Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 61 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Asleep at the Switch?

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Carl Petersen
Become a Fan
  (6 fans)

"In response to this very unexpected action, the district has assembled a team to provide support to students and families as they transition during this difficult time, just one month after the start of the district's traditional school year".

-Los Angeles Unified School District

(Image by LAUSD)   Details   DMCA
The charter industry has a propensity for manipulating data to meet their propaganda needs. For example, a recent press release stated that "more than 2,000 families [had] marched in support of charter schools". However, the first sentence of the release told a completely different story. Instead of families showing support of these private schools operating with public funds, "more than 2,000 charter school teachers, students, families, supporters, and local representatives joined together" had participated in the march. Unless families had been prevented from sending more than one representative to the march, the headline was clearly misleading.

Given the recent headlines, it is unclear what the California Charter School Association (CCSA) was actually celebrating. In May, the Los Angeles Daily News released the first in a series of articles detailing the "financial shenanigans" at El Camino Charter Real Charter High School. In July the California Attorney General's office "reached an $8.5-million settlement with [K12 Inc., that] it had accused of false advertising, misleading parents and inadequate instruction." Then the NAACP called "for [a] national moratorium on charters" in part because they "have contributed to the increased segregation rather than diverse integration of our public school system". A report released in August by the ACLU and Public Advocates found that "one in five charter schools 'illegally' screens applicants". Then less than a month into the school year, "City Charter Schools suddenly halted its high school program...leaving more than 100 students at the independent charter school scrambling to find alternatives".

As "the largest district charter school authorizer in the nation, with about 250 independent and affiliated charter schools serving over 130,000 students", the LAUSD has failed to do its part in protecting students and taxpayers from these scandals. The District's Charter School Division, lead by a former CCSA staffer, has neglected its regulatory functions as it treats charters as "valuable partners" rather than the competitors described by the charter law. Its reputation as a toothless enforcer of the law is so great that in the case of El Camino, only a hired forensic accountant can look into the charges detailed in the October LAUSD Notice to Cure after the press ran a story about these charges in May.

Perhaps the most flagrant example of the CSD's ineptitude is the fact that it allowed City High School to open. To cover its costs, the charter needed to enroll 150 students but on the first day "only 125 showed up and more dropped out in the first few weeks". By the time it shut down, "116 students [were] scrambling to make other arrangements." The facility that it had rented "had problems, including the lack of a working air conditioning, which would take weeks, and be costly, to fix". Somehow the CSD was unaware of these conditions and found the charter's closure to be "unexpected".

For the sake of the students and taxpayers, the District needs to do a better job of performing its regulatory functions. Some of the steps that it needs to take can be found in my proposed resolution Improving LAUSD Performance as a Regulatory Agency for the Charters that I will introduce upon my election to the LAUSD School Board. It is the third in a series meant to move the School Board election into a discussion about solutions.


I am a candidate for the District 2 seat on the LAUSD School Board, founder of Change The LAUSD and member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council. You can voice your support for my campaign through DFA. Opinions are my own. You can interact with me on Twitter @ChangeTheLAUSD

Well Said 2   News 2   Supported 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Carl Petersen Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

Carl Petersen is a parent, an advocate for students with special education needs, an elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, a member of the LAUSD's CAC, and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, the Network for Public Education (NPE) Action endorsed him, and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a " (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Make it a Headline When Trump Actually Tells the Truth

California Senate Candidate Alison Hartson on Education

Three Headlines That Got Buried Last Week

Bright Shiny Objects: Trump's Real Art is Diverting Attention

If Money Continues to Talk, We're Screwed

Finding Hope in Florida

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend