Support Change at Clay Middle School!
For the past twelve years, I have taught at Henry Clay Middle School in Los Angeles. During that time, a small team of committed teachers has formed, despite the school's unfortunate track record. A long term underperforming school, Henry Clay has been year "five program improvement" under No Child Left Behind for as long as possible. The Academic Performance Index has never been higher than 555, and last year suspensions for the student population were reported at over eight hundred. In short...Henry Clay has not been functioning as an academic institution. As a result, Henry Clay Middle School became part of the Public School Choice Motion. This allows innovative and creative restructuring in order to better benefit student success. By the end of the process, three groups remained in competition to become Clay's operator: The "Official" School Plan (Local District 8), my group of teachers (known as Team Kuppersmith / Western Academy), and Green Dot Charter. On March 15th, the Board of Ed met, and there, I implored them to vote for change...as a similar plan with similar staff would only have similar results. Change, I said, was to "give the entire school to Green Dot, for the sake of my students." New operators would invoke a re-set of sorts, and allow new ideas to come in. Simply put, Team Kuppersmith made this suggestion, even though it cost us our own jobs. The Board clearly heard, as the voted 5-2 in favor of an amendment to give the entire school to Green Dot. The students come first. And the students needed change. At this point, the union (UTLA) and several special interest groups in the local community intend to attempt to reverse this momentous decision for change. Petitions are being formed, and legal avenues explored. Our students need your help. Sign the online petition, and let your voice be heard. Let the Board of Education know that you support change at Henry Clay Middle School, and the creation of a charter school to support that change. Team Kuppersmith, and more importantly, our students, thank you.