Sunday, February 28, 2010

LA does it smart

Los Angeles has figured out that maybe letting teachers do their job might work (emphasis added):

In a move that affects nearly 40,000 students, the Los Angeles Board of Education has let teachers' groups -- instead of charters -- take over failing schools in the city's Unified School District (LAUSD). Twelve failing campuses were overhauled, as were 24 newly built ones. Though charters were selected to operate a portion of the new campuses, the teachers' groups are charged with improving the failing programs.

The teachers' groups, composed of instructors previously under LAUSD authority with local union support, fought hard to maintain a certain level of autonomy -- they argued that greater control over staffing, budget, and curriculum allows teachers to target specific school needs that may not be addressed by district mandates. And so far, giving teachers a more active role in campuses has been an effective tool in fixing the problems of L.A.'s public schools, with various pilot programs receiving high remarks from district administrators.

Wow. What a concept. Have doctors, not HMOs, decide on medical procedures. Give the say to farmers, not multinationals on how to raise healthy food. Allow teachers, not paper-movers to direct education.

It's so obvious you'd have to be a private-sector politician not to get it. Speaking of which...

The Superintendent who unilaterally fired all the high school teachers in her district rather than suffer the indignity of negotiating with them has found two sources of support: a group of far-right taxhaters...and Obama's basketball friend Secretary of Education Arne Duncan could love.

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