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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down LA unveils $578M school, costliest in the nation

    The K-12 complex to house 4,200 students has raised eyebrows across the country as the creme de la creme of "Taj Mahal" schools, $100 million-plus campuses boasting both architectural panache and deluxe amenities
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...ACLkwD9HONLRG0


    Nosy by Nature and a Websleuther by choice

  2. #2
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    ok, the extravagance is ridiculous when they've laid 3000 teachers off but what strikes me the most is that it's a K-12 school ...

    is that common down there? I find it odd that educators, parents, and the public would want 5 year olds at the same school as 17 year olds

    I realize it's a big campus but still ...

  3. #3
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    As nice as that sounds..unless they have the ability to afford great teachers and curriculum behind that idea, it's pointless.

  4. #4
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    Spending that much money to build a school is obscene.

  5. #5
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    Johnny still can't read and is dumb as a stick ...mark my words


    Nosy by Nature and a Websleuther by choice

  6. #6
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    the same teachers + new, extravagant school= no improvement in drop out rate.

    This is the result of those bonds that the voters approved . LA Unified is a disaster.
    On top of this, enrollment in LA Unified has been steadily declining, so building a new school like this is even more ridiculous.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBean View Post
    the same teachers + new, extravagant school= no improvement in drop out rate.

    This is the result of those bonds that the voters approved . LA Unified is a disaster.
    On top of this, enrollment in LA Unified has been steadily declining, so building a new school like this is even more ridiculous.
    I'm sure the new school will be no panacea, but offering a more pleasant environment than most of the crumbling, ill-equipped inner-city schools MIGHT help the dropout rate. (A friend of mine arranged for computers to be donated to the South Central school where he taught; the school had to decline the donation because it couldn't afford tables on which to set the machines--and the regular flooding would have ruined computers sitting on the floor. I don't think we can blame teachers if students decide a computer-less school isn't worth attending these days.)

    I'm also sure the new school was designed with the community in mind as well as the students. It replaces an historic landmark, the Ambassador Hotel, which dominated the area for decades. I'm sure school board members felt some pressure to do something that is worthy of the site.

    And schools built in Los Angeles require all sorts of expensive seismic reinforcement so as to avoid the pictures we should all remember of Chinese schoolchildren buried alive last year.

    And a K-12 school is essentially three schools in one. So while the total cost makes headlines, it might be fairer to divide it by three. Still expensive (as schools in major cities always are), but maybe not worth the inflated headlines.

    None of this is to say there was no extravagance or that L.A. Unified is some paragon of bureaucratic efficiency. But as usual, the media reporting is superficial and sensationalistic, intended to sell papers or attract viewers rather than to inform.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    I'm sure the new school will be no panacea, but offering a more pleasant environment than most of the crumbling, ill-equipped inner-city schools MIGHT help the dropout rate. (A friend of mine arranged for computers to be donated to the South Central school where he taught; the school had to decline the donation because it couldn't afford tables on which to set the machines--and the regular flooding would have ruined computers sitting on the floor. I don't think we can blame teachers if students decide a computer-less school isn't worth attending these days.)

    I'm also sure the new school was designed with the community in mind as well as the students. It replaces an historic landmark, the Ambassador Hotel, which dominated the area for decades. I'm sure school board members felt some pressure to do something that is worthy of the site.

    And schools built in Los Angeles require all sorts of expensive seismic reinforcement so as to avoid the pictures we should all remember of Chinese schoolchildren buried alive last year.

    And a K-12 school is essentially three schools in one. So while the total cost makes headlines, it might be fairer to divide it by three. Still expensive (as schools in major cities always are), but maybe not worth the inflated headlines.

    None of this is to say there was no extravagance or that L.A. Unified is some paragon of bureaucratic efficiency. But as usual, the media reporting is superficial and sensationalistic, intended to sell papers or attract viewers rather than to inform.
    OH Nova I am sure you are right. I know that nicer surroundings are conducive to learning and that this will be a landmark in its own right. I appreciate that aspect iof it and envy the kids that get to attend.

