April 11, 2013 On April 11, parents of students at 24th Street Elementary announced that they have overwhelmingly chosen an unprecedented partnership between Crown Preparatory Academy and the Los Angeles Unified School District to operate their school under a unified K-8 model. Over 80% of the parents voted for this partnership.
Parents at 24th Street voted for the parent trigger earlier this year. While the first parent triggers in the state, in Compton and Adelanto, resulted in acrimony and legal action, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy did not challenge the petition. Instead, the district wrote its own proposal for the site to compete with other options.
According to the press release from Crown Prep:
The LAUSD school board approved a petition from the parents of 24th Street Elementary in February to make dramatic changes at the struggling school under the "parent trigger" law. The 24th Street Elementary Parents Union requested proposals for a new school operator to lead the transformation of the school. Subsequently, the parents requested that Crown Prep and LAUSD work on a partnership model, which led to today's result. It is the first integrated charter/District model within LAUSD.
Crown Prep operates a highly successful middle school which is currently co-located on the 24th Street campus. It has been at the same location since its founding in 2010. The school has an Academic Performance Index score of 801 for the 2011-2012 school year - 800 is considered high achieving (average API score for middle schools near Crown Prep is 686). Ninety-six percent of its students qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch program, a common benchmark for poverty. Approximately 30% of Crown Prep's current middle school students come from 24th St Elementary School. On average, Crown Prep's students increase two years in their reading level within just the first 9 months of attending the school, and in science, 72% of their fifth graders scored proficient or advanced on state tests.
Under the model, the District will reconstitute the elementary school as a K-4, and students will automatically attend Crown Prep for grades 5-8. Crown Prep and the District will work together on professional development, shared character values, operations, and safety and other schoolwide issues. While there are many details to resolve, Crown Prep will be integrated on the campus as opposed to simply using space on a yearly basis. Laura McGowan-Robinson, Crown Prep's founder and Executive Director, made this statement: "We are so proud of the 24th Street parents for choosing a new path for their children. This partnership is truly helping to demonstrate education's future: making decisions that have student achievement at their center. We are putting adult agendas aside and doing the most important thing we can do: improve education for kids. We are proud to be part of the first peaceful parent trigger in the nation. And beyond that, we are proud to be part of the first real partnership between a charter school and LAUSD. We're leading the way towards a new paradigm."