Los Angeles Unified School District, California
|Transparency grading process|
Portions of this article were taken from Wikipedia.
(LAUSD) is the largest (in terms of number of students) public school system in California. It is the 2nd largest public school district in the United States. Only the New York City Department of Education has a larger student population. During the 2007-2008 school year, LAUSD served 694,288 students, and had 45,473 teachers and 38,494 other employees. It is the second largest employer in Los Angeles County, after the county government. The total school district budget for 2009-2010 is $7.3 billion. In enrollment breakdown by ethnic group, 73% of its students were of Hispanic origin and 11% of its students were African American. European American students comprise 9% of the student population, while Asian American students comprise 4%; students of Filipino origin form 2% of the student population. Native Americans and Pacific Islanders together are less than 1%
The school district consists of Los Angeles and all or portions of several adjoining Southern California cities. LAUSD has its own police force, the Los Angeles School Police Department, which was established in 1948 to provide police services for LAUSD schools. The LAUSD enrolls a third of the preschoolers in Los Angeles County, and operates almost as many buses as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Main article Evaluation of California school district websites
This website was most recently evaluated on 17 January 2012.
- Current budget is posted.
- Meeting schedules, agendas and minutes are posted.
- The school board and contact information is posted.
- Department officials and their contact information is posted on individual pages.
- Teacher union contract are posted.
- Audits are available.
- Information on requesting public records is provided.
- Certification and credentials information is provided.
- There is no information on taxes.
- Academic performance is posted via a link to the state Department of Education.. However, it is outdated, the most recent entry being from 2006.
Los Angeles Unified School District is governed by a seven-member Board of Education, which appoints a superintendent, who runs the daily operations of the district. Members of the board are elected directly by voters from separate districts that encompass communities that the LAUSD serves. The seven current members are:
The school board negotiates teacher contracts with United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). Contracts are negotiated in 3 year periods, the latest running from 2008-2011. The contract can be found here.
The district's current superintendent is Dr. John Deasy, who had previously served as Deputy Director of Education for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of Deasy's earliest actions has been putting on hold a policy adopted by the school board, in which homework cannot count for more than 10% of a students total grade.
United Teachers Los Angeles collected $52,296,752 in total revenue in 2008.
Los Angeles Unified School District publishes its annual budget on its website.
|Expenditures by Category|
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The state of California's Department of Education produces annual Academic Performance Index reports, in which individual schools are ranked in deciles comparative to other schools in the state. Schools are ranked from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). Target API scores and ranks are also provided for the next measurable year. A list of the district's API scores, along with school statewide ranks, can be found here.
The district's 4 year adjusted dropout rate, last reported for years 2008-2009, stood at 29.6%. This compares to a California statewide rate of 21.5%. Among ethnic groups, the highest rate was 37.1% among African American students.
From 2002-2009, the number of charter schools within LAUSD increased from 53 to 157. The charter system, however, has come under recent fire for high teacher turnaround rates.
The Los Angeles Times maintains a list of "value added" ratings for LAUSD teachers, which is derived from student performance changes on California standardized tests.
Following the teacher ratings produced by The Los Angeles Times, in April, 2011, LAUSD adopted a new value-added approach towards grading student progress under individual teachers. There are some differences in the way the Times and the district calculate their ratings. Likewise, the District does not make teacher ratings available to the public on an teacher-by-teacher basis, only on the school level.
The district is considering merit pay after losing a lawsuit that would have allowed the district to terminate staff at some of the middle schools.
Various attempts at program reform have been implemented. First, individual schools were given more authority over day to day decisions, and public school choice was implemented. In the 1990s, LEARN and LAAMP were created, giving principals even more authority to make changes in curriculum to benefit students. Regardless, student achievement failed to increase.
Later reform led to the creation of 11 lettered minidistricts with decentralized management and their own individual superintendents. Due to the cost of this additional bureaucracy, then Superintendent Romer called for merging the minidistricts. United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing LAUSD teachers, supported this plan. Eight numbered Local Districts arose from the merger replacing the 11 lettered districts.
The LA Times and the Hechinger Report published a report about teacher performance in the school district. The report went against conventional wisdom and reported that teachers with advanced degrees and many years in the classroom are just as effective as new teachers with undergraduate degrees. The report suggest a new standard for evaluating teachers and the success of merit pay systems. The U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has endorsed the LA Times report, one of the first to release information based on teacher performance. But the United Teachers Los Angeles president, A.J. Duffy, has asked teachers and other labor unions to boycott The Times as a result of the project.
Assembly Bill 1381
After his election to Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa advocated bringing control of the public school system under his office, removing power from the Board of Education. This sparked some protest from teachers, LAUSD board members and many residents of communities not within the City of Los Angeles but served by LAUSD.
