Bullying, deportation fears make district’s Human Relations Commission even more pressing
LA Unified has a Human Relations Commission, but it may be one of the district’s best-kept secrets. Their meetings aren’t listed on any of the school district’s calendars; more than 40 percent of the meetings last year didn’t have a quorum; and the department overseeing it once had 31 employees but is now down to two....
By Mike Szymanski | September 6, 2016
New life for Ethnic Studies Committee and a fresh push for required courses
The Ethnic Studies Committee, which LA Unified unceremoniously disbanded last year, has been renewed by the district, and members agreed to meet for up to three more years with a goal toward incorporating ethnic studies as a graduation requirement, according to Derrick Chau, director of secondary instruction at LA Unified. “We are moving ahead with districtwide ethnic...
By Mike Szymanski | June 20, 2016
District puts renewed emphasis on required ethnic studies courses
Anti-immigrant rhetoric going on in presidential politics and a potential state law have added a renewed emphasis on developing required ethnic studies classes in the LA Unified curriculum. An expert from the University of Arizona spoke to an LA Unified school board committee this week to explain the importance of ethnic studies in education. He brought...
By Mike Szymanski | May 5, 2016
Ethnic studies classes get renewed after stalling
Although an ethnic studies mandate was approved by the school board in 2014, LA Unified is only now taking steps to fulfill their hope of getting ethnic studies into every high school. But it won’t be a graduation requirement any time soon, and it won’t be a requirement for the class of 2019, as the school...
By Mike Szymanski | April 13, 2016
NEA names UTLA’s Jose Lara Social Justice Activist of the Year
Jose Lara, a prominent leader of the LA teachers union, UTLA, was recently named the 2015 Social Justice Activist of the Year by the National Education Association (NEA). Lara helped lead a successful grassroots effort to get the LA Unified school board to adopt ethnic studies as a graduation requirement. He is vice president of the El...
By Craig Clough | July 7, 2015
3 groups planning major rallies at Tuesday’s LAUSD board meeting
School may be out for the summer, but things are not cooling down for the LA Unified school board as no less than three organizations are planing rallies or protests at Tuesday’s scheduled board meeting. The LA teachers union, UTLA, the Ethnic Studies Now Coalition and a conglomerate of organizations in favor of the district...
By Craig Clough | June 5, 2015