Former Superintendent John Deasy previews new initiative to rethink juvenile prisons
See previous interviews by The 74: Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Senator and Education Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, University of Michigan economist Susan Dynarski, Harvard Education School Dean Jim Ryan. Full 74 Interview archive here. As superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, John Deasy laid out an ambitious vision for improving schools. Today, his supporters say...
By Matt Barnum | September 21, 2016
LAUSD keeps hiring as enrollment declines and financial crisis looms
LA Unified officials persistently wring their hands about losing students year after year, but meanwhile the number of employees continues to rise. In their latest tally, school district employees rose from 59,563 in the 2014-2015 school year to 59,823 last year and 60,191 in the 2016-2017 school year. (A final accounting of the actual hires will be available...
By Mike Szymanski | August 29, 2016
John Deasy: Bridging the chasm between the world and me — my promise to Ta-Nehisi Coates
By John Deasy “First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate...
By Guest contributor | August 15, 2016
LA Unified reopens all district libraries — but forgets about the books
For the first time since some school libraries were shuttered during budget cuts in 2008, all of the LA Unified school libraries will be back up and running when school starts again on August 16. But according to the latest district estimates, the majority of students across Los Angeles will still be forced to rely...
By Mike Szymanski | August 4, 2016
JUST IN: Teacher jail numbers rise to 181, costing LA Unified $15 million
A year after LA Unified pledged to expedite employees “housed” in teacher jails, district numbers show that there are more now than there were at this time a year ago. According to numbers requested by LA School Report and released Wednesday, 181 LA Unified staff members are being paid to essentially do nothing while awaiting internal investigations about alleged misconduct,...
By Mike Szymanski | June 22, 2016
Parent groups ask LAUSD to improve engagement
Leaders from major parent groups brought school board members their recommendations for improving parent involvement in LA Unified. Topping their list is a centralized Parent Advocate office and website for their concerns, they told board members of the Early Childhood Education and Parent Engagement Committee on Tuesday. Other recommendations include involving parents in every principal search committee and providing resources and training. One...
By Mike Szymanski | April 20, 2016
LAUSD rejects 20th Street parent trigger, says no triggers valid in state
LA Unified has rejected a parent petition to take over a failing elementary school in South Central Los Angeles, reversing district policy and essentially asserting that no California school qualifies under the state “parent trigger” law. Parents of 20th Street Elementary School were informed of the district’s rejection in a letter late Saturday, the last day...
By Mike Szymanski | March 14, 2016
LAUSD closing in on wireless access for all schools — and more
A plan to improve Information Technology at LA Unified is close to getting every school wireless internet access and providing every student access to a computer. It’s a slower, more methodical strategy than the approach taken by former Superintendent John Deasy, which led to the botched $1.3 billion iPad program, an FBI investigation, his resignation and an abrupt end to the...
By Mike Szymanski | January 25, 2016
Commentary: Don’t expect ‘super’ in LA Unified’s next superintendent
The finish line is in view. In all likelihood, by this time next week, LA Unified will have its next superintendent. Just who that will be remains uncertain to the world beyond the seven board members and a few district officials. The process has been moving along at a relatively brisk pace, considering the enormity...
By Michael Janofsky | January 5, 2016
The long good-bye: Cortines bids farewell (again) to LA Unified
This is the final week of school before winter break for the LA Unified school district, and it’s the remaining few days in office for Superintendent Ramon Cortines as he completes his final farewell tour. His last full workday was last Friday, and it included an emergency meeting with the Southern California Gas Company to...
By Mike Szymanski | December 14, 2015