    However, I don't think investing this kind of money in one school is what it will take to raise the bar to excellence for our students

    While I know not all his methods are acceptable (some of them make my hair stand on end) this educator took the students from this school in oakland and turned the success rate upside down. he did not achieve this by building a monument. I have a feeling you know his story, but just in case, here is a link. I don't support all his methods, but perhaps we can remodel and update several schools and implement some of Ben Chavez's ideas to create a learning atmosphere that works. Shoot we could invest 1mil in 578 schools for sesmic retrofitting, new bathrooms, books, and teachers for starters. LA didn't even need a new school LOL.

    http://crazylikeafoxthebook.com/the-story/

    My only point is that the most beautiful and elegant surroundings in the world don;t mean anything, if we are not teaching our children and holding them to some higher standards.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBean View Post
    OH Nova I am sure you are right. I know that nicer surroundings are conducive to learning and that this will be a landmark in its own right. I appreciate that aspect iof it and envy the kids that get to attend.

    However, I don't think investing this kind of money in one school is what it will take to raise the bar to excellence for our students

    While I know not all his methods are acceptable (some of them make my hair stand on end) this educator took the students from this school in oakland and turned the success rate upside down. he did not achieve this by building a monument. I have a feeling you know his story, but just in case, here is a link. I don't support all his methods, but perhaps we can remodel and update several schools and implement some of Ben Chavez's ideas to create a learning atmosphere that works. Shoot we could invest 1mil in 578 schools for sesmic retrofitting, new bathrooms, books, and teachers for starters. LA didn't even need a new school LOL.

    http://crazylikeafoxthebook.com/the-story/

    My only point is that the most beautiful and elegant surroundings in the world don;t mean anything, if we are not teaching our children and holding them to some higher standards.
    And I agree. The very best teachers can often overcome the worst environments. But let's face it, no more than a small percentage of teachers will ever be the "best" (just as in every other profession). At least the students of the others will have a nicer place to spend their day (that is, until budget cuts allow the entire building to fall into disrepair. LOL).

    Trust me, I taught under the worst conditions at UCLA, no less: filthy room in an ancient building, no heat or ac, audio-video equipment that was more than a decade old and rarely worked. But, hey, the classroom was better than my office, which had actually been assigned to me even after the building was condemned following the Northridge quake and still had the fallen plaster, etc., in the hall outside. My attitude was always, "Whatever. We have our minds and our voices, eyes and ears, and we can still learn.")

    So I didn't mean to suggest I think architecture is the cornerstone (pun intended) of education. I just think the news coverage of this story was a tad simplistic. At least--as far as I know--they didn't build this school on a toxic waste dump, something, as you know, that LA-Unified has done before.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda7NJ View Post
    The K-12 complex to house 4,200 students has raised eyebrows across the country as the creme de la creme of "Taj Mahal" schools, $100 million-plus campuses boasting both architectural panache and deluxe amenities
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...ACLkwD9HONLRG0
    Guess Cali isn't so broke?

    Beautiful Rox.
    Sept. 18, 1997 - May 26 2012
    Rest peacefully my love I'll forever miss you.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by drip~drop View Post
    Guess Cali isn't so broke?
    Oh - we're still broke but we don't let that stop us! Spending like this is a good deal of the reason we are where we are financially.
    This too shall pass

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by drip~drop View Post
    Guess Cali isn't so broke?
    Oh, we're broke. But the school was built with funds set aside before the crash (based on voter-approved bonds).

    What will be interesting to see is if the district can come up with the money to maintain the campus...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinsbythesea View Post
    Oh - we're still broke but we don't let that stop us! Spending like this is a good deal of the reason we are where we are financially.
    That and the fact our property taxes are absurdly low relative to property values. My sister's house in a nice part of Pittsburgh sold for about one-seventh of what my much smaller L.A. house was worth. Her property taxes, including school assessments, were several thousand dollars per year higher.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinsbythesea View Post
    Oh - we're still broke but we don't let that stop us! Spending like this is a good deal of the reason we are where we are financially.
    Go Guv go

    Beautiful Rox.
    Sept. 18, 1997 - May 26 2012
    Rest peacefully my love I'll forever miss you.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Oh, we're broke. But the school was built with funds set aside before the crash (based on voter-approved bonds).

    What will be interesting to see is if the district can come up with the money to maintain the campus...
    Maintaince won't be cheap either. Not with that monster and all the niceities.

    Beautiful Rox.
    Sept. 18, 1997 - May 26 2012
    Rest peacefully my love I'll forever miss you.

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