Patt Morrison for August 27, 2010

Tales of two school districts: LAUSD’s huge disparities & how to fix them

Mercer 9943

Vince Gonzales

LAUSD students Natalie Aguilar, Aden Binyam, Izabella Ferayan, Anastasya Lloyd-Damnjanovic, Mabel Sanchez, & Yomila Xoy discuss the differing experiences of going to school in the LAUSD and what can be done to bridge the educational gap.

Student A attends El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, one of the top-achieving public schools in the state, a school that is a regular finalist in national Academic Decathlon competitions with plenty of advanced placement classes available, located in a bucolic upper-middle class neighborhood. Student B attends Belmont Senior High School in Westlake, a struggling school with an unbelievable 60% drop out rate where 80% of its students qualify for federal free or reduced lunches and students’ proficiency rates in both math and reading hover around 50%. How can two schools in the same district produce such wildly different results? This is the tale of the Los Angeles Unified School District, which with 617,000 students is one of the nation’s largest and most unwieldy, with huge disparities in access to good classrooms, teachers and coursework. Patt and her guests hear stories from students themselves about the differing experiences of going to school in the LAUSD and what can be done to bridge the educational gap.

Guests:

Yomila Xoy, senior at the Civitas School of Leadership magnet at Edward R. Roybal Learning Center; hopes to attend Pomona College in 2011

Anastasya Lloyd-Damnjanovic, graduate of John Marshall High School Class of 2010; she attended the School for Advanced Studies at Marshall; will attend Princeton

Izabella Ferayan, graduate of Daniel Pearl Magnet School Class of 2010; will attend UC Santa Barbara

Natalie Aguilar, graduate of Grant High School Class of 2010; she attended the Social Justice Small Learning Center at Grant; will attend UCLA

Mabel Sanchez, graduate of Huntington Park High School Class of 2010; will attend UCLA

Aden Binyam, graduate of University High School Class of 2010; will attend Cal State Northridge

Sylvia Rousseau, professor of clinical education at the USC Rossier School of Education

Brock Cohen, English & humanities teacher at Grant High School in North Hollywood

Rev. Eric Lee, president & CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles


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