With all of the Greater Los Angeles area schools back in session now, it’s a good time to take a look at some of the things that will most affect our students. Among them the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will be implemented in the 2013-2014 school year, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) was enacted in 2013, and LAUSD outpaced the State’s API scores.
Common Core State Standards is a near-universal set of academic standards (i.e., what students should know and be able to do in each subject and grade level) agreed to by 45 states that will affect K-12 education. CCSS was designed by educators and academic experts, and inspired by standards from the world’s highest-performing countries. It represents a huge shift in teaching English Language Arts, and math (other subjects may be phased in later). The concept is to have the same set of standards nationwide – so that if families move to different schools or states students will be familiar with the standards in english and math.
The Local Control Funding Formula is a complex system that will ultimately provide much needed financial resources to many schools with poor, underserved, English Language Learners, and Special Education students in CA. schools. It’s a result of the passage of proposition 30, by CA. voters in 2012. A meeting highlighting many of the LCFF was held on August 8th at the Los Angeles County of Education (LACOE) Office in Downey. The meeting which was conducted and sponsored by State and County officials gave an overview of LCFF, and allowed public comments by education stakeholders (including this writer). Although the LCFF will not be fully implemented for several years – it has already appropriated an advance of $26,735,314,361 (yes that’s 26 billion) to CA. schools for the 2013-2014 school year.
And finally, LAUSD has surprisingly outpaced the State’s API scores even though half of their schools still are not meeting adequate standards according to the most current data. However one school in Watts, Animo College Preparatory Academy made the highest gain (110 points) in the State. Mendez Learning Center, and other schools located on the Roosevelt High School campus also scored higher than the state average. A school official attributed their gains to recruiting and training strong principals and teachers, using technology to meet student’s needs, and increased parental involvement.
For more information on CCSS, LCFF, and API scores go to: www.cde.ca.gov