Millikan MS Final Renaming Ballot
Dear Millikan Community Member,
Thank you for taking the time to participate in this very important process. Through the efforts of our parents, in 2020, we became very aware of the beliefs of Robert A. Millikan for whom our school is named and began the important discussion about whether or not continuing to bear his name was the correct choice for our school. Robert A. Millikan believed in Eugenics - the belief that those of European blood were a superior race and that the reproduction of those of European ancestry should be encouraged. Even worse, Eugenics actively sought to prevent reproduction in other ethnic groups that were deemed inferior and this included advocating for the forced sterilization of these groups. Robert A. Millikan was a member of an organization called the Betterment Foundation, an organization that worked to support this philosophy and which supported and communicated with Hitler's Nazi Party in the 1930's.
As a part of this process, students, parents, and faculty members contributed suggestions for a new name for Millikan MS. A school renaming committee reviewed these suggestions to create preliminary ballot. This ballot included famous Americans, a name that represents our school's geography, and a version that removes Robert A. from our official name. In selecting the names on this ballot, the committee considered the following: do the individuals represent the themes and vision for our school community, did the individuals have good character, did the individuals contribute significantly to our society, and do the suggested names meet the criteria outlined by district policy.
This is will be the final ballot. On it, you will find the three names from the preliminary ballot that won the most votes and the current full school name.
Prior to voting, please take a moment to read the biographies or rationale for each name choice on this ballot. We thank everyone for your contributions and participation in this process.
1. Louis Armstrong Affiliated Charter Middle School - Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 4, 1901. He was raised by his mother Mayann in a neighborhood so dangerous it was called “The Battlefield.” He only had a fifth-grade education, dropping out of school early to go to work. An early job working for the Jewish Karnofsky family allowed Armstrong to make enough money to purchase his first cornet.
The records by Louis Armstrong and His Five–and later, Hot Seven–are the most influential in jazz. Armstrong’s improvised solos transformed jazz from an ensemble-based music into a soloist’s art, while his expressive vocals incorporated innovative bursts of scat singing and an underlying swing feel.
Armstrong had been a great Civil Rights pioneer, breaking down numerous barriers as a young man. In the 1950s, he spoke out against the government’s handling of the “Little Rock Nine” high school integration crisis in 1957.
2. Magnolia Affiliated Charter Middle School - chosen to represent our geographic location south of Magnolia Street in keeping with LAUSD tradition. (Note that there is a independent charter school with several locations called Magnolia Science Academy)
3. Millikan Affiliated Charter Middle School - Drop "Robert A." from the official school name
4. Robert A. Millikan Affiliated Charter Middle School - Retain the full name of Robert A. Millikan but drop "Performing Arts MS" from our official name to reflect the other programs at Millikan MS.
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