Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Charter School Leaders Breakfast

On Wednesday morning, I hosted a breakfast for charter school leaders whose schools are located in Board District 4. As the Chair of the new Charters and Innovation Committee, I feel that it is important for me to hear from practitioners to inform my policy decisions.

At the breakfast, the charter leaders shared some of their "best practices" they've implemented to make their schools successful, and they were also able to express challenges they've faced when dealing with the District. I hope to am ameliorate some of their challenges through changes in the charter policy. Some of the concerns expressed by those in attendance included the allocation of District facilities under Proposition 39, the lack of understanding by District staff of charter school autonomy for affiliated schools and the cumbersome application process for conversion charters.

If you as a parent or a community member have other concerns about charter schools and their interaction with the District, please leave a comment below.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

New LAUSD Charters and Innovation Committee

I am pleased to announce I am chairing our new Charter and Innovation Committee which met for the first time on Oct. 4. The Charter and Innovation Committee will help drive the District’s efforts to quickly and dramatically improve the education of our students. It will also help the District improve our application and renewal policies for charter schools, develop rational policies and procedures for use of facilities and tackle other important issues. I am delighted to be leading this effort because I believe strongly in the need for new partnerships for our students.

The Charter and Innovation Committee is designed to drive school and District transformation. The Committee’s inaugural meeting provided the first opportunity for in-depth discussion of the District’s newly created Innovation Division and the LA Partnership for Schools, one of the first Innovation Division projects. In the coming months, the Committee will meet to vet additional proposals to the District’s new Innovation Division, review charter school petitions, and discuss policy reforms.

Board Member representitives include Board President Monica Garcia and Board Members Yolie Flores Aguilar and Julie Korenstein. To improve communication and coordination with the Charter School community and other external partners, the Committee includes several outside representatives. They are Judy Burton CEO of LA Alliance, Anita Landecker Executive Director of ExED, Tony Ressler of Ares Investments, and Stephen Rochelle the Principal of Wright Middle School.

The Charter and Innovation Committee will meet the first Thursday of every month to consider these issues at 1p.m. in the LAUSD Boardroom at 333 S. Beaudry Avenue, Los Angeles. Agendas are available online at:

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Payroll System Update 2

In response to questions about the LAUSD payroll crisis, Superintendent David L. Brewer III issued a letter to District parents and families last week explaining what steps he and his team are taking to correct the LAUSD's payroll issues. Click here to read the letter.