It’s a new day for parents and children of 24th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Yesterday, scores of concerned parents organized a rally and bus trip to LAUSD’s downtown office, where the parents delivered 359 petitions to turnaround their children’s failing school. Signed petitions represented 440 students (or 68% of students at the school).
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy greeted the parents with open arms. Speaking on the parents’ successes in organizing their community, Deasy remarked: “This is powerful parent organizing and powerful parent choice.” Deasy also acknowledged the need for immediate improvements to the school.
The school’s stats paint a stark picture of the need for urgent reform: For years, academics and progress at the school have stagnated. The school ranks in the bottom 2% of all 563 elementary schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Far too many students ‘graduate’ and cannot read/do math at grade level. In fact, 70% of graduates leave without being able to read at grade level.
Superintendent Deasy and the parents agreed that a collaborative path to achieving a better school is the desired path forward. Given years of academic stagnation and a failure of leadership, parents expressed cautious optimism that the parents and district will be able to turnaround the school by next fall. However, with the submission of the petitions under the 2010 Parent Empowerment Act, parents have a failsafe path to ensure a better public school for all students by the fall of 2013.
Today is a new day in Los Angeles for the parents and children of 24th Street Elementary School. Today marks the start of real negotiations and collaboration to improve 24th Street Elementary School for all students.