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OPINION
March 5, 2013
Re "Views on schools offer a study in contrasts," March 3 Add L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his eventual successor to the list of leaders whose impact on education reform is negligible. For the record, the list includes the president and Congress, the governor and Legislature, and the Los Angeles Unified School District, the school board and the teachers union. We'll improve our schools only when we rely on those who make a tangible impact on students' daily lives: teachers and families.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2013 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
BOARD DISTRICT 2 Monica Garcia, 44, incumbent, elected in 2006 Details: Previously a school board staffer and school counselor The record: Board's closest ally to L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Will not oppose his wishes; he also takes guidance from her. A power broker: Helped engineer the firing of former Supt. David Brewer, the hiring of his successor, Ramon C. Cortines, and the hiring of the current superintendent, John Deasy. Sometimes uses her authority to bypass district procedures, as when she engineered the handover of a high school campus to Villaraigosa's nonprofit group.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2013 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy isn't on the ballot Tuesday, but you'd hardly know it, based on the undercurrent of the school board election. A coalition of local organizations, wealthy donors and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have decided that the election is all about keeping Deasy on the job and accelerating the aggressive policies he's putting into place. This group has come together for the campaign through a political action committee called the Coalition for School Reform.
OPINION
February 15, 2013
The teachers union once had a virtual lock on the Los Angeles Unified school board, and the results weren't pretty. Truly awful schools operated without accountability; the board worked harder to please teachers than to protect students. Today, with more reform-oriented members on the board - thanks to the support of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and like-minded organizations - the situation is very different. Schools are working harder than ever to improve. Charter schools have been welcomed with open arms.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2013 | By Stephen Ceasar and Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Board of Education approved the first use of the controversial parent trigger law in the city Tuesday, clearing the way for sweeping changes at 24th Street Elementary School in the West Adams neighborhood. The board also moved to purchase tablet computers for 31,000 students in the first phase of an ambitious effort to improve technology in schools. And the board approved the first charter for a group of downtown Los Angeles parents seeking to open a new campus for their children in the growing neighborhood.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2013 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has donated $1 million to help preserve a Los Angeles Board of Education majority that has pushed for several controversial efforts dealing with teachers - including remaking evaluations and speeding the dismissal process - that are supported by the L.A. mayor and the superintendent. Brokered by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the contribution to the Coalition for School Reform is the largest on record - by far - to support school board campaigns.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 9, 2013 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
They won nationals. Then they won it again, setting record scores. And on Friday, the winning streak in the Los Angeles Unified School District's Academic Decathlon continued for Granada Hills Charter High School. The school beat out dozens of Los Angeles campuses in the district-wide competition, it was announced Friday evening at an awards ceremony. In the 10-subject battle of wits, the competitors - from 58 L.A. Unified schools - faced such subjects as math and science, literature, music and art, as well as gave speeches and were interviewed by judges.
OPINION
February 6, 2013
Beware of education miracles. Too often, there's less there than meets the eye. Remember the extraordinary gains in test scores and lowered dropout rates in Houston schools more than a decade ago? They became the model for the federal No Child Left Behind Act and catapulted the schools' superintendent, Rod Paige, to his position as U.S. secretary of Education at the beginning of the George W. Bush administration. Only years later was it discovered that schools were recording students as having "transferred" when they had in fact dropped out, and that students who were expected to do badly on standardized tests were often kept from taking them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2013 | By Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times
When Lashon Academy opens its doors this fall, its students will be taught to read and write in both English and Hebrew - a first for a public school in Los Angeles. But the approval of the charter school last month has raised concerns that it and others, particularly dual-language charters, blur the line between private and public campuses by accepting public money to cater only to a certain demographic. Lashon Academy, planned for Van Nuys, is modeled after the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Brooklyn, N.Y., which opened in 2009.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 2013 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
California is sorely lacking when it comes to school reform, failing to adopt policies to limit teacher tenure and use student test scores in teacher evaluations, according to a rating of states issued Monday by a high-profile education advocacy group. California received an overall grade of F, ranking 41st nationally, from StudentsFirst, a Sacramento-based group run by Michelle Rhee, the former schools chancellor in Washington, D.C., whose outspoken views have polarized those who share her focus on improving the nation's schools.
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