Thursday, February 04, 2010

LAUSD and Charter Schools, from friend Sheila

What's a charter school?  What's a magnet?  How do they compare with LAUSD schools in the San Fernando Valley?  I get these questions all the time.  I've asked friend Sheila, mother of a 7 year old in a Northridge Charter, for websites and info.  Here's her (as always hilarious) response:

The charter thing...hmmm. It's like this: if you want to go to a charter school, you go to the California Charter Schools Association and scroll through the thousands of them in CA. That's about the only way to find out about all of them, since LAUSD would rather they didn't exist at all. If you want to know the process, you usually have to contact each school you might be interested in. They are almost all, as far as I know, done by lottery, and the due dates vary but are usually in Feb. or March. Since they are technically 'public', that is, they get funds from the local school district, they cannot act like a private school and pick and choose who they want (wink). Yeah, right. Where can you find out more info on charter schools? That's about the only place I know, that Ca Charter Schools website. would have very little info, I think. Magnet schools are popular with the school districts because they still maintain control over budgets and curriculum. What makes them a "magnet" is that locally, they were performing so crappy or the parents were unhappy with the school's direction, so they petitioned the school district to make the school some have some kind of bullshit designation (i.e., technology/math, science, high ability). I say bullshit because at the elementary level, there is really no difference in instruction, funding, or facilities, except for the teachers they might attract to the school. That's about it.

Thanks, S!  I'm learning a lot from you.

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