Another charter war is brewing in LA Unified. But the early warning shots are taking aim at ambiguity, not facts.
The flashpoint was two sentences in an Aug. 7 story in the LA Times that described a meeting at which three major foundations discussed plans to expand the number of charter schools in the district. The participants are the usual bete noirs of teacher unions for their roles in the education reform movement — the Broad, Walton Family and W.M. Keck foundations,
Here is what the story said:
“One person who attended a meeting said the goal was to enroll in charter schools half of all Los Angeles students over the next eight years. Another said there was discussion of an option that involved enrolling 50% of students currently at schools with low test scores.”
The story did not discern which observation hewed closer to the truth, leaving the impression that an all-out assault (the first sentence) was entirely possible, and maybe it is.
The LA teachers union, UTLA, certainly thinks so. It has repeated the assertion in a recent wave of material from leadership to rally the troops in the name of unity and union survival.
In an email to members, UTLA referred to “Broad the Billionaire” (Eli Broad), saying, “He is attacking public education with the likes of John Deasy and has plans to take 50% of students out of LAUSD and put them in unregulated, non-union charters. Deasy works for the Broad Foundation and is leading Broad’s attack on LAUSD.”