L.A. unveils $578 million school: Do costly school facilities equal better learning?

Los Angeles will unveil next month a new K-12 school that cost $578 million to build! The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools is the nation’s most expensive public school ever built!

The features include fine art murals and a marble memorial depicting the complex’s namesake, a manicured public park, a state-of-the-art swimming pool and preservation of pieces of the original hotel where RFK was shot.

From the Associated Press:

“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.”

” ‘There’s no more of the old, windowless cinderblock schools of the ’70s where kids felt, ‘Oh, back to jail,’ said Joe Agron, editor-in-chief of American School & University, a school construction journal. ‘Districts want a showpiece for the community, a really impressive environment for learning.’ ”

“Not everyone is similarly enthusiastic.”

” ‘New buildings are nice, but when they’re run by the same people who’ve given us a 50 percent dropout rate, they’re a big waste of taxpayer money,’ said Ben Austin, executive director of Parent Revolution who sits on the California Board of Education. ‘Parents aren’t fooled….’ ”

“The RFK complex follows on the heels of two other LA schools among the nation’s costliest — the $377 million Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, which opened in 2008, and the $232 million Visual and Performing Arts High School that debuted in 2009….”

“The pricey schools have come during a sensitive period for the nation’s second-largest school system: Nearly 3,000 teachers have been laid off over the past two years, the academic year and programs have been slashed. The district also faces a $640 million shortfall and some schools persistently rank among the nation’s lowest performing.”

“Los Angeles is not alone, however, in building big. Some of the most expensive schools are found in low-performing districts — New York City has a $235 million campus; New Brunswick, N.J., opened a $185 million high school in January.”

“Nationwide, dozens of schools have surpassed $100 million with amenities including atriums, orchestra-pit auditoriums, food courts, even bamboo nooks. The extravagance has led some to wonder where the line should be drawn and whether more money should be spent on teachers.”

OK parents and teachers, what do you think: Will fantastic facilities help our children learn more and compete on a worldwide level? Would that money be better invested in teachers than facilities? Is there a difference between investing in a beautiful building and technologies such as smart boards, lap tops, advanced science equipment? Where are our tax dollar best spent to help our children learn the most they can?

We also need to discuss the fact that this one school will house 4,200 students. I’m sure the halls will be broken down by grade but that seems very intimidating to children. Could that possibly be a manageable facility? How much parking could they need for curriculum night?

48 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

August 23rd, 2010
4:56 am

4200 students …..in K-12….in one building ( campus) ? Not so much.

I am hopelessly old fashioned…successful education is a 3 way partnership between parents, teachers and children….similar to a three legged stool.

If each leg of the stool is strong and gives it’s best…then the end result will be exemplary. You can gloss the stool or plate it in gold but if only one or two legs are involved…it will simply not be as sturdy.

If a child has good parents and teachers who will teach…he/she can learn with a book or even without one. I have seen great teachers with meager resources who have done a lot. The reverse has also been true.

Reminds me of this verse:

“To whom much is given, of him much will be required.” Luke 12: 48

Perhaps we need to ramp up the expectations. I guess we will see.

1sus

August 23rd, 2010
6:30 am

Well said motherjanegoose!

lakerat

August 23rd, 2010
6:39 am

Actually. 4200 for 13 grades is really not that large, if you look at it broken down into elementary, middle, and high school classes – usually, they are just not housed on one campus.

Wasn’t it just a few years ago that Collins Hill HS(MJG will know since her kids went there), before all the new high schools were built in that area, housed abut 3000 – 3300 in just 9 – 12th graders? Now THAT was a school that was too large.

catlady

August 23rd, 2010
6:54 am

No one from CA needs to come, hat in hand, to get a bailout from Washington! Such nonsense!

I don’t think it is the school building that makes the student (or teacher). That is too many kids on one campus (think of the possibility of mayhem from an outside entity–a bomb, or biological warfare) In addition, student persistence data indicate that it would be a nightmare for at risk students (do they allow the poor kids to go there, too, or do you need your own chaffeur?

