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Low Performing Schools

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 8, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
In a bizarre game of musical chairs, nearly 1,000 Los Angeles teachers — who are guaranteed jobs somewhere in the school system — have been hunting for a school that wants them. And hundreds of them have to counter a stigma that they are undesirable castoffs, because they previously worked at low-performing schools that are being restructured. These teachers are from eight schools that are undergoing shakeups intended to bring in new talent, shed previous instructors and administrators and fundamentally change the academic culture.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 4, 2013 | By Jason Song
Lindsay Garcia was teaching a roomful of Gage Middle School students about the science behind a runner's high last week when someone raised her hand from the back of the class. "How do you know personally that [exercise] relaxes you?" asked Joele Hodgson, 36, a veteran instructor who co-teaches the class. Garcia, 23, barely skipped a beat, saying that she goes jogging every day, and it helps her clear her mind and work off stress; then she moved on to the next slide in her presentation.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2001 | JULIE TAMAKI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Lawmakers are preparing to rescue the state's worst-performing learners by showering the schools they attend with millions of dollars to attract more credentialed teachers, enhance learning materials and bolster parent involvement. Gov. Gray Davis included the $200 million sought by lawmakers for low-performing schools in his 2001-02 budget.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2012 | By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times
Foster Washington knows the odds are against him. The Los Angeles Southwest College student is a 20-year-old from a tough neighborhood in Watts where, he says, there was little encouragement or preparation for college. Recent studies suggest that students such as Washington are the least likely to stay in school, get a degree or transfer to a four-year university, hampering their future job prospects. But Washington is determined to be the first college graduate in his family of 12 siblings.
OPINION
May 3, 2011
Right now California's so-called parent trigger law, which allows parents at low-performing schools to force a change in their school's institutional structure via petition, is stuck in a sort of limbo. The one petition that has been delivered, at McKinley Elementary School in Compton, is delayed by legal wrangling. Meanwhile, the state Board of Education is going back and forth on how to implement the law and a legislator has introduced a bill that could render the trigger toothless. Blame the legislation that created the trigger.
OPINION
October 12, 2009 | Richard J. Riordan, Richard J. Riordan is a former mayor of Los Angeles. He also served as California's secretary of education.
The Public School Choice Resolution, approved by the Los Angeles Board of Education in August, offers a potential lifeline to neighborhoods with failing schools and few alternatives. It will allow charter school operators, unions, teacher collaboratives, universities and other nonprofit innovators to submit proposals to take over low-performing schools -- as well as some of the district's newly constructed school buildings. A competitive process to bring in new school management from outside the district makes a lot of sense, especially given the LAUSD's less-than-stellar track record for launching and running new schools.
NATIONAL
March 2, 2010 | By Christi Parsons
Calling it crucial to U.S. global competitiveness, President Obama pledged Monday to fight the dropout rate among U.S. high school students and to improve low-performing schools through new investments in "turnaround" programs. Obama proposed $900 million more next year in grants for school systems that commit to improving their struggling schools -- much of it likely bound for districts in large cities, such as Chicago and Los Angeles. Obama directed $3 billion of last year's stimulus package to improve school performance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 2011 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
The state Board of Education, in its first full meeting with a majority of members appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, moved Wednesday to put the brakes on a landmark law that gives parents the right to force major reforms at low-performing schools. The board took no action on proposed regulations to implement the law but instead will set up a working group to help determine the procedures. The panel will include those who had complained that the previous board was rushing the process without sufficiently considering their input.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 2011 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
It was billed as a radical transfer of power from the educational establishment to parents. It survived a furious opposition campaign. And after squeaking through the state Legislature by one vote last year, the "parent trigger" law made California history as the first successful effort to empower parents to force sweeping changes at low-performing schools. But now the fight has shifted to implementing the law, making its passage look almost easy. After months of debate and reams of revisions, state education officials were expected to vote last week to finalize details laying out how the law is supposed to work.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Top Los Angeles school officials vowed to move quickly to bring sweeping change to the nation's second-largest school system, and, starting this week, Huntington Park High School is expected to become the laboratory for just how fast things can go. On Tuesday, the Board of Education is expected to approve a plan to replace at least half the school's staff by July — in about six weeks — the start of school for the year-round campus. The move arises primarily out of the frustration felt by school board member Yolie Flores over the pace of progress at her alma mater, located in an area she represents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
As schools across California bemoan increasing class sizes, the Alliance Technology and Math Science High School has boosted class size — on purpose — to an astonishing 48. The students work at computers most of the school day. Next door in an identical building containing a different school, digital imaging — in the form of animation, short films and graphics — is used for class projects in English, math and science. At a third school on the same Glassell Park campus, long known as Taylor Yards, high-schoolers get hands-on experience with a working solar panel.
