Friday, April 20, 2012

LAUSD to Embrace One-Size Fits All Model?

The Los Angeles Unified School District considers a significant revision of the curriculum:
All Los Angeles Unified high school students would have to take advanced courses such as algebra, physics and a foreign language and earn at least a "C" in order to graduate under a sweeping change in curriculum being considered by the school board.
The proposal outlined Tuesday is part of an effort to make every LAUSD graduate meet the minimum standards for admission to the UC and CSU systems.
Besides requiring the advanced courses, students would have to earn a "C" in those classes to get their diplomas. Currently, LAUSD considers "D" to be a passing grade.
To help students meet those tough new standards, the district would shrink the graduation requirement from 230 to 170 units, making it optional to take any electives, such as health or technology classes.
That would leave students' schedules open to repeat classes or get tutoring during the school day, officials said, because summer school is no longer an option after budget cuts. 

 So, in order to force all students into a single mold, the LAUSD would be willing to sacrifice curriculum variety under this proposal.

This change might cause a major shakeup in the school system however:

LAUSD has been pondering the college prep A-G curriculum for several years. The Board of Education passed in 2005 a nonbinding resolution recommending that every student entering ninth grade be required to pass it, beginning in 2012. Nothing was done until last year, when Aquino was tasked with coming up with a plan.
In 2005, some teachers urged the board not to approve the college prep plan, as many LAUSD students were not able to meet basic academic requirements and there was concern the new curriculum might lead to more dropouts. LAUSD already has an estimated 50 percent dropout rate.
The challenge facing the district in implementing A-G and getting students to pass it with a "C" is demonstrated with an analysis of the Class of 2011. Had the new standards been in place, roughly 8,000 of the 53,900 students in the class would have met the requirement.  

 So only about 15% would have been eligible to graduate last year if these reforms had been put in place.  In a school system already so troubled, it's not clear why a one-size-fits-all curriculum approach would be desirable.


  1. As it is now, teachers are expected to buffer grades anyway. You fail too many students and the administrators will come after you. Presently , we are expected to accommodate students who are English Learners, Special Ed , behavior problems, gifted but in supported and just regular kids who each have unique needs and abilities. Now let's consider the challenges a teacher faces in a 10th grade English class with 40 students programmed without rhyme or reason unless he or she has provoked the malice of the principal who can and will make sure every possible miscreant and low performer ends up in the same class.reme,ber, the teacher has 5 often 6 classes a day. How can children who are at grade level be served when behavior issues undermine daily continuity and other students lack the cognitive skills or language acquisition needed to thrive? There are only so many hours in each day. I am a teacher whose been in this predicament and I have figured out that my students will learn if I am resourceful enough to know them well. By paairing the strong with the weak miracles can and do happen. However, 10th grade is all about testing.mwe teach to tests and this is rote, dull and the last thing kids need before entering AP class.
    It seems counterintuitive to burden students with these tests , which are remedial yet culturally biased and dubious as a measure of their profiency as well as a teachers' effectiveness when no formative numbers rebrstablished for individual students before the scores are analysized. For example, a kid comes to my class and I determine his reading level is third grade at best. He's 7 grades behind, frustrated, fractured and full of understandable hostility. Chances are hell drop out, and if I were prudent , I would do nothing to stop him since he will have a negatibpve impact on my evaluation. I will not do this but others may. Let's say this kid and I work Err'day to improve his reading comprehension after I discover he has a passion of graffiti . I encourage him to write about this and assign him differentiated assignments . To my delight , he's reading at a 6th grade level by April and can write well enugh to pass the only test the kids by into CAHSEE which is needed for graduation.
    Not only does the kid pass my class, he is suddenly interested in reading, writing and my AP class next Fall. Unfortunately, he gets a basic on his other tests nd no one even sees that he and I have done something incredible. His test scores from tpyears before are never considered. VAM has a nearly 50% margin of error, no concessions for kids who " blow it off" as Cortines noted when confronted by students graduating with 2cd grade reading peeps in 2010. He language is deliberately onpbtuse, the test is dulls& poorly written, it's even erroneous