Sorry, seems like a testament to the glory of MAN.

Jeff

August 23rd, 2010
7:19 am

I will trust MJG on this one, but we already know that money doesn’t buy good schools. There is the rare child that succeeds from his/her bootstraps because that is the person they are inside. Parents are the overwhelming statistical factor.

This money-throw is exactly what’s wrong with us today. The money could have been dispersed more effectively.

Next for the soapbox.

deidre_NC

August 23rd, 2010
7:22 am

i read this article yesterday and was shocked. my goodness…teachers are losing their jobs…classes being cut…wth?? as far as a K-12 school, thats what we have here. there are 125 kids tho not thousands. there are pros and cons to having all age groups within one venue. i have to get to work but i will probably post more on this later.

motherjanegoose

August 23rd, 2010
8:12 am

HI folks..yes Collins Hill HS, where my kids both went, has over 3000….that is enormous but it is High School . I am thinking of Kindergarteners on the same campus with over 4000. Sorry, I am always thinking of Kindergartners….LOL. YIKES! Do they eat in the same cafeteria or is their room service.

I had a wonderful lunch with catlady on Saturday. Two hours flew by and it was grand. Thanks, once again, for a fellow blogger who has endured me personally. We both want to meet again.
I enjoyed fresh tomatoes and green beans from her garden too!

I have to share that I waited for my painters all week ( as I was off). The weather backed them up as they were trying to finish an outside job first. I left ( Saturday) to meet catlady and my husband texted me that the painters had arrived ( noon) . I am proud of myself that continued on my plan with catlady and told me husband to let the painters in. I reminded him what walls were being painted what color. I enjoyed my time with catlady. I am mellowing out just a bit…I did not have to be home for the painters. Everything went fine and we hope to get the wallpaper out next. Hope to get the project wrapped up soon!

motherjanegoose

August 23rd, 2010
8:13 am

ooops…there…sorry!

Alecia

August 23rd, 2010
8:31 am

Somehow I am reminded of all the wonderful private schools, which are over 100 yrs old and cranking out classes with 100% college(4yr) acceptance. My mom’s school in Ohio is over 150 yrs old and is still standing today. It is still generating more successful students than all of the local shiny new public schools in the area. The heart of the students,teachers, and parents will always outweigh the prestige of the structure. It is disgusting how LA Unified School district could not find the means to hire/retain more teachers, but had access to unlimited construction funds. I bet a large portion of this school was funded with federal bail out/stimulus money. A child could learn more in a shack with a quality teacher, less red tape, more parental involvement, and a smaller class.

lynn shepodd

August 23rd, 2010
8:38 am

Just because we went to school in lousy bldgs,doesn’t mean new generations have to have a cinderblock education. Plus,the population keeps growing:new schools are needed.

DB

August 23rd, 2010
9:20 am

The number of kids doesn’t bother me, because my kids went to a K-12 school, and, honestly, there is very little interaction between the youngsters and the high school — they are in separate buildings, and have very little interaction, if any, during the school day. Separate principal, separate facilities, separate car pool, etc., etc. I suspect that this new school has similar divisions.

The money for the school was raised by bonds several years ago, before the current economic issues — it’s not as though they could use that bond money for anything else, so they might as well build the school they intended.

But does a gorgeous building mean better learning? Of course not — but it sure doesn’t HURT.

Well said...

August 23rd, 2010
9:27 am

HB

August 23rd, 2010
9:57 am

I don’t know if this particular campus is too over the top or not, but I do think there’s a lot to be said for nice facilities. And as DB said, the money’s already been raised, so might as well follow through.

