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Judge: No intervention similar to Jefferson needed at 6 other schools

Craig Clough | April 27, 2015

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judgeA California judge has denied a request for state intervention at six schools for students’ being assigned open classes that lack academic value.

The same judge had ordered the state to intervene at LA Unified’s Jefferson High School in October over the same issue and as part of the same lawsuit.

Bay Area Superior Court Judge George Hernandez ruled earlier this month that lawyers from the ACLU and Public Counsel did not demonstrate that students at the six schools lost substantial learning time in “contentless classes” compared with the “prevailing statewide standards.”

“We’re disappointed with the ruling, but we remain confident about the case,” Marie Condron, a spokesperson for Public Counsel, told KPCC.

Among the six schools are LA Unified’s Dorsey High and Fremont High. The request for intervention had come as part of the larger Cruz v. California lawsuit, which was brought in 2014 by a group of students who alleged that the state is not assuring the quality of their education.

The temporary restraining order for Jefferson followed a scheduling crisis as computers linked to the glitchy MiSiS computer system crashed. The problems caused hundreds of students to be left with no classes, the wrong classes or an inability to get into classes they needed. Hundreds of students walked out of Jefferson in protest a few weeks after the school year began.

Hernandez ordered the state to fix the class schedule problems. The LA Unified board soon after approved a $1.1 million plan devised with state oversight.

The move came after several plaintiffs spoke at an October school board meeting and described their inability to take classes they needed to get into the college of their choice.

Hernandez did write that the argument of lost learning time at the six schools may still hold water.

“The court does not mean to suggest that the policies, procedures and professional norms . . . do not in fact exist. Nor does the court imply that these standards should be ignored,” he said in his ruling.



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