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Cortines: LAUSD board united for change

August 26, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The L.A. Unified School District is facing some monumental decisions after voting on Tuesday to allow a third of the district's schools to be run by private operators.LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines delivered his first State of the District message and told principals and administrators that it is time to stop pointing the finger and time to start locking arms.

The school choice plan was approved by a vote of 6-1 on Tuesday but he says all seven members of the LAUSD board share the same goal.

"The main focus they felt is to be on our students and how we can improve education for all of our children," Cortines said during his address.

Cortines said everyone involved in educating L.A. Unified students has a responsibility to those students. While 5 percent more high school seniors are getting their diplomas, to increase graduation rates, schools need to learn from each other and not isolate each other, he said.

"We need to harness the energy of our students, our families and communities to develop school plans that are conclusive to meet the need of all of our students."

Robin Evans, who is the asst. principal at 75th St. Elementary School, said that she was happy to hear that Cortines didn't just focus on the negative and actually mentioned some of the good things that are happening within the district.

"It was a very true speech about what is going on in the district," Evans said. "There are some good things happening in our district and I was happy that he recognized that."

Although many got the answers they were looking for, others left being reminded of why they got into education in the first place ? the students.

The superintendent did not lay out any details of his plan but says that he intends to meet with some of the underperforming schools and formulate a plan to improve them.

Cortines said the status quo is simply unacceptable.

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