – socialism runs rampant up here.