‘The data is miserable’: LAUSD board members rake academic officer over the coals for ‘crisis’ in test scores
LA Unified’s chief academic officer came before board members Tuesday with an upbeat-titled report called “Breaking Our Own Records,” but instead of resting on the improvement in overall test scores, the four school board members in attendance grilled her for nearly two hours throwing out terms like “frustrating,” “depressing” and “disappointing” and saying the district is...
By Mike Szymanski | September 13, 2016
LAUSD tries to make it easier for charter families to address the school board
Charter families have lined up at dawn in biting cold winds holding babies. They’ve sweated it out for hours standing around ice chests or taking turns under canopies. They’ve waited hours—sometimes nearly a full a day—to get into an LA Unified school board meeting. Then, they wait hours more just to be heard. School Board...
By Mike Szymanski | September 12, 2016
UTLA launches media campaign with billboards, bus signs, online ads
Look around at billboards, bus benches and online and you’re likely to spot a message from UTLA about students, teachers and parents telling their stories about their experience with the LA Unified school system. These positive stories about traditional district schools are part of an unprecedented media campaign launched this week by United Teachers Los Angeles, the second-largest teachers union...
By Mike Szymanski | September 1, 2016
Exclusive: New health benefits help push LAUSD into debt, document shows
LA Unified Superintendent Michelle King signed off on new health benefits for teachers assistants and playground aides even though the agreement stated that it will help push district reserves into the red by half a billion dollars within two years. And the question in the document asking how the district would replenish those reserves was left blank....
By Mike Szymanski | August 31, 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
El Camino Real Charter teachers voice strong support for school, meet with union reps; LAUSD makes correspondence public
A $1,139 dinner at a steakhouse. A $95 bottle of fine Syrah wine. A $73 bill for flowers. Those charges and others made by staff of a successful charter school were cited this week at an LA Unified School Board meeting and led the district to take the first steps to revoking the school’s charter. El...
By Mike Szymanski | August 26, 2016