All signs point to Ref Rodriguez as LAUSD’s next school board president
With a new majority coming to the LA Unified school board, one of the first tasks will be to select the next board president, and all signs point to relative newcomer Ref Rodriguez taking over the top spot. The position is largely ceremonial, but it puts a face on the second-largest school district in the...
By Mike Szymanski | May 22, 2017 5:17 pm
Zimmer’s support for a ‘charter killer’ bill factored into his defeat, colleagues say
Steve Zimmer’s vote in April to direct LA Unified to support a state bill dubbed a “charter killer” factored into the board president’s defeat at the polls this week, his board colleagues say. The contentious 4-3 vote supported State Bill 808 authored by Sen. Tony Mendoza, which allowed school districts to reject public independent charter schools if they...
By Mike Szymanski | May 19, 2017 2:59 pm
What the school board shift could mean for Michelle King, who was just named Superintendent of the Year
Tuesday’s election of two pro-reform school board members could mean a whole new set of challenges for LA Unified Superintendent Michelle King. The board will shift in July from a pro-union majority to one backed by charter school supporters, and some observers think that could present difficulties for King, as the superintendent is hired and fired...
By Mike Szymanski | May 18, 2017 5:17 pm
Election night surprise: Why Steve Zimmer conceded with only absentee ballot results
Even before any results were announced from ballots cast Tuesday at the polls, Steve Zimmer stood outside a deli in Mar Vista and conceded defeat before heading inside to hug his friends and supporters. At that point, only absentee ballots had been counted, but more than 60 percent were against him, and he didn’t see...
By Mike Szymanski | May 17, 2017 3:47 pm
Black Girls 6 Times as Likely to Be Suspended as Whites. ‘Let Her Learn’ Looks to Reverse the Trend
High School Sophomore Wins Google Contest — and $30,000 Scholarship — With Diversity Doodle
The Political Parallels and Contradictions of the School Choice, Food Choice — Er, Food Stamps — Debate
JUST IN: Steve Zimmer concedes in LAUSD board race, Kelly Gonez leading in District 6
*UPDATED LA Unified school board President Steve Zimmer conceded Tuesday night in a speech before supporters in Mar Vista. “There’s no sugar-coating this,” he said. In an interview outside his campaign party right before the speech, Zimmer told LA School Report that he knew he had lost the election but will not be calling Nick...
By Mike Szymanski | May 16, 2017 9:54 pm
Here’s what LAUSD could buy with the $14.5 million in outside money that’s poured into the school board race
A year’s worth of arts education, or two textbooks for every high school student, or a crisp $20 bill for every student enrolled in every LA Unified school from early ed to high school, including at every independent public charter school. That’s some of what LA Unified could have bought with the massive amount of outside...
By Mike Szymanski | May 15, 2017 5:44 pm
Your voting primer to Tuesday’s LAUSD school board election
*UPDATED Have you heard there’s an election this Tuesday? Most likely, if you’re a regular reader of LA School Report, you certainly have, but it’s probably also likely that your friends and neighbors — or the parents you’re dropping off your kids with — have no idea there’s an election. What’s on the ballot? Two...
By Mike Szymanski | May 15, 2017 7:57 am
The good, the bad, and the ugly of the LAUSD school board campaign
It’s almost over, and there won’t be another LA Unified School board race until the next presidential election in November 2020. This year’s campaigns have become heated — absurd at times — and so we decided to take a look at some of the highs and lows. Some of this the campaigners may not want...
By Mike Szymanski | May 12, 2017 10:45 am
Two Celerity charter schools lose final state appeal, will close this summer
Two charter schools under federal investigation were denied their last chance to appeal their charter petition by the California State Board of Education on Thursday, meaning they will close after the current school year. The unanimous vote against the two schools marks the end of a frustrating battle that escalated when the school petitions were initially rejected...
By Mike Szymanski | May 12, 2017 9:48 am
If history is any indication, expect voter turnout to be light in LAUSD school board runoff
It’s tough to make predictions of voter turnout in Los Angeles city elections — not even the city clerk does it, but a surefire bet is that despite the most money ever spent on a school board election in U.S. history, there will still be a poor turnout. Past LA Unified elections show that interest...
By Mike Szymanski | May 11, 2017 4:48 pm