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Charter Schools Failing , Privatization, and the Future of Public Education in Los Angeles and California

With Los Angeles at the forefront of the national debate over public education, Capital & Main is examining the potential impacts of large-scale charter school expansion in the country’s second-largest district. “Failing the Test: Charter Schools, Privatization and the Future of Public Education in Los Angeles and California” will explore the uneven results of California’s charter school growth, and the potential impacts of further expansion on public education.

This weeklong series is based on extensive interviews with education experts, community advocates, parents, teachers and elected officials on both sides of the escalating controversy over charter schools. “Failing the Test” documents how charter advocates are aggressively pushing for dramatic growth despite evidence that these schools do not improve overall student performance. The series reports on how privately operated charter schools leave some kids behind, even as they enjoy taxpayer support and broad exemptions from the laws that govern traditional public schools.

“Failing the Test” will also present a set of ideas for how Los Angeles and California can address the challenges facing public schools.

Failing the Test: UCLA’s John Rogers on the Struggle for Democratic School Improvement


Failing the Test: School Solutions and Turnarounds

Elana Goldbaum was happy working at Burbank Junior High School, a public school located in Los Angeles’ Highland Park neighborhood, until she was let go during the recession in 2008. ...

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Failing the Test: Nine Solution Takeaways

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Failing the Test: UCLA’s John Rogers on the Positives & Negatives of Charter School Autonomy

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Failing the Test: Charter School Powerbrokers

The Billion Dollar Investment Charter proponents, most notably the Walton Family Foundation, contribute large amounts of money to expand charter schools in select cities around the nation. The foundation says ...

Charter Schools and Privatization: Failing the Test—Danny Feingold

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Failing the Test: Searching for Accountability in Charter Schools

The original concept of charter schools emerged nationally more than two decades ago and was intended to support community efforts to open up education. Albert Shanker, then president of the ...

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Failing the Test: UCLA’s John Rogers on Charter Schools and Exclusion of Special Needs Students

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Failing the Test: How a Major California Charter School Gave Up on a Special Needs Student


Failing the Test: Charter Schools’ Winners and Losers

At first, Rosalba Naranjo was thrilled that her two daughters were attending Richard Merkin Middle School, a charter school located near downtown Los Angeles. After all, the Pico Union neighborhood ...

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Failing the Test: Measuring Charter School Performance

Charter schools, their lobbyists and choice proponents often discuss the underperformance of traditional public schools in the public discourse. But what data should be trusted by parents and policymakers alike ...


Failing The Test: UCLA’s John Rogers on Eli Broad’s Charter School Takeover Dreams

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Failing the Test: A New Series Examines Charter Schools

When the Great Public Schools Now Initiative, the $490 million blueprint to turn half of Los Angeles’ public school system into charter schools, was first leaked to Los Angeles Times ...

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Failing the Test: Oakland’s Charter School Tipping Point

Last September’s sensational leak of the Great Public Schools Now Initiative, a half-billion-dollar plan to double the number of charter schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), sparked