Commentary: OK, we’ve seen the test results. Now what happens?
They’ve been talking about these new statewide tests in terms of setting a baseline for the years ahead. That’s fine as far it it goes. But here in LA Unified, we should think of the results in another way: As a redline. Statewide, more than half of students taking the test (56 percent) failed to meet...
By Michael Janofsky | September 10, 2015
Commentary: Too much ambiguity in plan for LAUSD charters
Another charter war is brewing in LA Unified. But the early warning shots are taking aim at ambiguity, not facts. The flashpoint was two sentences in an Aug. 7 story in the LA Times that described a meeting at which three major foundations discussed plans to expand the number of charter schools in the district. The...
By Michael Janofsky | September 2, 2015
Commentary: Challenges await for wave of new LAUSD charters
It was a bombshell of a story on Saturday, the LA Times reporting that a group of foundations is exploring plans to expand the number of charter schools within LA Unified to serve many beyond the 100,000 students who now attend charters in the district. What would that mean exactly? Unclear for the time being....
By Michael Janofsky | August 10, 2015
Caputo-Pearl calls for UTLA dues increase in face of ‘dangers’ ahead
Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, used his state of the union speech Friday night to call for a raise in union dues of $19 a month, an increase he said would enable the union to prepare for future challenges “greater and more dangerous” than those of recent years. Reminding members that UTLA has not...
By Michael Janofsky | August 3, 2015
Commentary: LAUSD board meeting lost in transparency
For more than a year, students, parents, community groups and even LA Unified members, themselves, have demanded greater transparency in how the board conducts the business of the nation’s second-largest school district. Too often, critics say, the board moves with no apparent effort to broaden the conversation or even allow the public to watch the...
By Michael Janofsky | July 31, 2015
Note from the Editor: A day of change for LA School Report
This is a bittersweet day for LA School Report. After two years as our lead reporter, Vanessa Romo is leaving us to pursue a fellowship at Columbia University in New York. She is among three journalists who were selected as the school’s Spencer Fellows in Education Reporting, for a program that provides participants the time...
By Michael Janofsky | July 2, 2015
Does Vladovic get a third term leading LAUSD board? Ask Vladovic
OK, so let’s play this out. One of the Mónicas — Ratliff or García, or maybe both — offers a resolution next week waiving the rule that sets term limits at two, enabling Richard Vladovic to serve a third one-year term as the LA Unified board president. The effort needs four votes to pass. How do...
By Michael Janofsky | June 26, 2015
Commentary: The long goodbye, the no goodbye, the tears of Cortines
That was quite a board meeting yesterday, with more emotion on display than Nixon or LBJ ever showed in announcing their decisions to leave the White House. The first wave came in The Long Goodbye to Bennett Kayser, whose bid for a second term was thwarted by a member of the group he most detests,...
By Michael Janofsky | June 24, 2015
Galatzan’s loss? Blame it on iPads, anti-incumbency and Galatzan
Tamar Galatzan, now an out-going LA Unified board member for District 3, congratulated the career school administrator who defeated her yesterday, Scott Schmerelson, issuing a statement in which she expressed “great respect for my colleagues on the school board and what we have been able to accomplish during difficult financial times. “I’m grateful to them...
By Michael Janofsky | May 20, 2015
Analysis: For the LAUSD board, changes in faces but not balance
* UPDATED Voters wanted change, but the changes came from opposite directions. For the first time since 2009, two seats on the LA Unified school board turned over at the same time in elections yesterday that proved once again how little Angelinos care about the people setting policy for the 643,000 kids attending city public...
By Michael Janofsky | May 20, 2015