To the editor: Charter school teacher Riley McDonald Vaca believes that the charter industry’s mission is to increase its share of the educational marketplace in Los Angeles. That is simply not credible.
Schools like those in KIPP, or the Knowledge is Power Program, are very difficult to set up and staff, and their mission is to create a safe place for students who actually want to advance their education. They often achieve very high graduation rates and send the majority of their students to college.
As for the idea that more charter teachers should unionize, that seems counterproductive. Unions make it nearly impossible to get rid of bad teachers with tenure, and these charters are looking for great teachers and motivators so that they can continue to offer opportunities to kids who want to achieve.
Richard Klug, Los Angeles
To the editor: Vaca makes some very good points about charters. However, she fails to point out that public education in our state is so grossly underfunded that no amount of effort, goodwill and collaboration will make much real difference.
For California, the world’s fifth-largest economy, to rank so low in per-pupil spending is nothing short of shameful.
Mike Babcock, Pasadena