Monday, July 13, 2009


Governing Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District
333 South Beaudry Avenue, Board Room
1 p.m., Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Item #33: Ms. Flores Aguilar, Dr. Vladovic, Ms. GarcĂ­a - Public School Choice: A New Way at LAUSD

(Notice July 1, 2009)

Whereas, The Governing Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District is responsible for ensuring that the District provides all students a high quality education, which enables them to graduate college-prepared and career-ready;

Whereas, The Board must do everything it can to enhance the educational opportunities provided to students attending District schools;

Whereas, School transformation efforts are needed to address the longstanding opportunity gap in academic performance in schools across District;

Whereas, Given the chronic academic underperformance of a majority of public schools in the District, parents and communities have expressed a strong interest in playing a more active role in ensuring that students have more choice and access to high quality instructional programs;

Whereas, There has been a recent movement of parents and communities demanding better schools, with groups such as Alliance for a Better Community, Boyle Heights Learning Collaborative, East LA Education Collaborative, Inner City Struggle, The Parent Revolution, and the Southeast Cities Schools Coalition expressing a desire to play a more active role in shaping and expanding the educational options provided in their communities;

Whereas, The District is committed to engaging parents and the community in the quest to create diverse options for high quality educational environments, with excellent teaching and learning, for students’ academic success;

Whereas, The District has many outstanding schools that are setting a gold standard for excellence (traditional schools, pilot schools, iDesign schools, charter schools, small schools, magnet schools and others); schools whose high quality academic, collaborative, inclusive, and innovative practices should be replicated at other schools to improve educational outcomes and allow more students and families to benefit;

Whereas, A local foundation recently awarded the District a $4.375 million grant to help support the District’s transformative plan to ensure proficiency for all students by empowering schools to make decisions, right-sizing the District, increasing transparency, and using data to inform decision making;

Whereas, One of the project success measures for the grant is to “develop an open process for school communities and stakeholders to submit plans to operate new schools and develop a transparent and consistent process for the Board of Education to select the plan that best meets the needs of the students and families of the community,” with a deliverable date of Fall 2009;

Whereas, Developing an open process for school communities and internal and external stakeholders to submit plans to operate new schools, as well as a transparent and consistent process for selecting the plan that best meets the needs of students and families, supports the replication of successful schools and District transformation;

Whereas, New schools provide the greatest a unique opportunity to establish a school’s culture and lay the groundwork for students’ academic success; and

Whereas, More than fifty new schools will open in the District in the next three years, with twenty scheduled to open in the 2010-11 school year; now, therefore, be it and Whereas, These new schools are intended to relieve overcrowding at existing schools, thereby enabling the existing schools to return to a traditional school year; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That through the Innovation and Charter Schools Division, the Los Angeles Unified School District will invite operational and instructional plans from internal and external stakeholders, such as school planning teams, local communities, pilot school operators, labor partners, charters, and external stakeholders others who are interested in collaborating with District or operating the District’s new schools, in an effort to create more schools of choice and educational options for the District’s students and families;

Resolved further, That any plan submitted must guarantee that the new school will enroll the requisite number of students from the impacted campuses that the new school is intended to relieve, and that students coming form the designated, overcrowded schools will be served first and foremost;

Resolved further, That the student composition at each new school must be reflective of the student composition at the schools it is intended to relieve (in terms of demographics, including but not limited to race/ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, English Learners, Special Education, foster care placement);

Resolved further, That the Superintendent use secure the local foundation funding to hire a resource lead person to assist with the implementation of this project effort, so that General Fund resources are not used;

Resolved further, That the Superintendent convene a team of appropriate District staff (such as Instructional Services, Local Districts, iDesign, Charter Office, General Counsel, etc.), collective bargaining partners, teachers, administrators, and community and parent representatives to work collaboratively over the next 90 days to:

Resolved further, That the Board directs the leader of this effort to work collaboratively with appropriate stakeholder and community over the next 90 days to report back to the Superintendent with recommendations regarding the following:

• Review and analyze research on new school instructional plans, and identify best practices

• Develop a template and process for submitting plans to operate new schools

• Develop criteria and metrics for evaluating the plans submitted, including feedback from the appropriate local jurisdiction; criteria should include metrics for educational vision and leadership, instruction and curriculum, staffing requirements, wrap-around services, community and parent engagement, prior experience and success and others as appropriate

• Collect community feedback on the template, process, and evaluation criteria for plans to operate the operational plans of new schools

• Develop a process for school communities and stakeholders to evaluate the plans submitted and provide a recommendation to the Board on their preference preferred partner in the operation of the school; such a process must be objective transparent, fair, and ensure no conflicts of interest

• Develop a facility use agreement for selected school operators – if outside the District – similar to those used for Proposition 39 co-locations, including requirements for maintenance and operations, and common areas such as green space, libraries, playgrounds, cafeterias, etc.

Resolved further, That if sufficient progress is not made by the team in a timely manner, and/or if the team’s work stalls due to an unwillingness of stakeholders to collaborate or move the work forward, the Superintendent be directed to independently continue assume the responsibilities of the this team effort to ensure the work is completed;

Resolved further, That the Superintendent report to the Board by September 30, 2009, with a transparent process for plans to be submitted, reviewed, and evaluated by internal staff and external stakeholders;

Resolved further, That every decision must be about what is best for children – not adults – and how to provide them with the education they need and the future they deserve; Resolved further, That by December 30, 2009, the Superintendent will submit to the Board

internal staff and external stakeholders recommendations for plans that should be approved by the Board for each new school opening during the Fall of 2010; and be it finally

Resolved, That the Superintendent report to the Board on a monthly basis to share progress made in accomplishing the specifics of this resolution.

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