LAUSD votes to covert Birmingham High...

LAUSD votes to covert Birmingham High School to a charter

There are 27 comments on the LA Daily News story from Jul 1, 2009, titled LAUSD votes to covert Birmingham High School to a charter. In it, LA Daily News reports that:

The Los Angeles Unified school board voted to convert Birmingham High School to a charter Wednesday, ending a long and bitter battle between teachers and parents at the district's largest campus.

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insider

Sherman Oaks, CA

#21 Jul 2, 2009
Birmingham is a low-performing school. My guess is that it will be a low-performing charter school.

The most accomplished students at the school tend to be enrolled in the magnet, which is now a free-standing school.

The school has lacked strong administrative leadership since Doris Lasiter retired at principal. The current principal, Marcia Coates, has shown poor judgment on several occasions, the most recent being the well publicized incident involving the tacky photo that appeared in GQ.

Coates didn't have enough leadership clout to calm the storm on campus that erupted when more teachers had second thoughts about going charter. The climate there was toxic for several employees.

My guess is that on opening day, there will be several no-shows. It's going to be tough to convince many students that they need to go to school in mid-August. The two other charter schools to break away from LAUSD -- Palisades and Granada Hills -- were situated in more affluent neighborhoods and have lists of kids waiting to be admitted. Birmingham, located near the intersection of the 405 and 101, won't have that situation. The enrollment there was been shrinking. Now, they'll scramble to get the kids they need to keep the money rolling in.

What a mess!
Imatoz

Los Angeles, CA

#22 Jul 2, 2009
Coates doesn't even know what functions some of her non-teaching staff perform on campus, or even who they are in some instances. How can she be expected to handle the role of self-sufficient executive?

Typcial charter school plans are already in the works to quickly "relocate" some of their special-ed students, no doubt in order to quickly skew the test scores upwards.

Charters are great until you peak behind the curtains.
Imatoz

Los Angeles, CA

#23 Jul 2, 2009
peek
birmingham student

United States

#24 Jul 3, 2009
My fellow classmates and I were really hoping that the petition didnt go through. I think Marsha Coates was pushing this petition so hard because she was going to get a salary increase! She never thought of asking us the students what we really wanted. doesnt she see how much devision this petition is causing? i hope thing will change for the better like she promised..and that she focuses on using the money wisely. last year more money was spent on athletics than on books.. i spent the whole year without an English book due to lack of materials, thats just wrong!

good luck Coates
alan

Pea Ridge, AR

#25 Jul 4, 2009
birmingham student wrote:
My fellow classmates and I were really hoping that the petition didnt go through. I think Marsha Coates was pushing this petition so hard because she was going to get a salary increase! She never thought of asking us the students what we really wanted. doesnt she see how much devision this petition is causing? i hope thing will change for the better like she promised..and that she focuses on using the money wisely. last year more money was spent on athletics than on books.. i spent the whole year without an English book due to lack of materials, thats just wrong!
good luck Coates
While student input is important, this a change that far exceeds the current student population of Birmingham High. In other words, the current students should not decide the future of the school, but they should provide input.
2009 Birmingham Graduate

United States

#26 Jul 5, 2009
This ruling by the board was a great injustice for all students at Birmingham high school. The administrators at Birmingham are corrupt and show a complete disdain for academics and creativity.(Whether scheduling sports games on finals week, or putting F students in AP classes,or censoring the student newspaper, or telling a valedictorian that he(me) does not have his "priorities straight") There is no doubt that Birmingham is now worse off. All oversight is gone. There are no checks and balances. Mrs. Coates and her clan is nothing less than a dictatorship. The LAUSD board just rewarded tyranny with power. Also, my younger brother is switching to another school as a result. Marguerite LaMotte was the only one who got it right.... God be with you Birmingham.
gina

Los Angeles, CA

#27 Mar 3, 2010
Steve wrote:
What a foolish decision by the district. Birmingham's problems and issues for wanting to go charter are no different than the other LAUSD high schools. That school hasn't done much to significantly prove to the district that they need to go charter, and they've been wrestling with the charter issue off and on since at least 2003. With the Magnet deciding to remain with the district, and the charter opponents wanting to go in a different direction, LAUSD just approved to host a circus of chaos.
One advantage of charter schools that is often discussed is the ability for teachers to refine and improve their instruction to "better serve the kids". But better instruction doesn't necessarily make better students. Take a look at the majority of the students that attend the Valley high schools. Nobody ever talks about the students' responsibility to learn and succeed. If more kids actually owned up to their education, cut out the "learned helplessness" act, and stopped deliberately failing English and Algebra courses (only to retake them in summer school so they have something to do - yep, kids actually do this!), then we wouldn't have a need for charter schools.
Birmingham hasn't made enough academic (or other) improvements to warrant the granting of the charter. Will they really be able to turn the school around?
well said , most of the students coming from birmingham are drop outs, thats tells alot about this school's system . they should first improve their academia

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