The Spark

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

Los Angeles:
Cheating Charters and the Push toward Privatization

Mar 7, 2011

The Los Angeles school board voted to end the contract of a charter school company, whose administrators were caught cheating on state tests.

Last year, the founder and then-director of Crescendo charter schools, John Allen, told the principals of the company’s six schools to let students use actual test questions to study for the tests. The principals followed the order, but some teachers informed the school board about the cheating. The state cancelled the schools’ 2010 test results.

But still, district officials recommended Crescendo’s contract for renewal, justifying it with Crescendo’s high scores on tests – including those scores that had been cancelled because of the cheating!

The school board ended up voting against renewing the contract – but only after the Los Angeles Times published an article about the cheating the day before the vote.

Overall, charter schools have done no better – or worse – on standardized tests than public schools; and every year there are endless stories about corruption at charter schools. But the L.A. school board continues to turn over more and more schools to charter companies.

The L.A. school board has an obvious agenda: to hand public education money over to private interests – that is, to businessmen parading as “educators.”

It’s nothing but an attack on our children.