Betsy DeVos via
Betsy DeVos via

Los Angeles school board president Steve Zimmer said Wednesday’s nomination of an avid proponent of school choice as the next U.S. Secretary of Education will not change the district’s resistance to “policy, practice and investments that are about some students, but not all students.”

President-elect Donald Trump said he intends to appoint billionaire Republican donor and philanthropist Betsy DeVos, a leader in the charter schools movement, to be in charge of the nation’s education policy.

Trump said he expects her to “reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back.”

Zimmer said the appointment “will not change our drive toward 100 percent graduation. We will double down on our collaborative approach to continual improvement at every level that recognizes teachers and school employees as essential partners in our educational equity mission.”

The Los Angeles Unified School District has a contentious history with charter schools, which are publicly funded but usually run independent of local school boards and teachers’ unions. A recent push to dramatically increase the number of charters in the LAUSD was met with resistance by some board members.

“L.A. Unified is more committed than ever to our mission of assuring that every child receives an outstanding public education and is on a trajectory toward the graduation stage and success in life,” Zimmer said.

“We understand that the foundation of public education is based on the ideal that our public schools serve every child that comes to our schoolhouse door,” he said. “Here in Los Angeles, where 84 percent of our students live in conditions of poverty, and more than 40 percent of our students are English Learners, we understand how high the stakes are for our students. Our mission is to make sure that American Dreams come true through public education.”

–City News Service 

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