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It is a sad state we find ourselves in LAUSD. Our kids are having the life pulled out of them, instead of realizing what they want and who they are. The Teachers don't care. The school requires testing until they kids are so sick of going to school, you are lucky if you can keep them involved all year. If you email or call, you get a call back weeks later. There is nothing hands on involvement. There is just the same old reading, writing, and arithmetic I had when I was young. However, we also had typing, home economics, poetry, metal shop, swimming, and so on a so forth. If you weren't in art, you were in automechanics. I don't believe we had more money in the 70's and 80's, so why now is there such a push to test and test. What are they proving? We are in the stone age of education in the rocket science age of technology. It's got to change.
I've got kids in LAUSD too. And not everything is dire. While they may not be focusing on home ec or typing, they are getting computer time. And not all schools take weeks to respond. Honestly if it were that bad, I would move my child.
With its size comes some great options including magnets, open enrollment and SAS programs that can help you find a better school for your children.
If you'd like to chat more, feel free to join the L.A. group--we're located here: http://www.greatschools.org/california/los-angeles/community.gs?content=196770624
echalem, I can hear the frustration in your writing I am so sorry you are having problems with the LAUSD schools you are dealing with. I too am sadden with the lose of some of the programs I was in as a kid (like Home economics, when I was in Jr. High in the late 70's it was a mandatory class for all kids!).
But I would like to also highlight some of LAUSD's great benefits that come to mind: Magnets of all kinds, SAS, special needs programs, school gardens and music programs. And one of the best things about LAUSD is School Site Council, which if done right (yea at some schools this is not as well run as one would like) the school can decided how to spend a portion of their funds the way they see fit.
If you are having issues with your school, I suggest you go to the local district and ask for help.
There is actually a federal requirement that public schools test and test which is the infamous No Child Left Behind Act that many complain about and that President Obama is talking about changing. But all change comes very slow to most schools. Also true is that some kids tolerate the process of school less well than others. One of my sons really hated school and everything about it and we had a string of difficult years through which he was both mad and sad but never happy with school.
Are there any alternative public schools in your district? Any charter schools? Some larger districts have alternative schools which work in a very different way than traditional mainstream schools. Sometimes too there can be a teacher who reaches out to the kids who hate school and who understands why they find school so dreary.
I exempted my children out of testing. Waste of time. Mark Twain has only 800 students and very civil compare to its past history and will be a magnet next year. LACES is by far the school with most community spirit but no great sports programs. You want a school like Culver City where most of the students walk to the campus...these school have strong local involvement. LAUSD promotes museum style teaching, sit and listen to lectures or do a group project. It is not a living a breathing environment. It is painful to watch kids learn from worksheets or from copying notes from the boards and see their eyes glaze over. They need to adopt a curriculum which teaches natural philosophy with the classroom.70888
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