Valley View Elementary turns 100, as will dozens of other LAUSD schools in the next five years
Philip Skarin walked a mile and a half to his little school in the Cahuenga Pass in 1930 from Mulholland Drive when it was just a dirt road. There were 16 students in his class at the school that was called Hollywood Park Elementary and opened in 1917. “I came to school barefoot because we...
By Mike Szymanski | March 24, 2017 4:34 pm
Claiming sanctuary: Inside the schools now actively resisting Trump’s immigration crackdown
The girl had already burst into tears when the bold, yellow letters on the man’s jacket came into focus: “Police.” Rómulo Avelica-González had just dropped off his 12-year-old daughter, Yuleni, at a Los Angeles charter school — as he did every morning — and was heading next to the school of his 13-year-old daughter, Fatima....
By Mark Keierleber | March 23, 2017 8:26 am
Supreme Court sets new standard for special ed, unanimously rejects minimal school progress
A united Supreme Court Wednesday set a new, more rigorous standard for special education services in the United States. The unanimous decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District will require school districts to offer individualized education programs “reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” An attorney for the...
By Carolyn Phenicie | March 22, 2017 11:41 am
New teacher retention at a record high: LAUSD is keeping 98 percent of its teachers
LA Unified is retaining a record-high 98 percent of its new teachers, according to a report presented Tuesday. But as administrative positions are cut, some are concerned that the district’s support staff for those new teachers will be spread too thin. “You are doing an amazing job with what you have,” school board member Richard Vladovic...
By Mike Szymanski | March 21, 2017 4:39 pm
New bill would extend teacher tenure in California from 2 to 3 years
After suffering years of defeat through failed legislation, a high-profile lawsuit and a ballot proposition, advocates of teacher tenure reform in California will make another attempt with a bill introduced Monday that this time was crafted with wide input from teachers statewide. The proposed change, extending the probationary period from two to three years, would...
By Sarah Favot | March 20, 2017 6:31 pm
California high school nets $24 million from Snapchat investment, all thanks to curious VC dad
While some schools may wrestle with the best way to handle Snapchat on campus, Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., has much bigger Snapchat-driven decisions: what to do with the millions it netted from an early investment in the massively popular disappearing-image app. The private Brothers of Holy Cross institution invested $15,000 in...
By Tim Newcomb | March 16, 2017 10:05 am
Report card time for schools: California Dashboard goes live today, but some find it impossible to navigate
A statewide public school rating system is available today, but some find it difficult to understand. Rather than having a simple one-number score, the new California School Dashboard Report uses a series of colors to rate various aspects of each school. Some community groups say that makes it hard for parents to compare schools. Former school board member...
By Mike Szymanski | March 15, 2017 12:39 pm
Q&A on California’s new school rating system that you can start using today
California’s new school accountability report, or Dashboard, was launched Wednesday morning by the state Board of Education, and it’s supposed to more accurately represent the success and progress of California public schools. But it’s in beta-test mode right now, according to the state officials launching the Dashboard. For now, it’s only available in English and Spanish, with...
By Mike Szymanski | March 15, 2017 12:39 pm
Fiscal realignment likely to stave off $1.6 billion LAUSD deficit in three years, CFO reports in her swan song
Giving her final fiscal report at LA Unified, Chief Financial Officer Megan Reilly offered some good news about the budget for the nation’s second-largest school district. The district will be in the black at the end of this school year and next year, she reported to the school board Tuesday, and while a deficit is...
By Mike Szymanski | March 15, 2017 12:36 pm
LAUSD looks at underused real estate to help offset future budget deficit
The second-largest school district in the country is looking at its unused real estate, closed schools and empty spaces as a potential way to offset an upcoming budget deficit. It seems like an easy solution, but LA Unified officials caution it’s not that simple. “If you are going to look at these assets to sell...
By Mike Szymanski | March 13, 2017 5:42 pm