December 10, 2012: "I know Californians say we actually have lofty expectations of teachers and schools, but when it comes to showing our expectations, we ought to be ashamed. It’s been said many times that budgets are moral documents; judging from our investments in children and schools, 'we don’t expect much of them.' We provide precious few librarians, counselors, or nurses, inadequate facilities, inadequate teacher prep time and professional development, inadequate care for students’ medical and mental health needs, too few social workers, paraprofessionals, janitors, other support services personnel. Early childhood education investments would cut later spending on corrections, but look at our incarceration rates and costs. For schools and students, our mouths say 'achievement!' but our budgets say 'sorry.'” -- David B. Cohen, at left, 10th grade English teacher, associate director of Accomplished California Teachers (ACT), a teacher leadership network funded by the Stuart Foundation and house under the umbrella of the School of Education, Stanford.
Cohen was responding to a column in Friday's Los Angeles Times written by Sandy Banks about State Superintendent Tom Torlakson and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's visit to LAUSD's Jordan High School, the California urban high school (i.e., struggling) with the state's biggest jump (93 points) in API.
From Banks's column:
...Two years ago, [Jordan] was failing so persistently, it was essentially dissolved — reconstituted, in edu-speak. Its students and campus were divided between two groups, Green Dot Charter and the mayor's Partnership for Los Angeles Schools.
Both schools on the campus posted gains this year. But the partnership's jump — from 515 to 608 on the state's academic performance index — surprised even its most ardent supporters.
Still, 608 isn't scholar status; scores at the best public high schools are more than 200 points higher. And Jordan isn't out of the woods. Its enrollment dropped this fall, after a charter school with "college" in its name opened up nearby....
News tip thanks to Craig Cheslog Daily.