Wednesday, December 14, 2016

In a Post-Trump World, Rhetoric vs. Reality in LA Schools

In a Post-Trump World, Rhetoric vs. Reality in LA Schools:

In a Post-Trump World, Rhetoric vs. Reality in LA Schools

EDUCATION POLITICS--At Tuesday’s LAUSD board meeting, the school board will take on public school destroyer Betsy DeVos (Photo above: Betsy DeVos with Donald Trump), Trump’s nominee for US Education Secretary.

Board President Steve Zimmer will introduce a resolution, which reads in part:

“…the Board of Education calls on the President-elect and his Nominee for Secretary of Education to re-affirm the role of public schools to serve every student that comes to the school house door, acknowledge that our public school[s] are an essential foundation [of] our democracy and indicate that they will support policies, initiatives and investments that serve all students and not some students and that they will support and invest in policies and initiatives that support equity, achievement and excellence while stabilizing instead of destabilizing our public school systems…”
It's sure to be popular in blue, blue California. And it will keep board members, including those running for re-election, in the news.

But at some point, the press conferences will be over and we will begin to navigate our new reality in real situations.

Turns out “at some point” is already upon us.

On the very same agenda, Board President Steve Zimmer is proposing a school that contradicts this lofty resolution. The $10 million (to start) Playa Vista Middle School, which didn’t even face a quorum to be vetted at the Bond Oversight Committee, is on the Board’s consent calendar. So, no discussion necessary. (Although, we’ve discussed it in the blogosphere.)  

The Playa Vista Middle School that caters to certain Westside families cannot be described as a policy, initiative and investment that serves *all students*. It specifically serves *some students*. It does not *support equity*, but gives greater resources to a more affluent and less diverse population than at any of the surrounding schools. It specifically *destabilizes our public school system* because the district is doing nothing to enhance the existing middle schools in the area as it creates the shiny new school for a select few.

So when the rhetorical flourishes fade away, are LAUSD’s board members committed to implementing policies that reject the new Trumpian reality they keep declaring is so objectionable? Or are they caving to the worst parts of ourselves that his campaign revealed to be more prevalent than any of us dreamed?

We’ll find out on Tuesday.
To be the public in public education
Last week, the LA School Board held a Committee of the Whole meeting In a Post-Trump World, Rhetoric vs. Reality in LA Schools:

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