Los Angeles Unified reconstitutes Jordan High School

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Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent of Schools Ramon Cortines.

For the second time in less than a year, L.A. Unified’s superintendent acted Wednesday to overhaul a low performing school by wiping the slate clean and forcing all employees to reapply for their jobs.

In a statement, Superintendent Ramon Cortines said he’s reconstituting 1,600-student Jordan High School in Watts because of its 35 percent graduation rate, abysmally low math and English test scores, and low Academic Performance Index score.

United Teachers Los Angeles Vice President Gregg Solkovitz said the school district shares part of the blame because it frequently rotated principals at the school. "If he had just come to UTLA and said look, we need to go out to Jordan, roll up our sleeves and not leave that school until we have a plan to make that school turn around, we would have been more than willing to do that," Solkovitz said.

Under the superintendent’s action, the school’s 200 or so teachers and staff will reapply for their jobs next month. The district will recruit outside groups to help improve the school, which it plans to split into three smaller academies.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised the superintendent’s action. Cortines carried out a similar overhaul last year at nearby Fremont High School.

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