Newly Elected LAUSD Member Says He is not Going to Promote Charter Expansion

Surely to the surprise of the California Charter School Association, Eli Broad, Reed Hastings and the other billionaires who funded his election campaign, Nick Melvoin told EdSource in California that his election was not about expanding the number of charter schools.

No, what he is about is seeing public schools replicate the successes of charter schools. Melvoin was a TFA teacher for two years, so he knows what a successful school should be doing. For some reason, charter schools have discovered the secrets of success but public schools have not.

I don’t think districts like LAUSD have learned lessons from the charter movement the way that it was initially intended. I’ll ask charter principals, “Has the district come and asked what’s working and how to replicate it?” They laugh, as if that’s a crazy question, given the political climate. I’d like to see an increase in schools that are serving kids. I’m much less interested in whether that is a district school or a charter or a magnet school. I’d like to see us cross-pollinate, elevate the work of educators and have LAUSD lead the nation in terms of how to navigate this new public school ecosystem.

At no point in the interview does he suggest that charters can learn from successful public schools.

Nor does he acknowledge the number of charter operators who have been caught and prosecuted for theft, or the common practice of pushing out or excluding students with disabilities.

Maybe that’s the lesson the public schools can learn. Don’t accept kids who might cause your school scores to drop.

But what will Melvoin propose to do for the kids that no one wants?

He has hired Sarah Angel to be his chief of staff. Angel currently works for the California Charter Schools Association. But don’t interpret this as a signal that he is the puppet of the charter industry. We will judge him by deeds, not words.

from sarah


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