Saturday, April 29, 2017

Is Everybody Really on Board with LAUSD's Universal Enrollment?

Is Everybody Really on Board with LAUSD's Universal Enrollment?:

Is Everybody Really on Board with LAUSD's Universal Enrollment?

Big Education Ape: 'Common Enrollment' - The Newest Page in School Privatizers' Playbook -

EDUCATION POLITICS-The pro-privatization LA School Report (LASR) spun a school board committee meeting report last month to say that just about everybody in LAUSD wants charter schools to be included in a universal enrollment system. This was alarming since universal enrollment is an urgent priority of the charter lobby. 
“Common enrollment is a big Walton idea to put charters on the same footing as public schools,” education historian and national treasure Diane Ravitch told me in an email.
Whether they call it universal enrollment, common enrollment, unified enrollment, or OneApp, charters want to piggyback on the establishment. Always insisting that they are “public schools,” they want to be viewed that way by every parent, “regardless of zip code.” Similar enrollment systems in New Orleans and Denver were funded by the pro-charter Walton Family Foundation
This caused a bit of a stir because the article said that even the privatizers’ nemesis, UTLA, was on board. 
“One of the committee members, Robin Potash, a teacher representing UTLA, said it was important for the district to include charter schools in the list of options and to do it faster than their present timeline….“We all know there are many new charters opening in the district and they should be included as soon as possible,” Potash said. “These are all our students and they should be listed as options.” 
Given that universal enrollment is such a boon for charters, could it be true that there is consensus among the California charter lobby, the UTLA representative and all three LAUSD board members on that committee? 
I called UTLA’s Robin Potash to find out if LASR quoted her accurately. 
She explained that her comments at the meeting came after a rosy presentation by the LAUSD School Choice department. (You can watch here.) 
One LAUSD staffer said it was like a shopping cart. “What this will allow parents to do now is a one stop shop.” 
We’re “hoping to increase the equity and access,” said another. 
That resonated with Potash. She said her school, located in South Central LA, has four co-located charters impacting it. She was hopeful that the inclusion of charters in LAUSD’s enrollment application would also bring some much needed oversight of them. 
Potash was looking for solutions to a problem that is so common that the ACLU issued a report last year admonishing the one in five California charter schools that were found using discriminatory enrollment practices, according to the report. The NAACP found discriminatory enrollment by charters to be such a significant problem that it called for a national moratorium on charter expansion until that and other issues were corrected. 
Maybe including charters in LAUSD’s enrollment process would be a way of making them more accountable for using the standard enrollment methods employed by district schools. At least that’s what Potash hoped. 
She’s not alone. 
Last year, California’s State Senate Education Committee held a hearing about charter oversight. The committee was asked to push school districts for common enrollment for the same reasons Potash thought it might help. 
In testimony to the committee, Silke Bradford, the Director of Quality Diverse Providers for Oakland Unified School District, suggested that a common enrollment system like New Orleans uses, would go a long way toward providing the oversight and accountability that charters need. You can watch her testimony here.  
She said for charter schools to be “pure public schools,” a term she coined to distinguish charter schools that are using public funds transparently from those that are not, they have to do better about Is Everybody Really on Board with LAUSD's Universal Enrollment?:
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