12th-graders’ federal tests scores dip in math and reading while more manage to graduate
The nation’s 12th-grade students did slightly worse on national math and reading tests in 2015 than high school seniors did in 2013, according to National Assessment of Educational Progress results released today, even as high school graduation rates got better. The overall score decreases were quite small — roughly two points in math and a single...
By Matt Barnum | April 27, 2016
Commentary: Time for Trump to get honest with his coalition of fear. It’s not walls they need, but better schools
How to explain the baffling rise of Donald Trump, the bullying, narcissistic real estate mogul dominating the Republican presidential primaries? How did a celebrity talk-show host with so little grasp of public policy — or good manners — come so close to becoming the GOP nominee? Economic anxiety is clearly a big part of the...
By Cynthia Tucker Haynes | April 4, 2016
A recipe for teaching from LAUSD board member George McKenna, who’s been at it 55 years
George McKenna is going into his 55th year as an educator, and he has a lot to say about it. In fact, he declares: “Give me a school that’s supposedly poor-performing for three years and I guarantee you no charter school would be able to snatch any kids from that school, and no kids will...
By Mike Szymanski | March 28, 2016
16 LAUSD schools (at least) beating odds of poverty, language barriers
While overall scores on the recent Smarter Balanced tests for LA Unified were disappointing, there are quite a few schools proving they can beat the odds of poverty and language barriers. At least 16 qualify as diamonds in the rough — or as Superintendent Ramon Cortines recently described them, “pockets of excellence.” Despite an above-average number of...
By Craig Clough | September 25, 2015
Commentary: What, exactly, are the new statewide tests testing?
By Joshua Leibner What do the most recent California Common Core test scores mean? This is a question that deserves real attention, but the initial response is not encouraging. My last LAUSD principal told us four years that we are just “going to have to accept the testing pill” and get on with the program that would...
By Guest contributor | September 11, 2015
Test scores show wide achievement gap for black and Latino kids
There wasn’t a lot of good news for LA Unified in the Smarter Balanced test results, which show that the district performed well under the statewide average. Among the poor news was the continuation of a drastic achievement gap between the district’s white students and its black and Latino students. However, if there is one piece...
By Craig Clough | September 10, 2015
Poll: CA voters confused, easily manipulated over Common Core
With tomorrow’s expected release of the California’s Common Core-aligned standardized tests, which 3.2 million students took in the spring, a new poll shows the majority of the state’s voters know little or nothing about the new standards, and their views depend heavily on the way questions are posed. The test results from California Assessment of Student Performance...
By Craig Clough | September 8, 2015
JUST IN: LAUSD says new test scores lower but ‘kids not getting dumber’
After reviewing preliminary results of the Smarter Balanced Assessments, LA Unified officials say the test scores are lower than what parents typically see but want them to know “it does not mean our kids are getting dumber.” Cynthia Lim, Executive Director of the Office of Data and Accountability, told the LA School Report today that parents should...
By Mike Szymanski | August 20, 2015
Ratliff: Fiscal stabilization highest priority for LA Unified in year ahead
No longer the newest member of the LA Unified school board, Mónica Ratliff has now had two years to immerse herself in the intricacies of district policies and politics. As a former lawyer and teacher, she has established a reputation as a stickler for detail who is not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom if it...
By Mike Szymanski | August 12, 2015
California teachers summit attracts 20,000 educators statewide
In what organizers call the state’s largest teacher training ever attempted, more than 20,000 educators gathered for the California Teachers Summit at 33 sites across the state on Friday. “It’s so exciting to bring teachers teaching teachers in this unprecedented collaboration,” said Ellen Moir, of the nonprofit New Teacher Center who helped organize the Better Together campaign. Among...
By Mike Szymanski | August 3, 2015