Epic Battle Ahead

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed a plan for LAUSD reform which would place the school district under the mayor's control. Despite our differences, I am a fan of Mayor Villaraigosa. I like the passion and zeal he has for his job. He takes the job seriously but does not strike me as someone that takes himself too seriously.

The Daily News reports:

On Friday, Villaraigosa said he envisions a system in which he would be able to close any low-performing schools and shift students to campuses that are able to do better.

Even as he pursues a district takeover, Villaraigosa said he also will be pushing to approve more charter schools to give more independence to educators and parents.

While he did not say exactly how many charter schools he would like to create, he praised the ones currently operating - particularly the Vaughn Street school in Pacoima, run by Principal Yvonne Chen.

"You see what's going on there and it's amazing," Villaraigosa said. "Ninety-five percent of the students come in speaking only Spanish. In 18 months, they are all fluent in English. By the 10th grade, they are studying Mandarin and Arabic.

In my opinion, tossing out schools that are already dead weight is a fabulous concept. Teacher's unions and other union members are naturally opposed to such radical measures. Apparently no one's told them that "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of crazy." Everyone acknowledges a problem, but no one's been willing to take on the issue and resolve it. If Mayor Villaraigosa is willing to try, he deserves our full support.

Posted by Portia at January 28, 2006 12:05 PM | TrackBack

Won't happen. Kahlifornia just can't buckle to the idea of performance-based edumication. we need to keep everything fair. fair, here me? keep those rich white boys down!

Posted by: MacStansbury at January 28, 2006 03:48 PM

I would be concerned with overburdening schools that are doing well by dumping another load of kids on top of them. I'm guessing resources are already tight to begin with.

Instead of moving the students, it's the administrator's feet that should be held to the fire. The state needs a system where failing schools have their administrative deadwood cleaned out and a different team is installed.

Since we homeschool our youngster (wife teaches, I'm the principal), the only administrator I have to worry about is me.

Posted by: MarcV at January 30, 2006 10:43 AM

I would agree with you on that level. I just like the threat of closing under-performing schools. I have no idea what will solve this vast problem, but someone needs to get the ball rolling here, and I'm excited to see that the mayor is attempting that.

And yes, being a product of all three school systems, I concur that the lovely part of homeschooling is the lack of red tape.

Posted by: Portia at January 30, 2006 11:18 AM