Op-Ed from La Opinión | Translated
2008-07-02 |After three years of steps forward and back, Mayor Villaraigosa’s project to improve LA’s public education system has finally begun. Its scope is smaller than initially anticipated since it is limited to only 10 schools, of which two opened yesterday, but that does not diminish the relevance of the effort to make a difference in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
It is an important day for Villaraigosa because he has made good on one of the key promises that swept him into office. It has been a rough road for him: lobbying in Sacramento, facing defeats in court, and winning seats on the LAUSD Board of Education. All this is water under the bridge now that there is the opportunity to have a profound impact on K-12 education.
If yesterday was a good day for the mayor, it was extraordinary for the children in the centers that make up the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. These students, from schools with low academic performance, now have an opportunity to succeed in a more rigorous framework with better support for K-12 education.
We must remember that this is an experiment which, while full of expectations, is still a new system with processes that will be modified in the future. LAUSD’s serious problems with student achievement justify the risks and uncertainties facing the partnership.
All eyes are on this initiative to watch its successes and learn from its challenges. In this way, the year beginning at two schools will have a positive impact on the entire district.