POV: Education Reformers - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

POV: Education Reformers


FOX 11 Vice President and General Manager Kevin Hale has the story of a Los Angeles school that's pulled off an incredible turnaround. Could it be a model for the rest of the city?

You can watch the full video of the editorial in the media player... and share your comments on the topic below the editorial transcript.

Full Editorial Text:

At Oscar de la Hoya Animo Charter High School, Principal Harris Luu’s on a mission.

Dr. Harris Luu
“We do not rest on mediocrity, we are not satisfied with the status quo.”

The distinguished East L.A. school is part of the Green Dot charter schools, and key to its success is the ability to reward top-notch teachers and to eliminate those who are failing.

Dr. Harris Luu
“There is a specific time period where the teacher must improve. At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure our kids get the best person in front of them.”

Seems so simple: Reward what works, eliminate what doesn't. Charters have the freedom to do just that.

But district schools do not.

They are governed by restrictive union contracts, enabled by the Education Code.

And now an epic battle’s being played out in Sacramento at the State Board of Education, as reformers face off against the teachers union.

In recent weeks, California’s State Board of Education -- led by three key reformers -- started the process to make it easier to evaluate teachers and principals, to identify failing teachers and modify seniority rules, steps that are being opposed by the state’s teachers union.

But the very reformers on the board who are leading the charge for change are now in jeopardy of losing their seats. They can be thrown off the board at any time.

Among them: Ben Austin; Alan Arkatoff, and the board’s current president, Ted Mitchell.

Our plea to Governor-Elect Brown and Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg:

You both have the political power to keep reformers on the Board. Don’t set reform back and don’t cave-in to the union.

If we dump those who are fighting for change, the biggest losers will be our kids.

Thanks for listening.

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