Exclusive: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calls for greater school accountability in helping English learners succeed and commits to ensuring immigrant children’s education
During a visit to Southern California last month, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos addressed educational needs of the Latino community, calling for more accountability for schools to help English-learning students succeed, guaranteeing immigrant students’ rights and explaining why school officials should embrace and encourage bilingual students. “A focus around the benefit of having a...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | June 24, 2019
Q&A with Ryan Smith on what it will take to close the achievement gap in California’s schools
Closing the achievement gap has become one of the most critical educational challenges in California. As part of state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond’s new initiative to close that gap, he has created a working group to look closely at schools throughout the state that have shown success in improving outcomes for African-Americans, Latinos...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | June 10, 2019
New plan for LA schools calls for reorganization around communities and empowers principals to make LAUSD a less ‘complex system’
L.A. Unified’s schools chief has a new plan to simplify the sprawling urban district’s complex system. A little more than a year into his tenure, Superintendent Austin Beutner is betting that by empowering principals he can turn “the organization upside down in a certain way” that puts students at the center. Under the new plan,...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | May 29, 2019
Goldberg and Repenning find little to disagree about in their last forum in LAUSD Board District 5’s southeast section before Tuesday’s vote
In their last candidate forum in the southeast section of L.A. Unified’s Board District 5, the two candidates vying for the open school board seat in next Tuesday’s election mostly stuck to familiar themes and gave few glimpses of how they differ. Jackie Goldberg and Heather Repenning met Wednesday evening at Turner Hall Community Center in...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | May 9, 2019
3 California NAACP chapters break with state and national leaders, calling for charter moratorium to be overturned
*Updated May 9 NAACP branches in three California cities that have some of the state’s largest populations of black students are calling to end the charter school moratorium adopted by their national board in 2016. The San Diego, Southwest Riverside and San Bernardino branches have submitted separate resolutions to NAACP’s state board saying they oppose...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | May 3, 2019
Nearly 300 public schools in Los Angeles County are closing the achievement gap for low-income black and Latino students — but only 2 out of 10 of these students are enrolled in them, new study finds
Of the 1 million low-income African-American and Latino public school students in Los Angeles County, only 2 out of 10 of them are enrolled in a high-quality school, a first-of-its-kind study found. There are 279 public schools closing the achievement gap for low-income Latino and black students, the study found. That’s out of a pool of...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | May 2, 2019
Californians hold split views on charter schools, but most are in favor of them as options for low-income children, survey finds
Californians are divided in their general views on charter schools, according to a new statewide survey. Most are in support of parents having the option to choose charters, but there’s also a high level of concern that charters divert state funding from traditional schools. Nearly half — 49 percent — of all adults surveyed said...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | April 25, 2019
Whether for or against a parcel tax, parents and advocates want more money for schools — but they don’t yet trust LAUSD to be a ‘good steward’
*Updated April 23 Parents and community advocates are divided on L.A. Unified’s Measure EE, a parcel tax on the June ballot that would raise about $500 million a year over a 12-year period for schools. However, a common thread connects them: They agree schools need more funding, but there’s also “distrust” over whether the district would...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | April 19, 2019
‘Frustrating and disappointing’ — how parents feel about LAUSD’s new school accountability tool
*Updated April 9 L.A. Unified’s newest way to share information about how students and their schools are performing is coming up short for parents who find the online site “very frustrating and disappointing.” Last fall, the district launched its Open Data Portal, a school accountability site with data about academic performance, graduation and college-going rates,...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | April 8, 2019
‘We need to be heard’ — Graciela Ortíz endorses Repenning as she vows to advocate for Board District 5’s southeast community
*Updated March 31 There were seven Latino candidates in the L.A. Unified school board race for the Board District 5 seat, but Huntington Park Councilwoman Graciela Ortíz was the only one who came close to making it into a runoff. Only 31 votes separated Ortíz from second-place finisher Heather Repenning, but on Wednesday Ortíz announced...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | March 30, 2019