Tuesday, July 17, 2012


LAUSD, Future Is Now Schools announce partnership for 2013-14

Barbara Jones, Staff Writer, LA Daily News | http://bit.ly/Nu3sxu

Updated:   07/17/2012 08:15:03 AM PDT  ::  Los Angeles Unified and Future Is Now, a reform organization led by charter pioneer Steve Barr, today announced a partnership to create "hybrid learning" middle and high schools in Silver Lake, Fairfax and Venice in time for the 2013-14 school year.

Dubbed the Campaign for Great Los Angeles Public Schools, the effort will create will allow for more autonomy at the designated campuses, with teacher-led programs and multiple measures for performance evaluations, officials said.

The partnership builds on the recently agreed upon Stabilization and Empowerment Initiative reached by the district and United Teachers Los Angeles, officials said.

"I'm excited about the potential of this partnership to reinvigorate innovation in our school system," Superintendent John Deasy said in a statement. "Central to that equation is having our teachers lead the process, which is what this partnership puts front and center. We have the opportunity to make LAUSD a leader in collaborative education reform."

Steve Barr, founder of Future Is Now Schools, said the new partnership is a unique collaboration between traditional and reform education movements.

"We have great schools in Los Angeles and there is no reason this city shouldn't have the best public school system in America," Barr said. "What has hampered us in past from scaling up these model schools is inability for union teachers, education officials and education reformers to stop fighting and get on the same page."

FIN, which is developing schools in New York, New Orleans, and now Los Angeles, will be providing teacher design teams with their best practice model, officials said. These include individual learning plans and lessons and automated assessments and grading.


Charter school exec targets Echo Park & Silver Lake

The Eastsider LA |  http://bit.ly/Q4qfTM

Steve Barr/Photo by Poptech

Tuesday, July 17, 2012  ::  Charter school founder Steve Barr and L.A. Unified have teamed up to open academies within the school district that will feature “new approaches to training teachers and new ways of instruction made possible by technology,” reports the L.A. Now. The details have yet to be worked out but Barr, founder of Green Dot Schools and a resident of Silver Lake, told the times he wants to focus on a few areas of the city, including some neighborhoods close to home:

In Los Angeles, Barr said he would focus initially on three areas: Silver Lake/Los Feliz/Echo Park, Fairfax and Venice. All have high concentrations of middle-class students, a departure from Green Dot, which runs schools in low-income neighborhoods.

A Silver Lake resident with two small children, Barr cited highly regarded Ivanhoe Elementary as a local asset that could be built upon. “Ivanhoe is better than any charter school I’ve ever seen,” said Barr. “This is about seeding some of that success. I want my kids to go through LAUSD from kindergarten through 12th grade.”

What does Barr, who founded Green Dot in 1999 and currently sits on its board of directors, have in mind? Barr cited the Los Angeles River School in Glassell Park “as having attributes he hopes to emulate,” according to L.A. Now. The new schools would be operated under Barr’s new initiative, Future Is Now Schools.

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