Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Blackwhite World of LAUSD’s Charter Schools

The Blackwhite World of LAUSD’s Charter Schools:

The Blackwhite World of LAUSD’s Charter Schools

– George Orwell, 1984
Catherine Suitor, the Chief Development Officer of Alliance College-Ready Public [SIC] Schools is correct when she states that “encouraging parents to be involved should not be seen as a negative thing.” However, her response ignores the real issue raised by my testimony before the LAUSD School Board which is how far can a charter go before “encouragement” is actually “intimidation”? If volunteering “is not mandated,” then why does her organization keep track of the number of hours for each student? If publishing this data on the school’s website was truly meant to be “completely [the] opposite of shaming”, why are the number of hours included on the list? If the publication of this information “is a way to recognize and congratulate those who are involved”, why are the hours listed under the students’ names and not according to the people who actually “volunteered”? If the school’s “parents are eager and welcomed to be involved”, why are they not allowed to vote for their representation on the Governing Board? Instead, this Board, itself appointed by an outside organization, appoints two parents ensuring that dissension is not given a voice.
Curiously, the LA School Report article did not address the most serious allegation against the Alliance schools, which is that a list of their names is publically released on a public website.  This violates privacy rights that are supposed to be guaranteed by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Instead of responding to this allegation, Alliance quietly took down the page that linked to the information. While this is a welcome action that restores their The Blackwhite World of LAUSD’s Charter Schools:

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