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School Choice

November 27, 2009 | By Howard Blume
Pamela Krys, who moved to Woodland Hills a year ago, made a confession during a school fair this month at Sutter Middle School in Canoga Park. "I don't understand the points," she said, referring to one aspect of the application process for magnet programs. "They don't do points in Florida." Understanding the points system is just one of the complications surrounding school choice in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Although its "choices" website is improving, the school system provides no central location -- online or off -- to help parents manage all their options if they don't want their children to attend their neighborhood school.
November 2, 2009
It's back to business as usual at the Los Angeles Unified School District, and that's not a good thing. The district's potentially transformational initiative to open about 250 schools to outside management is in danger of being undermined as various interest groups stake out turf. The central goal of the program -- to radically refashion education for the district's most disadvantaged students -- could be lost in the skirmishing. The Public School Choice policy approved by the school board in August was unfortunately vague, a strategy to overcome resistance from various quarters.
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.
March 11, 2009 | James Oliphant
Congress is poised to do away with one of former President George W. Bush's signature initiatives in education: the taxpayer-funded vouchers that enable students from low-income families in the District of Columbia to attend private schools. About 1,700 children in kindergarten through 12th grade receive the $7,500 annual scholarships. Four times as many apply.
February 27, 2009 | Howard Blume
A looming costly rematch between the mayor of Los Angeles and the teachers union over control of the school board has fizzled into a guarded truce. The result is a low-key election that finds Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the potent United Teachers Los Angeles endorsing the same candidates despite uncertainties about how they or their backers hope to guide reforms in the nation's second-largest school system.
July 17, 2008 | Josh Meyer and Peter Nicholas, Times Staff Writers
Sen. Barack Obama on Wednesday criticized the Bush administration for failing to protect the American people from weapons of mass destruction and said he would take aggressive measures as president to lessen the threat from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and from cyber-terrorism.
May 19, 2008 | David Wharton, Times Staff Writer
The NFL draft pretty much put Lawrence Jackson through the wringer. "Nerve-racking, stressful, lots of anxiety," he said. "It was kind of restless too." The USC defensive end sat around for hours before the Seattle Seahawks offered relief by selecting him with the 28th pick of the first round. But if waiting seemed tough, now comes the truly hard part.
July 25, 2006 | Arin Gencer, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles school and union officials have agreed in concept to develop a group of independent small schools in the Pico-Union area, allowing students to choose a campus that best fits their interests, the district announced Monday. Although still in the conceptual phase, the Belmont Pilot Schools Network would consist of five to 10 fully autonomous high schools launched over the next five years, with a maximum of 400 students each.
June 27, 2005 | Jean Merl, Times Staff Writer
Early every morning that classes are in session, Laura Aguayo loads her three children into the family minivan and begins the commute to school. Palmdale to Topanga Canyon: 62 miles, four freeways, two twisting canyon roads. "It's a sacrifice for me, but I don't care," Aguayo said recently before she began a summer hiatus in her trips to the private Calmont School. "I want the best for my children."
July 3, 2004 | Dolores Ramos
In going through my memento box I discovered a tiny golden lamp pin with the letters CSF -- my California Scholarship Federation pin. As I held it in my hand, my mind went back to those years at Lincoln High School in Los Angeles, from which I graduated in 1942. Previously I attended Hollenbeck Junior High School, where I received excellent grades and won an essay contest on Americanism in my senior year.
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