Being in a nice place sets a tone for learning. Good performance spaces, nice physical fitness equipment, fine arts murals, historic preservation — can you imagine what kind of impact it could have on students to have these things as part of their daily lives instead of windowless, stark hallways and classrooms? It certainly sends a message that public education is a priority and not something on which to take the typical bare bones/make-do approach. It wouldn’t surprise me if it affects student behavior in a positive way as well (people tend act differently in nice settings). Not every community will be able to do this, and of course facilities have to be balanced with paying for teachers, etc, but for those places that can do it, I think it will be a good investment. High schools were once designed as beautiful buildings, much like college buildings often are. There are many still around. I’ve seen many in DC and New England that are lovely — more like a place on a hill than the warehouse look of so many modern schools. Central H.S. in Little Rock and a few of Glynn Academy’s buildings down in Brunswick are beautiful too. To the degree possible, I’d like to see a return to that.

emmie

August 23rd, 2010
10:11 am

Did I read there’s a “public” park included? How safe is that? Where I live, NC, the county moved a walking path to keep “just anyone” from having access the school grounds.

TechMom

August 23rd, 2010
10:14 am

I too read the article yesterday and was flabbergasted at the cost. Some of it was due to overruns, some due to mitigations of methane and building the school on a fault line. I LOVED the line where one of the high costs was due to “union labor” in California. The same building could be built in GA for probably a 1/3 less just due to labor costs. (Sorry no source, I read somewhere about the cost of union vs. non-union labor and how much more expensive it is… we do have the mechanical unions to worry about here but not every construction job is union).

Anyway, back to the topic- do kids learn better in a nicer, newer, cleaner building? It probably affects kids differently though the point that a building becomes a distraction is that point at which it is inhibiting learning and something needs to be done. That being said, I went to middle school in South Florida. The school was basically a giant cinder block with a total of 4 windows (and it was huge, we had about 1400 students). Did I learn OK? Yes and as it turns out, the school sustained very little damage after Hurricane Andrew hit versus many of the other buildings in the area that were demolished. So I guess they had reasons for the ‘jail’ effect. But do I like sitting near windows when I work, even as an adult- heck ya! But if I had time for recess and running around, I probably wouldn’t care if I had windows!

4200 for K-12 isn’t excessive to me and it’s likely that this is a fairly large campus with methods designed to keep students segregated based on grade. I’ve gone to an elementary school with 800 students, a middle school with 1400 and a high school with nearly 3000. If they’re in adjacent buildings then I can see how it’s possible. Most of the school campuses in our county have at least a middle and high school adjacent to each other. The one closest to us has a middle & high school adjacent and the elementary school is across the street. The school district bought a plot of land and was able to save costs by building all 3 schools on it.

motherjanegoose

August 23rd, 2010
10:20 am

Is this a public or private school? If it is private, methinks they will be able to accept children and parents who perhaps are able to appreciate the enormous investment and share their respect/philosophy with their children. Unfortunately, not all parents who send their kids to public school share the same attitude and respect for a wonderful learning facility….not a fun comment but, in my experience, true. My kids went to public school.

As a girl, I rode the bus to one school with kids from Kinder to HS. I shudder to think of any child doing that in a public school now. I MIGHT put my kids on the same bus if they were going private but never public…that is just me. Again, my mind is with Kindergarteners and younger students.

All in all, I think we as Americans take our public school educational opportunities for granted. Even more so in some areas that are blessed with wonderful schools and buildings.

I have been to schools where they still have the old wooden/chain swings on a hard asphalt playground and wonder what these children would think if they could see some of the magnificent structures other children are attending. Many Gwinnett County Mamas whine that their children simply cannot eat the cafeteria food. I have been to schools where the lunch was:

beinie weinies ( sp?) mac and cheese, tater tots and a canned peach slice….all plopped on a tray
I WAS SEARCHING FOR SOMETHING GREEN…PERHAPS FRESH BROCCOLI WITH RANCH DRESSING? ( or some of catlady’s yummy green beans ;0)

We all get accustomed to certain things and while many of these things are a wonderful asset to our lives…they are not mandatory!

I did laundry at the laundromat for many years, when we were first married…would not want to now!

FYI…my daughter and her room mate were doing their laundry at UGA, last week. Another student walked in and ACTUALLY SAID…”do the washers have detergent built in?”

