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The 18 most popular articles we published in 2018 about Los Angeles schools & the state of education across California

The 18 most popular articles we published in 2018 about Los Angeles schools & the state of education across California

For Los Angeles, 2018 ushered in a brand new superintendent, new guarantees to college students, new hiring freedoms for principals and new warnings about the faculty district’s precarious funds.

In education information round California, commencement charges rose however the state confirmed no enchancment in getting its highschool seniors eligible for state universities — regardless that California college students enroll in “credit recovery” packages at a price far above the nationwide common.

These headlines have been amongst our most-read in 2018. Right here’s a glance again at the prime 18 tales of 2018.

1. ‘LAUSD is not too big to fail’: Faculty board members alarmed by LA County official’s dire monetary projections — and warnings of the potential appointment of a ‘fiscal adviser’

That was the bombshell dropped at an August faculty board assembly when the chief monetary officer of the Los Angeles County Workplace of Education confirmed up unexpectedly with the message: The county is enormously involved about the district’s funds — and has the authority to step in if board members don’t take the initiative and guarantee the district’s solvency. The CFO punctuated her warning with two phrases that made board members sit up and take discover: fiscal adviser. If the district can’t show it’s going to nonetheless be in the black in three years, the county warned it might take the unprecedented step of putting in a fiscal adviser over LA Unified, who would strip each the superintendent and the faculty board of energy and take over the district.

Associated:

It will get worse for LAUSD: This week each the county and the state confirmed as much as say, ‘Get your fiscal house in order or else we’re taking up’

One month after the county CFO’s shock go to to the faculty board, she got here again — and this time she introduced a prime state official with the similar message: You’re spending extra money than you make and the financial savings you’ve been dwelling off of are about to expire. “Yes, my presence is indicative that this is serious,” the state education division official stated. As one board member remarked at the assembly, “If I were the superintendent, I’d be freaking out about this report.”

2. LAUSD board frees principals of struggling schools from having to rent academics despatched to them by the district

As LA Unified moved to assist its most struggling college students, it gave about one-fourth of its schools the coveted freedom of with the ability to rent the greatest instructor for the job. Nevertheless, the majority of Los Angeles schools are nonetheless shackled by a longtime districtwide coverage that forces principals to rent from a “must-place” listing of “displaced” academics. However that would change. Board members directed Superintendent Austin Beutner to “work to eliminate the pool of teachers who are displaced one year or more.” There are presently 708 displaced academics on L.A. Unified’s payroll, and 211 of them had been on the listing for greater than a yr as of June. Coming in January, board members will contemplate increasing the privilege to all schools in order that “no teacher shall be employed at a school without the mutual agreement of the teacher and the school site decision-maker.”

Associated:

As LA’s academics union prepares to strike, right here’s one thing that might be a much bigger hang-up than raises: the best way to determine nice academics

At a particular faculty board assembly in September on instructor high quality, board members have been briefed on how academics are employed and fired. They discovered that in the earlier faculty yr, the “must-place” academics value the district about $15 million, and an unbiased evaluation panel has urged LA Unified to finish the pool.

three. Austin Beutner is known as superintendent as board members select robust management to deal with LAUSD’s deep educational and monetary challenges

The elected leaders of Los Angeles’s public schools despatched a robust sign final spring that the metropolis wants daring management, selecting native businessman Austin Beutner as superintendent of schools. The former funding banker served as first deputy mayor of Los Angeles, then moved across the road from Metropolis Corridor to the Los Angeles Occasions as writer and CEO. He was co-leader of a activity pressure on LA Unified however didn’t have an education background, but he introduced monetary acumen, political savvy, and negotiation expertise. The selection confirmed that board members have been able to shake up the district and mirrored an pressing want to enhance scholar outcomes in Los Angeles public schools whereas staving off weakening funds that would put LA Unified underneath state management.

