Friday, March 27, 2009

PPS to Kill LEP High?

Thanks to Wanderers for sending a link to this editorial in Willamette Week.
The school board is set to vote Monday night, March 30, on the recommendation to close LEP. And it is extremely unlikely the seven-member board, with the exception of members Martín González (who is running for re-election) and Sonja Henning (who is not), will oppose the recommendation, which the superintendent supports.
I've supported LEP High, as well as the whole concept of charter schools, from the start, as we need that experimental spirit.

Every generation has a right to start schools. Indeed, all public schools have a charter, so "charter school" isn't very precise. It's more a question of whether your charter is of recent vintage or not (i.e. how old is your charter?).

Having observed LEP's adventures for some years, I've been aware that it was never very popular with the older charters, who feel threatened, suffer from a siege mentality. Alaska seems more enlightened in this respect, as Anna is reporting "The Alaska Charter School Association Conference in Juneau was a huge success this past weekend" (email of March 24). We shall see.

I've been highlighting Portland's FOSS community as leading edge in this conference. LEP High, one of the few to use Edubuntu, other open source tools, has been part of my promotional rap, my boosterism. I should probably ratchet that down a bit: this news comes as a reality check. Portland's FOSS community may be leading edge, but that doesn't keep us from living in the dark ages in other respects.

My thanks to Wanderers for helping me stay grounded. Thanks also to Willamette Week, for taking a sympathetic position.