The Los Angeles Times has posted an in-depth interview with Supervisor Ridley-Thomas by Patt Morrison:
You were a teacher for a time. Your job doesn’t give you much authority over education, but what would you change?
The most exciting [innovation] that I have come across this year is Freedom Schools, launched by the Children’s Defense Fund.
I feel that education is substantially broken in this nation and has been for a considerable amount of time. That which has to happen is just short of being revolutionary. I don’t believe public education will be what it can be without the support and investment and alignment of the private sector.
The shift in emphasis and investment [in public schools] took place when there was a change in who the education consumers were. When the student population of LAUSD shifted to largely students of color, things began to be very, very, very different. But it wasn’t unique to L.A. That’s why I say that the private sector has a responsibility, and it’s enlightened self-interest that ought to drive it.