Thursday, July 6, 2017

Take Two® | Meet LAUSD's new school board member Nick Melvoin | 89.3 KPCC

Take Two® | Meet LAUSD's new school board member Nick Melvoin | 89.3 KPCC:

Meet LAUSD's new school board member Nick Melvoin



Listen to the interview live on KPCC at 9:10 a.m.

Nick Melvoin will be one of LAUSD's new school board members starting July 6.
His and Kelly Gonez's victories in the last election means a majority of board members have been backed by the California Charter Schools Association.
Melvoin talked with KPCC education reporter Kyle Stokes about his vision for charter schools and his other priorities in office.

Interview highlights



SOME HAVE INTERPRETED YOUR VICTORY AS A WIN FOR SCHOOL CHOICE BECAUSE OF THE ENDORSEMENT FROM THE CALIFORNIA CHARTER SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION. OTHERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE GROWTH OF CHOICE AND ITS EFFECTS ON LOCAL NEIGHBORHOODS SCHOOLS. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT?

One of things that the charter movement has done is let the benefits of choice inure to less affluent communities. As a progressive, I think that's a good thing.
The question is, now, how can we be thoughtful about that choice? And I think L.A. has not been thoughtful.
We've proliferated, but we haven't thought about why and how and where, and how to learn from charters.

BUT THE DANGER OF EMBRACING SCHOOL CHOICE IS THAT IT COULD AMPLIFY SEGREGATION, WHERE THERE ARE HAVE AND HAVE-NOTS AND THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO ACCESS CHOICE ARE THOSE WHO ARE PLUGGED IN.

I've been an advocate for a while of universal enrollment.
Let's provide the same access to parents, and then let's build some safety valves into the system to make sure that it's not just the eager parents that are getting the options.

YOU'VE WRITTEN ABOUT SLOWING THE GROWTH OF CHARTER SCHOOLS BY MAKING DISTRICT SCHOOLS MORE ATTRACTIVE. ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU ALSO SAY THAT UNTIL WE HAVE ZERO FAMILIES ON CHARTER SCHOOL WAITLISTS, WE SHOULDN'T DO ANYTHING TO LIMIT THEIR GROWTH. HOW DO YOU MESH TOGETHER WHAT SEEMS LIKE A CONTRADICTION?

You have 40,000 parents on waitlists. Do you build a lot more schools to get parents off those waitlists, or do you improve our schools?
I'm confident that, in part by learning from the charter school sector, we can improve our schools to get that list down close to zero.
Until that day comes, charter options for families should be their right within the public school system.  
And one of the conversations we're going to have to have with the charter sector is this whole myth of charter growth.

WHAT IS THAT "MYTH OF CHARTER GROWTH"?

It's this idea that, now, with four members of the board endorsed by 
Take Two® | Meet LAUSD's new school board member Nick Melvoin | 89.3 KPCC:

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