Response to LA Times: "LAUSD's Process for Charter Authorization is Rigorous"

February 18, 2013

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On Feb. 15, 2013, the LA Times wrote an editorial endorsing candidates for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board that mentioned charter school oversight. CCSA wrote the following letter to the editor in response:

Thank you to the Times for thoughtfully weighing in on the critical LA school board election. However, we were troubled by the incorrect assertion in your piece that the LAUSD board has failed to properly oversee charter schools. The more than 200 charter schools authorized by LAUSD would tell you that are subject to a very rigorous process and undergo intense scrutiny from the district's capable charter division staff.

We believe that not only charter schools, but all public schools should be held accountable. We applaud Superintendent Deasy and Board President Monica Garcia for leading the way toward clearer standards of academic performance and applying this to all schools - their metric for individual student growth is one of the most sophisticated measures being used by any district in the nation.

These efforts bear out in the results - LA is home to many of the best charter schools in the entire country. LA charter schools are making a difference for kids, as can be seen on multiple measures including average API scores, proficiency rates for African American and Latino students and the district's own measures. Perhaps most telling is that parents are choosing charter schools in ever higher numbers.

I look forward to the day when charter schools aren't considered to be a reform issue and we can all come together to support great schools, no matter what type, and educators and families are truly empowered to shape their schools.

Jed Wallace
President and CEO California Charter Schools Association

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