My Long, Strange Trip From Neighborhood School Activist To Charter Founder

My Long, Strange Trip From Neighborhood School Activist To Charter Founder

Many families on the West Side of Los Angeles have been victims of the capriciousness and hostility of our incumbent school board member, Steve Zimmer. It’s a not-too-well-kept secret that we are all beholden to him, and we better step carefully or we might experience his wrath. Not just charters, but district-run pilots, language programs, and even traditional neighborhood schools and magnets have felt the whiplash of his whims. 

Read More

LAUSD Would Harm Thousands of Kids With Charter Denials

 LAUSD Would Harm Thousands of Kids With Charter Denials

Anyone needing evidence of the vast chasm between the district’s rhetoric and reality need look no further than LAUSD’s unprecedented number of charter denial recommendations that will be voted on by the LAUSD board Tuesday night.

Six schools serving 6,730 students are recommended to have their charters revoked, including LA’s top-ranked charter high school, while three other schools are being denied by staff their requests for revisions affecting 2,060 students.

All of the schools recommended for denial are outperforming nearby district schools, according to LA School Report, and none of the reasons for denial are based on student outcomes. 

Read More

It’s Not Just Special Needs Kids Who Benefit From Inclusive Schools Like WISH

It’s Not Just Special Needs Kids Who Benefit From Inclusive Schools Like WISH

When you hear about “inclusive” schools, you hear about the massive benefits they have for kids with special needs. While the importance of that cannot be overstated, there is an equally profound impact on typical students without special needs – like mine – that is often overlooked.

Their entire attitude toward people who are different from them was shaped by the values instilled by WISH, and it has carried over to the rest of their lives. 

Read More

Teachers Must Speak Up Too

Teachers Must Speak Up Too

Imagine what could happen if we allowed parents, students, teachers and administrators to be co-collaborators of educational environments — where teachers and administrators were honored as guides, parents honored as the invested partners and students honored as co-creators of their learning. 

My voice is here to tell you this: It is possible. It requires us rethinking and restructuring our educational system to honor teachers as experts and parents as investors. It requires us honoring the voices of all involved. Most of all, this change involves all of us doing the personal work to speak up – clarifying what we believe, believing that we are worthy of being heard, honoring what we know and facing the fear of speaking the truth in public. 

Read More