Families That Can delivers letters to LAUSD

News Release from Families That Can

Public School Choice is a historic reform initiative passed by LAUSD in August 2009, that allows other school operators – like charter schools, teacher teams, and community groups- the opportunity to apply to run both new schools and existing schools that are chronically underperforming.  Four out of the 13 charter applicants were selected in the first round last year and their schools are now serving an estimated 2,000 students.

This second round includes 10 new schools and three existing schools, with the Board set to make a final decision on March 15, 2011.  image

“It’s very simple – these parents want the best for their children and ask the members of the LAUSD board to pick the applicants with the strongest track record and the best ability to implement an ambitious plan to boost student achievement,” said Antwaune Goode, Executive Director of Families That Can, during Tuesday’s board meeting.

Three LAUSD parents– Chan McCreary, Eugenia Henriquez and Claudia Clemens – shared their own stories and perspectives and asked the board to support charter school applicants.

This round of Public School Choice included Clay Middle School, which has had low test scores over many years. Chan McCreary, a parent of eight who herself graduated from Henry Clay Middle School, has had several of her children go through the school. Her oldest are currently attending a Green Dot charter high school and her three youngest attend an LAUSD elementary school that feeds into Clay.

“I grew up in the community and I want to see a change for our area. I want to see Henry Clay become a better school,” McCreary told the board, asking them to support Green Dot’s application to run the school.  “Let’s turn it over, let’s do something, let’s remodel education for Henry Clay because we have some young scholars out there. I want Henry Clay to be turned around.”

Eugenia Henriquez is a parent who lives near Central Region Elementary School #14, a new K-8 that will open in Echo Park this fall. Two of her children currently attend an LAUSD pilot school.

“We need more middle and high schools that have strong academic results, that really involve the parents in their children’s education,” said Henriquez. “Please support Camino Nuevo to be the school operator – I’ve heard great things, that 97% of students graduate and that they prepare them for the university. I want the best for my kids. ”

Claudia Clemens, a parent from the Eagle Rock area, has two children, one in an LAUSD middle school and the other in a charter high school run by Alliance College-Ready Public Schools.

“[Alliance has] proven themselves to be an academically high-scoring school. Our children deserve an award-winning school. We don’t want to limit the success of our kids,” said Clemens. “I’m here as a concerned parent, not just for my kids, but for all the children in our neighborhood.  Please elect Alliance – it really would make a huge difference for our community.”

Seven high-performing charter schools have applied to operate eight different school sites as part of Round Two of the Public School Choice initiative. The charter applicants are: Aspire Public Schools, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, Camino Nuevo, Granada Hills Charter High School, Green Dot, Partnerships to Uplift Communities and Synergy Charter.

Find out more about Public School Choice at Families That Can

About Families That Can
Families That Can is a community-based network of parents united to fight for high-quality public education choices and to be the voice for the children of California. Families that Can educates, empowers and mobilizes parents to hold our leaders accountable for ensuring every child has access to a high-quality public education. We advocate for quality public school choices, equitable treatment and resources for charter public schools, and the advancement and growth of successful charter schools.

Voters weigh in on fate of new South L.A. high school

By Riley McDonald Vaca

L.A. Unified teacher Juan Puentes presents a plan for one of the small schools at the new high school complex on Central and Gage Ave.

Parents, students, teachers, school staff, and community members crowded into the auditorium at Edison Middle School Tuesday night to review plans for the newly constructed high school on Central and Gage Ave.

The school is set to open this fall with about 1,600 students who formerly attended long-overcrowded Fremont High School.

The plan is for four small, independent schools on the site, joined together by a common vision of meaningful community involvement. Students will be able to choose between the four themed small schools: public service, communications and technology, green design, and performing arts.

The site will share resources such as athletic teams and a community/welcome center.

Like every new school in L.A. Unified, the new high school is going through the Public School Choice process.

A teacher group, the union, and the district teamed up with community members to develop the plan presented on Tuesday. The site is the only new school in this year’s Public School Choice process to have only one bidder. However, there is still a community advisory vote prior to the School Board’s decision, and presenters asked the people in the audience to take the vote seriously.

“We need the community to send a message to the district that we need these schools,” said Erica Hamilton, a teacher who worked to create the plan.

Voting for the plan opened after the presentation, and continues this Saturday.