Teachers and parents at seven schools inLos Angeles voted Tuesday on whether to become part of a reform effort pushed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The final results are not official, but most of the schools apparently have voted to join the program. Villaraigosa prevailed at two high schools: his alma mater, Roosevelt High School and the Santee Education Complex. He also won at Stevenson and Hollenbeck middle schools and at Markham and Gompers middle schools in Watts. The mayor may have fallen short of the mark at Jordan High School. The outcome there was too close to call. Under the mayor's partnership, control of the low-achieving campuses would shift from the Los Angeles Unified School District to a nonprofit that would offer extra support and money. A no vote would have placed the schools under Superintendent David L. Brewer's own plan for low-performing campuses.
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Earlier: Teachers and parents at seven low-performing middle and high schools in Los Angeles will decide this week whether to join Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in his effort to dramatically remake their schools. Those campuses are in line for what the mayor says are historic infusions of money and more authority. This week's balloting will culminate months of hard-charging organizing in neighborhoods and schools by the mayor, his allies and staff.
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Real estate developer Richard Lundquist and his wife, Melanie, plan to give $5 million a year over 10 years to the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a nonprofit organization established by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to oversee two high schools and the middle and elementary schools that feed into them starting as soon as July 2008. The money, and future donations, could prove a powerful incentive for schools to join the mayor's plans--each school community must vote to opt in. His office has launched a sometimes rocky campaign to build support among teachers and parents, some of whom are leery because of antagonism spawned by his unsuccessful effort to gain direct control over the Los Angeles Unified School District. (Los Angeles Times)
The new school board majority in Los Angeles has pushed through its first wave of reform measures — and fast. As a result, the Los Angeles Unified School District has new initiatives aimed at measuring student performance, paying employees on time, decreasing the dropout rate, helping English learners, building smaller schools, recruiting new employees, training principals and increasing parent involvement. (Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and top officials from the Los Angeles Unified School District expect to announce a new alliance this month that would give the mayor a role in running a cluster of campuses. The emerging partnership between these onetime adversaries comes as a new school board majority allied with Villaraigosa takes office today. At least four of the seven school board members, who were elected with the mayor's backing, are sympathetic to his desire to have an instrumental role in the schools. (Los Angeles Times)Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has abandoned efforts to gain direct legal authority over the Los Angeles Unified School District. Villaraigosa won't appeal a court ruling nullifying a law that would have given him substantial authority over the nation's second-largest school system. The announcement comes after allies of the mayor gained a 4-3 majority on the school board. ( Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa accomplished one of his key goals this week when his allies gained a majority on the Los Angeles Unified school board. It's not the outright control of local schools he once sought, but it's the kick that could open the door to his grand ambitions. Villaraigosa wants to raise student achievement sharply, even more than mayors elsewhere who've had full authority over their schools. The formula? Move power to schools, giving them more latitude in how and what they teach. (Los Angeles Times).
Partial election returns make it nearly certain that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's allies will make up a majority of the Los Angeles Unified school board. If they hold, the mayor will enjoy increased influence over the school district. (Los Angeles Times)
Despite another legal rebuke, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is refusing to relent on his campaign to gain substantial influence over city schools. A three-judge appeals court panel issued a unanimous decision rejecting a law designed to give Villaraigosa substantial authority over the Los Angeles Unified School District. The state's highest court is under no obligation to take the case, and some legal experts say the sweep of ruling signals poor prospects for the mayor's legal position. (Los Angeles Times)
The California Supreme Court has refused to immediately review a ruling that blocks Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa from taking partial control of the unified school district. The decision means the school district's challenge of mayoral control will remain before a lower court, which will hear arguments in early April and probably decide the case 30 to 60 days later. (Los Angeles Times)