Urgent care

first_imgThe LAUSD lacks any coherent system for spending its money wisely. The minidistrict plan that was supposed to bring decentralization and parental involvement has been a sham, delivering neither. Worst of all, there is simply no accountability within the LAUSD. As the study describes it, “directives are given but few, if any, consequences are enforced for noncompliance.” From this springs a 50 percent dropout rate, atrocious test scores, millions of wasted dollars, the incalculable squandering of young people’s opportunities, and the heroic efforts of committed, talented teachers thwarted by an indifferent and unresponsive bureaucracy. Brewer’s study has ably documented in a comprehensive, professional way what even casual observers already knew: This is a district in need of a radical overhaul. We can only hope that this documentation will make it easier for him to achieve that overhaul. But it will be a brutal, uphill battle. As the many ignored studies before it demonstrate, it’s much easier to write a report than to right the LAUSD. Brewer is going to need all the help he can get, especially from the school board, which ultimately calls the shots. That’s one more reason why San Fernando Valley voters should elect reformer Tamar Galtazan to the school board next month. She brings the sense of urgency, the commitment to priorities, that the LAUSD desperately needs.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! And those key words – “not responding to priorities” and “no sense of urgency” – strike at the heart of what’s wrong. The LAUSD is an entity unto its own. It exists not so much to educate children or to serve the public, but to serve itself, which is why it’s so averse to change and to correction, and has been for so long. As the report’s authors note, if there’s one thing the LAUSD hasn’t been lacking, it’s suggestions for improvement. Over the past few years alone, there have been multiple audits, exhaustive studies and long lists of recommendations for how to turn the district around. All have been ignored. Meanwhile, the school board has micromanaged the district and failed in its real responsibility to set policy. `THE current culture in LAUSD is one typified by not responding to priorities and deadlines, and there is no sense of urgency among managers.” That damning sentence says all you need to know about the state of the Los Angeles Unified School District. It comes from an independent study commissioned by new Superintendent David Brewer III. The report is a 115-page catalog of horrors about the lack of accountability, standards, organization and competence within the bureaucratic behemoth to which we entrust the care and education of our children. It makes for scary reading. last_img