LA’s first common application system launches for independent charter schools
*Updated Oct. 2 A new website, ApplyLA, debuts today that allows parents for the first time to apply to multiple independent charter schools in Los Angeles with a single application. Parents will be able to manage application deadlines, see the status of their applications, and accept offers in a single system. The application is mobile-friendly and available...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | October 1, 2018
LAUSD sweetens its offer on teacher raises, continues to call for a new category in evaluations to identify highly effective educators
*Updated Sept. 27: After today’s first mediation session, LA Unified announced that the next session is set for Oct. 3. LA Unified sweetened its salary offer to the teachers union just before Thursday’s first mediation session, but it did not back down on teacher quality demands — including a call for a new category in...
By Laura Greanias | September 26, 2018
‘You do have a voice, and your voice matters’ — Latino parents and students in Los Angeles are encouraged to participate in upcoming elections
*Updated Sept. 27 With critical elections in November for leaders in California who will affect children’s education, Latino parents need to know that their voice matters and that they can make a difference — even if they can’t vote. That was the message from school and community organizers at a weekend workshop for dozens of...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | September 26, 2018
America’s achievement gap — made, not born? What a study of 30,000 students reveals about lowered expectations and poorer quality instruction for kids of color
Students of color consistently receive less challenging instruction and schoolwork than do their white and more affluent classmates, a new study has found, often leaving them unprepared for college even if they have received top grades. The report used extensive surveying of students, who wore vibrating watches that prompted them to take surveys during class....
By David Cantor | September 25, 2018
As LA’s teachers union prepares to strike, here’s something that could be a bigger hang-up than raises: how to identify great teachers
As LA Unified and its teachers union enter into mediation this week and the union prepares for a strike, their differences over how teachers are evaluated could be harder to resolve than how much pay raises will be. The district wants to add a new category of teacher ratings, called highly effective, as part of...
By Laura Greanias | September 24, 2018
What’s the value of being able to identify highly effective teachers? Q&A with Daniel Weisberg, education advocate and chief executive of TNTP
LA Unified currently has three tiers in rating teachers: below standard, meets standard, and exceeds standard. Last year, 96 percent of teachers met or exceeded standards, with about 22 percent in the top category. Just under 4 percent, or 295 of the district’s 7,623 teachers, were rated below standard — a percentage that has risen...
By Laura Greanias | September 24, 2018
JUST IN: Parents can now compare LAUSD schools with new Open Data site
*Updated Sept. 24 Knowing how well your neighborhood public schools are doing so you can choose the right one for your child has not been simple in Los Angeles. But on Friday, LA Unified, one of the most complex school districts in the country, took a big step toward becoming more parent-friendly and transparent by...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | September 21, 2018
How LAUSD’s superintendent intends to make every school ‘a place of great teaching’
As the Los Angeles teachers union is poised to strike amid stalled contract negotiations, LA Unified’s new superintendent, Austin Beutner, held his first big policy speech Thursday before about 100 parents in the library of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools. Beutner outlined what needs to change in the nearly 570,000-student district, as well as...
By Laura Greanias | September 18, 2018
New nationwide poll: Most people support teachers’ right to strike, but less than half believe their unions improve the quality of education
Thousands of teachers across the country have walked out of classrooms this year to demand better wages and more school resources. And Los Angeles could very well be next. But a new nationwide poll shows that support for teachers doesn’t necessarily translate to their unions. The poll, conducted by USA Today and Ipsos Public Affairs,...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | September 18, 2018
Los Angeles schools accelerate support for LGBTQ students as data show more than half have been bullied in high school
Los Angeles Unified is increasing supports for students and their families as new data reveal more about LGBTQ students’ emotional harm in school. According to data presented at last week’s school board meeting, 56 percent of LGBTQ high schoolers in the district have been bullied at school, and 60 percent have seriously considered suicide. The...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | September 16, 2018