LAUSD To Revamp Programs For English-Learners, Blacks
LAUSD will provide better teachers and more resources, such as books and technology, to black students and start paying attention to students who graduate from a program for learning English without actually mastering English under an agreement reached with the Obama administration announced Tuesday.
The deal marks an end to the first civil rights investigation launched by Obama's Education Department, though the department will continue to monitor LAUSD to ensure successful progress is achieved in graduating a higher percentage of English learners and blacks.
"There is a no greater challenge facing the LAUSD than to dramatically improve the academic performance and graduation rates of English Learner and African-American students," Superintendent Jon Deasy said in a prepared statement. "While the district has made considerable progress in this regard, success for every student remains to be delivered. The proposals offered by the Department of Education's Civil Rights Division are a welcome and promising addition to efforts already undertaken."
Education Secretary Arne Duncan celebrated the agreement as a model that could be replicated in other districts with similar challenges.
LAUSD has more students that have little to no background in English than any other district in the nation. The new plan for Latino students must also monitor the teachers of English learners.
One of the interesting programs in the agreement is "a first-of-its-kind pilot project for a community school in a predominantly African-American neighborhood that will provide wrap-around health and social services and become a sustainable and replicable model for promoting African-American student success."
The L.A. Times reported that the Education Department also told LAUSD to minimize "subjectivity" in discplinary practices, suggesting black students get disciplined more often than others.
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