By Gloria Angelina Castillo, EGP Staff WriterBell Gardens Sun, City Terrace Comet, Commerce Comet, County of Los Angeles, ELA Brooklyn Belvedere Comet, Eastside Sun, General News, Mexican American Sun, Montebello Comet, Monterey Park Comet, Northeast Sun, Vernon Sun, Wyvernwood Chronicle
24 November 2011 - The Los Angeles Unified School District announced that 58 proposals have been accepted for 15 new and 10 existing schools that are currently being processed under the third round of the Public School Choice (PSC) reform initiative. The District this week also announced the list of new and existing campuses that will begin the same process next year, in PSC 4.0.
The reform approved in 2009 identifies chronic underperforming schools as well as new LAUSD campuses and makes them available for management by District or outside education based groups, such as teams of teachers, local district staff, charter management and non-profit organizations.
<< Dr. Julian Nava, pictured, will have a new high school named in his honor. The LAUSD Board of Education last week voted to name Central Region Middle School #7 the “Dr. Julian Nava Learning Academy.” Nava is a recognized prominent Latino leader and Boyle Heights native.
Selection is based on the group’s proposals to improve the school or set a strong instructional foundation for new schools.
Public School Choice 3.0 schools—some with more than one school on a campus—are scheduled to open in Aug. 2012.
In the Northeast and East Los Angeles area, the Hilda L. Solis Learning Academy and Woodrow Wilson High School are both undergoing reform.
Two proposals were accepted for the new Hilda Solis Learning Academy, previously referred to as East LA Star Academy. The high school will share facilities with an adult school. Applications were accepted from a United Teachers Los Angeles, UTLA, team for the “Hilda Solis Learning Academies,” and the “Hilda Solis Medical & Health Academy,” a proposal from Local District 5.
Woodrow Wilson High School in El Sereno received only one proposal. Principal Ursula C. Rosin leads the proposal by the school’s current staff.
Wilson is not unlike other schools in the area that have only received one applicant while undergoing the reform process. In fact, this is the second PSC cycle for the Hilda Solis Academy. Last year under PSC 2.0, the school’s sole applicant, a team from Local District 5, failed to win the school board’s approval, forcing it to undergo the process again.
When Luther Burbank Middle School in Highland Park underwent PSC reform, it too received only one proposal —from a team led by the former principal and teachers. That proposal was rejected, even after being revised. Burbank was reconstituted last year under the No Child Left Behind Act.
The applicant proposals will now undergo further review by the Superintendent’s Review Panel. LAUSD will seek feedback from students, parents, and the community at informational sessions to be held in December, after which Superintendent John Deasy will make his recommendation to the LAUSD School Board, which makes the final decision.
Deasy is expected to make his recommendations to LAUSD’s Board of Education in late February; the final board decision could take place in February or March 2012, according to LAUSD.
The timeline for PSC 3.0 was originally pending a collective bargaining agreement with UTLA, but no agreement has been reached, nor is one expected, Gayle Pollard-Terry told EGP.
The negotiations are related to the school board’s vote in August to give internal teams first consideration for new schools. Whether the internal applicants will be given first priority, despite the failure to reach a bargaining agreement, is still unclear, Pollard-Terry said.
On Tuesday, LAUSD announced the names of the 13 low-performing schools to be included in round four of the reform process. The list includes Franklin High School in Highland Park.
“The Public School Choice process is intended to accelerate lagging student achievement at these schools and provide additional opportunities for students to succeed academically,” said Deasy in a written statement.
To date, over 100 schools have been included in the PSC process, according to LAUSD.
In other news, the Board of Education on Nov. 15 named Central Region Middle School #7 the “Dr. Julian Nava Learning Academy.” Dr. Julian Nava was a United States Ambassador, and the first and only Latino elected to serve district wide on the Los Angeles Board of Education in 1967, according to LAUSD. Julian Nava is a product of LAUSD; he attended Breed Elementary, Hollenbeck Middle School and graduated from Roosevelt High School. The new campus named in his honor is located in South LA, bordering the City of Vernon, at 1420 E. Adams Blvd.
Prior plans for Solis and Burbank MS have been accepted only to be disapproved by the superintendent and/or the board of education in what is a political (both in the meaning of according-to-policy and in the politics-as-unusual meaning (decidedly more of the second) rather than a transparent democratic process. There are only 8 choosers in Public School Choice.