Guess that child got accustomed to MAMA handling it! HELLO out there…prepare your children for life!

motherjanegoose

August 23rd, 2010
10:24 am

@ Techmom, I visited a school several years ago that had quilts hung over the classroom windows.

Their philosophy was that the outside view would distract the students. I think the natural lighting is a good thing and I also now go to schools that have bird feeders near the windows so the children can watch the birds…who knows?

TechMom

August 23rd, 2010
10:36 am

In one of the middle school I attended, the teachers all covered their 1 window with paper so you couldn’t see out. My son’s school now has “outdoor classrooms” so the teachers can teach outside if they want!

And yes, all the schools in question are public schools. If we had the economy from 6 years ago and LA didn’t just lay off 3000 teachers all while facing a $640M shortfall in their budget, perhaps these kinds of funds going into school construction wouldn’t come into question. Even though much of the funds came from bonds, based on the overruns, I doubt it all did. And surely some of the other run-down school in LA could have used a few million of those dollars to spruce things up so all students could have a decent learning environment.

deidre_NC

August 23rd, 2010
11:07 am

i was going to post more but i came home from work sick…i do want to say…the school here that is K-12 is very small and rural. it is more like a private school in which the kids get way more 1:1 atention and has been a godsend for parents with children who are disabled whether from learning or physical disabilities. kids who are above average intelligence are given what they need and same for the ones who have more difficulty learning. there is a lot of interaction between the k students all the way up to seniors. this is where the pros and cons come into play. there are just something that K kids dont need to be exposed to that may be ok for seniors. our school has the sam principal for all grades. this new school in the article surely will have the ages divided into grammar-middle and high school with appropriate administration at each level. that is a lot of kids. and i do think that a great school with all these perks would be wonderful. but i dont think they are neccessary. i do think having great and enough teachers is a lot more neccessary than this wonderful school. and are parents going to be moving into this district just so teir kids can attend this school? if so the number of students will rise and rise. do they have the proper number of teachers for each grade…how can they when the state of california is busted financially. im sure none of that money went to make sure there are enough good teachers. the teachers are already getting the shaft in nearly every state. that is another subject and one i can easily get on a rant about. if we have wonderful beautiful schools with all these wonderful great great perks and not enough teachers how great the school is wont matter a bit. and when these kids who attended this wonderful perky school enter the workforce (and even college) and see how real life is…with teeny dorm rooms and cuves as an office…they are going to be very dissapointed. and geeze we really cant have that can we? this whole country really needs to get our nations schooling under control. my daughter has friends who have travelled the wrold as volunteers and exchange students and they come back telling us how americans are not nearly as bright as the ones they dealt with in these other countries. they come back amazed at americans stupidity. hate to say that….but we really are behind in the world of academics. and that is scary.

Slacker Mom

August 23rd, 2010
11:09 am

$578 million?! How is that possible? I thought California was on the the verge of bankruptcy? I guess its incredibly poor financial decisions like this that got them in the situation they’re in now.

MJG, you are absolutely right. The relationship between the students, parents and teachers is what makes a school great, the physical building, as long as it’s not literally falling down, is just an afterthought. The first public school we sent our son to was newer, state of the art and filled with modern amentities. It was also headed by an extremely uninvolved (and incompetent, in my opinion) principal and filled with behaviorally challenged students with very disinterested parents. His teachers weren’t great either, but no one could be expected to do their best in such an environment. His new school (also public) is much older. Although the school has undergone many additions and renovations, including one this summer, the main building was built in the early 1970s. Yes, the classrooms are a little cramped and the layout of the school is a bit rambling (I get lost every time I go in there), but the school has a fantastic principal, talented teachers and an environment that encourages and truly values parental involvement. Not surprisingly, our school has some of the highest test scores in the state and my son, although way behind when he started there, has absolutely thrived.

People from one end of this country to the other have bought into the myth that
schools + more money = better education. Yes, allocating funds in a reasonable and responsible way can improve educational results but, sometimes, with schools more is just more (as in more of the same).

