Now Playing at Reason.tv: Education Revolt in Watts!

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Vikki Reyes has had it with Locke High, the school her daughters attend in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. She walked in on class one day and recalls "the place was just like a zoo!" Students had taken control, while the teacher sat quietly with a book.

Frank Wells has also had it with Locke High. When he became principal he says gangs ruled the campus. He tried to turn things around but ran into a "brick wall" of resistance from the school district and teachers union.

Locke seemed destined to languish in high crime and low test scores until Wells, Reyes, and many reform-minded teachers joined with a maverick named Steve Barr in an attempt to break free from the status quo. Their battle is just one example of the charter school education revolt that's erupting across the nation.

Click on the image above to go to reason.tv see how a few motivated individuals took on the education establishment–and won.

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  1. I’m all for anything that keeps sub-literate troglodytes out of my college classroom. Literate troglodytes I can handle.

  2. Interesting parallel to a situation in Ontario regarding “Afrocentric” schools (“black-focused” schools). They petitioned the government for a chance to test it out and eventually got their wish. Not the most libertarian of outcomes but similar themes, most notable being supreme dissatisfaction with the state of public schools.

  3. There are black people in Canada? Since when?

  4. I’m still laughing at the snake-oil salesman comment coming from the fu manchu’d face of an in-uniform snake-oil salesman.

  5. Since Trudeau put in the quota. Black folks get hassled at the border because leaving hurts our multicultural reputation.

  6. Like CanCon, but broader…as in covering your entire body…

  7. She walked in on class one day and recalls “the place was just like a zoo!” Students had taken control, while the teacher sat quietly with a book.

    Does this actually happen? I thought this was just in the movies.

  8. Does this actually happen? I thought this was just in the movies.

    Los Angeles is the zoo where the movies are made.

  9. Wow… good news for a change. That was nice.

  10. What gets me is that there is plenty of blame to go around. The school didn’t turn into a craphole overnight. It was probably bad before Reyes became involved. Let’s face it: most concerned parents had probably long ago left Watts. I’m willing to bet most remaining parents either didn’t know or didn’t care enough to demand changes. Teachers and administrators had to deal with antisocial/criminal behavior. I’d be more interested in finding how they dealt with making the school grounds a civil place.

  11. colonel saners is in the teachers union?

  12. colonel saners is in the teachers union?

    rico wins

  13. The difference between this and the Toronto petition to start an afro-centric school is that they’re not really changing anything about how they teach the kids in Toronto. They’re only going to be teaching them some non white-guy history and stuff, which IMHO every single kid should learn. And from teachers of various backgrounds, which you’d think they’d have in a so called multicultural city like Toronto. But it’s actually whitey-mc-whiteyville plus asia towns. Maybe it looks multicultural to Canadians, but I’m from Atlanta. I know I benefited from some afro-centric learning. And a principal much like Frank Wells, who cared about the students. 4 years later under a different principal they put in metal detectors. It was like an entirely different school. Before you only had one or two teachers who couldn’t handle their kids and just let them be out of control. I only had an economics class like that where we sat around joking and making up rap lyrics until we decided to start teaching ourselves, because we wanted to make money. I’m scared to see what the school is like now, because once the metal detectors go in, they make people more afraid, and the rich people pull their kids out, and no one’s left to complain but the parents who have no time because they’re working.

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