Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy, seen here in a file photo, told Crenshaw parents "the quality of instruction is not what it needs to be.”
L.A. Unified voted Tuesday to revamp Crenshaw High School – one of the worst performing schools in the district. But the plan has some parents and teachers up in arms.
Crenshaw’s 1,500 students will be split into three separate magnet schools. While officials are still working out the details, they told parents last month that the magnet programs are likely to focus on the arts, business and science, and technology, engineering and math.
All six school board members present at the monthly meeting voted unanimously to back Superintendent John Deasy. They agreed that the only way to improve the school’s abysmal academic scores is to scrap its current program.
But parents and students who’d waited more than four hours to speak against the plan could not contain their anger over the board’s decision. They sparred with board president Monica Garcia and member Marguerite LaMotte, who represents Crenshaw and voted in favor of the overhaul.
After months of uncertainty, the future of Crenshaw High School will likely be decided at Tuesday's monthly L.A. Unified school board meeting.
The board will vote on whether to approve Superintendent John Deasy’s plan to convert the high school into three separate magnet schools or allow it to continue operating under the Extended Learning Cultural Model. If it passes, it also means all current staff has to reapply for jobs at the South Los Angeles school.
Parents, students and teachers say they were excluded from the decision making process, and have so far been denied a public meeting with the Superintendent. Tuesday’s meeting is their last chance to block Deasy’s plans.
Members of the Crenshaw Coalition of Parents said they’ll stage a protest and urge board members not just to reverse the school takeover, but also to increase the school’s funding to pay for more social services, college counseling and parent engagement.
Crenshaw High School may soon go the way of Dorsey, Manual Arts and Westchester high schools; it could face a district takeover as early as next year.
Over the summer, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy suggested Crenshaw, with its persistently low test scores, is eligible for "reconstitution," wherein the district can layoff the entire staff. The district can take over a school when it fails to meet state-mandated educational benchmarks under the federal No Child Left Behind act. Teachers who want to stay would have to reapply for their jobs.
Stakeholders say district officials are proposing restructuring the South L.A. school into three separate magnet programs. But officials have not explained how that might happen, leaving parents, students and teachers with a lot of questions.
They hope to get some answers tonight at a public meeting at 7 pm at the Crenshaw High School library. (5010 11th Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90043)