LA schools are in some ways on the forefront of educational change in the US. The present makeup of the school board supports charter schools more than many other school boards do. There’s a lot of political reasons why this is so, and a lot of funding questions involved, and a lot of policy decisions to be determined. This article from the LA Times editorial dept states one perspective on all of that presently ongoing.
The editorial seems to try to find a non-partisan and “logical” middle ground on the various issues in play. One of which…school choice and whether parents should be able to send their kids to a “better school” outside their neighborhoods is one such issue…and full of contradictions in practice. Are schools about extending the sense and function of community in a neighborhood, or should they be about maximizing the educational opportunities of kids wherever they may live?
Complications ensue quickly because education in the US is largely about what economic level one’s parents inhabit, and thus, where they live. In most cases, nationwide, the higher income level neighborhoods have the much better supported and funded education opportunities, whether public or private. We haven’t, as a nation, figured out what to do about that…we don’t have a solution where one size seems to fit all.
The advent of charter schools, and online learning, has brought to the fore the whole idea of how education in the US should be structured to provide equitable circumstances for all our kids. Opportunities exist, but so do problems. This editorial below touches on some of them.
One point PSA would disagree with: the editorial states charter schools shouldn’t continue if they aren’t doing better than non charter schools in terms of student achievement. But one of the core reasons Charters were established in the first place as an initiative strongly supported by teacher’s unions, was as place for innovation, that the huge educational bureaucracy couldn’t accomplish for various reasons.
So PSA supports charter schools that demonstrate achievement in innovation, whether that means the students are immediately “better served” than at non charter schools, or not. Hopefully that innovation can then be replicated in non charter schools in the school district, and nationwide.