Parent leaders trying to engage with LAUSD meet with frustration
Parents representing some of the most important advisory committees to the LA Unified school board lodged a litany of complaints this week about a lack of connection with the district. Long distances to meetings, inconvenient times, police intimidation near meeting sites and a lack of consideration of the parents’ advice were some of the complaints brought...
By Mike Szymanski | February 5, 2016
Commentary: Reimagining middle schools in LAUSD and beyond
By Ref Rodriguez Middle school can make it or break it for a student. Close to 200,000 students in Los Angeles public schools are middle grade students. That’s 200,000 students who are either launched onto the path to high school graduation or knocked off track. And even though research has definitively shown that middle grades...
By Guest contributor | January 19, 2016
LAUSD kicks off new effort to help ‘hormones with arms and legs’
With middle school principals’ sharing their best practices and dire needs, an LA Unified board committee yesterday set off on a new initiative to improve the academic and social skills of students one principal described as “hormones with arms and legs.” The discussion in the Curriculum, Instruction and Educational Equity Committee came two days after...
By Mike Szymanski | January 15, 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
A busy day ahead for LAUSD board — test scores, early ed, textbooks
Two committee meetings and a board meeting on the sufficiency of school textbooks will keep the LA Unified school board members busy tomorrow as they discuss the adequacy of textbooks, a detailed analysis of the recent state test scores and district plans to expand early education classes. Two of the new school board members will chair their...
By Mike Szymanski | October 5, 2015
3 PUC Schools moving to a new 7.5-acre campus in Sylmar
Three PUC Schools are scheduled to open tomorrow with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a new campus in Sylmar. Newly-elected school board member Ref Rodriguez, who co-founded the PUC Schools, will have a courtyard named after him. The 7.5-acre campus will accommodate PUC Triumph Charter Academy for grades 6 through 8 and two high schools — PUC Triumph...
By Mike Szymanski | August 28, 2015
LAUSD board has mixed views on foundations’ charters expansion plan
Some think it is a threat to the public education system. Some welcome it. Members of the LA Unified school board have reacted quite differently to the announcement that the Broad, Keck and Walton Family Foundations are planning to expand the number of charter schools in the district to serve well beyond the 101,000 students...
By Mike Szymanski | August 24, 2015
Vowing unity, new LA Unified board members sworn into office
Two new LA Unified board members and two former board members took their oath of office today during a ceremony in which they vowed to bring unity and collaboration to the district and with each other. For each member, it was the start of a five-and-a-half year term, following a change in the city’s voting...
By Mike Szymanski | July 1, 2015
In-coming LAUSD board members getting their priorities in order
* UPDATED Ref Rodriguez is in the market for new friends. Specifically, friends on the LA Unified school board, which he’ll officially join tomorrow for a five-year term ending in 2020. “I know I need to build some relationships with certain communities that may not trust me because of the campaign,” he told LA School...
By Vanessa Romo | June 30, 2015
Schmerelson taps former Martinez aide, Irlando, as chief of staff
While sitting LA Unified board members are combing through the latest budget proposal and wrapping up other end of the year activities, the newly-elected representatives are busy staffing up and hiring some familiar names. Scott Schmerelson, who replaces Tamar Galatzan as the District 3 representative on July 1, has named Arlene Irlando as his Chief of Staff....
By Vanessa Romo | June 18, 2015