After working with Watson at Foshay, I'm shocked LAUSD made him a principal. He never solved a single problem. Foshay once had a famously effective principal, who made national headlines with the way he transformed Foshay. When he left, a group of administrators arrived (including Watson) and the school began a downward spiral that culminated with tragic headlines. Watson is unable to solve even small problems. Small problems unaddressed create big problems. Simply put, Watson is not a true educator. He cares about having a job, not about the students’ educational success. Some people have already posted serious warning signs about the Emerson culture under Watson. Trust me, they should not be ignored. Back in 2008, when I opened up the L.A. Times and saw the headlines, I just knew that Foshay was going to be involved. Initially, Foshay wasn’t mentioned in the article and I was surprised, and then there it was. That’s what I think of Watson. So ineffective that negative headlines are probable.
I can't say enough good things about this school. The school offers so many great opportunities for the students. My only complaint is that it's not possible for my child to take advantage of them all. Our whole family went to see the musical production even though our daughter wasn't in it. The auditorium was packed. So nice to see all the kids come out to support their friends. And it was an amazing production. So much talent. I hear the students help build the sets and make the costumes. And I saw students running the light cues and sound board. They really learn how a theater operates. Also, the robotics students went on a field trip to the UCLA engineering labs two weeks ago. And the 8th grade history teacher had her students do a moot court with a real Superior Court Judge volunteering and parent lawyers helping the students prepare their arguments. I wish I could go back to middle school.
Some teachers are better than others and my kids have clicked with some and not others. But one of the great lessons of school is learning how to succeed even when you don't like the teacher or you don't think the teacher is the best. But there are teachers that my daughter didn't like that I still thought were great teachers. This year, 8th grade, my daugher loves all her teachers. So great.
It really depends on the student and not the teacher. The accelerated math classes are tougher and will have more homework. But it comes down to how well your child was prepared for middle school. Some kids come in well-prepared. Others spend the first semester just learning how to manage their time.
I think over the years, this has really improved. A few years ago, I would have said that the Sports Academy was the one place that really developed grit. But now I would say that about most of the academies, such as STEM and this year I would include the Leadership Academy.