  2. Then theres the fact that we are competing with students in affluent white schools where cuts rarely are made and students have all the advantages mine don't. We also hear how great charters do, but never how charters cherry pic students , discriminating against ESL and IEP as well as AA students, a group whose language (culture) is singled out as academically inappropriate despite its tremendous influence on art and politics in this country. My student will be allowed into that AP class, which I have generated interest in npbecause even bright kids avoid it like the plague. It is a very demanding rhetoric class and students at my school historically score dismal 1 or 2s unless they are in Magnet where an occasional 5 or 6 surfaces and many 3s give the teacher a respectable score. She rejects kids she feels are not up to these college level standards and I accept them. While the scores are tragic, there's no denying that what ensues in my AP classes is magic. These kids get to college after taking AP the following year with the colleague I implemented this effort with. We use vertical approach and develo a collaborative cohort with these kids not on like the workshops you see in college, they become very close to us and site us the reason they had confidence to enter college. We are very proud of them and what we do, but the principal sees us as failures based on these numbers.
    He doesn't care that we did what we were expected to by providing rigor while accomodatin the needs of students wit differentiate instruction.hedoesnt respect the fact that he's overloaded us with 200 students and 3 or 4 preps and we never stumbled. He doesn't recognize the poetry slams we aren't paid to sponsor, much less the book clubs, play productions, student counsel and fundraisers for gang casualties who we bury with car washes . He never uses grants an funding as he should so we must solicit donations, look for sponsors, sell candy bars and pay out of pocket for incentives, field trips , costumes and books that are relevant to the kids in our classes.,
    This is all done w

  3. On purpose to insure our failure. While Deasy is dipping into Title 1 to pay for yet more tests from his other employer , Scholastic, where he oonlights as a consultant for 159k a year, he proposes to implement this unfathomable plan to make D s failing grades whole imposing college level coursework on kids who have been solcially promoted in middle school

  4. Process and acted with lawlessness and recklessness that demonstrates criminal indifference to children and want malice for teachers? Why is TFA recruitment gathering volunteers from college campuses to o a two year stint for Loan forgiveness at LAUSD schools? Why indeed. Tests are making test companies wealthy and affording privatizes who now want to remain public to have it both ways just as they are really running charter schools in LA more often than not , they are doing nothing to improve the unlit of instructions. On the contrary. In the meantime Deasy has sent two conflicting reports about bringing up score rigor, losing Ds and dropping graduation requirements. This way he can adopt whichever version fits his agenda when he fails to engage this absurd AP qualification for diplomas, which he wants us to believe are essentially worthless along with the blue collar work force that relies on them to work in greatly under rated vocations the district now refuses to support by mooing the ridiculous college bound edict on our students. The truth is education has betrayed teachers who are cheated out of raises, tenure and dignity by dirty unions and bloated districts. Many already find themselves unemployable because of rampant ageism in a profit based model for schools. Plumbers, Electricians, Longshoremen and lapd rejects who turn HS campuses into war zones earn as much as if not more than teachers. I appreciate this very astute blog and will be back for more inspiration to rant soon,

  5. Correction. In trying to find any thing to support my assertion that Mr.nDeasymworks as a consultant with scholastic I only foun comments That we're similar to my own here and blogs with allusions to conflicts of interest . However , while searching I noted a long alliance between Deasy, Gates and Scholastic that still suggests an unseemly edge when one factors in the more credible claim that Deasy dipped into title 1 to invest in more tests . Dies it make sense to purchase more as we flail with the ones we have and have good reason to have doubts about the quality about those in place ? The margin of error and culural bias alone are cause to wonder what we are paying for. The test has no formative foundation to measure student progress therefore it is worthless as a tool for measuring teacher effectiveness after 3rd or 4thngrade.. And the security lapses are evidence of what a joke the test is. Do you how college board proctors tests and distributes AP,and SAT? Not like that. Had there been cheating CB would concede these tests had no integrity.,Lausd uses them to justify firing teachers.. I admiitb the CBA is unreasonable as are codes, but this bully has come in and arrogantly imposed his agenda all,over our lives and thosenofnstudents, we are chattels to him , to our union and to scholastic.
    Google Deasy scholastic Lausd + testingn

    And be surE to visit