Last December, South L.A.’s Fremont High School became the first school ever in the Los Angeles Unified School District to undergo a controversial process known as “restructuring” or “reconstitution,” an aggressive plan under the No Child Left Behind Act that allows districts to reconstitute a chronically underperforming school, dismiss all teachers and rehire no more than 50% percent of its faculty before reopening. The method closely mirrors programs that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan implemented with varied success in Chicago’s public school district. 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. They were frustrated by an administration that they claimed continued to fail them, while that administration said they were fed up with a school culture grown complacent with underachievement. If restructuring is successful at Fremont, it will have ramifications for schools nation-wide. Today, the school reopens with its re-hired and newly hired staff. Patt continues her series looking at the restructuring of Fremont High.
Adolfo Guzman Lopez, KPCC’s education reporter; he joins us from the newly opened John C. Fremont High School in South L.A.
George McKenna III, Superintendent for Local District 7, which includes John C. Fremont High
A.J. Duffy, President of the UTLA - United Teachers Los Angeles
David Tokofsky, Consultant for Associated Administrators, which represents the Middle Managers in the Los Angeles Unified School District, former LAUSD board member