RJ

August 23rd, 2010
11:12 am

“Somehow I am reminded of all the wonderful private schools, which are over 100 yrs old and cranking out classes with 100% college(4yr) acceptance.”

“The heart of the students,teachers, and parents will always outweigh the prestige of the structure.”

@Alecia, you’ve explained how schools are able to crank out 100% college acceptance – teachers, parents and students desire. It doesn’t matter how much money you throw at a school, everyone involved must be held accountable. This is why schools in wealthier districts outperform schools in poorer districts.

David S

August 23rd, 2010
11:29 am

Government never seems to have a problem spending other people’s money.

Time and time again study after study show that money has not correllation to educational quality. Homeschooling clearly shows that.

Just another example of why govnernment should be out of the education “business” entirely. Since this is LA Unified, you can almost be certain that the educational quality will be horrible. But the campus will make great photo ops.

motherjanegoose

August 23rd, 2010
11:59 am

Did you answer this last week? Get back with us when you do:

irisheyes

August 21st, 2010
2:26 pm

Ahh, I see David S is back with his single-minded issue. Once again, I’ll ask him how he thinks every single person in the world can homeschool, and once again he won’t answer the question, because he can’t. Good to know some things never change.

Slacker Mom

August 23rd, 2010
12:03 pm

“The heart of the students,teachers, and parents will always outweigh the prestige of the structure.”

Awesome quote, Alecia! Wish I’d thought of it.

DB and HB, I would say an extravagant school building does hurt when all the emphasis in a school district is placed on the money spent rather than the results achieved.

JATL

August 23rd, 2010
12:15 pm

Well, the school sounds fabulous, but if the parents aren’t involved or don’t care about their children’s education, it won’t do any good. I think often we automatically picture slack, lazy system sponges when we talk about the parents who don’t care and often have the problem students, but this isn’t true. There are PLENTY of wealthy or upper middle class parents out there who are too self-absorbed to bother very much with their kids, so they have no clue what their kids are up to. Often these kids will at least get by academically to keep their parents off their cases, but they don’t do that well and are often up to some really bad things. Bottom line -parent involvement and concern for their children’s education = decent schools (maybe not state-of-the-art schools, but decent in terms of academic performance and behavior). Given the fact that California is bankrupt, I’m sure this type of expenditure on ONE school makes a lot of taxpayers really happy. How many schools in that state have inadequate text books, plumbing, broken facilities and out of date everything? I would love to see the justification in how they got this one built -it would be illuminating for all of us, I’m sure.

catlady

August 23rd, 2010
12:22 pm

Can someone post what the demographics of the kids are who are zoned for this school? Or is it a charter? I know it replaced a hotel, which makes me think it isn’t in the suburbs. How big an area are the kids pulled from? What are parental SES? It doesn’t seem like a good idea to have that many kids in that small an area, security-wise.

As I said earlier, if at risk kids are sent to this school, its sheer size would prove daunting. Student persistence/achievement research supports this.

I’d like to learn more about the “internals” of this school.

The best school I have ever taught at was built in 1957 when the old school burned down. It is a small school that serves the rural neighborhood. Quite a few of the students are the 3rd or 4th generation from their family to go there. Modern conveniences it does not have (still on a well and septic tank) but it is a warm and nurturing place. Kids from this school best their peers academically and in terms of leadership. It has 300 in K-5; when I taught there it was less than 300 in K-7. I hold onto hope that schools like it are schools of the FUTURE.

MJG, I enjoyed it, too. Let’s get together soon and talk about the rest of the bloggers on this site! (The ones we haven’t chewed on yet) LOL

David S

August 23rd, 2010
12:25 pm

Certainly if all of the households in California did not have to pay for the massive waste and fraud that is their government, there would be more money in everyone’s budget to evaluate alternative educational choices.

No, not everyone can work the homeschooling thing. But WAY more could than even make the attempt. Once again, with no federal income tax and no state income tax, and now 8-15K per year property taxes that many in California must pay along with school taxes, the choices would be far greater for everyone. If businesses were not paying so much for the wasteful government system and actually getting employees they didn’t have to spend money reeducating on basics like reading and math, they would have more money available to pay employees or to contribute charity schools or scholarships for private schools.

