Michael Klonsky has some great food for thought on this "SmallTalk" blog. He's posing the questions that we all want answered when it comes to education. Clearly our system in Los Angeles isn't working but we are not convinced that selling off our schools to Charters (partly to fund our District which is out of money, and partly to qualify for stimulus funds from President Obama) is the way to go. Too many charters do not offer a rich and varied curriculum to its students. More importantly to me, they do not provide social and psychological services that many of our students need. One charter I know has a student who is suicidal and cuts himself. How do they help him? Let him walk around school or sit in the office, basically do whatever he wants to do. The leadership of this school is very caring, but this is not helping this student. How can we offer choice as well as comprehensive services to our students, who, as the great Stephen Krashen says, are suffering from poverty, not bad education. How do we really serve these underserved students? How do we give them equal access not just to curriculum but to technology, libraries, music, art, dance, etc. etc. etc.???? One of my colleagues believes that Los Angeles Unified is falling apart, imploding from within so to speak. Our students will suffer even more if this is the case. And breaking up the district means even more inequality and lack of access to all.
My students in south and southeast Los Angeles do not go to libraries except those at their schools. Now the District is cutting library services for our students. How is this equal access?