Victory for reform

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa should be enjoying a deserved celebration this weekend of his “historic” victory in securing the mandate to reform some Los Angeles schools. It wasn’t quite the whole-district takeover he envisioned in the 2005 mayoral campaign. But it was, at long last, a significant though tiny step toward reforming the Los Angeles Unified School District. On Tuesday, a majority of parents and teachers at seven of the LAUSD’s worst-performing schools endorsed his plan to have the mayor’s nonprofit Partnership for Los Angeles Schools start managing them beginning next academic year. What’s surprising is that not all the parents and teachers voted for the proposal. Granted, the plans are somewhat vague at this point. But these seven schools in Watts and Boyle Heights are among the most troubled in the district. It’s unlikely the partnership could make things any worse. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champIndeed, there’s vast potential for them to improve. With attention and millions of dollars, the mayor’s foundation offers the possibility of more resources and support to help these schools educate some of the poorest and most at-risk kids in Los Angeles. While this action offers hope to these schools, it’s disheartening to realize that they represent just a tiny fraction of the massive district – less than 1percent of the schools. Now the onus is on the mayor to make sure the parents and teachers who put their faith in this experiment are justified. For the sake of the other 99.5percent of LAUSD schools, this reform effort must be successful. If it is, parents and teachers at other campuses will start clamoring to be part of this education revolution, and the vast bureaucracy will have no other option but to acquiesce. So enjoy the champagne this weekend, Mr. Mayor, because starting tomorrow, the real work begins.last_img read more