Posted by: victoriapynchon | December 2, 2010

Harmony Trumps Dissent in L.A. Public/Charter School Pact

If ever there were a time for Charter and Public Schools to come together in purpose, it is now, particularly in California where the once first-rate public school system is earning failing grades and the Charters are facing bankruptcy.  The conflicts cited in this article from the Los Angeles Times today (L.A. School Board Approves Wide-Ranging Pact with Charters) provides room for both optimism and concern (see highlighted text).

Thanks for the head’s up on this article to Neil Shah, member of the LinkedIn California Charter Schools Professional Networking Group.

Under the Quality Schools Compact approved Tuesday, L.A. Unified . . . pledges to share the proceeds of future voter-approved parcel taxes with charter schools. In exchange, charter schools are being asked to use their political muscle to help persuade voters. Charter schools opposed a local parcel tax in June; that measure failed.

The agreement also calls for developing common academic expectations for all schools and a common teacher evaluation process, among charter and traditional schools.

But charters and the district have persisting conflicts that already are coloring this new collaboration. In an interview Tuesday, Supt. Ramon Cortines threatened to withhold the needed loans unless charter schools abandon a lawsuit against the district over the sharing of classroom space.

And board member Steve Zimmer voted against the pact, citing widespread concerns that charter schools don’t serve enough disabled students and also don’t pay their share of these costs.



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