WordPress hates me tonight, so I am going to be amazingly brief. This is the third attempt to get this in.
Yesterday, a protest rally about two major actions in South LA education took place. The first was the reassignment of the Obama School’s principal, who, to all accounts, was brillaint and wonderful. That’s unfortunate for the school, as a good principal is a key element in success.
The other major issue was Clay’s reorganization by the Board as two Charter schools to be run by Green Dot. Board member LaMotte and her opponent, Rev. Eric Lee, were there for the protest/press conference, and outspoken on the issue. Seeming to agree to some extent, they felt that the “community’s wishes were ignored by the Board.”
75 protesters were present, to support these causes.
Let’s do a little “back of the envelope” math here, True Believers. For Clay’s Advisory Vote, in February, to decide its fate, 35 parents voted. So, this event shows a more than one hundred percent increase in partisipation from the directly involved community members, the parents, assuming that everyone present at the rally was a parent.
With 950 students attending Clay, that would still be less then ten percent of the parents. Simply put, less then ten percent isn’t even close to a simple majority of the parents. If a simple majority voted for one thing, and the Board ignored it, I’d say that was a serious problem. But…when about ten percent is very vocal, but not listened to…that’s unfortunate, but it isn’t the democratic process to listent to the loudest or most involved.
According to the district, the Advisory Vote had some ten thousand stakeholders that could have been involved as community members, and the total vote didn’t get up to five percent of that. That was with three days of voting, one of them Saturday.
I respect the idea of getting out to support causes that you believe in, but Board Member LaMotte said herself, last week that Clay was a “done deal,” because Green Dot had already moved in.
Team Kuppersmith did not attend the rally. When we got news of it, we had a discussion, and elected not to go, for three reasons:
* First, we were not invited.
* Second, the rally was for a position opposite to our own. It is just rude to crash that party.
* Third…we wrote our proposal, met with the Mayor’s Office, and Board Members…changed our opinion given politics, to some extent. We had hundreds of letters written to the Board and Superintendent. I got up, and gave a speech to the Board on March 15th, and they saw the wisdom of those words, and did exactly as I asked. In short…on March 15th, PSC ended, and we got change for our students. On July 1st, Green Dot started their quest to improve Clay. In short…you can stop competing when the competition is done.
The District is committed to giving Green Dot their chance, as it were. For the sake of the students, the public should to. Apparently, some of the things said about Green Dot were pretty rough…and I suggest, as a counter, that they voluntarily chose to take over one of the lowest performing schools around, instead of a shiny new one. That gets some respect.
As soon as WordPress stops being buggy, there will be a link to the LA Times coverage here.
Stay tuned, True Believers.