District lists first 117 schools for Transitional Kindergarten classes
LA Unified listed the names of the first 117 schools to get Transitional Kindergarten (or TK) classes in order to replace the closed School Readiness Language Development Program (SRLDP) classrooms. The rest of the 173 schools with the SRLDP pre-school programs will make the transition in the 2016-2017 school year. In the plan, none of...
By Mike Szymanski | September 23, 2015
LA Unified moving slowly toward goals of technology in the classroom
This morning, 350 students at Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences in Granada Hills are getting computer devices. The rest of the school’s 800 students already have theirs. And, by next week five schools will receive iPads, laptops and Chromebooks. Another 30 schools are in line for their devices, 19,000 of them, said Sophia Mendoza,...
By Mike Szymanski | September 3, 2015
With MiSiS working, Cortines setting sight on class size reduction
Now that the MiSiS crisis seems to be in the rear-view mirror, Superintendent Ramon Cortines is focusing on another difficult issue for LAUSD — class sizes. “We are now beginning to make necessary adjustments to class size,” he said in a statement released today. “For instance, we can open a new class and assign an additional...
By Mike Szymanski | August 21, 2015
In annual speech, Cortines offers good cheer but leaves out any vision
In what is likely to be his final major address as LA Unified superintendent, Ramon Cortines delivered a jocular cheerleading speech today that was absent any bold vision of new ideas or new directions for the district. Focusing on “unity” and “family” for LAUSD, he made no mention of the effort to find a new superintendent, how...
By Mike Szymanski | August 11, 2015
Fishburn parents and teachers succeed in ousting principal
Parents and teachers have succeeded in ousting a principal and assistant principal from Fishburn Avenue Elementary School in Maywood. “We heard exciting news that the district is going to transfer both the principal and assistant principal,” said Alfonso Flores, an educational consultant and founder of Excellent Educational Solutions. “This is the best possible outcome and...
By Mike Szymanski | July 1, 2015
JUST IN: Cortines warns UTLA to abandon boycott of faculty meetings
*UPDATED LA Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines warned the teachers union, UTLA, today that urging its members to boycott three upcoming faculty meetings violates the terms of a directive from the Public Employees Employment Board. In a harshly-worded statement Cortines said attending the meetings is “a required professional duty under the LAUSD-UTLA contract agreement” and a...
By Craig Clough | March 18, 2015
CA considering Cortines request to delay use of computer tests
Responding to a barrage of requests from district superintendents around the state, including a recent appeal from LA Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines, state education officials will consider a delay in using the results of the 2014-15 Smarter Balanced computerized test as means of measuring academic growth next year. “This will be a public discussion beginning...
By Vanessa Romo | December 16, 2014
Feds joining LAUSD’s effort to help solve issues with MiSiS
As if the recent efforts to fix MiSiS weren’t enough, LA Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines has called the feds. In an email to school board members and their staffs on Friday, Cortines said U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, offered the district a lifeline. “I spoke with Secretary Duncan today regarding various issues related to...
By Vanessa Romo | November 24, 2014
Cortines decision on bond money for iPads: a policy u-turn?
A decision by LA Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines to proceed with the next phase of the district’s controversial iPad program appears to contradict statements he made a month ago, opposing the use of construction bond money to pay for devices pre-loaded with curriculum. Three days ago, Cortines gave the go-ahead to spend capital improvement funds...
By Vanessa Romo | November 24, 2014
MiSiS system crashes for 2 hours and Cortines apologizes
Oops. Despite efforts by Superintendent Ramon Cortines and LA Unified‘s Information Technology team to get MiSiS back on track — or at the very least, semi-functional — it seems that the data management system remains unreliable. The system went down between 2 pm and 4 pm yesterday, he said in a memo to staff. It...
By Vanessa Romo | November 5, 2014