One of the top-rated schools in the Western U.S., El Camino Real High School -- so good that parents have driven up home prices in the Woodland Hills attendance zone around it -- is (gasp) leaving Los Angeles Unified School District to become a charter school.
El Camino Real is abandoning LA Mummified. Reporter Connie Llanos at the Los Angeles Daily News quotes affable but essentially gutless School Board member Tamar Galatzan warning that the loss should "sound the alarm bell." Your bell, maybe, Tamar?
Everybody who sits on the sad LAUSD Board of Education -- which in June is losing the only real reformer it had, Yolie Flores -- is suddenly sounding all reformist in the face of the March 8, 2011 elections next week.
Change-agent Flores is leaving even though she'd be quickly re-elected if she chose to stay.
Flores is in search of a way to effect real change at LAUSD, and she plans to hammer on the problem of ineffective teachers in her new job.
Galatzan's plan was to become a Los Angeles City Council member, not to reform the schools. But that never worked out: she lost the Council District 2 race to underwhelming Sacramento legislator Paul Krekorian.
It's ironic that Flores is leaving early, yet the rest of the LAUSD School Board incumbents -- who see reform as more of a difficult option than a pressing need -- all cling to office.
Maybe if another 10 or 20 of the city's tip-top schools leave LAUSD, Galatzan and the rest of the board members (such as frozen-in-time board president Monica Garcia) will actually try to fix the woeful teacher ineffectiveness problems unearthed by Jason Felch, Jason Song and Doug Smith at the Los Angeles Times.
Galatzan and her colleagues should probably attend the Los Angeles Press Club's March 24 panel (which I'll be moderating) featuring Felch, Song and Smith, at which they'll explain "How We Got The Story."
It might help Galatzan and the school board members find their missing nerve, to see three professionals with courage talk about the unhealthy teaching problems in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Then the LA Mummified board members could do a Los Angeles Press Club panel called "How We Got Our Nerve."
Update: El Camino Real could probably use some peace and quiet. Today they're on the front page of the Daily News because they want to create a better school.
But just weeks ago, the school was the subject of massive lock-down and manhunt involving hundreds of cops, after a bizarre campus-adjacent "shooting" in which Los Angeles School Police Department officer Jeffrey Stenroos claimed he was shot by a mysterious man.