This joint venture of City of Angels Continuation School, the LAUSD Office of Curriculum and Instruction, Beyond the Bell, and the Education Technology departments will join with Ms. Elliot as the latest unrealistic panacea for addressing longstanding abject failure of public education at LAUSD. It has LAUSD's surrealistic modus operandi all over it:
1. It proposes no security regiment to assure that the students actually do their own work or get by with a little help from their friends or teachers who are more and more terrified of losing their jobs if their students don't pass.
2. It assumes that students with elementary school reading abilities and little knowledge of math can somehow get through secondary core courses that these students have already shown by their previous failure is way beyond their subjective abilities.
3. Fails to ask the foundational question as to why students who have little or no relevant English language skills or relevant foundational math skills could reasonably be expected to pass a course online that they couldn't pass when they had a teacher- even though that teacher most likely had no remedial education skills to address the students' real academic needs.
This program is not about education, rather it is about "credit recovery." The cynicism of teachers at LAUSD comes from the fact they we clearly know that little or nothing of what LAUSD administration presently does has anything to do with education. It has to do with credit recovery, whether or not students learn anything. It has to do with making up classes in an even more academically degraded situation online with little or know support for students who have already clearly shown for years that they are not making it, so let's do more of the same kinds of programs guaranteed to continue their failure.
In reading the history of LAUSD as written by Charles Taylor Kerchner in Learning From L.A. - Institutional Change in American Public Education -- what is astounding is that the history of public education in Los Angeles is the history of generation after generation of handy dandy sure-fired reform that predictably never succeeds. I must admit that I don't understand how smart people like Professors Kerchner and Ravitch can go on documenting public education's predictable failure that is assured because we keep doing the same thing over and over again.
Before real change can take place based on a demand supported by a higher consciousness, many people have to come to the clear realization that LAUSD and the politicians who keep them in power are not listening and are not taking the majority of people in this society who want better education seriously. Once shame on them for what they do to this country's future, twice shame on you if you keep asking them to do something you should know by now they never will do unless forced.
At the end of a trial where the defendant and his attorney are standing for the verdict, the judge says, "Guilty, life in prison." The defendant turns to his attorney who is packing up his papers into his brief case and asks him, "What do we do now?" The attorney says, "I don't know about you, but I'm going to lunch." At LAUSD, lunch continues to be served at your expense. Tired of it yet?