L.A. ‘Choice’ Program Swaps Competition for Collaboration
LA School Report | November 20, 2013
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Via Huffington Post | By Charles Kerchner
Four years ago, the Los Angeles Unified School District embarked on a bold, perhaps reckless, program called Public School Choice to allow charter school operators and other community groups to compete for running many of its schools. Thursday, a team of researchers from the University of Southern California, revealed what many had already known: the “choice” aspect of the program had largely gone away.
Instead, LAUSD has focused energy around a collaborative effort to improve student achievement, which went up, and school quality. Participants in the process questioned the value of competition as a driver of school reform.
The research report provided the first in-depth look at the four-year reform project involving 131 schools. USC Professors Julie Marsh and Katharine Strunk headed the research team. They reported at an event held at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in central L.A., schools built on the site of the old Ambassador Hotel where Kennedy was assassinated.
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