LA unveils $578M school, costliest in the nation

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Linda7NJ, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ New Member

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    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
     
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  3. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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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 ...
     
  4. KaylynnCouture

    KaylynnCouture New Member

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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.
     
  5. TechWriter797

    TechWriter797 Registered Voter

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    Spending that much money to build a school is obscene.
     
  6. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ New Member

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

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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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.
     
  8. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    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.
     
  9. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    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.
     
  10. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    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.
     
  11. drip~drop

    drip~drop kiss a fuzzie

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    Guess Cali isn't so broke?:waitasec:
     
  12. cinsbythesea

    cinsbythesea Active Member

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    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.
     
  13. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    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...
     
  14. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    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.
     
  15. drip~drop

    drip~drop kiss a fuzzie

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    Go Guv go [​IMG]
     
  16. drip~drop

    drip~drop kiss a fuzzie

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    Maintaince won't be cheap either. Not with that monster and all the niceities.
     
  17. DollyPardonMe

    DollyPardonMe New Member

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    The really sad part about this extravagance is that skid row is only 3.5 miles from this school. There is a woman's shelter there that could have used much more help in a building with rooms for their children. The missions downtown have between 7,000 and 8,000 that they try to feed on a daily basis. Teachers that have made it their goal in life to teach OUR children are getting laid off left and right, for what, a $578 million school? Are they going to have any money left to pay qualified teachers or will they have to take minimum wage jobs like the poor state employees just to keep food on the table and gas in their car while the Mayor of Los Angeles goes to his Laker games for free with every excuse in the book as to why he is entitled!! :furious:
     
  18. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    News coverage, simplistic? what!? Next you are going to tell me they sensationalize information as well! LOL I concur Nova.

    Gosh what was the price tag on Belmont? 250 mil or something? What a disaster that was;unreal. LA Unified is a mess and I hope this school exceeds evryone's expectations and is wildly successful.

    I grew up in the Chicago area and we also paid much higher property taxes. But our public schools were fantastic. My high school New Trier East was like a mini-college and I got a fabulous education there.
     

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