When one of Los Angeles’ most celebrated charter elementary and middle schools, known for its racial diversity and unique program for students with special needs, seeks approval to create a high school, you’d think it would be a no-brainer.
Despite its strong academic performance and groundbreaking educational model that places even the most severely disabled students in the same classroom as their peers, WISH Charter School’s application was recommended for denial by the school district. Even the school board president, Steve Zimmer, who has praised WISH as a model charter school, was ready to deny the school’s proposal.
But parents and students didn’t give up. They packed the L.A. Unified board room and, one after another, shared the invaluable impact that WISH has had on their lives. They appealed to board members’ minds and hearts. After a long and tense discussion, with families in the audience hanging on every word, the school board voted to approve WISH’s high school. The room exploded in applause and tears. Congratulations WISH families on your powerful and successful advocacy!