The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Los Angeles:
When is a charter school bad enough to be closed down?

Jun 30, 2008

The Los Angeles Board of Education voted, 6 to 1, to allow a charter school to stay open, even though it’s clear that the school has put students in danger.

For two years, the Academia Avance charter school in the Highland Park section of L.A. operated in a building contaminated with asbestos and lead. The fire escapes were blocked, and the electrical system was found unsafe.

Not even student performance – usually the excuse for moving away from regular public schools – could justify the vote. Test scores for Academia Avance were among the lowest in California during the school’s first year, and went further down the following year.

Why are regular public schools not given this kind of support? Why is, instead, taxpayer money pulled out of the public school system and put into the private hands that run charter schools?

It couldn’t be clearer that the L.A. school board doesn’t make its decisions based on the best interests of public school students – most of whom are children of workers.