New look for the California School Dashboard is ‘an improvement’ — but it’s still not geared toward parents, advocates say
The much-anticipated redesign of California’s maligned school dashboard is live — but some education advocates aren’t convinced it went far enough to improve usability for parents. The California School Dashboard is a state-run platform that rates districts, schools and student groups on indicators such as test scores and student suspensions — and, as of this...
By Taylor Swaak | December 11, 2018
LAUSD parents stuck ‘in the middle’ as Los Angeles braces for a likely teacher strike
*Updated Dec. 10 As L.A. Unified and its teachers union ratchet up preparations for what is increasingly looking like the first teacher strike in 30 years, district parents are torn — and frustrated that the two sides can’t negotiate a solution. While parents love and appreciate their teachers, they also don’t want their children’s education...
By Taylor Swaak | December 9, 2018
‘Just handing out diplomas’? New study shows California students are enrolling in ‘credit recovery’ programs at a rate 60 percent above the national average
California high schoolers who have failed classes take makeup courses in larger numbers, and at higher rates, than most of their peers nationwide, a new study finds. About 12.9 percent of the state’s high schoolers attending schools with so-called “credit recovery” programs are enrolled in them. That’s 60 percent higher than the national average of...
By Taylor Swaak | November 29, 2018
Telfair Elementary: The heart of LAUSD’s homeless crisis could become ground zero for change
*Updated Nov. 28 If LA Unified’s growing student homeless crisis had an epicenter, Telfair Elementary in the northeast San Fernando Valley would be it. Last year the school had the highest percentage of homeless students; so far this year, it’s tied for first place. And as the district explores expanding support for its estimated 16,000...
By Taylor Swaak | November 27, 2018
California’s graduation rate rises, but there’s no improvement in students’ eligibility for state universities
California posted a near all-time high graduation rate — 83 percent for the Class of 2018 — but the rate of students eligible to apply for state universities hasn’t budged, according to data released last week by the California Department of Education. In LA Unified, the state’s largest school district, the graduation rate rose to...
By Taylor Swaak | November 26, 2018
LAUSD board approves study of housing homeless students and their families on district properties
*Updated Nov. 28 LA Unified’s school board voted Tuesday to study using district property to house homeless students and their families, despite split public opinion. In a 4-1 vote with one abstention, school board members approved a resolution giving Superintendent Austin Beutner six months to research the feasibility of using district sites to: Allow overnight...
By Taylor Swaak | November 13, 2018
LAUSD to consider housing homeless students and their families on district properties
LA Unified is poised to consider using district property to house homeless students and their families. Kelly Gonez, who authored the resolution that’s up for a school board vote Tuesday, said that to her knowledge, this would be a first for the district. The resolution, co-sponsored by Mónica García and Nick Melvoin, would ask Superintendent Austin...
By Taylor Swaak | November 12, 2018
EDlection2018: San Francisco’s undocumented and legal non-citizens have their first chance to vote Tuesday — Here’s why most won’t
San Francisco on Tuesday will become the largest U.S. city to allow non-citizens to vote in a citywide election. But only a few dozen have registered as anti-immigrant rhetoric has intensified leading into the midterms. City voters two years ago approved the change, but for school board elections only, making it the first California city...
By Taylor Swaak | November 2, 2018
A Los Angeles-area teacher asked Twitter how to explain the Kavanaugh saga to students. Thousands — including fellow educators — responded
A teacher seeking advice on how to broach Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious U.S. Supreme Court confirmation with his students sparked thousands of responses from fellow educators and observers on Twitter this past week. Teacher Nick Ponticello had been searching for the best way to facilitate classroom discussion on what he considers a “big moment” in American...
By Taylor Swaak | October 9, 2018