Factions battle over direction of L.A. high school

May 18, 2009
Some want Birmingham High to become a charter; others want different path to reform

From The Los Angeles Times: The 3,200-student Birmingham High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District is undergoing a fierce struggle over its future and, in a sense, over the destiny of public education in Los Angeles. On the one side are the principal and perhaps a majority of teachers, who want to leave the district and open in the fall as an independent charter. On the other: the union representative, teachers in a magnet program and others who say the school should become part of a new district reform branch that gives some campuses more leeway to improve. Each side says the other is using hardball tactics -- sabotage, slander, intimidation -- that have shattered civility and strained collegiality. It seems almost certain that Birmingham High will be a different place in the fall, probably split into more than one school.

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