Sunday, February 10, 2008


from the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles Update Newsletter for the week of February 4, 2008

AALA is concerned that LAUSD is becoming an exploding star of change what with partnerships, high-priority schools, quasi-charters and the like. While change is inevitable and sometimes even positive for students, our concern is centered more on the District's hit and miss approach to change. It is almost as if a star is exploding with pieces flying off into space in all directions with no rhyme or reason. Eventually the space that the exploding star once occupied becomes a void.

For years, some proponents of change have advocated the breaking up of the District into smaller entities, which would be replicas of the current District and resemble adjacent school districts in size. Over the years, however, the powers that be have successfully fought off this challenge as unwise, unsound and illegal.

Now, with the advent of many new forms of local school control, it looks like the breakup will be achieved not through political division, but rather by an ill-planned, piecemeal fragmentation. With every school opting to do its own thing, there is no need for any centralized control, including even a school board. Why would a school that is running on its own need a controlling body? If this sounds familiar, think charters. Yet, even charters must have a board of trustees that makes decisions in public.

AALA hopes that the school board looks far enough into the future to see the unintended consequences of its actions. This is not to say that breakup may not be desirable, it just might be. However, if LAUSD is to become an exploding star of disparate pieces, at least describe it as the vision for the District. AALA members along with all employees and the general public have the right to know the intentions of the Superintendent and the Board of Education. Is LAUSD a universe with gravitational connections or a collection of rocks hurtling through space? Will the fragmented pieces and the hole in space that is left behind have more brilliance and energy than the body it replaced? We think not! As long as politicians in Sacramento are calling the educational shots, size is power to fight for the children LAUSD serves.

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