The Los Angeles Unified School District has been in a long state of crisis.
Students are going through the LAUSD system failing to meet the state’s own basic standards on English language arts and mathematics.
In 2016, just 39% of LAUSD students met basic standards on English language arts. By 2023, that percentage bumped up just barely to 41.17%.
In 2016, just 29% of LAUSD students met basic standards on mathematics. By 2023, that percentage bumped up just barely to 30.5%.
It’s a tragedy what LAUSD “leaders” have allowed to happen.
Meanwhile, the district continues to shrink, with enrollment projected to plummet as much as 30% over the next decade. With results like those above, that may be for the best.
Clearly, something needs to change, because current leadership at LAUSD is incapable of turning things around.
Most members of the school board are beholden to special interests, namely, the infamous United Teachers Los Angeles, which was spent most of the last decade attacking the right of parents to send their children to schools that better reflect the needs and interests of their kids. They have been particularly active in attacking charter schools, which outperform traditional schools in the district.
Enter, Los Angeles Unified school board member Scott Schmerelson.
Schmerelson is the favored candidate of UTLA and other supporters of the failed establishment in LAUSD.
Four years ago, this editorial board noted just how unsuited for job Schmerelson is. In response to our questions about the district’s budget, Schmerelson, who at that point had already served a term on the school board and had served on a budget committee, told us he needed “tutoring” on how the budget works. As he voted on budgets and even proposals to raise taxes, we noted, “he said he had simply relied on the experts and trusted their recommendations.”
Four years later, it’s not apparent Schmerelson ever got around to that tutoring.
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The district is still on as bad a direction as it was when Schmerelson was first elected. If anything, the challenges have become even more significant. Yet Schmerelson’s concern is essentially to appease the needs of UTLA.
Schmerelson dismisses the fact that public charter schools in the district outperform traditional public schools with the same tired rhetoric of the teachers unions.
Parents in LAUSD’s District 3 who want the best for their children need to vote Schmerelson out. Plain and simple.
Any endorsement for Scott Schmerelson should be understood for what it is: an endorsement for mediocrity.
This editorial board has proudly endorsed teacher Dan Chang for school board and we reiterate everything we said in that endorsement: “Rarely have voters in the Los Angeles Unified School District had a chance to elect a school board candidate as qualified and potentially impactful as Dan Chang, and we heartily endorse his candidacy for Seat 3 in the San Fernando Valley on March 5.”