OPINION: IUSD is getting on my nerves

By Melissa Hebert, editor of 2UrbanGirls.com

The 2012 – 2013 school year started off with a bang. Inglewood Unified School District was in debt, employee morale was at an all time LOW, the state took us over and we got a state appointed administrator. Heading into the winter recess, shit hasn’t changed. It’s actually getting worse! image

What really has my panties in a bunch is the fact that IUSD, in an attempt to be more accommodating of all students, have made the following changes:
• Advanced Placement (AP) classes are now open to ALL students
• $0 funding for GATE

Why is this disturbing to me? AP classes are supposed to be hard to get into while GATE (a program I was in) is practically non-existent. Angie Marquez, who is over GATE, has explained to us time and time again the district has zero funds for gifted students. So wait, IUSD has ZERO funds for kids who are excelling in school, but if your child is dumb and falls into the basic, below or far below categories (based on their test scores) here is what is available, so ask your individual school about these services:
• access to AP classes
• $1,100 in outside tutoring services
• laptop computer
• free uniforms
• free backpacks
• free supplies

Why do basic and below average students have access to AP and magnet classes? Former State administrator Kent Taylor stated it was a form of “discrimination” to not allow all children to enroll in the classes, and it would be up to the child to remove themselves if the classes where too hard. Well how in the hell does Inglewood Unified School District expect to retain quality children if they don’t invest in their achievements? Why should children who earned a right to be in the class be forced to share space with someone who can barely read? It is no coincidence that if you attend any of the various advisory committee or school site meetings that the hispanic community has taken a visual AND vocal stand against what is transpiring on the IUSD campuses.

They protest, write petitions regarding the piss-poor job the staff and faculty are doing both in the class, the lack of hygiene in the bathrooms, lack of administrators present on campus, staff out getting their hair and nails done as opposed to working on-site, and guess what – the district is listening. As a direct result of their actions, several principals where put on notice by Taylor about their school’s behavior (take note Mrs. Baptiste over at Bennett-Kew). It is still unclear why the program coordinator over there is in charge of a multi-subject school although her credential is for single subject only, but I digress, it is sad when only a handful of African American parents are present and voicing their concerns on the lack of education IUSD is giving our children. Are we that complacent and afraid to speak up? Do we not care about our childrens future?

A word to the wise, if you have a smart child attending one of the many Program Improvement schools in the district, get them out of the Inglewood Unified School District as fast as you can! Wilder Prep is the best school in Inglewood and you have Environmental Charter on Imperial. If you are considering a path that includes private schools, A Better Chance is more than happy to help you out. Just ask your neighbors in Ladera.