Unlike Kentucky, which is still part of a vanishing number of states with no charter schools, California has had this innovative school option for many years.
And, the leading newspaper in the Golden State’s biggest city has figured it out. In “Give charter schools their due” the LA Times says:
“Charter schools have been the spark to the education reform flame in the Los Angeles Unified School District.”
The Times article amplifies:
“Charter schools deserve credit for changing the discussion in Los Angeles about poor and minority students. No longer is it acceptable to assume that students from disadvantaged backgrounds cannot be high achievers. The new ideas that charter schools brought into the educational mix, and the competition they posed in attracting students, played a significant role in the improvement of L.A. Unified’s traditional public schools.”
These are EXACTLY the types of attitude changes we have been promised in Kentucky schools ever since the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 190 was enacted. Still, relatively recent audits in some of Kentucky’s Persistently Low-Achieving Schools (recently renamed Priority Schools) show the staff in those schools doesn’t agree. Teachers in some of these very low performing schools are quick to make excuses that these kids could not learn due to poverty, etc.
Well, when teachers believe that, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. But, the charter school experience in LA shows it doesn’t need to be that way. And, the major newspaper in California’s largest city knows it.
Clearly, Kentucky’s kids deserve the same chance to escape a poverty and minority second class status that the LA Times reports is already happening in Los Angeles. It’s time to stop letting “adult interests” get in the way of what is best for Kentucky’s kids.