I've now gone from optimistic to doubtful to disappointed on the LAUSD outsourcing plan. If you recall, the district decided to outsource the management of 12 low-performing schools and 18 new ones. Teachers, parents, charter organizations, and other non-profits were invited to apply. Sounded like a good idea, since LAUSD seemed to be unable to do anything with these schools to improve their dismal achievement and graduation rates. The competition even lit a fire under LA teachers, who, in the face of possible charter takeover and with district and union support, put together management plans in a matter of weeks.
Then LAUSD held a vote for parents, teachers, and community members to have their say. And they made a mess of it. I suppose that should have been the first warning signal that this good idea had succumbed to the entrenched interests of LA's education status quo. Though it's not clear how much these votes even counted, it was clear that the grass-roots campaign launched by UTLA leading up the election made a difference. It probably helped that under the "community" voter category, the same person could vote multiple times simply by going to the different school-based polling stations!
As of Tuesday, the school board has made their decisions (based for the most part on Cortines' suggestions): twenty-two schools will go to teacher groups (read: UTLA), ??three go to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, and charter operators or community groups got the rest.
A few points of interest:
1. The three big charter contenders, Green Dot, Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, and ICEF Public Schools got no schools at all. I find it hard to believe that the school board thought Green Dot, for one, incapable of taking...