More plans for LAUSD in the works

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Attempting to seize the initiative from the city’s mayor, two state legislators and a coalition of community-based organizations led by the teachers union made separate educational reform pushes Monday, both advocating breaking up the district. During a news conference, Sen. George Runner, R-Antelope Valley, and Assemblyman Keith Richman, R-Northridge, touted their plan to split the 727,000-student district into districts of no more than 50,000 students each by 2010. They claimed their breakup proposal would be the best way to achieve accountability and save a “failing” district with a high dropout rate. “The mayor’s going in the opposite direction of what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to decentralize … and the mayor is trying to centralize education in Los Angeles,” Runner said. “I don’t care how many times you want to reorganize … The only way you create a community-oriented school system is to empower parents, families and voters.” A draft version of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s plan revealed a push to break up the 700-square-mile LAUSD into 80 mini-districts, limit schools to 500 students, extend the school day to 5 p.m. and the school year to 10 1/2 months. United Teachers Los Angeles President A.J. Duffy said at an afternoon news conference that their plan is the only one created by a grass-roots coalition and calls for collaboration with all the stakeholders: the school district, mayor, teachers and families. The union-led plan suggests increasing autonomy at school sites, eliminating the eight local districts, expanding the school board and making seats full-time positions, reducing class size and allowing teachers a greater role in reshaping the curriculum, Duffy said. District officials said while they agree with most of the plan’s ideas, they believe a managed standards-based curriculum has proved to produce the greatest achievements. School board member David Tokofsky questioned whether any of the plans would improve student learning. “There are so many plans out there that it’s starting to give the word ‘plan’ a bad name. Not since the last days of the Soviet Union have there been so many plans and so little yield,” Tokofsky said. “What matters is the classroom teachers, the quality of the teacher and how much training and support you give that teacher, and so far most of these plans are focusing on governance, bloated bureaucrats and other sound bites rather than my kid’s teacher.” The mayor met with Duffy for two hours Saturday to discuss the union plan. While Duffy declined to comment specifically on the mayor’s plan, which he has not seen, he maintained that for now, the union opposes mayoral takeover because it doesn’t appear to produce any appreciable benefits. naush.boghossian@dailynews.com (818) 713-3722last_img

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