Charter school scores hard-won approval despite objections by board staff, president and superintendent
To help a model charter school expand into high school, the LA Unified school board took unprecedented steps Tuesday night to cobble together a plan, concocting at least half a dozen proposals and amendments during a lengthy and at times contentious discussion. District staff had recommended that the board reject the school’s petition. Ultimately, the charter...
By Mike Szymanski | March 9, 2016
Michelle King on charters: ‘It’s not us versus them’
At her first community town hall as LA Unified’s superintendent, Michelle King received the most applause when she called for a healing between charter and district school factions. Seven weeks into her job, she met Tuesday morning with more than 700 parents, teachers, principals and local residents in a relatively low-income area in the north San Fernando Valley...
By Mike Szymanski | March 2, 2016
Just in: Winners, losers and a surprising existential charter debate at school board meeting
Going into Tuesday’s LA Unified school board meeting, three-for-three was the Charter School Division’s recommendations against two new charters and a renewal. In the end, it went the other way, with two votes going in charters’ favor (a new school plus a renewal for the Partnership to Uplift Communities) and one vote postponed (a new charter...
By LA School Report | February 9, 2016
Villaraigosa on why he opposes Friedrichs, his take on charter expansion
Two and a half years ago, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa left his office steering the nation’s second-largest city with a legacy of pushing the kind of changes in the school system that education reformers relish. Trying to make good on a campaign promise to fix the city’s schools, he fought the teachers union in...
By Naomi Nix | February 1, 2016
LAUSD approves most charters even as it condemns Broad charter plan
The LA Unified school board this week awarded, renewed or revised requests from 10 charter schools, and two applications for new schools were rejected. Some of the approvals came with specific warnings by board members to shape up. The charter approvals came at the same meeting that the board unanimously condemned the Eli Broad-affiliated group,...
By Mike Szymanski | January 14, 2016
LA Unified’s union leaders unite to oppose Broad charter plan
Leaders of the nine unions that represent teaches, administrators and other staffers at LAUSD stood before the district board today to express a united front against the Broad foundation plan to create more charter schools in the district. Flanked at the podium by the union leaders, Juan Flecha, president of Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA), told the...
By Mike Szymanski | December 8, 2015
Larchmont Charter gears up for fight over nearby cell phone tower
Parents, teachers and school administrators from Larchmont Charter School in West Hollywood are protesting a cell phone tower proposed for a church bell tower next to the campus, with a large turnout expected at a public hearing at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the West Hollywood Library. The independent charter school is overseen by LAUSD but...
By Mike Szymanski | December 2, 2015
Do LA charter schools really screen out special education students?
Accusations that charter schools screen out special education students or discourage them from enrolling have returned with a controversial plan by the Broad Foundation to expand charter enrollment at LA Unified. After the president of the LA teachers union, Alex Caputo-Pearl of UTLA, raised the issue a year ago, telling the Los Angeles Times a year...
By Craig Clough | October 5, 2015
Zimmer accuses Broad charter plan of strategy to ‘bring down’ LAUSD
Steve Zimmer, president of the LA Unified school board, said today that plans by Eli Broad and other philanthropists to expand the number of charter schools in the district represents “a strategy to bring down LAUSD that leaves 250,000 kids vulnerable to damage.” A draft report of the plan appears show how the organizations involved...
By Michael Janofsky | September 22, 2015
Charter group: LAUSD’s independent charters outperform district schools
Students from LA Unified’s independent charter schools outperformed their counterparts at traditional schools on the recent Smarter Balanced standardized tests in the number meeting and exceeding standards, according to a new analysis by the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA). The charter group found that the charter students scored nine percentage points higher in English language...
By Craig Clough | September 18, 2015