Plan would group, reform 44 troubled LAUSD schools

first_imgBy Naush Boghossian STAFF WRITER Aiming to overhaul Los Angeles Unified’s lowest-performing schools, Superintendent David Brewer announced a plan Tuesday to essentially carve out a separate, targeted district for 44 of the neediest schools. Brewer’s senior staff and local superintendents are still developing details, but the new district would be made up of middle and high schools and would have its own rules of governance and separate curriculum and instructional planning. “It sure looks like the start of a breakup, which I think is something that is a long time in coming,” said Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, who submitted legislation proposing breaking LAUSD into smaller districts. But Brewer emphasized Tuesday that his plan is not necessarily to create a permanent structure. Instead, after schools improve they would return to governance under the general district. The 17 middle schools and 27 high schools in the special district would have their own superintendent and directors assigned to act as liaisons with central staff, Shiller said. The new district would include a new set of core curriculum at the schools and outline specific training for teachers. It also will address boosted school safety, smaller schools and community and parent partnerships. Under federal No Child Left Behind standards, LAUSD is in its third year of Program Improvement status, requiring LAUSD to develop a plan to help the lowest-performing schools. Brewer said a detailed plan is expected to be finished by Nov. 1 and presented to the board for approval by Nov. 13. Still, the plan drew concern from some that it is creating a fragmented district with even more bureaucracy and challenges. “I am worried the district is getting fragmented, and that does not necessarily mean it’s going to fix the problem,” 20-year school board member Julie Korenstein said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityBrewer hopes to launch the district next fall and said schools in the group would be candidates for drastic reforms such as all-boys’ academies and neighborhood literacy centers for parents. The plan is the latest designed to create separate, smaller groups of schools out of the massive bureaucracy of the LAUSD system. “We’re looking to try to reduce the size of the current local eight districts and bring these middle schools and high schools into one supervisory structure so that focused attention can be placed on these schools for improvement,” said Robert Schiller, a consultant hired by Brewer to help develop the plan. Brewer’s plan comes in addition to a previously announced plan under which Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will manage more than 30,000 students in two groups of schools designated as among the district’s lowest-performing. On top of that plan, Brewer’s proposal would pull at least 105,000 additional students out of the district’s 708,000 population into a separate governance structure. last_img

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