El Rio Community School — A Gentrification-Enabling Charter In Highland Park — ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Yes, this post is about ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■!

Charter schools in Los Angeles1 serve a variety of social functions. There are white savior charter schools which operate in majority black/brown neighborhoods and seem to mostly consist of real estate and tax scams thinly overlain with implausible social justice rhetoric and toxic moral complacency. The Accelerated Schools are a paradigmatic example of this variety. There are zillionaire-serving schools, which play essentially the same role in 21st Century Los Angeles as segregation academies did in their day. Pali High and Granada Hills Charter High are good examples of this sort.

And then there are gentrification-enabling charters.2 Once the gentrification of a neighborhood has moved past the edgy urban pioneer stage and the pre-existing residents have been pacified to a sufficient extent, young families start to move in. Or the original edgies get smoothed down a little and start having kids. All these new arrivals need schools to send their kids to, and the neighborhood public schools generally won’t do for all the obvious reasons. The same reasons that the so-called legacy bars and restaurants won’t do.

The gentrification process requires new establishments with craft cocktails and $37 nitro cold brew lynx poop coffee drinks to satisfy the settlers, and the equivalent replacements for neighborhood public schools. Charters are an ideal (and recognized) way to fill this need, given that they can be relatively easily started from scratch and the kids of the soon-to-be-displaced so-called legacy residents relatively easily excluded. And they can be spiffed up with all kinds of shiny hipster-appealing educational baubles, like e.g. Waldorf or Montessori.3

And of course Highland Park has been and is one of the most gentrificationally contested neighborhoods in Los Angeles. And the gentrification bars are there in force. And the coffee. And now, therefore, it is time for the gentrification charters to move in. Which brings us to the subject of today’s post, that is El Rio Community School, a Waldorf charter establishment approved by LAUSD last year and set to open in Highland Park in the Fall of 2020.

This school is in the intersection of three of my favorite subjects to investigate via the California Public Records Act,4 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■. When LAUSD authorizes a charter school to open in a year the authorization includes a requirement that ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■


Image of El Rio Community School Supreme Commander Katie Chau is ©2020 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and then there is this Katie Chau here.

  1. And maybe elsewhere but I don’t have time to think about elsewhere and anyway I’m not that interested.
  2. There are other kinds too, this isn’t the place for the full taxonomy.
  3. I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with Waldorf or Montessori schools. I have no opinion about this at all. My point only relies on their brand appeal. Just as craft cocktails might be delicious and nitro cold brew lynx poop coffee might be worth $37 a shot these might be super-excellent educational systems. But that’s irrelevant to the social role they play in the gentrification toolkit.
  4. Those are in this case charter schools, gentrification, and Highland Park.
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One thought on “El Rio Community School — A Gentrification-Enabling Charter In Highland Park — ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■”

  1. Hi,
    This article is enlightening. Rio Community School is trying to Co-locate at Robert F. Kennedy ES in City Terrace. I am a teacher and the UTLA Chapter Chair at Kennedy. Parents, teachers, staff, and the community are organizing along with UTLA to push back the Co-location. Rio is taking advantage of the Covid 19 crisis to invade our school and neighborhood. Governor Newsom said we must practice physical and social distancing when we return to school. How are we suppose to do that if a charter co-locates at Kennedy and takes our classrooms we would need for physical and social distancing? We are concerned about the health and safety of our teachers and students. We are mobilizing to fight and pressure LAUSD to enforce the recent moratorium between UTLA and LAUSD to put on hold the prop39 practices of giving away our schools to these charter school “squatters” during the Covid crisis. Yes, Rio screams gentrification. Our community families are ready to put up a fight against this co-location. We do not want their ideals and practices in our school or community.

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