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The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education recently voted to take action to ensure that the education of children is the first and foremost priority.
Authored by newly-elected board president Dr. Ref Rodriguez, the “L.A. Unified Learning, Leading and Succeeding for Students” resolution calls on LAUSD superintendent Michelle King to evaluate the impact that all actions, resolutions, policies and contracts have on student achievement.
“Our greatest natural resource is our young people, and our greatest gift to them is a quality public education,” Rodriguez said. “As a board, we must stand united as seven leaders who care deeply about education and have the expertise to steer this district to a place where exceptional educational achievement is standard across L.A. Unified.”
The resolution focuses on five critical areas to improve student achievement. They include prioritizing students in all board actions, partnering with parents, investing in teachers, verifying that schools and classrooms are “ready to learn” on the first day of school and prioritizing fiscal health through innovative strategies that put students first.
“It is a new day with the ‘Kids First’ agenda leading the way,” said board vice president Mónica García. “We must accelerate the pace of learning and success until we get to every child in every school.”
While the LAUSD has made progress in increasing the graduation rate and student achievement, the board and superintendent acknowledge there is work to be done. During the 2015-16 school year, 77 percent of students graduated, 39 percent of students met or exceeded standards in English language arts and 29 percent met or exceeded standards in math.
“This is the emergence of a new paradigm,” said board member Nick Melvoin. “It’s about a coalition that arose to implore us to lead with a simple yet radical maxim: put kids first.”
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