So says the California Charter Schools Association.
On Thursday, the organization — which has no authority over our school — recommended 10 schools for closure because of low test scores. My school, Leadership High School, was on the list. This press release prompted several misleading news reports and tons of anxiety in our school community.
The truth is, the CCSA does not choose whether our school gets its charter renewed. That authority goes to our district’s Board of Education.
The truth also is, our test scores are, indeed, low — if you look just at the overall score. But if you consider our performance with African American and Latino students, who make up 82 percent of our population, our results surpass those of other schools in San Francisco. Please read our school’s response.
In our current political climate, it’s easy to overgeneralize, and it’s easy to point fingers. That’s what’s happening here. With our economy down, money is tight, and that means emotions are strong. Charter schools run the gamut and are not widely understood as public schools. Because everyone pays taxes and has attended school, everyone has an opinion. People’s full selves — positive and negative, compassionate and mean-spirited, magnanimous and racist — come out when talking about public schools.
I’m proud to work at Leadership High School. That’s why I’ve been here 12 years. We do important work. I look forward to our charter renewal process in February with the Board of Education. I am hopeful that its seven members will follow the process and look closely at all the facts, rather than succumb to simplistic rhetoric.