David McNew/Getty Images
Students line up to pass through a security check point at Thomas Jefferson High School in Los Angeles.
The stats are sobering: only 52 percent of LAUSD students graduate in four years; Latinos make up 73 percent of LAUSD's student body but their graduation rate is about 40 percent; only a little more than 10 percent of LAUSD's 9th grade students are proficient in Algebra 1, a key indicator for success in high school. The targets for blame are always plentiful when looking at the failures of public education and one group that has received its fair share are teachers. A new report out by National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has released a comprehensive study entitled Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in LAUSD wades into the debate of teacher performance, echoing calls for reforming the profession. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa calls the report thorough and thoughtful and hopes to use the research to work with LAUSD to improve outcomes. The report calls for changes in teacher recruitment and screening and improvement in teacher evaluations and tenure. Is the reform easier said than done, or as simple as ABC?
Elise Buik, president and CEO of The United Way of Greater Los Angeles