A school reform plan that was supposed to bring in outside operators to run new and low-performing Los Angeles schools has put teacher groups in charge of 22 of 30 campuses, reports the LA Times. Charter schools will run four schools and the mayor’s nonprofit group will control three, the school board decided.
More than 250 existing schools initially fell under the plan’s sweep, but (Superintendent Ramon) Cortines narrowed the list to 12 low-performing campuses along with 18 new ones.
Board member Yolie Flores criticized the majority’s decision to change some of Cortines’ recommendations. Proposals by some of the city’s most successful charter groups were denied.
Teachers’ school designs “were not radical, but they were interesting and coherent,” writes Charles Kerchner, an education professor, on Huffington Post. In addition, the teachers’ union pushed “pilot schools,” district-run schools freed from some rules “with a strong dose of teacher self-governance.”
Recasting teachers’ jobs as members of a producer’s cooperative is radically different than seeing them as industrial workers at the low end of a hierarchy.
It will be very interesting to see how the teacher-run schools perform. If teacher leadership can turn around low-performing schools and give new schools a strong start, more power to ’em.