Three of the nation’s five most expensive schools are in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Each ranks among the lowest performing schools in California.
Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools cost $578 million, has an auditorium similar to Los Angeles’ Coconut Grove nightclub and an aquatic center, yet ranks worse than 70 percent of elementary, 53 percent middle and 68 percent California high schools.
Edward R. Roybal Learning Center cost $377 million, has underground parking, dance studios, 73,000 sq. ft. of classroom space and 17 percent proficiency in math.
Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts cost $232 million, has a performing arts center, TV studio, outdoor atrium for Japanese Roku pottery and 17 percent proficiency in math. Students come from the same neighborhoods as the Garfield Avenue students Jaime Escalante taught calculus in after school and weekend classes.
While LAUSD performs worse than two-thirds of the state’s 864 school districts, students at Alliance Olga Mohan, Alliance College Ready and Camino Nueveo score in the top quartile. All three are charter schools.
California’s top school held its first classes in a rented church. Pacific Collegiate School’s permanent home is an abandoned two-story office building that cost $9 million to renovate. Pacific Collegiate is one of the nation’s 10 best.
Historically, top schools had the top students. New York’s Bronx High School of Science, Peter Stuyvesant High School and Brooklyn Technical School have graduated 14 Nobel Laureates. Tens of thousands apply each year. Students with the highest entrance exam scores are accepted. Built in 1938, 1904 and 1922 respectively, classrooms in the original brick buildings are still being used.
Boston Latin is America’s oldest public school. Five of our Founding Fathers were students. 100 percent of its students have Advanced Placement classes and proficiency in math and English. The original 1635 buildings are still in…