Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Mayoral Control Celebrated LA Style
Dateline Los Angeles...There is a lot I have to say before turning the keys back over to
Papa AR, but let’s stay on the revolutionary news breaking in SoCal.
Today, at Animo South Los Angeles Charter High School, with my brothers Jonathan Williams, Marshall Tuck and Mike Piscal by my side and our Mayor celebrated the passage of Mayoral Control, LA style, in front of a huge happy crowd of charter school success stories. From the podium I could see Union bosses interspersed with Green Dot kids and empowered parents from the toughest neighborhoods of Los Angeles. We, meaning reformers, unions, parents and community groups must work together for this city to be a truly great city.
Today I have hope.
Guestblogger Steve Barr, CEO & Founder of Green Dot Public Schools
Assembly Backs Mayor's Bid for School Oversight
Guestblogger Steve Barr
"Do PTAs Matter?"
I want to use today's post to ask all you eduwonkers a serious question. Do PTA's matter? I know they matter at local schools where parents rally around a school. I mean, do they matter in a systematic change kind of way. Can any real change happen in this country without a pure, loud, parent revolt? In my experience building charter high schools in the highest need areas in Los Angeles where dropout rates can hit 70%, I can't find a PTA. These are areas where generations have dropped out. In Los Angeles the PTA seems to be against everything. Is it that way across the country? Is it the way they are funded? Do they attract the same people who use to dominate student government? In response to this we bring you the Los Angeles Parents Union. Check it out: www.smallschools.org and email me your thoughts on PTAs at email@example.com.
Guestblogger: Steve Barr
The Ghost of Pat Brown
I am a "Pat Brown Democrat". I jumped a class because of the once proud California public school system. Pat Brown, father of Jerry, created a "Master Plan for Education", with the vision that California would have the best public schools in the country. And Californians rallied around that vision with their hard earned tax dollars. I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of Californians' lives changed because of that vision, but I know mine has. What has happened to the Democratic Party's ability to lead on this mother of all meat and potatoes issue?
Look to Los Angeles for some hope for those desperate for a decent education and a party in search of renewal. This past year our Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took all his political capital and put forward his educational reform vision last year on a special election ballot. His vision for public education was "jam the unions". Well he ended up getting a good smack down. Months later our Liberal Democrat, former teacher union organizer, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, wagered all his considerable political capital on his vision of decentralizing Los Angeles Unified School District into small schools, charter schools, with a pledge to the six tenets. If our Mayor is not careful, he may change hundred of thousands of Angelenos for the better, and make the Democratic Party relevant again...stay tuned.
--Guestblogger Steve Barr