From South LA to the San Fernando Valley, parents and teachers are battling with the LA Unified School District over where to locate charter schools. A law passed by the voters says charters are entitled to equal treatment with traditional schools—but a plan to share campus space has created an angry backlash. On Reporter’s Notebook, an East LA High School where every student graduates and goes on to college.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Eight years ago, California voters approved Proposition 39 which lowered the majority needed to pass bonds for school construction. It also required that public school districts accommodate charter schools—and treat them equally with traditional schools. Since then, the charter movement has exploded and thousands of students need more space. In April, LA Unified agreed that 39 charter schools could share space on existing campuses. But that created a backlash—from South Los Angeles to Echo Park to the San Fernando Valley. The District then withdrew its offer to 7 of those 39 charter schools.
LA Unified has an extraordinary drop-out rate, especially among black and Latino students. Fewer than half get past the 9th grade. But the Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School in East LA is an exception. Although 75% of the students’ families fall below the poverty line—100% make it through high school, and go on to college.
Roberta Brinton, Professor of molecular pharmacology and toxicology at USC
More From Which Way, L.A.?
Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Facing uncertainty in the US, a Dreamer moves to Mexico Undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as kids may feel like they are in never-ending limbo. President Trump wants to phase out the deferred action for childhood arrivals… Read More
Will Orange County go from Red to Blue? On a recent evening, about two dozen friends and neighbors gathered at a house party in Irvine. They had come to meet Katie Porter, a Democrat who’s running for Congress… Read More