Thursday, April 11, 2013


- or -  you always get an “A” when you do your own report card!

By Barbara Jones, Staff Writer, LA Daily News |

04/11/2013 01:48:05 PM PDT  ::  A new coalition of civil rights groups, led by the United Way, released a poll today showing strong support for reforms taking place in Los Angeles Unified and calling for an even more aggressive approach to improving student achievement and increasing local control of neighborhood schools.

The survey by CLASS -- Communities for LA Student Success -- was conducted in the wake of a divisive school board race that pitted the so-called reform movement against organized labor. It included a series of questions centered on some of the more controversial issues facing the district, such as transforming underperforming schools, evaluating teacher performance and increasing the number of charters and other nontraditional campuses.

According to the poll, 98 percent believe it is important or critical to improve graduation rates for Latinos and African American students, and 95 percent supported greater autonomy for local schools. There also was strong support for expanding the use of technology in the classroom and for using a data-based system to evaluate the performance of teachers and principals.

"Our goal is to figure out what the community wants," Ryan Smith, the education policy director for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, said during a press conference outside LAUSD headquarters. "By taking a poll of more than 100 community leaders, civil rights activists, we were able to see what their belief was for the priorities of the district.

"We've seen that many people are reaffirming many of the priorities the district has taken. And many of those priorities have been set by (Superintendent) John Deasy's agenda."

The CLASS report was released as United Teachers Los Angeles was counting votes in its own confidence poll on Deasy. Over the last week, its 30,000-plus members have been asked to weigh in on whether they think the district is headed in the right direction. The same poll asks whether the union should be more strident in its demands for higher pay, smaller classes and an end to many of the district's reforms.

The union is scheduled to release its poll late today.

Deasy released a statement saying he was "gratified and heartened" by the poll, saying it reflected the broad-based interest in public education as critical to the future of Los Angeles.

"While the responses to this survey indicate that we are moving in the right direction, they also send a clear message that this agenda must move quicker and with more courage," he said.

The results of both polls come about five weeks before a May 21 runoff for two candidates to represent the East San Fernando Valley on the LAUSD board -- an election that also includes the mayor's race.

Outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called this week on the mayoral candidates, Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel, to create substantive strategies for dealing with the problems facing the nation's second-largest school district.

In addition to the United Way, CLASS includes the Urban League, Families in Schools and two groups of reform-minded teachers -- Educators 4 Excellence and Teach Plus.


April 11: @Dr Deasy hasn't sent a tweet since February27th..  This morning he sent a flock!

clip_image001John Deasy@DrDeasyLAUSD

Communities for Los Angeles Student Success (CLAS) survey shows LAUSD is moving in right direction to improve schools. #allyouthachieving

clip_image001[1]John Deasy@DrDeasyLAUSD

CLASS survey shows 95% of community leader respondents believe LAUSD should give schools more local control with accountability for results.

clip_image001[2]John Deasy@DrDeasyLAUSD

It is absolutely critical that this administration continue to move the reform agenda overwhelmingly endorsed by the CLASS respondents.

clip_image001[3]John Deasy@DrDeasyLAUSD

Civic leaders, parent leaders, religious leaders believe LAUSD moving forward, according to CLASS survey, but I realize it must be faster.


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