LA reform: Teachers will run 22 campuses

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.

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  1. I’m not holding my breath. And I’m a teacher.

  2. So Mike in Texas, no predictions of educational nirvana? Here ya go bubala, teacher-run schools.

  3. I find the fact that the teachers were willing to take on this responsibility very encouraging. They must realize that they will be held accountable for the results in exactly the same fashion as charter schools, etc. and thus will have every incentive to work hard, push their colleagues to do better, etc.

    As well, I think it’s always helpful for any group to have the opportunity to see a situation from the other perspective.

  4. Allen,

    It will be interesting to see just how much autonomy the teachers are allowed.

    Given the fact that LAUSD supt. Cortines was recently busted for having a “job” with Scholastic, and owning over 100K in stock in Scholastic, my prediction is the teachers will be free to choose any Scholastic products they wish.

    Will they also be allowed to have selective admissions like charter schools? Or require extra hours in school as well as mandated “volunteerism” from students’ parents like a KIPP school?

  5. If they have selective admissions like charter schools that means they won’t have selective admissions. That’s the luxury magnet schools, i.e. private public schools, enjoy. But you knew that.

    It’s gratifying to see that your first inclination is to start making excuses for failure even before the policy is implemented. Shows where your loyalties lie and what your expectations are.

    But I don’t think they’ll need your excuses for failure. Their contract makes professional failure immaterial and that won’t change when the teachers start running their own schools. Not one of the ingredients of success from the point of view of parents but then you’ve never had much patience for anyone who doesn’t see the public education system, first and foremost, as a jobs program.

    This policy is just another stall to try to keep the forces of education reform at bay for a little while longer. All the more mundane and pathetic efforts having been thrust aside now trying to create the appearance of parental choice without its reality is all that’s left to the school board and the union.

  6. Ah, Allen, delusional as always. Charters don’t have selective admissions? That is so wrong as to be laughable.

    Don’t forget to throw in the evil teacher union boogie-man as another one of your fantasies.

  7. And yet with your assertion that charters have selective admissions policies you can’t come up with a single example.

    Like I wrote though, it’s gratifying to see you preparing excuses for the failure of the teacher-run schools. Shows what your true beliefs are.

  8. Allen,

    Even surely YOU are not so dumb as to make the claim charters have selective admissions?

    How many links would you like me to post proving you’re lying?

    5? 10? 25?

  9. Well let’s see, how about this one?

    OMG!! There’s even a $45 non-refundable application fee! I thought charters were free public schools with open admission but it turns out you have to pay $45 JUST for the priviledge of applying!

    Or how about this one?

    Gosh, the article is entitled

    San Luis Obispo: Change in charter school admissions policy prompts challenge

    Looks like the governing board of this charter decided to play at a little nepotism. Good thing they have an open admissions policy eh Allen? OH wait . . .they don’t

    Wow look at this one!

    They have a placement test to help determine which kids they let in:

    Applications must be received by 12 noon on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 to register your student for the Placement Test.

    And this one:

    They have a deadline for applications, so it looks like they don’t take just any child.

    They too have a deadline for application, so it looks like they don’t have to take just any child who happens to live in their district.

    Are you going to admit you made a foolish statement you can’t back up Allen or do I have to continue?

  10. Of course, I don’t REALLY expect Allen to admit he is wrong, or lying, so here’s some more:

    I LUV this quote:

    Charter Schools are not forced to enroll students within a certain attendance zone.

    Wow that means if my child lives in their attendance zone they don’t have to take him, but the local public school does.

    Check out this one:

    By submitting an application for
    your child, you are committing to active participation in the school through volunteerism.

    Gosh this school even gets to demand parents volunteer, or little Johnny won’t be attending!

  11. The William Penn Charter School is a private religious school, not a charter school. “Charter” is “a reference to the historic document that was signed by William Penn to establish the first Quaker school in America,” according to Wikipedia.

    The San Luis Obispo school gives a preference to siblings of admitted students. Many district-run magnet schools do this.

    Setting a deadline for admissions is also a common practice at district-run magnet schools. In fact, my daughter’s old neighborhood elementary had a first come, first served policy. Once classes were full, kids went on the wait list — even those who’d moved in across the street. Charter schools with excess applicants need to set a date to hold a lottery so those who lose the lottery can make other choices.

    The Charter School of Wilmington, which evolved from a math and science magnet school, does screen for top math and science students. They claim Delaware law allows this and so far they’ve prevailed. It seems dubious to me.

  12. And the school that REQUIRES parents to volunteer?

    The Louisiana charter laws?


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