Almost every major problem facing the LAUSD can be traced back to the size of the massive bureaucracy. With more than 640,000 students spread over 720 square miles in over 900 schools, the easiest way for the district to provide oversight of the system is by establishing a one-size-fits-all policy and mandating that everyone blindly follow it. This cookie-cutter technique may work fine in a factory where every widget must come off of the line exactly like the one before it and the economies of scale help drive down costs. However, the product of our public education system should not be identical bricks in the wall but individuals capable of critically thinking.
Teachers, parents, staff and administrators of a local school community are closest to the students and know best how to meet their own unique needs. As a Board Member I will actively work to get the district’s bureaucracy out of the way so that these local communities are not hampered by red-tape. This will require a direct assault on the district’s culture, including moving a lot of the staff who now sit downtown in the Beaudry building to school sites where they have to interact with the students that they serve. I will push to move Board meetings to times and locations where working parents, teachers and students can participate. If these initiatives fail, the only other solution may be to break the district into smaller, more manageable districts that can put the needs of the students first.