Pressured by the teachers’ union and liberal Democratic legislators, the Los Angeles school board blocked Green Dot from opening small charter schools to compete with a very bad high school, but it extended the charter of a low-performing all-Hispanic charter. Lance Izumi of Pacific Research writes:
The first vote involved Green Dot Public Schools, which operates several charter high schools, and wants to open new schools in the low-income Watts neighborhood. Green Dotâ€™s philosophy is that all students can learn if held to high expectations and taught by quality, empowered teachers. Students at Green Dot schools take college-prep courses and the schools stay open late to maximize learning. There are about 3,000 mostly black and Hispanic students in Green Dot charter schools in Los Angeles, with waiting lists in the hundreds. While not all student performance indicators are improving at all the Green Dot schools, overall the schools are showing encouraging early results.
While rejecting Green Dot, the board extended the charter of Academia Semillas de Pueblo, which has failed to prove that teaching the Aztec language Nahuatl improves math scores.
Semillas is one of the cityâ€™s worst schools but that didnâ€™t matter to the board, especially with liberals like former Assembly education chair Jackie Goldberg and City Councilman Richard Alatorre plus a variety of extremist Mexican separatist groups backing the Hispano-centric anti-assimilationist school.
Marcos Aguilar, the founder and principal of Semillas, prefers race separation saying â€œWe donâ€™t want to drink from a white water fountain,â€ and that the â€œwhite way, the American way, the neo-liberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction.â€
Green Dot is appealing the charter denial and almost certainly will win approval based on its track record with its existing school and strong support from parents.
Update: Susan Estrich, a member of Green Dot’s board, has more.