Silver Lake school supporters ask neighborhood council to oppose sharing campus with charter operator*

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council will review a proposal Wednesday night to oppose a charter school  from opening a new campus on a portion of Micheltorena Elementary.  The school  district last month offered Citizens of the World Charter eight empty or underused classrooms to establish a new school at Micheltorena Elementary. Citizens of the World, which already operates a school in Hollywood, has begun accepting student applications to attend the Silver Lake school.

Micheltorena school parents and other residents are asking supporters to show up at the Silver Lake neighborhood council meeting, which is being held in the school auditorium.  “We are hoping to fill the auditorium with Micheltorena supporters,” said Rebecca Crane, a member of the Micheltorena PTA , in an email. “Please invite your friends, family or whomever, to come support us at our … neighborhood council meeting.”

The neighborhood council is an advisory body, however, and has no authority over the school.

The school district’s offer to Citizens of the World, which are made under the provisions of under Prop. 39, has generated concern and opposition among the staff and parents of Micheltorena, with many people saying the arrangement will leave the public school without the necessary rooms for a planned dual language program and other improvements.

The neighborhood council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Click here for an agenda.

* Update: The Silver Lake neighborhood council voted to oppose Citizens of the World Charter School’s plan to share the Micheltorena campus. Patch


  1. Also, anyone who supports CWC should attend as well!

  2. As a parent of a Micheltorena student I would ask any potential CWC parents to take a tour of our school and see what it has to offer. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

    • lived in Silver Lake since 94

      Hi Bobby,
      Took three tours of Micheltorena. After two years in the LAUSD system that wasn’t working for our second grader we are looking for another option. We could walk to Micheltorena from our house. The climate at the meetings is like a Jerry Springer show-disgusting! Really bad behavior from the parents.

      • Ah, hyperbole… Yes, there are folks in the crowd on BOTH sides that perhaps aren’t as civil (aka quiet) and dinner-table-polite as you would like, but when people feel like they aren’t being heard and are getting pushed around, sometimes this thing called anger happens. I cannot imagine anyone reading these posts hasn’t felt frustrated at some time and communicated accordingly. Sadly, one of the frustrations of Micheltorena families is the perceived condescension of the CWC community, and posts like this only add to that feeling. That said, I hope you find a school where your second grader can blossom.

  3. It would be great if all of the energy that is going into lobbying the NC went to lobbying the Board of Education to improve their implementation of Prop 39. Instead the school district is making a tough situation worse by not providing facilities to charter schools, which are incredibly oversubscribed in LA, indicating a clear parent demand. Instead they undercut the success of neighborhood schools by creating half-baked colocation schemes and undercut charters by not providing the facilities which they are entitled to by voter approved state law. It would be great, if no matter what happens, the community can come together to support what ever school results because parents and students want the best education for our Silverlake residents.

    • Perhaps when these privately managed charter corporations have PUBLICLY elected boards with community members and local parents on them, then we can begin talk about whether we should be paying for facilities for charter schools. Sadly, now the taxpayers are fleeced by these charter corporations with no input or oversight whatsoever.

      “Demand,” competition, markets share, and all the other vernacular of the one percent that just so happens to be the same language as the charter school sector, aren’t appropriate for genuine discussions of pedagogy, or the public commons.

      I’m somewhat a loss that our community has any charter supporters, given the right-wing nature of charters. We’re talking about a form of neoliberalism that is supported by every fringe-right think tank like AEI, Cato, Heartland, etc. ALEC, is one of the organizations behind the charter-voucher “movement.” You think that alone would get people here to think critically about these quasi-private schools. While there’s copious literature on this, I’ll provide a single link:


      • People in our community support many of the smaller charter schools because they feel these schools offer an alternative to the more traditional standardized curriculum of LAUSD. LAUSD also has a horrible track record in re to community outreach and parents and teachers feel they have no voice within this system. The dramatic budget cuts aren’t helping either. If the charter movement had been allowed to develop as had originally been intended, as pilot programs to be integrated back into the regular public schools, we wouldn’t be having these conversations.
        I think we are better served directing our anger at the board rather than at schools like CWC. If they are going to have to co-locate, animosity and resentment won’t serve the children well. Just look at Logan.

        • I think CWC is feeling the resistance largely because of what’s happened at Logan, which has served as the negative model for co-location. Unfortunately, that seems to be the fault of Gabriella Charters actions.

  4. I think if more parents would look toward their local school and devote their time and resources to them, the need for charters would dwindle. There are so many examples of “little schools that can” but these schools need the support of their community; as it is, well-intentioned parents are turning their backs on their community’s schools in order to send their kids to a charter. Public schools may be underfunded these days and that’s the perfect reason to support them!

  5. I fully support our local LAUSD elementary school and we will be sending our child there in the fall. I do also sympathize with those parents who want a more progressive curriculum for their children. NCLB and RTP have made it almost impossible for teachers to teach through the intense pressure of achieving high test scores and the threat of public shaming when they “fail.” The only way things will change is if we are in the system facilitating those changes.

  6. You see so many Obama bumper stickers around echo park despite the fact that on education he has been just as harmful as Bush. I wish I lived in Finland sometimes, which seems to have a very sane education system.

  7. It’s sad that It has to come to good parents vs. other good parents fighting for the same things. I wish LAUSD and the charter corporations should take note and look within themselves to see where it all went so wrong. Our children are the ones hurting from all of this.

    • lived in Silver Lake since 94

      I totally agree! Perhaps the Micheltorena parents and CWC parents should get TOGETHER and rally LAUSD for an alternate campus for CWC

  8. When are people going to tell the truth about why they chose a charter?
    Its all about exclusion of the undesirable. Wanting their kids to go to a school that looks just like their social circle.

  9. Jenny D – it’s not all about race and class. One of the things that attracted me to CWC Hollywood was that there is one full time teacher and one full time TA in the kindergarden classroom thus enabling the teacher to work with smaller groups.

    • “not all” implies that at least part of the reason is race and class.
      If having a full time teacher and TA is important to you than get on your local school’s budget/school site counsel and vote to allocate money for those things. That is an option with all public schools, unlike charter.

  10. Part of the Idea behind Public Schooling is The Standardization
    of the Curriculum. I. Think All real Teachers would agree. So would John Jay and Alexander Hamilton? Class War is for Philistines, and Fascists! Support your Local California State University!

  11. Progressive Educator

    I certainly hope that parents can see through Citizens’ progressive promises. With high stakes testing, they CAN’T be any more progressive then your local public school. For those parents who think that there will be something more special being offered at Citizens, I encourage you to look through Citizens’ school proposal and website. Here’s what you’ll find (aside from a lot of money spent on marketing):
    – differentiated instruction (at your public school too)
    – project based learning (at your public school too)
    – engaged parent body (at your public school too)
    – open door policy (at your public school too)
    – meaningful curriculum (at your public school too)
    The list can go on. Suffice it to say, while Citizens claims to offer something that the public schools they compete with don’t, there is no truth to those claims.
    Here’s what you won’t find:
    – experienced teachers (Teach for America grads get 5 weeks training. That’s it)
    – diversity in the classroom (Citizens has been having a hard time reaching their diversity targets)
    – genuine commitment to democracy and community (this is one of those things where you have to walk the talk)
    – financial stability (they just applied for a $250,000 loan although they seem to spend a lot on marketing)
    Something bigger is going on here, people. This is about so much more than the personal choice of where to send your child to school. This is about privatizing schools at the expense of democracy and ANY real evidence that these efforts are in the best interest of our children and communities. PLEASE don’t fall for this crap.

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