‘A pretty untenable plan’: As LAUSD moves to combine 5 student support programs into one, advocates fear ‘dilution’ of foster youth services
*Updated July 29 The Foster Youth Achievement Program has changed Skye Carbajal’s life. So the foster student left school early one day in late April to tell the L.A. Unified school board just that. Standing at the podium during an April 23 meeting, Carbajal recounted her accomplishments since she’d joined the program two years ago: She’s...
By Taylor Swaak | July 29, 2019
With less than half of LAUSD’s prospective graduates eligible for California State University system, college trustees eye adding another requirement
The California State University system this week is considering a new admissions requirement for incoming freshmen — a development that’s sparked opposition from L.A. Unified, where less than half of the prospective graduates are eligible to apply under current standards. CSU’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday will review an informal proposal to add a fourth...
By Taylor Swaak | July 22, 2019
In new legal complaint, parents say LAUSD is failing to ensure high-needs students are getting the funding they deserve
*Updated July 23: The California Department of Education on Monday declined to directly intervene, and sent the legal complaint to L.A. Unified and the L.A. County Office of Education to “promptly investigate.” The district and the county have until Sept. 20 to respond. See the CDE letter here. A June 28 version of L.A. Unified’s LCAP, which...
By Taylor Swaak | July 12, 2019
Coming soon: School-level spending data, courtesy of ESSA. Here are 5 things states must focus on when creating their new report cards
Plenty of very smart people have written about how, despite policy efforts to funnel resources to the students who need the most support, like English learners and kids who are raised in lower-income households, it doesn’t always work out that way. At times, district leaders may not even be aware that the way they’re spreading...
By Brennan McMahon Parton | June 26, 2019
LAUSD approves $7.8 billion budget for next year: Here’s what it means for high-needs students, lowest-performing schools and district finances
*Updated June 25 L.A. Unified board members passed the 2019-20 budget and accountability plan on Tuesday — but not before acknowledging that they are “unintelligible” documents that provide little insight into specific program and funding changes as the district looks to the next school year. “None of the documents add up to anything you can...
By Taylor Swaak | June 21, 2019
‘Voters are tired of you’: A week after parcel tax defeat, LAUSD parents rail at district leaders during 2019-20 budget hearing
*Updated June 17 Parents blasted L.A. Unified officials at a school board hearing this week — one even bursting into tears — offering an angry glimpse into the fractured trust between the community and the district just one week after voters overwhelmingly rejected a new parcel tax. Many of the more than 20 speakers at Tuesday’s...
By Taylor Swaak | June 13, 2019
‘Frustrating and disappointing’ — how parents feel about LAUSD’s new school accountability tool
*Updated April 9 L.A. Unified’s newest way to share information about how students and their schools are performing is coming up short for parents who find the online site “very frustrating and disappointing.” Last fall, the district launched its Open Data Portal, a school accountability site with data about academic performance, graduation and college-going rates,...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | April 8, 2019
Exclusive: Less than half of LAUSD’s Class of 2019 are on track to graduate eligible for California’s public universities
*Updated April 12 Less than half of L.A. Unified’s Class of 2019 are eligible for the state’s public universities, the latest district projections show. As of March, 49 percent of the district’s 34,734 prospective graduates are on track to pass all of their “A-G” college preparation courses with Cs or better. This means that less...
By Taylor Swaak | April 8, 2019
For the first time in six years, California names its lowest-performing schools — & here are the 110 district and charter schools in LAUSD that require intervention
*Updated Feb. 5 For the first time in six years, California has released the names of its lowest-performing schools. The 780 schools are in the bottom 5 percent of public K-12 schools as measured by the state’s new accountability tool, the California School Dashboard, and require “comprehensive school improvement.” The state identified a total of 1,640 schools...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | February 4, 2019
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