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LAUSD gets C- in school choice, district remains measles free

Craig Clough | February 5, 2015

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school report buzzEven with more charter schools than any district in the country, LA Unified still only received a “C-” grade in school choice in a new report from the Brown Center on Education Policy.

The grade is a slight fall from the C grade it earned last year from the Brown Center, which is part of the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think tank. The study ranks the largest school districts in the country based on the opportunities their students have to attend their preferred school. Out of 107 districts, LAUSD ranked 38th.

The study uses 13 categories to rank districts, indicators such as providing transportation to students who want to attend their preferred school, offering online courses and having available alternative schools like charters and magnets.

LAUSD measles free

Although 25 LA Unified schools have vaccination rates below the recommended levels, there have been no confirmed cases of any district student contracting the disease.

Still, more alarming news about measles keeps coming in. As of today, there are now 99 confirmed cases of measles in California, including 25 cases in Los Angeles County and 31 in Orange County, according to KTLA. On Jan. 31, a Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District daycare center was shut down after one of the children was confirmed to have measles.

Two state Senators yesterday proposed a law that would no longer allow parents to cite “personal beliefs” as an exemption to vaccinations for school children, and Gov. Brown is reportedly open to supporting the law.

North Hollywood High team defending ‘CyberPatriot’ title

Three teams from LA Unified, including the defending national champion Team Azure from North Hollywood High School, are among 12 finalists that will compete in the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition in Washington D.C. in March.

The other two teams are from North Hollywood High and Franklin High School. All three teams are part of the district’s after-school Beyond the Bell Program.

“This is an afterschool program for which we can all be very proud of,” Alvaro Cortés, executive director of Beyond the Bell, said in a statement. “This school year, we are dedicated to increasing the number of English Language Learners and female participation in STEM-related activities. We are proud of all of the students, including the five young women who make up 30 percent of the Beyond the Bell 2015 National CyberPatriot finalists.”

The CyberPatriot competition is part of the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program, which was created by the Air Force Association to inspire high school students to pursue careers in c​yber-security.

Video from District 5 forum

Last week, following the last-minute dropouts of LAUSD board member Bennet Kayser and challenger Andrew Thomas, challenger Ref Rodriguez had the floor to himself at a candidate forum on Jan. 28 at the Goodwill Center in Northeast Los Angeles. The United Way Los Angeles, which hosted the event, posted his appearance in its entirety on YouTube. Check out the video here.

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