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Updated April 10, 2019
Los Angeles hired consultants to ‘re-imagine’ its school system. Read their confidential recommendations.
Consultants hired by the country’s second-largest school district recommended a dramatic restructuring of Los Angeles Unified, documents show.
inequity in the classroom
March 20, 2019
New teachers often get the students who are furthest behind — and that’s a problem for both
Being a new teacher is notoriously difficult — and schools often make it even tougher.
where are they now
February 22, 2019
Long gone from Newark, Cami Anderson and Kitamba get contracts to assist Los Angeles schools
Former Superintendent Cami Anderson made aggressive changes in Newark. Now she and a group with Newark ties are involved in reform efforts in Los Angeles.
strike day 1
January 14, 2019
Umbrellas and anger dominate day 1 of the Los Angeles teachers strike
At Monday's downtown rally, many teachers' signs took aim at Austin Beutner, a former investment banker and civil servant who has led the district since May.
January 13, 2019
Los Angeles teachers went on strike Monday. Here’s what you need to know.
What are the district and the union really fighting about? And what does this mean for unions across the country? We break it down.
January 8, 2019
As L.A. teachers threaten to strike, union leaders are fighting a controversial school reform strategy
If LA teachers go on strike, it won’t just be about pay—it will be part of a broader fight over the role of charter schools and an obscure school reform idea.
What Teachers Want
January 7, 2019
‘A lot of people are looking to California’: What L.A. teachers are thinking about as a strike looms
For this cross-section of teachers, smaller class sizes and more school nurses and counselors mattered most.
December 4, 2018
New group will try to connect school board members pushing for ‘dramatic change’ in these 10 cities
The group is targeting board members in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis, New Orleans, Oakland, and Stockton.
February 6, 2018
School districts struggle when hiring new teachers. A new study suggests L.A. has found a better way
Every spring and summer, America’s school districts face a critical challenge: hiring new teachers. New research suggests that Los Angeles has found a better way.
November 16, 2017
How common is it for districts to share student contact info with charter schools? Here’s what we know.
Some districts explicitly do not share student information with charter schools. Others have clear rules for sharing. At least one city has carved out a compromise.
October 16, 2012
As in L.A., city advocates call for arts to be seen more as "core"
City Councilman Robert Jackson protested against cuts to arts education on the steps of City Hall in June 2011. A move made in Los Angeles last week to elevate arts classes to a special status is unlikely to be repeated in New York City soon, despite exhortations from local arts advocates. L.A. school board members unanimously approved a resolution to make arts a "core subject," or one considered essential to students' education. The proposal was aimed at insulating arts from further budget cuts and laying groundwork for a restoration of arts funding within five years. "The use of the term 'core' says that every child will be entitled to it, and when you use the word 'core,' there’s a financial expectation attached to it," the district's top — and only — arts official told Southern California Public Radio. "So when cuts are made, now that the arts are core, cuts will need to be spread across all the disciplines. Now the arts can be seen as important as social studies, science, math and language arts." New York City technically includes arts courses in what it considers core subjects, in keeping with federal and state language, according to Department of Education officials. But when the department awards schools for their students' success in passing academic courses, it leaves the arts out. On the city's annual city progress reports, high schools receive points based on how many classes students passed in the last year. Extra weight is given to English, math, science, and social studies courses, the ones the city considers to be at the core of the academic program. This year, for the first time, middle schools also received credit for the proportion of students who passed classes in those subjects. The change to the middle school progress report prompted seven leading arts advocates to petition city officials in late August to add arts to the Department of Education's list of core subjects. The advocates, who included the director of the Center for Arts Education and the chair of the New York City Arts Coalition, argued in a letter to Chancellor Dennis Walcott that the department's metrics signal to principals that it's okay to give the arts short shrift.
October 19, 2011
Inspired by Wall St. protest, activists vow to "Occupy the DOE"
Since the first protesters arrived at Zuccotti park nearly five weeks ago, the Occupy Wall Street movement has ignited protests from California to the United Kingdom. The city Department of Education could be next. Calling Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott a member of the maligned "1 percent," city education activists say they are planning to bring hundreds of protesters to next week's school board meeting for an "Occupy the DOE" action. The idea to form ODOE came to organizers, many of whom are city public school teachers, during a Sunday afternoon “grade-in” for educators at Occupy Wall Street, according to Leia Petty, an organizer who works as a guidance counselor in a Bushwick high school and is a long-time activist. As the teachers discussed how the OWS movement intersected with public education, she said, they united around a shared concern that educators and families have been shut out of DOE decision-making process. So they decided to protest the entity that does ratify DOE decisions: the Panel for Educational Policy, which is holding a special meeting next week about new academic standards. Petty said ODOE protesters will fill the 350-seat auditorium and draw attention to the PEP's track record of ignoring public testimony before approving the DOE's proposed policies. Most of the panel's members were appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
May 15, 2009
Highly anticipated UFT, Green Dot contract is on the way
The highly anticipated teachers' contract for the Green Dot charter school in the South Bronx, which has been heralded as an innovative collaboration between a Los Angeles-based charter school operator and the union president Randi Weingarten, is expected to be finalized as soon as today. The contract is being closely watched for signs of just how flexibly Weingarten is willing to negotiate a teachers' contract — eagerly by supporters of looser protections for teachers, and with gritted teeth by veterans who believe strong job security is crucial. The original Green Dot charter schools in Los Angeles raised many veterans' eyebrows here because the schools' contracts do not include the concept of "tenure" for more senior teachers. The contracts do guarantee teachers protections against unfair dismissal. Steve Barr, the charismatic leader who founded Green Dot, told me Wednesday that he expects a contract by the end of the week. "It should be finalized this week; I would be very surprised if it's not," Barr said. Barr has said in the past that he expects the New York contract to be similar to the one negotiated in Los Angeles.
February 4, 2009
First, throw out the tests? Or, before that, test the tests
In Los Angeles, the teachers union is echoing calls we’ve heard here about what to throw out given budget cuts. First, the tests! The…
October 20, 2008
DOE's progress reports attract 9 of 12 biggest school districts
School districts all over the country have reached out to the city’s Department of Education to learn more about its school progress…
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