In December 2009, LAUSD superintendent Ramon Cortines invited all staff, with the exception of a newly appointed principal, to reapply for their jobs at John C. Fremont High—one of the lowest performing schools in the district, with less than 2% of its students testing proficiently in math last year. The decision is part of a process known as “restructuring,” an aggressive plan under the No Child Left Behind Act that allows districts to reconstitute a chronically underperforming school. District officials have chosen it as what they see as the best remedy for a school culture grown complacent with underachievement. While not technically “fired,” teachers were outraged and felt they had no input in the decision. About 60% of Fremont’s teachers reapplied for their jobs by the March deadline. Today Patt kicks off a series looking at Fremont High School’s restructuring and the stakeholders involved. We begin with local district 7 superintendent George McKenna III.
George McKenna III, Superintendent for Local District 7, which includes John C. Fremont High