Restructuring Fremont High, Part II: The Teachers
Patt continues her series looking at the restructuring of Fremont High. In December 2009, LAUSD superintendent Ramon Cortines invited all staff, with the exception of a newly appointed principal, to reapply for their jobs at the school—one of the lowest performing 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 by hiring back no more than 50% of the current staff. District officials see it 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 picks up where she left off last week with local district 7 superintendent Ramon Cortines to hear the experiences of some of the teachers at the school.
Mat Taylor, elected UTLA regional area chair; he’s been an English teacher at Fremont for 25 years. He chose not to reapply for his position.
Joel Vaca, calculus teacher and AP coordinator at Fremont; he chose not to reapply for his position