Associated:

Interview: As LAUSD faces attainable academics strike, new superintendent says, ‘We need parents in that room with us, making more informed, better choices’

As the faculty yr started, the new superintendent sat down with the mum or dad advocacy group Converse UP to debate labor talks, mum or dad energy and easy methods to remedy the district’s monetary disaster whereas placing the wants of youngsters first.

four. LA’s commencement price will now be reported in a second option to reveal what number of college students are literally eligible for state universities

LA Unified made an enormous dedication to its college students and households this yr: by 2023 all college students will probably be college-ready, and — to ensure mother and father can maintain the district accountable — it’ll now report two totally different commencement charges: the proportion of college students who graduated assembly state requirements, and the proportion of what number of have been eligible to use to state universities. Via unanimous approval of the “Realizing the Promise for All: Close the Gap by 2023” decision in June, the board members dedicated to all college students — together with English learners, particular education college students, foster youth, and people dwelling in poverty — to offer the help they should graduate eligible to use to a state four-year college. The decision additionally directed the district to develop harder faculty website enchancment plans and exempt the principals of the lowest-performing schools from having to rent off the district’s “must-place” academics record.

Associated:

California’s commencement fee rises, however there’s no enchancment in college students’ eligibility for state universities
California posted a close to all-time excessive commencement fee — 83 % for the Class of 2018 — however the fee of college students eligible to use for state universities didn’t budge, based on state knowledge launched in November. Slightly below half — 49.9 % — of the Class of 2018 met admission necessities for the College of California and/or the California State College techniques — the similar as in 2017. In LA Unified, the commencement price rose to 76.6 %. Its fee of seniors eligible for UC and CSU schools rose to 61.9 %, up from 59.eight % in 2016-17.

5. Telfair Elementary: The coronary heart of LAUSD’s homeless disaster might develop into floor zero for change

If LA Unified’s rising scholar homeless disaster had an epicenter, Telfair Elementary in the northeast San Fernando Valley can be it. Final yr the faculty had the highest proportion of homeless college students; to date this yr, it’s tied for first place. And as the district explores increasing help for its estimated 16,000 homeless college students, Telfair could possibly be first in line for assist — and a mannequin for the relaxation of LA Unified. The faculty board has directed Superintendent Austin Beutner to review the risk of housing homeless college students and their households on district property, similar to in faculty gyms and parking tons. Beutner reminded board members that “our No. 1 priority is to educate children,” then stated he’d like to start out at one faculty, Telfair in Pacoima, as an alternative of a broader surveying of the district’s schools. “If we start at Telfair, and we can prove to everybody here that we can solve [homelessness] at Telfair, then I think we can solve it in more communities,” he stated.

Associated:

LAUSD board approves research of housing homeless college students and their households on district properties

As the district research utilizing district property to deal with homeless college students and their households, choices embrace designating parking tons and different district areas for in a single day parking for homeless college students and households, offering in a single day shelter and meals, and constructing or changing buildings to create momentary or everlasting housing.

6. As the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools turns 10, a brand new report exhibits this distinctive turnaround mannequin is driving huge good points at struggling campuses

7. LAUSD cuts positions to plug a finances gap with out growing class sizes

eight. 12,000 youngsters will depart LAUSD this yr: Los Angeles faculty board weighs choices for easy methods to fill looming monetary gap

9. Just one fourth-grader at a faculty in California can learn at grade degree; now a lawsuit claiming the state is violating college students’ ‘constitutional right to literacy’ is shifting to trial

10. 50 years after the Walkouts, Los Angeles Latino college students are nonetheless preventing for instructional fairness

11. New fingerprinting necessities are maintaining LAUSD mother and father from volunteering

12. Inside Residents of the World, the deliberately numerous California faculty community constructed round group engagement and college students’ distinctive backgrounds

13. Sudden developments in California’s scholar self-discipline knowledge: Suspensions peak in center faculty, black youngsters extra more likely to be disciplined in segregated schools & extra

14. How a Blue Ribbon highschool in downtown LA is daring its low-income Latino college students to dream greater — and guiding 87 % of them into four-year schools

15. Unique: California Academics Affiliation tasks 23,000-member loss in wake of Supreme Courtroom ruling and slashes its finances

16. 100,000 LAUSD college students haven’t any consultant. Listed here are 5 issues to know about Board District 5, vacated by Ref Rodriguez’s resignation

17. ‘Just handing out diplomas’? New research exhibits California college students are enrolling in ‘credit recovery’ packages at a price 60 % above the nationwide common

18. New report sounds the alarm in California: Just one in eight Latinos has a four-year school diploma — and Newsom and state legislators have to act now to spice up school graduates by 2030

PLUS:

See how a lot has modified — or not — in a yr, with a look at the prime tales of 2017:

Our 17 most popular articles about Los Angeles schools from 2017