November 29 | The Los Angeles Times

LAUSD needs its teachers' and principals' innovations. Unions, are you listening?

By Tamar Galatzan

Our school system is fracturing. While the Los Angeles Unified School District and its bargaining partners, the unions, endlessly debate how best to fix the system, parents and students are walking away from LAUSD.

I know because I'm not only a member of the school board, I'm the mother of two elementary school students in the district.

Traditional, district-run schools are seen as bureaucratic, handcuffed by red tape, and a growing number of parents are choosing charter schools instead. There are now nearly 200 charter and affiliated-charter schools in Los Angeles serving nearly 100,000 students. These are public schools run by private organizations, with more autonomy than traditional schools. The assumption is that, except for the hard-to-get-into magnets or the highest-performing neighborhood schools, the best way to get a good education in L.A. is to head for classrooms dedicated to reform. Not surprisingly, a recent USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll showed 52% of respondents had a favorable opinion of charters, while only 24% considered traditional schools effective.
 

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