LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Teachers at a struggling South Los Angeles school spoke out Wednesday against a plan to have them reapply for their jobs.
Leaders with United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) say efforts by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to “reconstitute” Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy at 1700 West 46th Street will “destabilize the under-supported and under-funded school” and adversely affect students “who may find their favorite teachers are gone when classes resume after the summer break.”
Since its opening in 2010, Obama Global Prep has struggled with poor student performance and high administrator and teacher turnover rates.
It’s also one of 37 “Reed Investment Schools” citywide impacted by a settlement reached last year in which the LAUSD agreed to provide additional funding to the schools to stabilize them and to retain teachers.
But some UTLA officials told CBS2/KCAL9’s Kara Finnstrom the district’s latest move will do little to fix the problems.
“Actually, what it is is a way to blame staff and teachers unfairly for the circumstances of a school,” said one union official.
Some protesters voiced concern that a district plan (PDF) to partner with L.A. Promise – a group that has already staged successful school transformations with high graduation rates – could mean roughly half of Obama Prep’s current teachers won’t be rehired.
Parent Teresa Clark is among those who support the move, saying she believes the most effective teachers will be back next year.
“They’re good teachers and they know they can back it up,” said Clark.
But she added that the problem doesn’t end with school leadership and that any future successes at Obama Global Prep will require getting the community on board.
“I mean, if you want your kids to get a good education, we as parents need to step up,” Clark said. “You can’t put it all on the teachers.
Obama Global Prep was part of the LAUSD’s $19.5 billion school construction and modernization program with a district-mandated goal of providing “every student with the opportunity to attend a safe and healthy neighborhood school operating on a traditional, two-semester calendar.”