After hours of debate and a couple of amendments, the LAUSD school board approved a sweeping plan championed by Superintendent John Deasy (above) to reduce credit requirements for graduation.
After hours of debate and a couple of amendments, the LAUSD school board approved a sweeping plan on Tuesday to reduce credit requirements for graduation. But as part of the reduction, students in the district will need Cs instead of Ds to earn their high school diplomas.
Next year’s high school freshmen will have to take every class required to meet the minimum application standards for the University of California and Cal State systems.
L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy says the new requirements are part of the district’s commitment to advancing civil rights and social justice for "every single student." Deasy spoke with Airtalk host Larry Mantle before Tuesday's vote.
"Simply stated, this recommends that the diploma for all students graduating from LAUSD by 2017 be a meaningful college/workforce ready threshold," Deasy says.
School board members added two amendments to Deasy’s original proposal. One would begin to assess third and eighth graders’ readiness to meet the new standards. Boardmember Steve Zimmer proposed the second – an effort to boost the credits required for graduation from 180 to 210, so that students might still benefit from physical education, art and other course offerings.
"Some of the programs that are working best to engage our students — to keep them connected and in schools — would be in grave danger if we lowered down to 180," Zimmer insists.
Six board members approved the curriculum overhaul.
United Teachers Los Angeles filed more than 600 Williams Complaints with the Los Angeles Unified School District. (May 8, 2012)
United Teachers Los Angeles has filed more than 600 Williams Complaints with L.A. Unified stating that the district is failing to provide equal and sufficient critical services to students.
The complaints written by teachers and parents are from more than a hundred schools in the district. The union held a 4:30 p.m. press conference to deliver the forms, which assert the district is not following state law.
"I have in my hand 600 forms representing 175 schools that have been identified as lacking in school nurses, librarians, counselors," said Unified Teachers L.A. treasurer Arlene Inouye. "These are the health and human services professionals they are saying are desperately needed."
Union officials say the district has severely impacted health and human services professionals, such as nurses, counselors and psychologists, through outsourcing, replacing them with other employees and volunteers, and issuing of 9,500 preliminary pink slips to teachers and such professionals.
Students rally at Pershing Square.
United Teachers Los Angeles plans to file more than 600 complaint forms today from hundreds of schools with the Los Angeles Unified School District to report a lack of equal and sufficient critical services for students.
State law requires schools provide sufficient textbooks and instructional materials; that school facilities are clean, safe and maintained; and that there be no teacher vacancies or misassignments, such as ensuring teachers have the proper certification and credential to teach a course.
When these conditions are not met, a Williams Complaint Form can be filed.
The more than 600 forms, which will be delivered this afternoon, were filled out by teachers and parents from more than 315 schools, according to statement from the union.
The union asserts that the district has severely impacted health and human services professionals, such as nurses, counselors and psychologists, through outsourcing, replacing them with other employees and volunteers, and issuing of 9,500 preliminary pink slips to teachers and such professionals.
California Faculty Association members staging a protest of a CSU meeting on May 8, 2012.
About 40 members of the Cal State University faculty union protested administrators’ contract negotiating tactics outside Tuesday's trustees meeting in Long Beach. Members of the board were discussing potential salary freezes for top administrators, and the possibility of closing one of Cal State’s 23 campuses.
California Faculty Association members let their picket signs do the talking. "I don’t want to strike," read the educators' placards, "But I will!"
Union members say they’re frustrated and disappointed after contract talks broke down over the weekend. No new talks are scheduled.
Jonathon Karpf, a member of the union’s bargaining committee, attended two days of negotiations last week between the system chancellor’s office and the union. He says the university wouldn’t budge on reducing class sizes and instructors’ workloads.
Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images
Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy speaks during a press conference at South Region High School #2 in Los Angeles, California February 6, 2012.
An “educational equity” policy the LAUSD school board passed seven years ago may take effect this fall. Critics say the new plan, intended to level the playing field for Latino and Black students, could actually increase their dropout rate.
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy acknowledges that the University of California won’t accept every graduate from his district, but he wants all of them to qualify for admission.
That’s why at the next board meeting he’ll propose revised graduation requirements for all students starting with the Class of 2016.
Under the new plan, every student must pass a series of courses (the A through G curriculum) required for admission to the Cal State or UC systems. The number of required credits for graduation would drop from 230 units to 180, because LAUSD would eliminate requirements for non-academic classes.