Never mind. We’ll fix it ourselves.

duncecap.jpgSay what you like about Steve Barr – and the L.A. Times says plenty this morning (innovator, huckster, politician, etc.) – he’s gotten people moving.

Green Dot Schools have helped transform the educational environment around Jefferson High from a hopeless sump of gang-ridden apathy into a functioning network of charter schools with a diversified curriculum, schools-within-schools innovation and, well, a better graduation rate than it once had.

The Silver Lake/Echo Park/Los Feliz chapter of the Los Angeles Parents’ Union that Barr launched a few months back now has 160 members (myself included) …

Union members are pushing all of Silver Lake/Echo Park/Los Feliz’s K-5 schools – some of which have space to spare – to start educating 6th-graders so as to take pressure off the massive 2,200-student Thomas Starr King Middle School. I’m told that Mayberry Street Elementary may already be moving forward to set up a 6th-grade program and curriculum.

The childless among you may give this all a big, yawning “So what?”

But ask yourself whether you’re comfortable with the fact that barely half the kids who enter LAUSD leave with a high school diploma. Frankly, we parents are all pretty sick of seeing our tax money squandered, and half the children of Los Angeles allowed to wander off into a world of diminished expectations, shit jobs and worse.

Bitching and activism alone aren’t going to change that, however. The district is run by the school board, which has failed to take steps necessary – beyond a massive building campaign that could ease overcrowding – to completely rethink the way the schools operate.

This March 6, you can vote to replace your school board member.

The L.A. Parents’ Union is sponsoring a Coffee with the Candidates event this weekend to give you a chance to see which District 5 school board candidates have the wit, experience and moxie to start turning this whole mess around. Here are the details:

If you had an opportunity to speak to the school board, what would you say?

Come meet the candidates running for the LAUSD School Board District 5 at the:

Coffee with the Candidates
with candidates Yolie Flores Aguilar & Bennett Kayser (about whom a bit more here).

Mayberry Street Elementary
2414 Mayberry St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Saturday, February 24, 2007
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Parking and Child Care Provided

For more information, contact [email protected]

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