The free market is never allowed to work, but government is more than happy to fail and fail again and then blame a lack of money, regulations, or power on the problem.

Yes, I have a one-sided approach because the root of the failure in government run education is the fact that it is run by the government. The system is not designed to educate, but rather to reduce everyone to the lowest common denominator and obviously to line the pockets of their special interest friends (in this case the building industry).

I would like to see a wonderful future where every child gets a solid education. If I don’t help people to understand the root cause of today’s problems, they will just continue to believe that the current system can be made to work, when it was never designed to work.

motherjanegoose

August 23rd, 2010
12:46 pm

UGH catlady, I was just chewing on my food…NOT :) I have already told DB how much fun we had…I called her yesterday. I am delighted with the new friends I made on this blog….it has been fun.

Becky, I might be able to meet you September 1, if I hear how to connect with you from T. Did you send her an e-mail and ask her to forward it to me?

David S…thanks for your thoughts….they are YOUR thoughts. I have mine too! Some of us safely make attempts where we know we can succeed. Homeschooling has never fallen into that category for me. I will continue to teach other’s children and the teachers who also teach them!

FYI…my wallpaper is almost all gone and the paint is going up….YIPPEE!

catlady

August 23rd, 2010
1:51 pm

MJG–is the right wall red?

Becky

August 23rd, 2010
3:32 pm

I agree with what most on here have already said, so not going to repeat it..

@MJG..Sept. 1 will be good for me..Unless something drastic changes between now and then..Looking forwoard to it..

Mattie

August 23rd, 2010
3:50 pm

I can’t help but compare this story with the hue and cry over the money spent on the Milton High construction a few years ago at slightly more than 1/10 th the price of this.

What I have seen though, is that Milton students are proud of their building. There is no graffiti on the walls, no trash in the hallways, etc. If a building can instill pride in the students who use it, perhaps there is a place for Taj Mahal schools. But, to spend what this district did is beyond comprehension. I wonder what the projected price was before they ran into mitigating issues.

motherjanegoose

August 23rd, 2010
3:58 pm

catlady, so far so good.

Becky, I need you to e-mail me and T has my contact….OR…send her an email and ask her to pass it to me. She has passed several to me. I am open from 11:30-1:30…we have to meet on Cobb Parkway, o.k.? I will then suggest a place. T WE NEED YOUR HELP ASAP.

@ Mattie…here is something I DO NOT KNOW…Milton HS ( Alpharetta) seems to be in an upper class socio- economic area. Isn’t it? Would that compare with where this school is being built. I am certain HB can figure this one out as she is good with statistics and minute ( sp?) details…I am not.

Photius

August 23rd, 2010
4:22 pm

So Dave wants the free market to run schools? I know his type; great ideas but not reality based. If you take Atlanta out of our state we are the poorest in the Union. now make the schools in south georgia take on the free market when these people are dirt poor? Oh Dave, if we didn’t attempt to educate them guess what? They would grow up and simply steal from you? I prefer a solution with reality, not being an ideologue.

Becky

August 23rd, 2010
4:41 pm

@MJG..I did send Theresa an email asking her to give you my email address.. Any time is good for me as I do not have a set lunch hour..Cobb Pkwy. is also good as there are a lot of great places there for lunch..

Just got an email from T and she is contacting you with my info..

motherjanegoose

August 23rd, 2010
5:13 pm

Becky…I will e-mail you as soon as I hear from T…thanks!

BlondeHoney

August 23rd, 2010
6:31 pm

FYI, T, Maureen Downey has the exact same topic today over on Get Schooled. Photius, you are exactly correct and David S is a one-note johnny troll who pops up only when he wants to sing his tired tune. I ignore his posts at this point.

JATL

August 23rd, 2010
9:16 pm

@BlondeHoney -cracking up over here!

