One of LA’s first inner-city charter schools celebrates 20 years — and is proud to keep ‘Watts’ in its name
*UPDATED When Gene Fisher opened an independent public charter school in September 1997 in Watts, it shared a one-room bungalow in a housing project with the Urban League State Preschool. Fisher quickly realized that recruiting kids from rival gangs was not going to happen. So he moved his two kindergarten students and tiny staff, ending...
By Mike Szymanski | September 11, 2017 8:00 am
The trailblazers: Of the first 40 charter schools in LAUSD, half are still open
California school districts started authorizing independent charter schools in 1993. The reformers who created them were inspired to try a different model of public education — one they believed had the potential to better serve disadvantaged, low-income students who were disproportionately stuck in lower-performing schools. Public charter schools were granted flexibilities to have a longer...
By Mike Szymanski | September 11, 2017 7:50 am
Celerity charter revamps management structure and seeks approval by LAUSD and state board next week
Celerity Educational Group, which operates seven Los Angeles-area independent charter schools, has untangled its complicated management structure that had been the subject of a lengthy investigation by LA Unified. Next week, the LA Unified school board will vote on material revisions to the charters of the four Celerity schools it oversees which spell out the new management...
By Mike Szymanski | September 7, 2017 4:59 pm
When you forget to pay the bill — why LAUSD.net went down
Labor Day weekend was labor-intensive for thousands of teachers who had to get their grades in by Tuesday using a new grading system. But when they went to sign in at LAUSD.net, the site was down. Not just down. The domain name showed that “lausd.net has expired.” Had the budget woes become so severe that...
By Mike Szymanski | September 6, 2017 3:31 pm
Los Angeles educators and leaders speak with one voice in support of DACA students
Educators and local leaders in Los Angeles came out fast and strong against Tuesday’s announcement ending DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and in support of the hundreds of thousands of students it has protected. Many worry about the effect on the families and children in schools. Here is a collection of statements with links...
By Mike Szymanski | September 5, 2017 2:02 pm
‘Equity’ and ‘urgency’ beat out ‘respect’ and ‘transparency’ as board chooses core values for LAUSD
“Respect,” “transparency,” and “teamwork” only got one vote each. Oh, and so did “humility.” The seven members of the largest school district in the country with an elected board gathered Tuesday at their first off-site retreat of the year, where they took a deep dive into health benefits but also hashed out core values for LA...
By Mike Szymanski | August 31, 2017 2:49 pm