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
Zimmer frequently infuriates our parent members with inconsistent leadership, doublespeak on school choice, broken promises, vote abstentions, as well as decisions made in the dark that have pitted parents against one another and divided communities. Zimmer has vocally opposed reforms that would have made it easier to dismiss ineffective teachers. And his management of district facilities has lacked transparency, honesty and fairness.
All of this has contributed to parents leaving the district for private schools, charters and nearby school districts – a loss of enrollment that has exacerbated the financial crisis LAUSD now faces.
But most importantly, Zimmer often puts the needs of adults – specifically his adult special interest campaign donors – ahead of the interests of kids.Read More
When we explained that we had decided to homeschool for now, we were surprised to learn how many families had some of the same concerns and disappointments with their schools. Some of these reasons included lack of diversity, restrictive learning environments, indoctrinating instead of teaching, rote learning and teaching to the test. Some shared very detailed stories of the personal challenges their children were facing trying to fit into a rigid learning model that just did not take into account their personal learning needs. While their concerns and disappointments varied, they all had one thing in common. They felt they had no great options.
Hearing these stories time and time again struck a chord with me. Why were there so few “alternative” education options for families? Why was the traditional “factory-style” education model still the most used but yet the least effective education model being practiced in public schools?Read More
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