Monday, January 03, 2011

Follow-up comments by Villaraigosa

Here are some follow-up comments by Villaraigosa in which he mentions KIPP:


You cannot have absolute seniority for assignments, transfers, and layoffs. We tried to work with the teachers union here in Los Angeles, and they refused to work with us, so we went to the ACLU. And the ACLU files a lawsuit based on Equal Protection which says "all the poor kids can't get the least senior teachers and we can't have a situation where the poorest communities in Los Angeles have the highest number of teachers that are laid off." That's not a fair situation. I'm not saying that we must completely eliminate it, but that cannot be the only criteria for dismissals. I was at KIPP academy the other day. They had a new teacher at Virgil, who had 97% of their students who were advanced in math. And that teacher was laid off. And now that teacher is at the KIPP academy, one of the best charter schools in Los Angeles. Performance has to be part of the layoff procedure. It can't all be seniority. Seniority can be a factor, but not the only factor."


This reinforces my point about the power of KIPP and other similar high-performing schools (from page 93 of my school reform presentation, posted at:


·        KIPP and a handful of other top schools are "black swans."

·        Just as the existence of even one black swan proves that all swans aren't white, even a small number of high-performing schools proves that, without spending any additional money, schools have the capability to change the life trajectories of children and send nearly all low-income, minority students to college. They prove that demography is not destiny!

·        KIPP schools have been a major catalyst in transforming the debate about the achievement gap, from one focused on excuses ("we just need to spend more money") and blaming the victims ("it's impossible to educate those kids") to one that centers on how to make every school as successful as KIPP schools.


Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa radio interview with Madeleine Brand:

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