Roosevelt HS Needs Collaboration, Not Alienation

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An opinion piece by Dr. John Fernandez in today’s issue calls for solutions to Roosevelt High School’s ongoing education struggles.

While the eastside high school’s magnet program, Math, Science & Technology Magnet Academy, earlier this month became the first California school in eight years — and first school with a predominately Latino student body — to receive the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) national award for leveraging technology to improve student outcomes, the Academy’s accomplishments are not schoolwide.

Eight years ago, after failing to win approval to place the Los Angeles Unified School District under the direction of Los Angeles’ mayor, then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa brokered a deal to place several of the District’s poorest-performing schools under a new management program, the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools.

Roosevelt is one of those schools.

At the time, Villaraigosa believed he could bring together resources and academic proposals that would help lift the schools in his Partnership to a higher level, closing the decades-long achievement gap at schools with predominately low-income Latino and African-American students.

There’s no doubt that there was initial success attracting money and resources from outside the District to Partnership schools. The question is, has it made enough of a difference.

Dr. Fernandez and some of school and community stakeholders say the answer is no.

While Roosevelt is technically not a charter school, it is subject to much of the same political issues and rhetoric.

That’s not to the say the issues being raised are not valid, indeed they are.

However, it’s long past time to get beyond the gamesmanship and to finally turn things around at Roosevelt.

Gone is the excuse of overcrowding. Gone is the excuse of  “we need more time.”

District 2 School Board Member Monica Garcia represents the school and the community from which the students come.

We urge Garcia to demonstrate the leadership Roosevelt desperately needs. She must collaborate with all stakeholders to develop a new plan to give Roosevelt High School the resources its students, teachers, parents and community need to finally escape the shackles of failure, or mediocrity at best.

Posted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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