OPINION
September 2, 2011
The Public School Choice initiative was a landmark reform for the Los Angeles Unified School District. By allowing alternative operators — whether charter school organizations, the mayor or groups of teachers — to apply to manage scores of new and low-performing schools, it set the standard for putting students first. The theory was that anyone could apply and the very best applications would win, ensuring that students attended the best-run schools the district could offer. Just as important, charter operators in the program would have to accept all students within each school's enrollment area rather than using the usual lottery system under which more-motivated families tend to apply to charter schools.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 2011 | By Jason Song, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Board of Education made a major change in its controversial, 2-year-old policy allowing charter groups and other outsiders to take over new campuses. The board unanimously agreed Tuesday to give teachers and administrators first chance at those schools. If inside groups' plans are unacceptable, then charter operators, who mostly run schools that are nonunion, and others can apply. The rules remain the same, however, for existing, low-performing schools; any group can compete for those campuses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 25, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy presented a grand, difficult bargain Wednesday in his first formal address to administrators of the nation's second-largest school system. While the delivery was cajoling, Deasy made it plain he would push principals and other managers out of comfort zones, demanding that they take responsibility as never before for hiring teachers and evaluating their performances. He will also direct principals to take greater responsibility for whether individual students are on track for graduation and college.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 8, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
In a bizarre game of musical chairs, nearly 1,000 Los Angeles teachers — who are guaranteed jobs somewhere in the school system — have been hunting for a school that wants them. And hundreds of them have to counter a stigma that they are undesirable castoffs, because they previously worked at low-performing schools that are being restructured. These teachers are from eight schools that are undergoing shakeups intended to bring in new talent, shed previous instructors and administrators and fundamentally change the academic culture.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2011 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
Three decades after leaving her native Panama, Vielka McFarlane hasn't forgotten how a first-class education can transform a poor kid with a hard-knocks life. The Los Angeles charter school operator remembers leaner days and long hours helping her struggling family sell empanadas from a street cart. Her eyes mist when she speaks of her hardworking parents, who sacrificed to send her to the best schools in Panama, despite discrimination from that society's upper-class, and then to Los Angeles in 1982.
OPINION
August 7, 2003
Re "A Bevy of Bills Is Signed," Aug 5: I see that "low-performing" schools are now to be referred to as "high-priority" schools. In the same spirit, I would like to propose that in future, the Titanic be referred to as "Happy Floating Fun Vessel." Doug Hammond Long Beach
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
As schools across California bemoan increasing class sizes, the Alliance Technology and Math Science High School has boosted class size — on purpose — to an astonishing 48. The students work at computers most of the school day. Next door in an identical building containing a different school, digital imaging — in the form of animation, short films and graphics — is used for class projects in English, math and science. At a third school on the same Glassell Park campus, long known as Taylor Yards, high-schoolers get hands-on experience with a working solar panel.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Top Los Angeles school officials vowed to move quickly to bring sweeping change to the nation's second-largest school system, and, starting this week, Huntington Park High School is expected to become the laboratory for just how fast things can go. On Tuesday, the Board of Education is expected to approve a plan to replace at least half the school's staff by July — in about six weeks — the start of school for the year-round campus. The move arises primarily out of the frustration felt by school board member Yolie Flores over the pace of progress at her alma mater, located in an area she represents.
OPINION
May 3, 2011
Right now California's so-called parent trigger law, which allows parents at low-performing schools to force a change in their school's institutional structure via petition, is stuck in a sort of limbo. The one petition that has been delivered, at McKinley Elementary School in Compton, is delayed by legal wrangling. Meanwhile, the state Board of Education is going back and forth on how to implement the law and a legislator has introduced a bill that could render the trigger toothless. Blame the legislation that created the trigger.
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