By Connie Llanos, Staff Writer | LA Daily News
09/25/2009 02:16:10 PM PDT -- A dozen low performing Los Angeles Unified schools could be taken over next year by independent operators under the district's new reform plan, officials said Friday.
Releasing the list of chronically under-performing schools, including San Fernando Middle School, paves the way for charter school organizations, the teachers' union and other non-profit groups to submit proposals to operate the schools.
Under the original guidelines of the "School Choice Plan" approved by the LAUSD board in August, 302 new and underperforming schools were eligible to be taken over. The plan called for all schools who had failed to meet federal test goals for more than three years to be included on the list.
But the district only selected 36 schools - 24 new campuses and 12 under-performing sites - to ensure that every "focus" school, as LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines has coined them, received the proper amount of attention.
Ultimately the 12 schools selected had to meet additional criteria that included having less than 21 percent proficiency in math or reading and no growth in their state test scores, and more than a 10 percent drop-out rate for high schools.
The other 11 underperforming schools are: Griffith Joyner, Hillcrest Drive, and Hyde Park elementary schools, Burbank and Carver middle schools and Gardena, Garfield, Lincoln, Jefferson, Maywood Academy and San Pedro High Schools.
All of the district's 51 new schools that will be completed by 2012 as part of the district's $20 billion bond construction program will be eligible for take over under the plan, but only 24 will be opening next year.
In the San Fernando Valley that will include elementary schools in Panorama City, Van Nuys, Sylmar, North Hollywood and Canoga Park.
Cortines also released a list of 56 "support and service" schools that he will be watching closely this year. Cortines said he will be setting benchmarks for these schools.
Schools that fail to meet these goals will be part of next year's list of schools that will be up for bid.
Cortines will be submitting final application procedures to the LAUSD board for approval Oct. 27 and expects to have all school operators selected for these 36 schools by February.