Time for real change

August 23rd, 2010
9:54 pm

Just thinking, isn’t California where the schools are being taken over by Mexicans and flying the American Flag upside down under the Mexican Flag? Just wondering, isn’t California where millions of dollars are being used for illegals medical and healthcare? Just wondering, isn’t California where illegals are received with open arms and warm welcomes while their neighbors in Arizona are being terriorized by Mexican drug king, being raped, robbed and murdered in their homes. Yea I thought so. California surely needs those million dollar schools for all the illegals they have opened their hearts to.

motherjanegoose

August 23rd, 2010
10:13 pm

@ BlondeHoney…what is up with 2 blogs having the same topic on the same day? Odd, at best.
It looks like T was first…to me.

venicementor

August 24th, 2010
1:16 am

O.K., so this school is Mid-Wilshire, a hop and a skip away from Mc Arthur Park and Alvarado, a haven for illegal aliens. How long do you think this place is going to look the way it is? How long will it take before it is spray painted over? Hey, but we are living in California and we have to make sure that all those who are here illegally have a great place to go to school. Way to go California!

mitch

August 24th, 2010
10:31 am

It will be interesting to see what this school will look like in 5 years. We will be opening a new building on my campus and it is designated for freshmen. It’ll be interesting what this building will look like in a year. Okay, so it wasn’t paid for by education funds, however, it will take education funds for the upkeep…and judging from the pictures, that’s a lot of area that will need to be taken care of. I wonder which teachers will be working there? Some of the tenured are a little jaded, and don’t care about students and what affects their lives. A new building does not a great education make.

David S

August 25th, 2010
12:34 pm

Photius – some clown always makes the extorion argument. Yes, of course the only alternative to the horrible government school system is a free market that will not attempt to solve the needs of its customers (how would we know, we have never tried a truly free market in education), and the result will be criminals running the streets stealing from everyone. Yes, everyone is inherently evil, that is unless they are in government, where something magical happens to them and they become benevolent caring individuals with no hidden agendas.

If you can’t trust an individual with his own freedom, how can you give hundreds if not thousands of individuals the kind of power that government has over your life and your property and most importantly your children?

Doesn’t make any sense does it. That is my point.

I’ll trust the free market anyday of this crimial system.

J Brown

August 26th, 2010
9:35 pm

Why not? If our federal government is going to bail out the state anyway, what is the incentive to keep a budget? The media will tar and feather any politician who dare votes against funding “education”. Those heartless conservatives who dare refuse to spend money on our nation’s future! The ones losing out are the states that are not building $500 million dollar schools. I wonder what the average teacher is paid there? High teacher pay helps the kids learn too, right?

wj

August 28th, 2010
9:25 am

Do facilities help or ensure that students learn? There is evidence-based support to support “yes, to a point.”

If you truly wish to know more about the relationship between facility and learning, check out the websites of The American Institute of Architects (www.aia.org), the work of Loris Malaguzzi and the title/subject line “The Third Teacher.” You’ll get plenty of factual information regarding the relationship of student, teacher, parents and physical environment.

As a registered/licensed architect I can tell you cleary and professionally this LA facility and all associated with it is pure folly and unwarranted, wasteful extravagance. In fact, I suggest it is creiminally irresponsible.

Expect little more from this school in general, the administrators in LA and the students that what you already have in the very poor performing LA school system.

WJ

wj

August 28th, 2010
9:27 am

My apologies and regrets that I did not spell “criminally” correctly in my original post. Frustration does regrettable things to my typing.

Arlo

August 28th, 2010
12:38 pm

Hmmm and I thought California was broke.

HitWithBigStick

August 28th, 2010
12:45 pm

This building IS preparing them for the future. When they don’t succeed, they’ll be in jail with young and old, rich and poor, all races; in a multi-multi-million facility. This just begins the transition early.

Bud

August 29th, 2010
9:32 pm

Of all of the states in the USA, California has got to have more than 500 times the jackasses allowing something like this to happen. Or……is this really a joke!