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Commentary: LAUSD for ‘all kids’? ‘You’ve got to be kidding me’

LA School Report | October 27, 2015

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By Nicholas Melvoin

In decrying the recently leaked memo outlining a plan to create more high-quality public charter schools in our city, LAUSD School Board President Steve Zimmer said: “This is not an all-kids plan or an all-kids strategy…it’s very explicitly a some-kids strategy, a strategy that some kids will have a better education at a publicly-funded school…[t]he conversation should be better public education options and quality public schools for all kids, not some kids.”

I agree with that last part. And yet I have a hard time seeing how LAUSD itself has engaged in an “all-kids” strategy. I’m confused as to how policies that have led to only twenty-six percent of high school students being on track to graduate can possibly be called part of an “all-kids” strategy. It seems to me that this is a “quarter-of-kids” strategy. That’s not to say that Zimmer and others don’t believe that all kids should succeed; on the contrary, I believe that they do.

But by denouncing various school innovation plans as a “some kids” strategy and touting the district’s as an “all kids” one, Zimmer is not only unnecessarily incendiary, but he also invites scrutiny of how “all kids” this district has been of late.

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