"If corporate charter-voucher schools were obligated, like public schools, to educate every child, we would see the proliferation of charters disappear almost overnight. Take the profitability out of the equation, and charter schools would return to their original mission." — Robert D. Skeels (Coalition of Educational Justice)
Yes, that's me braving the Saturday afternoon sun passing out public school flyers.
Getting out the vote for Local District 4 and Echo Park Community Partners Design Team Plan
Many of us volunteered several hours this weekend reminding our neighbors of the PSC 2.0 advisory vote this week which will determine whether our brand new school remains a public school or is handed over to the private corporation CNCA. We'll be volunteering many mornings this week to do the same. Contact me if you want to volunteer to help us try and keep school privatization and corporate charters out of Echo Park / Historic Filipinotown.
Come vote for the Local District 4 and Echo Park Community Partners Design Team Plan for Central Region Elementary School 14 (CRES 14).
Thursday, January 27, 2011 from 6:00 — 9:00PM
Union Avenue Elementary School (Cafeteria)
150 S. Burlington Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90057
Saturday, January 29, 2011 from 9:00AM — 3:00PM
Rosemont Elementary School (Auditorium/Theater)
421 N. Rosemont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026
There hasn't been much local news on the advisory vote with the exception of the Eastsider LA blog. Public education advocates have been having some pretty spirited debates with CNCA and CCSA employees on the comments sections of these two posts.
Echo Park’s newest school will soon be finished but who is going to run it?
Campaign heats up for control of new Echo Park school
Although I've made numerous comments on the two articles, the following was in response to the latter of the two. It's important because it sums up some of the highlights of the public school plan as opposed to the corporate charter takeover plan.
A quick correction to the above article. There are only two plans. The public school plan -- which is the LD4 & Echo Park Community Partners Design Team plan, the other plan which was submitted by the private corporation Camino Nuevo Charter Academy (CNCA).
By all accounts CNCA is a corporate entity, with a unelected board of wealthy investment managers and business types that don't live in our neighborhood. If CRES 14 is handed over to them, we will have no input as a community into how it would be run, despite the fact that our tax dollars paid for it. For an in depth look at CNCA's board and much more, please see the following article: Crafty Camino Nuevo Charter Charlatans
The LD4 & Echo Park Community Partners Design Team plan features the following:
- Parent and Community decision making. The composition of pilot schools include parents and community members on their Governing Boards -- these aren't just advisory positions, they are actual decision making positions! Our community, our school, our self determination.
- All inclusive. The community plan is for a public school, which unlike corporate charter-voucher schools, are obligated to educate every child. CNCA doesn't provide full facilities for special needs children (see article above).
- Community Plan, as opposed to a plan formulated in a corporate boardroom by people who have no roots nor connection to our neighborhood.
- Project Based Learning, which provides students with opportunities to work collaboratively with connections to real world situations.
- A community resource. The LD4 & Echo Park Community Partners Design Team plan was written with the idea that CRES 14 can become a school that provides resources to the entire community. Some first considerations are to secure recreation and computer lab facilities once the school is running and grants are secured. Since it is a community plan, there will be ongoing dialog as to how the school can serve the region.
These are only some of the features the public school plan includes. If the district turns CRES 14 over to Camino Nuevo, our community looses all control over the school. Please vote for the LD4 & Echo Park Community Partners Design Team Plan, as it is the only one that allows us the right of self determination. Furthermore, public schools educate every child, which to my reckoning should be required of any entity taking public money.
Local District 4 and Echo Park Community Partners Design Team Plan
For more information on this community based public school plan contact:
Cheryl Ortega 323-823-8775
Shannon Corbett 213-241-0132
Ronni Solmon 323-246-5653