The Spark

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

Demonstrations at L.A.’s Crenshaw High

Jan 21, 2013

Parents and teachers at Crenshaw High School in South Central Los Angeles have carried out big protests against the decision that the Los Angeles Board of Education made on January 15 to break the school up and reorganize it into three magnet schools. The decision includes firing all the teachers and making them reapply for their jobs, a ploy to get rid of higher salaried teachers.

Parents and teachers pointed out that it was the district itself that was responsible for past disorganization at Crenshaw. In fact, the campus had suffered through a parade of administrators – more than 30 principals and assistant principals over seven years. As a result, in 2005, the school lost its accreditation and in 2008, the school failed to receive a state academic rating simply because it failed to test enough students.

Ironically, over the last couple of years, under a new principal, who worked closely with teachers and staff, things were beginning to turn around at Crenshaw. The student test scores were rising in both math and English. The school had won prestigious grants and praise from the Ford Foundation. Jeannie Oakes, who oversees Ford’s education philanthropy, said, “We’re very impressed with the education model they were developing and we were disappointed when it looked like that would not continue.

By blowing up Crenshaw, the school board will destroy all that has been done to improve the situation. Students’ education will be further disrupted and disorganized.

It’s good to see a fight against these attacks.