List of Shame: The Bottom Five Percent of California Schools

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!

What do you think?

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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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