LAUSD Public School Choice

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What is Public School Choice?

In 2009, the Los Angeles Unified School District board passed Public School Choice (PSC), an unprecedented initiative to reform the operation of new schools and turn around the lowest performing schools in the district. PSC allowed non-district school operators - like charter schools, teacher teams, and community groups - the opportunity to run these schools.

The charter school community has participated in Public School Choice since the start, seeing this as an exciting way that charter schools can collaborate with the district to ensure all students receive a high-quality public education. The first two rounds of PSC included over thirty schools and sixteen charter schools have been opened under this program.

Successes

According to 2011 STAR testing results, charter schools that opened under the first round of the Los Angeles Unified School District's Public School Choice (PSC 1.0) initiative last fall are largely outperforming district-run PSC programs. Learn more.

Also, taken as a group, Los Angeles charter schools outperform the Los Angeles Unified School District across all grade levels on the Academic Performance Index (API), California's primary academic accountability metric for schools. Read more details.

Major Changes to Public School Choice

The third round of Public School Choice kicked off in June 2011 and initially included 17 new campuses and 26 focus schools, which are existing schools that have suffered from years of poor performance. Charter schools put in letters of intent to apply at 20 campuses. However, many schools were ultimately removed from the process and, on Nov. 29, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and UTLA President Warren Fletcher announced a new contract reform deal that would prevent charter schools from applying for Public School Choice at all.

Aspire Public Schools had already submitted a full application for Middle School #3 near Huntington Park and South Gate, where they currently run many successful schools. CCSA is working with Aspire and the district to find ways for them to serve more students. Learn more about Aspire Public Schools.

While the intended outcome of the agreement between the District and UTLA is for better opportunities for kids and broader reform within LAUSD, it is unfortunate that the agreement has come at the cost of the opportunity to engage the entire community of stakeholders, both internal and external, on behalf of kids through reform efforts like PSC. These reforms and charter schools shouldn't be mutually exclusive. There are enough challenges in LA that we should harness every reform available. Parents have shown that they want charter schools as an option for their children and that they want all schools to be accountable for providing a great education.

More Resources

Public School Choice Round 1 (PSC 1.0)

Thirteen (13) charter schools applied for 18 new or consistently low-performing campuses included in the first round. Four charters were approved by the board in February 2010, and one (Synergy Charter School) negotiated a partnership before PSC existed. The PSC charters are as follows:

  • Camino Nuevo (Central Region Elementary School)
  • Para Los NiƱos (Gratts Primary Center)
  • Aspire (South Region Elementary School)
  • Magnolia (South Region Middle School)
  • Synergy Charter School

The schools opened their doors in fall 2010 to an estimated 2,500 students.

According to 2011 STAR testing results, charter schools that opened under the first round of the Los Angeles Unified School District's Public School Choice (PSC 1.0) initiative last fall are largely outperforming district-run PSC programs. Learn more.

Public School Choice Round 2 (PSC 2.0)

The second round included 10 new schools and three focus schools. Charter schools turned in a total of 10 applications, with seven approved by the board in March 2011:

  • Alliance College-Ready Public Schools (one of five academies at Central Region High School #13)
  • Aspire (Juanita Tate Elementary School)
  • Camino Nuevo (Central Region Elementary School #14)
  • Green Dot Public Schools (Clay Middle School)
  • Partnerships to Uplift Communities (one of five academies at Central Region High School #13)
  • Synergy Charter School (academies at Central Region Middle School #7 and Central Region High School #16)

The schools opened their doors in fall 2011 with capacity for 4,750 students. Read a full summary about the board's decisions.

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