The great Maya Angelou said, “Hope is born again in the faces of children.” This sentiment should be a guiding theme throughout school districts nationwide, especially the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD).
I reject the idea that an Inglewood ZIP code is a burden. I embrace it as a blessing. Our children are wrapped in the arms of loving families, churches and communities. Our children are meant for great things!
Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) and Today’s Fresh Start Charter School – Inglewood (TFSCS-I) have a community of dedicated teachers who inspire, motivate, and encourage as they patiently educate our children. Understanding the daunting situation IUSD faced a decade ago, the teachers diligently work on meeting those challenges with continuous improvement. We owe our thanks and gratitude today, and every day, to our teachers.
One of the crowning jewels of IUSD is Today’s Fresh Start Charter School-Inglewood, a K-8 charter school with a 98% African American and Hispanic/Latino student population. Today’s Fresh Start Charter School-Inglewood has maintained steady enrollment for the last decade and high-performance test scores in the district.
Today’s Fresh Start Charter School – Inglewood does not present a threat to our children’s education. Now, Today’s Fresh Start Charter School – Inglewood is at risk of not having its charter renewed by the California State Board of Education (SBE). Our community must collectively call for the continuation of the Today’s Fresh Start Charter School – Inglewood as an option for local parents.
I want to be clear that the threat of non-renewal is not based on lack of high performance. High performance is not in question. The CDE staff report recognizes that renewing the TFS-Inglewood charter is “consistent with sound educational practice.”
Almost 10 percent of all K-12 students in California are in charter schools. Today’s Fresh Start Charter School-Inglewood provides an option for parents whose children need a more personalized learning experience and it complements the options of our other public schools. Today’s Fresh Start is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The same institution that accredits UCLA and USC.
I firmly believe that the State Department of Education values charter schools in Inglewood just as it values schools in cities like Santa Monica or Pacific Palisades. In all things, there is always room for improvement, even in the best of programs. If there are concerns that need to be resolved between the State and Today’s Fresh Start Charter School-Inglewood, I believe that a spirit of collaboration and agreement will lead to successful resolution. These matters can be resolved upon charter renewal as the school continues to operate, allowing the school to fulfill its mission uninterrupted: preparing students as “life-long learners” to participate responsibly in a diverse and changing world.
With the challenges of COVID-19 and distance learning looming in the United States, the last thing parents and children need is to worry about is finding a new placement for children who will be displaced if the charter is not renewed. And the last thing our children need is disruption in their excellent education.
We will never give up the hope and belief that our children are transcendent beings, blessed by the Lord and made to accomplish great things in His Name. The State Department of Education can ease that path and put our children first by swiftly granting a 5-year renewal of approval of Today’s Fresh Start Charter School – Inglewood.