It’s hard to keep your eyes open during the 8 hour OUSD board meetings, but sometimes you hear something so peculiar that you are jarred awake. And when you actually watch the meetings the craziness tends to slap you in the face.
So yeah, the families who attend Lighthouse Charter were called “destroyers” of public education, every one of them, because they chose a charter public school. At the same time a group of families from one of the District schools came to protest.
The district-run school had a host of issues. Their 5th graders had a substitute up until December, sometimes no sub would show up and they would break the class in half and send them to kindergarten. One parent came and talked about how she had to take her child out because they were falling behind. I wonder if she is a “destroyer” too.
First if you are poor, Black, Brown, Native, Pacific Islander, a foster kid, an English learner, or one of the other groups traditionally underserved, from my perspective there ain’t much to destroy, we have always gotten the short end of the stick, I guarantee you can find multiple lawsuits and multiple findings on the way disadvantaged kids are systematically misserved—I worked on one.
So as I have argued before, there is no golden age for us to look back to (others may view the system differently)—and if you actually look, numerically things are way better than they were 15 years ago for disadvantaged and all kids, and the trends are positive. Here are some comparisons from 15 years ago to last year.
- Cohort graduation went from 25% to 60.8%
- UC/CSU eligibility for all students from 7% to 39.8%
- UC/CSU eligibility for African American students went from 2.9% to 23.6%
So I guess, if we listen to the destroyer language, the Lighthouse families should enroll their kids in the school with a half year or full year subs. Don’t think there is any room at Hills schools for our kids, or in Piedmont.
And those that critique Lighthouse aren’t running to help the families who came to protest substandard services, it’s a lot easier to just lob bombs than engage with our families and try to understand the actual choices they are faced with.
And why is it Black and Brown families that are supposed to sacrifice their kids on the altar of “public” education. I don’t hear attacks on the many families who (can) choose private schools. And I don’t hear calls for the folks in more elite public schools to desegregate the Flatlands. No, it’s always on us.
I have a kid, I would never subject him to full year subs if I could help it, so yeah if that’s what we are destroying, call me a “destroyer.”
Better that, than see my child destroyed by the system.