ANTONIO UNVEILS PLAN FOR LAUSD MAYOR'S PROPOSAL FOR REFORM DEBUTS.Byline: NAUSH BOGHOSSIAN Staff Writer
With his LAUSD LAUSD Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles, CA) reform plan mired mire
1. An area of wet, soggy, muddy ground; a bog.
2. Deep slimy soil or mud.
3. A disadvantageous or difficult condition or situation: the mire of poverty.
v. in court, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa (born Antonio (Tony) Ramon Villar, Jr. on January 23, 1953) is the mayor of Los Angeles, California. He is the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since Cristobal Aguilar in 1872. unveiled Wednesday night an ambitious proposal that relies on six ``pillars of school excellence'' to reinvigorate re·in·vig·o·rate
tr.v. re·in·vig·o·rat·ed, re·in·vig·o·rat·ing, re·in·vig·o·rates
To give new life or energy to.
re the nation's second-largest school district.
``The Schoolhouse: A Framework to Give Every Child in LAUSD an Excellent Education,'' caps an 18-month effort by the Mayor's Office to raise student test scores, reduce the dropout (1) On magnetic media, a bit that has lost its strength due to a surface defect or recording malfunction. If the bit is in an audio or video file, it might be detected by the error correction circuitry and either corrected or not, but if not, it is often not noticed by the human rate and improve the quality of education in the Los Angeles Unified School District The Los Angeles Unified School District (the "LAUSD") is the largest (in terms of number of students) public school system in California and the second-largest in the United States. Only the New York City Department of Education has a larger student population. .
In a downtown Los Angeles Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district of Los Angeles, California, located close to the geographic center of the metropolitan area. The sprawling, multi-centered megacity is such that its downtown core is often considered just another district like Hollywood or town hall meeting, Villaraigosa worked to sell the 30-page report with a polished speech that outlined more than 50 goals: from mandatory school uniforms and free pre-kindergarten for the city's 4-year-olds to better pay for teachers and an improved curriculum in all schools.
Other proposals deal with restructuring failing schools and breaking up large campuses into small learning communities and reconfiguring some elementary and middle schools into K-8 campuses.
``The issue is no longer whether we need fundamental change in our public schools. The question is how,'' Villaraigosa said, speaking in measured tones to the audience, in a manner reminiscent of the town- hall meetings he held last year to sell his legislation to the community. ``These ideas didn't come from the mountaintop moun·tain·top
The summit of a mountain. , and they're not etched etch
v. etched, etch·ing, etch·es
a. To cut into the surface of (glass, for example) by the action of acid.
b. in stone. But I believe our `Schoolhouse' provides a framework for reform that the entire Los Angeles Unified School District should follow.''
Villaraigosa said the recommendations cannot be implemented concurrently in the district's 900-plus schools, but they should be phased in where feasible and appropriate.
Superintendent David Brewer This article is about the businessman and Lord Mayor of London; for the American jurist, see David Josiah Brewer
Sir David Brewer CMG (born 1940) was Lord Mayor of London between 2005 and 2006. III found fault in the lack of specifics and said that many of the recommendations already have been implemented in the 700,000-student district.
But, both he and school board President Marlene Canter canter
a gallop at an easy pace. The rhythm is three-time, first one hind, then the opposite hind with the diagonal fore, then the opposite fore, the leading limb.
collected canter said they looked forward to partnering with the mayor to implement any or all of the initiatives he's proposed.
``The problem in urban education is not initiatives and plans, it's execution and scale,'' said Brewer, a retired Navy admiral who was appointed by the LAUSD late last year. ``Most urban school districts have great plans and initiatives, but they have not been able to scale them to the rest of the district. There's nothing original in urban education.''
Deputy Mayor Ray Cortines, who heads up the mayor's education team, agreed that none of the ideas is innovative, but it's a first step.
``It's best practices, but it's not consistent in the schools, and we want to make sure it's consistent and not done in a spotty spot·ty
adj. spot·ti·er, spot·ti·est
1. Lacking consistency; uneven.
2. Having or marked with spots; spotted.
spot way,'' he said.
The proposal was released amid a legal battle over the validity of a bill that would give Villaraigosa significant control over Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. Unified.
Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs ruled Dec. 21 that the law is unconstitutional unconstitutional adj. referring to a statute, governmental conduct, court decision or private contract (such as a covenant which purports to limit transfer of real property only to Caucasians) which violate one or more provisions of the U. S. Constitution. -- a decision that Villaraigosa has appealed. He's also asked the California Supreme Court to hear the case.
The ``Schoolhouse'' plan could be the mayor's attempt to stay relevant on his core policy issue while Assembly Bill 1381 is decided by the courts, said Jaime Regalado, director of the Edmund G. ``Pat'' Brown Institute of Public Affairs
``What it does is prevent the stuck-in-the-water perception that may grow the longer it takes to get a decision by the appeals court,'' he said.
``I think it's a reaction to the lawsuit potentially going against him.
``It carries out a series of principles his administration can use to judge and measure the effectiveness of the school district without his direct role in it.''
The mayor set aside questions of his relevancy, saying he had Plan Bs, Cs and Ds -- ``all the way through the alphabet'' -- and pledged to take his reforms directly to the people in a referendum if need be.
His new reform plan includes elements being pushed hard by the powerful teachers union, such as reducing class size, giving educators more control over school operations and raising teachers' pay.
A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said the mayor's plan demonstrates the importance of education reform in Los Angeles.
Villaraigosa proposes funding the proposals by diverting money from administration to classrooms, increasing student attendance to bring in more state money, and lobbying lawmakers and corporate partners for funding.
As school officials noted, many of the strategies are already in the works, such as switching all students from year-round to traditional calendars and requiring all high-school students to complete a college-preparatory curriculum.
LAUSD is also working on an anti-gang strategy, an effort to end social promotion and the distribution of more ``family-friendly'' report cards.
Brewer was briefed on the plan shortly before Wednesday night's meeting.
``Philosophically, the mayor and I are on the same page in terms of education. We're both passionate and clearly committed to educating the kids of Los Angeles,'' Brewer said.
``The key is we all have to be partners and that means not only me and the mayor, but also the school board president,'' said Brewer, who has repeatedly vowed to work with Villaraigosa as well as the mayors of all the cities LAUSD serves.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa evoked the image of an old-fashioned schoolhouse in presenting his plan Wednesday for reforming the Los Angeles Unified School District. Here are highlights of the ``pillars of school excellence'' that compose his plan.
HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Restructure failing schools; end social promotion; require school uniforms and community service; encourage college attendance.
SAFE, SMALL, CLEAN: Create mediation and anti-gang plans; expand Safe Havens Safe Havens is a comic strip drawn by cartoonist Bill Holbrook and syndicated by King Features Syndicate. Started in 1988, the strip is currently published in more than 50 newspapers. and Safe Passages programs; clean up campuses; break up large schools.
EMPOWERED LEADERSHIP: Give teachers greater responsibility and better pay; improve recruiting effort; open leadership academy for principals.
POWERFUL TEACHING AND RIGOROUS CURRICULUM: Strengthen core curriculum; revive arts and P.E. classes; improve dropout and mentoring programs.
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Open family resource centers at all campuses; offer English-language classes to adults.
MORE MONEY TO SCHOOLS: Audit district for savings; shrink bureaucracy; boost attendance to increase revenue; lobby state for more money.
The schoolhouse (see text)