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April 08, 2014

Partnership Initiative Leads to Historic Protections for High-Need Schools

The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools issued the following statement today regarding the announcement of a pending settlement in the historic case of Reed v. State of California, et al.

“At the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, our mission is about equity. We strive to empower all students with a high-quality education, no matter where they live. That's why we contacted the ACLU and Public Counsel and asked them to take this case in the first place," said Joan Sullivan, CEO of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. "Today, thanks to ongoing collaboration, we have all parties coming together around a landmark settlement that promises to bring students across Los Angeles closer to the educational opportunity they deserve."

The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools and then Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa contacted the ACLU and Public Counsel to initiate this lawsuit in 2009. At the time, Partnership schools such as Markham and Gompers Middle Schools stood to lose nearly half their faculty due to budget-based layoffs while more affluent schools would lose few if any teachers. The lawsuit alleged the disproportionate impact of such budget-based layoffs denied low-income students their fundamental right under the state constitution to equal educational opportunity. In 2010, the Partnership joined the case directly, represented on a pro bono basis by lead Partner Diana Torres of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis. “Our firm believes that all students deserve an equal chance at a great education, so we were happy to team up with the Partnership to ensure that budget cuts did not disproportionality impact the city’s most vulnerable students. We are proud to work with an organization leading the charge to improve public education in Los Angeles.”

An initial court injunction in 2010 protected Markham, Gompers and a third school, John Liechty Middle School, from budget-based layoffs, and Los Angeles Unified District (LAUSD) subsequently agreed to protect an additional 42 LAUSD schools from layoffs. Ultimately, the case worked its way through the courts ending with today’s proposed landmark settlement under which 37 LAUSD schools qualify for protection, including six Partnership schools: Markham, Gompers and Stevenson Middle Schools; and Mendez, Jordan and Roosevelt High Schools. The proposed settlement is pending approval of the Los Angeles School Board on April 22 and ultimate approval by the courts.

The proposed 3-year settlement will bring a range of supports for teachers, administrators and other staff in order to improve staff stability and reduce dropouts at each of the campuses. These schools, known as “Investment Schools” in the settlement, will receive new mentor teachers, another administrator, additional counselors or social workers, support positions for special education students, support for special training at each of the schools, incentives for leadership stability, and more planning time for new teachers, among other supports. This settlement provides an approximately $20 million per year to the 37 schools over three years.

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January 14, 2014

Mr. Espinoza Gets A+ For His Dedication to Students

As soon as Oscar Espinoza enters his classroom, he is instantly busy talking to a student who needs help with his grades. Unphased, Mr. Espinoza, teacher and Magnet Coordinator at Markham Middle School, puts everything down and assists the student with a grade change; he makes phone calls and arranges to help the student raise his grade.

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January 14, 2014

Family University Day Attracts over 1,000 Attendees!

On a sunny Saturday morning last month, more than 1,000 families attended the 4th Annual Parent College Family University Day at Loyola Marymount University, edging out last year’s attendance by more than 100 attendees.

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January 08, 2014

For Second Consecutive Year, Wells Fargo Teams Up With FOX Sports West & Los Angeles Kings to Score Big for LA Schools

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), one of America’s leading community banks, announced today it is teaming up for a second season with FOX Sports West, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools and the Los Angeles Kings to “Score One for LA’s Kids.” The campaign will again help donate $1,000 for every goal scored by the LA Kings in the 2013-14 regular season in support of teacher development programs at Partnership schools.  During last year’s campaign, $150K was raised for technology in the classroom, which impacted up to 12,000 students. 

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December 11, 2013

The Partnership's Parent College Gets National Attention

The Partnership's Parent College, a seven-month parent empowerment workshop series, was recently featured on PBS NewsHour.

The report looks at the Parent College experience through the eyes of two Partnership parents, one from 99th Street Elementary in Watts, the other from Hollenbeck Middle School in Boyle Heights.  

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September 16, 2013

Educator Spotlight: Jim Pentecost, Drama Teacher at Santee Education Complex

"The skills that you learn in the performing arts are skills that can be readily applied to other areas of life. You want to be a lawyer? Lawyers are actors. Want to be a doctor? You have to have good people relations. You can use many of the skills learned in Drama in almost any profession you choose," says Jim Pentecost, Santee’s Drama Teacher.

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September 16, 2013

Gompers Student Selected as National Ambassador for Poem Contest

For the second year in a row, a student from Samuel Gompers Middle School has been selected as the National Ambassador during the "Do the Write Thing" National Recognition Week in Washington D.C. The Do the Write Thing (DtWT) Challenge is an initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV), an organization that focuses on reducing youth violence in communities across the United States.

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September 16, 2013

Roosevelt Students Present Mapping Project to 14,000 Conference Attendees

Last month, four 11th grade Roosevelt Magnet students got the opportunity to present before an audience of 14,000 at the ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) User Conference in San Diego.

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August 29, 2013

For the Second Consecutive Year, Partnership Schools Rank #1 in API Growth in the State Among Mid- to Large-Sized Systems

The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools today announced that for the second consecutive year it ranks #1 in the State in gains on the Academic Performance Index (API) out of 162 mid- to large-size school systems.

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August 28, 2013

Turnarounds Take Leadership, Humility

Marshall Tuck, the Partnership's founding CEO, and Colleen Oliver, our current CAO, share lessons learned in EdWeek on turning around some of LA's toughest schools: focusing on strong school leaders, effective teaching, targeted student supports and family and community engagement as the four basic strategies for turning around schools.

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