JUST IN: City High School closes suddenly after charter loses students following facilities, financial woes
Citing financial woes due to low enrollment and problems with its private facility, the governing board of City High School voted Monday to close the charter school immediately, leaving 116 students scrambling to find new schools. The school, located in Pico-Robertson on Los Angeles’ Westside, had been offered a location at Dorsey High School through...
By Craig Clough | September 14, 2016
‘The data is miserable’: LAUSD board members rake academic officer over the coals for ‘crisis’ in test scores
LA Unified’s chief academic officer came before board members Tuesday with an upbeat-titled report called “Breaking Our Own Records,” but instead of resting on the improvement in overall test scores, the four school board members in attendance grilled her for nearly two hours throwing out terms like “frustrating,” “depressing” and “disappointing” and saying the district is...
By Mike Szymanski | September 13, 2016
LAUSD tries to make it easier for charter families to address the school board
Charter families have lined up at dawn in biting cold winds holding babies. They’ve sweated it out for hours standing around ice chests or taking turns under canopies. They’ve waited hours—sometimes nearly a full a day—to get into an LA Unified school board meeting. Then, they wait hours more just to be heard. School Board...
By Mike Szymanski | September 12, 2016
‘A city of second chances’: High school dropouts recovered as Garcetti, Zimmer, volunteers knock on doors
LA Unified officials and a team of volunteers hit the streets Friday, knocking on the doors of high school dropouts in an effort to get them re-enrolled in school as part of the district’s Student Recovery Day. Among the door knockers was Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who along with LA Unified Board President Steve...
By Craig Clough | September 9, 2016
Exclusive: New health benefits help push LAUSD into debt, document shows
LA Unified Superintendent Michelle King signed off on new health benefits for teachers assistants and playground aides even though the agreement stated that it will help push district reserves into the red by half a billion dollars within two years. And the question in the document asking how the district would replenish those reserves was left blank....
By Mike Szymanski | August 31, 2016
LAUSD keeps hiring as enrollment declines and financial crisis looms
LA Unified officials persistently wring their hands about losing students year after year, but meanwhile the number of employees continues to rise. In their latest tally, school district employees rose from 59,563 in the 2014-2015 school year to 59,823 last year and 60,191 in the 2016-2017 school year. (A final accounting of the actual hires will be available...
By Mike Szymanski | August 29, 2016
El Camino Real Charter teachers voice strong support for school, meet with union reps; LAUSD makes correspondence public
A $1,139 dinner at a steakhouse. A $95 bottle of fine Syrah wine. A $73 bill for flowers. Those charges and others made by staff of a successful charter school were cited this week at an LA Unified School Board meeting and led the district to take the first steps to revoking the school’s charter. El...
By Mike Szymanski | August 26, 2016
These 20 LAUSD schools are among the state’s lowest performers
A total of 20 schools—14 district schools and six charter schools—that fall under the LA Unified umbrella are among the bottom 5 percent of low-performing schools in the state of California. The schools are eligible for School Improvement Grants (SIG) money that can result in $2 million a year for five years if the school administrators...
By Mike Szymanski | August 25, 2016
Zimmer expresses frustration over credit recovery, graduating with D’s and academic counselor shortage
While the latest academic reports from the LA Unified school district were positive overall, school board President Steve Zimmer expressed frustration at some of the data presented at Tuesday’s board meeting and said he foresees potential problems ahead. Zimmer asked for a breakdown of how many students are graduating with D grades and in what subjects. “How many...
By Mike Szymanski | August 24, 2016
King, Torlakson tout improvements on standardized test scores
LA Unified Superintendent Michelle King, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, LA Unified school board President Steve Zimmer and other leaders called a press conference this morning at Eagle Rock Elementary School to tout the results of the newly released standardized test scores. Scores in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) went...
By Craig Clough | August 24, 2016