Commentary: Board member George McKenna’s challenge to adopt higher standards for all schools
George McKenna is known for waxing eloquently during the school board meetings, and at the meeting on Sept. 12, he wrote down some of his thoughts. Part of the reason was because the new board President Ref Rodriguez is limiting statements to five minutes per topic by each of the board members, but part of it...
By Guest contributor | September 18, 2017
Commentary: The long road to finding the right school for my daughter
By Patricia Rivera This summer, as the beginning of the school year got closer, I started to feel more and more worried instead of feeling excited. After spending nearly six months trying to find my daughter a new middle school, all I had to show for it was an uncertain position on several waitlists. My...
By Guest contributor | September 12, 2017
Readers respond: Do LAUSD’s random weapons searches help or harm students?
By Carol Arocha Random wanding has prevented some students from harming others. The weapons may not be guns or bombs, but have no doubt, handmade knives (shanks), clubs, brass knuckles, pepper spray, and other such instruments have been found and removed, saving children from physical harm. Wanding has helped administrators remove drugs and alcohol from...
By Guest contributor | September 7, 2017
Commentary: This Labor Day, we’re celebrating Kids First
By Max Arias It is no coincidence that this year, Los Angeles’ largest Labor Day march will begin in front of Ramon Cortines High School. The popular narrative is that labor unions and public schools are on opposing sides; that somehow addressing issues of wages, hours, and working conditions is at odds with putting kids first....
By Guest contributor | August 31, 2017
Commentary: Teacher quality is determined in the classroom, not by a credential
By Haena Shin Teachers can tell when they are effective. In my first year as a special education teacher in a pre-kindergarten setting, the signs were small but profound — a nonverbal student who started to greet me in the mornings, a student who didn’t know how to hold a pencil properly who learned to...
By Guest contributor | August 30, 2017
Commentary: Parents want LAUSD school board to support new STEM school
By Jenny Hontz The LAUSD Board votes Tuesday on a resolution to oppose the creation of an innovative new state-authorized STEM middle and high school intended to increase the pipeline of qualified under-represented students of color and women attending elite STEM universities and entering science, technology, engineering and math professions. The resolution against this proposed school, which...
By Guest contributor | August 21, 2017
Exclusive: Voters approved $20 billion to build LA schools. As last one opens, the ultimate insider explains why they were so desperately needed.
“Wooooow. They built this just for us?” By Glenn Gritzner This week, a significant milestone is being achieved for the students of LAUSD that deserves to be celebrated. The final school — Bell High School — is coming off the year-round calendar, meaning that every school in LAUSD will now be on the traditional nine-month...
By Guest contributor | August 14, 2017
Seth Litt: Kids in low-performing schools lose big under California’s ESSA plan
By Seth Litt On July 12, the California Board of Education met to discuss the state’s plan to comply with the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which must be approved and submitted by September. Board President Michael Kirst opened the conversation with a defense of the draft plan, which offers no commitment on...
By Guest contributor | August 3, 2017
Emilio Pack — Not all college degrees are created equal: How STEM Prep is preparing its high schoolers for the 21st-Century economy
By Emilio Pack The new goal charter networks have adopted — boosting the college graduation rate for their alumni — is a wise one. It’s definitely time to move past the short-sighted goal of only ensuring they win admittance into a college. But in rushing to meet this new goal, it’s easy to overlook an awkward...
By Guest contributor | August 2, 2017
When charters and traditional schools share a building, all students improve: A new study finds 7 reasons why
By Beth Hawkins Few education policy battles have burned as hot as debate over the practice of requiring traditional public schools to share under-used space with charter schools. Co-location, as the practice is called, is often cited as damaging to students in mainline district schools. But groundbreaking new research from Temple University Assistant Professor Sarah Cordes finds that at...
By Guest contributor | August 1, 2017