Youth reporter Jennifer Lam speaks to Mayor Eric Garcetti about his role in the Partnership for Los Angeles School.
Boyle Heights Beat: The proposal for Partnership for Los Angeles Schools (PLAS) to
take control of some LAUSD schools was a way for Mayor Villaraigosa to have more oversight of underperforming schools. And his relations with the school board played a big role in how he was able to push policies. Since PLAS is still active in our schools, what would you do to improve it?
Garcetti: I have to see what sort of authority I will have. I’m not sure. They renewed it, but whether or not it transfers to the next mayor, I’m not quite sure yet. So I might not have a formal role. But I’m very supportive of finding the good things in the schools that have been successful and trying to help bring them citywide.
For instance, there’s something called “parent college” that helps parents take classes to become more involved in their child’s school, and that’s at the Partnership schools only, just some of them. But I think that would be great for any school in Los Angeles, and whatever I could do to bring that to even non-Partnership schools.
I talked with teachers at schools like 99th Street School in Watts, and they are using tablets [computers] in the classroom. And it’s transforming their ability to teach the same lesson to students who read at two or three different grade levels, because they can all read at their own reading level, but the same content. So things like that I’d like to take from the Partnership and see if we can spread it, but I’m not sure what the formal role will be yet. That’s to be determined.
I also know that some of the Partnership schools aren’t as popular as the successes. For instance, in Watts, it’s been very popular. At Roosevelt, it’s been less popular. If I can play a role, I’d like to find out why on those campuses people aren’t very happy with it and what we can do to make it better.