Estudiantes de LAUSD Sobrepasan Expectativas con Índices de Graduación

August 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

La superintendente del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles (LAUSD) anunció que la tasa de graduación del año escolar 2016 fue de 75%- un margen elevado a comparación de años previos.

En su discurso, dado en la Escuela Secundaria James A. Garfield en el Este de Los Ángeles el 9 de agosto, Michelle King, dijo que estos resultados superaron las “previsiones de aquellos que dijeron que los estudiantes no podrían lograrlo”.

“Nuestros estudiantes son capaz y lograrán alcanzar los estándares de vida del siglo 21”, dijo King.

El crecimiento en la tasa de graduación ha sido firme durante los últimos seis años ya que el año previo el porcentaje fue de un 72.2. En 2009-10 el margen fue de 62.4%.

Según King, la clase de estudiantes del año actual fue la primera en completar requisitos de graduación más rígidos, incluyendo la finalización de cursos de preparación universitaria titulados “A-G”.

En el LAUSD, los estudiantes pudieron pasar los cursos “A-G”, este año escolar con un grado mínimo de una D. Sin embargo, el año entrante, el requisito será elevado a una C.

Incrementos en el dominio de la matemática y del inglés también fue celebrado por la superintendente en su discurso, notando que en algunos casos la mejoría fue de siete puntos de porcentaje.

Nuevos planes, según King, están planeados por el distrito para los próximos meses, los cuales incluyen la introducción de 16 programas “magnet” en varias escuelas, la expansión de los programas bilingües y un fortalecimiento a los programas de arte.

Aulas modernas también reemplazaran los bungalows en los cuales muchas de las materias son impartidas y un enfoque mayor se pondrá en incrementar la asistencia estudiantil.

“La asistencia es el indicador mayor de la graduación de las escuelas secundarias”, dijo King, mencionando que tan sólo un por ciento de crecimiento en asistencia resultaría en $40 millones adicionales recibidos en ayuda estatal hacia el distrito.

King Outlines Steps to Better Schools

June 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Education, prevention and intervention are three of the most important components to improving schools with high needs in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), said Superintendent Michelle King last week.

King, who in recent weeks has been on a “Listen and Learn” tour of LAUSD schools, was speaking June 6 at a forum at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights hosted by a coalition of community organizations.

A veteran LAUSD administrator and former teacher, King is relatively new in her superintendent position, appointed by the school board back in January. She is the first African-American woman to lead the second largest district of the nation.

King takes charge following the departures of two former superintendents — John Deasy and Ramon Cortines — in less than three years.

While the “Community Unity Forum” on the School Climate Bill of Rights and Comprehensive Wellness Strategy was not technically part of King’s Listen and Learn tour, it was another opportunity for the superintendent to hear from east and southeast area education advocates what they believe is needed to improve schools, from added funding to changes in discipline policies. It was also a chance for King to share her views on the topic.

According to King, education is the first step. People need to know what a healthy school climate looks like and educated about the components to achieve it, she told the audience of about 200 people.

Prevention is the second component, said King. “What is the root of the problems? What is it that harms the community?” she asked. “We have to identify what those are and think about how we go about preventing.”

Third, and equally important is intervention, King said.

 Superintendent Michelle King met with students, parents and activists to talk about the needs at East and Southeast Los Angeles schools. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

Superintendent Michelle King met with students, parents and activists to talk about the needs at East and Southeast Los Angeles schools. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

“Expulsion is not the way…It’s not just ‘here’s the punishment’ and the problem hasn’t been addressed. Counselors should be available not only for academic purposes but to help guide and heal,” she said.

The forum included a resource fair where King got a close-up look at local efforts to put the three tools into action. Students and staff provided information on health and wellness, LGBTQ rights, parent involvement and how to advocate for funding directed at “restorative justice,” an effort to use counseling and dialogue to resolve issues that affect students and their families or friends, in hopes of preventing problems from escalating.

Many in the restorative justice movement complain that too much money is spent on school police and would be better spent on restorative coordinators trained to do more than just give out punishment. According to an informational graphic in one booth, LAUSD has over 476 sworn and unsworn police officers but only 52 restorative coordinators.

“Sup. King needs to step up with more after-school programs and continuation schools instead of giving more money to police,” Roosevelt 10th grader Nancy Ruelas told EGP.

Local activists say they want King to prioritize school climate programs in LAUSD’s 2016-2017 Fiscal Year budget by increasing funding for such programs from $7 million to $60 million to at least match the budget for school police.

“Trying to solve the problems only with police is not fair; we need counselors,” said Ruelas.

The School Climate Bill of Rights resolution approved by board members in May 2013 called for creating more prevention and intervention programs aimed at increasing graduation rates and decreasing incarceration time, according to LAUSD.

District data show that restorative justice programs created under the measure have had positive results, decreasing out-of-school suspension rates nearly in half, from 12,353 in 2012-2013 to 6,184 in 2013-2014.

During the resource fair, students explained to parents that under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), more money is given to poor-performing schools with large numbers of low-income students, foster youth and English learners, but added that more money is still needed.

“Our intent is to get parents involved with local organizations to fight for more money for their schools,” Lucia Ortiz, a senior at Roosevelt, told EGP.

