by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Conventional analyses of the Los Angeles teachers strike present the public with a false dichotomy: is the teachers union right or is the school district right? The reality is that both sides are wrong, and the solution for parents and students is greater school choice for all children. …
… [P]arents have voted with their feet in favor charter schools.
Charter school enrollment in Los Angeles has increased, while enrollment in regular public schools has declined.
While UTLA and its allies claim that charter schools inadequately serve the needs of low-income and minority students, the reality is that 88 percent of charter-school students in Los Angeles are Latino or African American and 82 percent of L.A. charter students are from low-income families.
Further, the data demonstrates that charters are improving the achievement of those students.
According to a 2017 study by the school-research-and-rating organization GreatSchools, there were 156 public schools in California ‘that are providing strong results for African-American students and Hispanic students.’
While only a little more than one in 10 public schools statewide is a charter school, among these 156 high-performing schools, nearly one out of three was a charter school.
Plus, a significant number of the high-performing charter schools were located in Los Angeles.
The bottom line is that the Los Angeles teachers strike is a perfect storm of bad policies, bad management, bad demands, and, too often, bad actors.
The solution is more, not fewer, charter schools.