Response to Los Angeles Times Op-Ed by Diane Ravitch

July 23, 2015

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CCSA submitted the following response to the Los Angeles Times op-ed by Diane Ravitch, "What LAUSD needs in its next superintendent."

Just because Diane Ravitch repeats the same incendiary messages over and over again, that doesn't make them true. Ravitch accuses charter schools of excluding students, but the data here in Los Angeles says otherwise. Independent charters in LAUSD serve 1% more English learners and 2% fewer students with special needs than traditional schools do. In other words, there's basically no difference in the students being served. It's also worth noting that both English learners and students with special needs perform better in local independent charters than in traditional schools.

Ravitch laments charter schools' lack of accountability, but charter schools are held to greater accountability standards than other public schools. How? Each charter school has to petition for renewal every five years; if it has failed to perform, it gets shut down. No other type of public school has to prove that it is actually helping students learn.

Ravitch also complains that charter schools have influence in Sacramento. Meanwhile, the California Teachers Association has long been the single most powerful and well-funded lobby in the Capitol by any measure. Ravitch's rhetoric is forceful, but it's not grounded in fact.

Even worse, Ravitch demonizes parents who exercise their right to choose the best education for their children. Ravitch seems to suggest that charter school students are traitors or second class citizens, and she seems intent on punishing them for seeking out learning environments that meet their needs.

Does LAUSD need a superintendent who shares Ravitch's polarizing, politicized views? No. LAUSD needs a superintendent who will advocate for all students, regardless of the type of public school they choose to attend.