The San Francisco Chronicle posted an article today regarding a rather stunning happening in the LA School Board.
Liberal Democrat, former teacher’s union organizer, and current Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa was the driving force behind a policy just handed down which stipulates that almost a third of the public schools in LA must convert to charter or magnet schools.
Charter schools inject the free market into public education through several methods including merit pay for teachers, competition for students, and greater autonomy for the school from the school district.
Villaraigosa noted the LA School District was plagued by violence and a 50% dropout rate spurred him into this path which is diametrically opposed to the majority of leadership in his party and the teacher’s unions.
One teacher quoted in the story says “this is the power that teachers have always been asking for, the authority to choose what is happening in our schools. With power comes responsibility. We are accountable for the results, and I don’t mind that.”
This is public education’s fall of the Berlin Wall. The old model of the compulsory, one-size-fits-all, factory-style public school is being tossed on the scrap heap of history, to be replaced by upholding the U.N. Charter of Universal Human Rights, which guarantees the right of parents to direct the education of their children.
Props to Mayor Villaraigosa for this stand which will no doubt earn him the ire of many of his regular supporters.
Read the whole article Revolution in U.S. education is in California.