first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas City“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 program 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. “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. “What the superintendent and others will find is in a smaller setting, those schools’ performance and the kids’ performances will improve because there will be greater accountability.” Smyth submitted legislation last year proposing breaking the LAUSD into smaller, more manageable districts. Hearings on the bill will begin in January. 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 the central staff, Shiller said. The new district would include a set of core curriculum at the schools and outline specific training for teachers. It also will address boosted school safety, smaller schools and community-parent partnerships. And, unlike the mayor’s plan – which relies heavily on fundraising to bring millions of dollars to supplement state funds at the schools – Brewer said funding used for this plan would come primarily from extra funds and grants the struggling schools already receive. Brewer also said he doesn’t expect his proposal to be the “cure-all” for all school problems, but simply to boost the schools’ performance on the Academic Performance Index. Under federal No Child Left Behind standards, the LAUSD is in its third year of Program Improvement status, requiring the district to develop a plan to help the lowest-performing schools. “If the district doesn’t take the opportunity to restructure itself, it’ll be done externally by means of No Child Left Behind,” Schiller said. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten. … The superintendent is opting to move aggressively forward.” 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. “There needs to be very specific information of how things are going to be done differently to these 44 schools as you pull them out of the district, put them under someone else, break the feeder patterns and what the projected impact is of doing this.” Board member Monica Garcia said she wants more details on Brewer’s plan but said it appears to represent “real instructional change at LAUSD.” “I don’t think this is a cure-all … but I definitely think we have to do things differently to get different results,” she said. Still, some experts noted that quickly rolling out aggressive and untested reform efforts in the LAUSD is risky and could lead to a political battle between Brewer and Villaraigosa. “That’s a danger for anybody, especially that person left holding the keys to the doors the longest – and that’s not likely to be the mayor,” said Jaime Regalado, director of the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. “Whether it’s the first real broadside that is going to break up the district, only time will tell,” Regalado said. “But it would be hard to believe that if all sides succeed that there wouldn’t be some disillusionment that would create a school district that would look different than it does today.” [email protected] (818) 713-3722160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Aiming to overhaul Los Angeles Unified’s lowest-performing schools, Superintendent David Brewer III unveiled a plan Tuesday to essentially carve out a separate, targeted district for 44 of the neediest schools. Brewer’s senior staff and local superintendents still are developing details, but the new district would be made up of middle and high schools – including several in the San Fernando Valley – and would have its own rules of governance, separate curriculum and instructional planning. Brewer hopes to roll out 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. last_img

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