Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa plans education focus for State of the City speech
Jefferson High School
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Although the mayor of Los Angeles has no formal role in education, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will focus on education during his annual State of the City speech today at Jefferson High School.
Villaraigosa is expected to unveil new plans to "engage in more aggressive (education) reforms to give students and parents more and better choices,'' an aide said.
Villaraigosa is also expected to discuss the city's budget crisis, his transportation initiatives and public safety.
Villaraigosa said he chose Jefferson High School as the site for his speech because it is an example of a school that has made a significant turnaround through the Public School Choice program he supports.
The program, which began in 2009, identifies the city's Los Angeles Unified School District's lowest performing schools for targeted improvement plans that include installing new leadership.
Villaraigosa said he visited Jefferson High School shortly after being elected in 2005 when a series of racially motivated fights brawls broke out at the school.
"Students and teachers were left disheartened and demoralized, and I left Jefferson with a rekindled commitment to our city's underserved schools and students,'' Villaraigosa said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
Villaraigosa said Jefferson High School has become a safer campus and its API score—a statewide measure of school performance—rose 33 points since going through Public School Choice. He plans to use Jefferson as an argument for expanding the program.
Villaraigosa has made education one of his priorities since taking office.
Villaraigosa's education goals include changing or reconstituting low-performing schools, giving parents a greater voice in their children's education, building partnerships and creating strong, high-performing schools committed to measurable progress that enable every student to receive a high-quality education that will prepare them for careers.
Villaraigosa also operates the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, an independent educational nonprofit group that operates in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The partnership works with the district in efforts to transform teaching and learning at its 21 schools so all students have the foundation for academic excellence and personal success.
In an effort to have his educational goals come to fruition, Villaraigosa has backed school board candidates who defeated opponents supported by United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing the district's teachers.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Voters will fill the final seat on the Los Angeles Unified School District board today, choosing between a former assistant to the mayor and an attorney who is also a teacher.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Los Angeles Unified School District needs critical reform in teacher evaluation, tenure and teaching assignment policies, according to a national study of the district released today.
The National Council on Teacher Quality, a nonpartisan, privately funded research organization based in Washington, D.C., studied five key policy areas—staffing, evaluations, tenure, compensation and work schedule.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa urged the Los Angeles Unified School District today to embrace his plan for getting parents involved in the education of their children.
"Parents play a critical role in motivating their children to learn and achieve,'' Villaraigosa said.
"Schools should play an equally critical role ... and do a better job of engaging and empowering them in their children's education.''
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—DonorsChoose.org, the innovative national online education charity that allows public school teachers to seek independent funding for classroom supplies and resources via its website, announced today that the Wasserman Foundation has made a two-year commitment of $4 million to support Los Angeles School District and charter teachers. This includes a $2 million gift card campaign to parents and the community and a $2 million challenge grant to Angelenos to fund Los Angeles schools through DonorsChooseLA.org.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced the city will receive at least $10 million in federal funds to help keep chronically absent students in school.
The federal Workforce Investment Grant will be given to the Los Angeles Unified School District to hire full-time staff that will work with students year-round to improve attendance.
The grant could be as high as $13 million. The amount might go up after Congress finalizes its budget, but $10 million is guaranteed.