LAUSD News Release
December 9, 2009
|Los Angeles Unified School District |
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS & MEDIA RELATIONS
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Los Angeles, CA 90017
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LAUSD SUPERINTENDENT ANNOUNCES RESTRUCTURE OF FREMONT HIGH SCHOOL FOR 2010-2011 SCHOOL YEAR
ACTION IS A MAJOR STEP IN BRINGING ABOUT REFORM TO LAUSD
Los Angeles—Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines today announced that he has ordered the restructuring of Fremont High School, citing the school’s years of low academic gains and a lack of urgency in progress with little evidence of improvements in student achievement. Effective July 1, 2010, the leadership of the school will report directly to Cortines.
“Something is not working at Fremont High School and we need to fix it,” said Cortines. “It is my intention to make fundamental reforms, which will require every staff member including teachers, counselors, maintenance workers and others to reapply for their jobs. We will also see a new governance model for the school with the goal of dramatically and rapidly boosting academic achievement.
“Regrettably, Fremont High School faces significant challenges and has become a case in point where improving the quality of education for our children has no sense of urgency and continuing the status quo only provides a disservice to our students, parents, dedicated teachers and the community at-large. I have little tolerance for mediocrity in education. Our students, parents and dedicated teachers deserve better.”
Federal law, specifically the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, permits school districts such as the LAUSD to restructure languishing schools that fail to make required and timely progress after being given several chances and more resources to improve.
Cortines, citing numerous test scores and other data, justified his actions in taking over the high school. Some examples are:
• Fremont High School has been in Program Improvement (PI) for 12 years, six years in PI 5+. Program Improvement (PI) is a designation given to a school that fails to meet its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years or more.
• Fremont High School’s 2009 Academic Performance Index (API) score is 524, well below the statewide target of 800 and below the District’s API score of 694. • On the California Standards Test (CST), only 13.6% of the school’s students tested scored proficient or above in English language arts.
• Of the 3,226 students tested in Mathematics in 2009, only 45 students were proficient across all tests in Mathematics. Only two students scored advanced in Mathematics. A total of 2,970 students at Fremont High School were identified at Far Below Basic or Below Basic in Mathematics.
• In 2008, the school’s graduation rate was 68%.
• Fremont High School’s dropout rate was 34.2% in 2007-2008, slightly higher than the Districtwide dropout rate of 33.1%.
• In the 2009 school year, the in-seat attendance rate was 85.64%. That means that on average, students have missed 25 days of instruction.
“There are many fine teachers at Fremont, however, collectively, the faculty is not meeting the instructional needs of students so that they can become college-prepared and career-ready. Cleary, a fresh start is needed,” said Cortines.
Following today’s announcement, Cortines said there will be a public comment period, which is expected to last until mid-January 2010. That will be followed by a month dedicated to developing a new governance plan for Fremont. By mid-February 2010, that plan should be completed with adequate public notice given. Implementation will begin at that time and may include the application and selection process for faculty and staff, an instructional reorganization and, funding permitting, a campus facelift.
“Parents and students can expect a distinctly different culture and a laser-like focus on urgently promoting across-the-board academic improvement,” said Cortines.
Superintendent Cortines also warned that he will consider aggressively restructuring other schools that are failing our students.