In August, 2006, after a compromise was brokered which allowed the mayor large control while retaining an elected school board and allowing input to be provided from surrounding cities, California State Assembly Bill 1381 passed, giving the mayor a measure of control over district administration. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the law on September 18, 2006. The Board of Education immediately filed suit to block the law, claiming that it violates the state constitution by allowing a local government to take over an educational agency.
AB 1381 was required to sunset on January 1, 2013, unless extended by the Legislature. On December 21, 2006, AB 1381 was ruled unconstitutional. The mayor appealed, but later dropped his appeal as two of the candidates he supported for school board were elected, essentially giving him indirect control over the school district.
Public employee salaries
- Main article: Los Angeles Unified School District employee salaries
- Los Angeles Unified School District Web site
- Los Angeles Unified School District Employee Salary Table, 2010-2011
- Enrollment Statistics
- United Teachers Los Angeles website
- Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 LAUSD Fingertip Facts 2007-2008
- ↑ Largest Employers in Los Angeles County. Compiled by the LA Almanac, Source: California Employment Development Department, The Los Angeles Business Journal, and Almanac research
- ↑ 
- ↑ Los Angeles School Police Department
- ↑ Jon Fullerton, Budget and Financial Policy Unit For the Board of Education - Overview of School Finance and the LAUSD Budget Presentation to the Presidents’ Joint Commission. August 11, 2005
- ↑ Budget transparency
- ↑ Meetings
- ↑ Meeting Archive
- ↑ School board
- ↑ Offices
- ↑ Union contracts
- ↑ Audits
- ↑ Public records
- ↑ Human Resources
- ↑ Academic Performance
- ↑ School board
- ↑ UTLA Contracts
- ↑ Superintendent
- ↑ LAUSD's Super. Deasy Axes Lame Less-Homework Policy, "LAIst," 20 July, 2011.
- ↑ United Teachers Los Angeles, "Teachers Union Exposed."
- ↑ Los Angeles Unified School District, "Budget Services & Financial Planning," Accessed November 25, 2013
- ↑ Local Educational Agency List of Schools
- ↑ Dropouts by Ethnic Designation by Grade, California Department of Education, 2008-2009
- ↑ Study: LAUSD's charter school teachers dropping out at alarming rate, "LA Weekly," 19 July, 2011
- ↑ Los Angeles Teacher Ratings, "The Los Angeles Times"
- ↑ LAUSD follows lead of LA Times, adopts new value-added method, "LA Weekly," 12 April, 2011
- ↑ LA Times, L.A. Unified settlement of lawsuit mushroomed into assault on long-held district practices, Oct. 14, 2010
- ↑ Charles T. Kerchner, Professor of Education Claremont University - Presentation to LAUSD follow up letter. August 23, 2005. Summary: Follow up letter to LAUSD board following a presentation.
- ↑ 11 local districts map LAUSD
- ↑ LA Times, About grading teachers, Aug. 15, 2010
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 How Effective Are Los Angeles Elementary Teachers and Schools?, Richard Buddin
- ↑ LA Times, U.S. schools chief endorses release of teacher data, Aug. 16, 2010
- ↑ LA Times, What effective teachers can do, Aug. 17, 2010
Specifically, AB 1381:
- Removes power from the Board of Education and gives it to the superintendent. The superintendent is permitted to request state waivers, hire and fire principals, negotiate and execute contracts, locate and close schools, and manage all personnel. The school board still retains the sole authority to use eminent domain, place taxes and bonds on the ballot, and negotiate with the unions.
- Creates a council of mayors consisting of mayors of all cities in the LAUSD and members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors who have territory in the LAUSD. This council selects the LAUSD superintendent, takes a look at the budget and makes changes before the school board (with the school board retaining only approval authority, without the ability to make changes). The council of mayors is weighted by population, but must act by a 90% of the population, effectively giving control to the mayor of Los Angeles while requiring him to seek consensus from a few other cities. The city of Los Angeles has 82% of the residents in LAUSD.
- Allows the mayor of Los Angeles and superintendent, through a joint partnership, direct control over three "clusters" of low-performing schools (defined as a high school and all of its feeders, with the high school one of those in the bottom 20% statewide).
- The "Southeast Schools Coalition" composed of the cities of Bell, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Maywood, South Gate, and Vernon is given the right to ratify its local minidistrict superintendent.
- ↑ AB 1381 - Gloria Romero Educational Reform Act of 2006. California State Legislature As Amended August 28, 2005
- ↑ Naush Boghossian and Rick Orlov - Judge sets hearing on LAUSD case Los Angeles Daily News (link no longer available) - copy available at theFreelibrary
Portions of this article were taken from Wikipedia.