Parent centers proliferating at LAUSD, leading to better test scores, attendance and engagement
One of the most popular classes at 20th Street Elementary School has 43 dedicated students who come twice a week. They’re all parents. The parents of this 600-student school just south of downtown Los Angeles come here to learn English. They do projects for teachers. They discuss school issues. Their children even help them...
By Mike Szymanski | October 6, 2016
Resolutions as the LAUSD board’s work-around: Too many with too little impact on classrooms, some say
Some frank talk among the LA School Board members recently led to questions about how many resolutions the board creates and how effective they are. But they’re also one of the best ways to get things done, members said. Every school board meeting at LA Unified has a flurry of resolutions: It’s National Disability Employment Awareness...
By Mike Szymanski | October 4, 2016
School board concedes they don’t have much to do with what goes on in the LA classroom, considers changes
Some school board decisions get ignored, all board meetings are too long and most decisions have nothing to do with what goes on in the classroom. That’s some of the conversation that came out of an all-day session Tuesday with the LA Unified School Board and superintendent. The meeting, led by a private facilitator, was held...
By Mike Szymanski | September 30, 2016
Strategic plan lacks clear mission, so board agrees to champion ‘100 percent graduation,’ but how?
LA Unified’s three-year strategic plan lacks a clear mission statement. That was the consensus of an all-day school board session Tuesday. So the seven board members decided to fix it, landing on the goal of a 100 percent graduation rate. Yet the draft of the strategic plan remains light on exactly how to accomplish it. Because...
By Mike Szymanski | September 28, 2016
California Teen, a ‘16 Under 16 in STEM’, Gets a Big Surprise on The Kelly Clarkson Show
How One Middle School Principal is Using TikTok to Build School Culture & Recruit Teachers
Startling 96% of School Tech Exposes Student Data, Research Finds
A New Playbook to Recruit Tutors: Tap Teachers in Training
Exclusive: New health benefits help push LAUSD into debt, document shows
LA Unified Superintendent Michelle King signed off on new health benefits for teachers assistants and playground aides even though the agreement stated that it will help push district reserves into the red by half a billion dollars within two years. And the question in the document asking how the district would replenish those reserves was left blank....
By Mike Szymanski | August 31, 2016
2 more candidates enter LAUSD school board races
Two more people this week entered the March 7 race for LA Unified school board. Gregory Martayan will join Nick Melvoin in challenging board President Steve Zimmer for his District 4 seat. And Joanne Baltierrez-Fernandez joins one other challenger in seeking an open seat in District 6. Martayan and Baltierrez-Fernandez filed with the city Ethics Commission on...
By Sarah Favot | August 12, 2016
LAUSD’s graduation rate a record 75 percent, Michelle King announces at her first State of the District address
Michelle King announced a record 75 percent graduation rate at her first State of the District address as superintendent of LA Unified, “a district on the move,” she proclaimed Tuesday. King noted that the 75 percent rate is based on “preliminary data” as she addressed 1,500 principals, assistant principals and district administrators at the annual kick-off to the school...
By Mike Szymanski | August 9, 2016
School board elections heat up with 4 more candidates jumping into race
Four more candidates have entered the race to run for two school board seats in the March 7 election. Three people in the last 10 days have filed with the city Ethics Commission an intent to raise money to challenge Monica Garcia for school board in District 2, and one person has entered the race for...
By Sarah Favot | August 8, 2016
L.A. Unified school board member Monica Garcia dominates fundraising in re-election bid
Seven months out from the primary, L.A. Unified school board member Monica Garcia has already raised nearly 150 times more money than her opponent, including donations from former L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy and both charter school and L.A. district employees. Garcia, seeking her third term on the seven-member board, collected $119,858 in donations between...
By Sarah Favot | August 3, 2016
Overall enrollment is down, but LA Unified has the same number of kindergarteners as 9 years ago, data show
As those inside the district voice a repeated refrain that declining enrollment will likely plunge LA Unified into bankruptcy, new data show it still attracted nearly the same number of kindergarten students last year as it had nine years earlier when it had 133,000 more students overall. The data come as a surprise amid declining enrollment as the county’s...
By Sarah Favot | July 25, 2016