In 2010 when I worked as an Education Specialist for then Senator Gloria Romero (SD32), I remember that she used to have this long scroll of the 1000 lowest (persistently) performing schools in LAUSD. That was nearly a decade ago. In fact, she passed legislation to provide parents information about whether their neighborhood school was on the list and mandated schools to disclose their status and offer parents the choice to choose another school.
That law has now sunset as the criteria for accountability was the API Index which no longer exists. Of course, since there’s no one in the legislature to take up the fight to update the law, parents are now forced, once again, to enroll their children in whatever failing school is in their neighborhood.
The list then closely resembles the new list of lowest 5% schools in the state generated by the California Dashboard today. Not much has changed. I want to use the cliche phrase here, “let that sink in,” but it doesn’t seem to with the powers that be. Additional resources and millions of dollars have been poured into these schools with no improvement in sight.
And the problem is not just in Los Angeles, whose teachers recently lead a strike against the district demanding more money, staff and a moratorium on charter schools, take a look at the long struggling district of Oakland Unified (here’s story from nearly a decade ago), which also has not being able to get its house in order and as a result, also has some of the state’s best performing public charter schools.
What I cannot understand is why parents don’t strike!? A boycott of these failing schools would get the attention that this matter deserves. Your property taxes and education bonds are financing these sinking ships.
LAUSD has 110 schools in the lowest 5% list. Lowest 5% in the state. Come on parents and people of California, step up and demand better schools and outcomes for our kids!
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