Sophomore Laura Gutierrez added that they are encouraging voters to extend Proposition 30 tax increases on the wealthy set to expire at the end of 2018. Approved in 2012 as temporary, advocates back extending the tax increase for an additional 12 years.

Gutierrez said passage would help stop future cuts to schools, put more police on the street—not in schools—and help balance the budget.

Ultimately, the goal is to have healthier and safer schools with less police intervention and fewer school suspensions, according to the hosting coalition, which includes Building Healthy Communities—Boyle Heights Initiative, the Brothers, Sons Selves Coalition and the Dignity Schools campaign.

The group provided King with a list of recommendations to work on:
—Develop racial justice reforms to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline for the youth.
—Ensure dollars allocated for Restorative Practices.
—End in-school suspensions and report discipline data as required by the School Climate Bill of Rights in a format accessible to the community.
—Add intervention and prevention programs for the LGBTQ community in wellness centers.
The superintendent has yet to respond to the group’s list of priorities.

LAUSD Elige a la Primera Mujer Afroamericana para Liderar el Distrito

January 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

La superintendente adjunta del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles Michelle King fue nombrada el lunes como la nueva superintendente del distrito.

“Es un momento histórico”, dijo el presidente de la junta del LAUSD Steven Zimmer. “Una hija de nuestra ciudad, estudiante y egresada de LAUSD, una maestra de nuestras escuelas, directora de nuestro sistema, una líder de nuestra comunidad ahora toma el timón con nosotros para juntos llevar este distrito, nuestras escuelas y nuestra comunidad en los avances de la educación pública para los estudiantes que nos necesitan

King, de 54 años, ha estado con el distrito durante 31 años como maestra y administradora. Ella es la primera mujer en dirigir el distrito en más de 80 años y la primera mujer afroamericana en la historia que dirige el segundo distrito más grande del país.

“Me siento honrada y orgullosa de ser seleccionada como superintendente del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles”, dijo King. “Una vez más quiero dar las gracias a la Junta de Educación por su confianza y apoyo por permitirme guiar a los estudiantes, empleados y familias de este increíble distrito.

Dijo que como la primera mujer afroamericana en dirigir el distrito, ella quiere “inspirar a los estudiantes de todas las razas y orígenes para perseguir sus sueños mediante la demostración de lo que es posible en el sistema de educación de L.A.”

King dijo que planea ampliar los esfuerzos para involucrar a los padres, los sindicatos del LAUSD y otros interesados en tomar un esfuerzo activo en el movimiento del distrito hacia adelante, y “crear nuevas vías para todos los estudiantes y darles las herramientas que necesitan para tener éxito”.

Se espera que la junta directiva finalice su contrato en su reunión del martes. La selección de King fue unánime.

De acuerdo con el distrito, el King asistió a las escuelas primarias Century Park y Windsor Hills y a la escuela intermedia Palms. Se graduó de la preparatoria  Palisades y asistió a UCLA.

Ella comenzó su carrera de docente en la escuela intermedia Porter en Granada Hills, enseñando matemáticas y ciencias, antes de convertirse en coordinadora de matemáticas, ciencias e industria aeroespacial en la escuela intermedia Wright en Westchester. Más tarde se desempeñó como subdirectora y directora de la preparatoria Hamilton en Cheviot Hills.

Se desempeñó como jefe de gabinete de Cortines durante su administración anterior, y luego como jefa adjunta bajo el Superintendente John Deasy y otra vez bajo Cortines tras la salida de Deasy.

LA Unified Selects First Black Woman to Lead District

January 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles Unified School District Deputy Superintendent Michelle King was named today the district’s next superintendent.

“What a historic moment this is,” LAUSD board President Steven Zimmer said. “A daughter of our city, a student and graduate of LAUSD, a teacher from our schools, a principal from our system, a leader of our community will now take the helm with us together to lead this district, our schools and our community for breakthroughs in public education for the students that need us
the most.”

King, 54, has been with the district for 31 years as a teacher and administrator. She is the first woman to lead the district in more than 80 years and the first black woman to ever lead the nation’s second-largest district.

“I am honored and proud to be selected as the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District,” King said. “I again want to thank the Board of Education for their confidence and support in allowing me to lead the students, employees and families of this incredible district.”
She said as the first black woman to lead the district, she wants to “inspire students of all races and backgrounds to pursue their dreams by demonstrating what is possible in L.A. Unified.”
King said she plans to expand efforts to engage parents, LAUSD unions and other stakeholders to take an active effort in moving the district forward, and “create new pathways for all students and give them the tools they need to succeed.”

The board is expected to finalize her contract at its meeting Tuesday. The selection of King was unanimous.
Superintendent Ramon Cortines retired from day-to-day operations of the district in December, and officially stepped aside Jan. 2. The board has been conducting a search for a replacement since August, while King has been serving as the interim leader of the district since Cortines stepped aside.

According to the district, King attended Century Park and Windsor Hills elementary schools and Palms Junior High School. She graduated from Palisades High School and attended UCLA.

She began her teaching career at Porter Middle School in Granada Hills, teaching math and science, before becoming the math, science and aerospace coordinator at Wright Middle School in Westchester. She later served as assistant principal and principal at Hamilton High School in Cheviot Hills.

She served as Cortines’ chief of staff during his previous administration, then as a deputy under Superintendent John Deasy and again under Cortines following Deasy’s departure.

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