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LAUSD board approves reconstitution plan despite walkout

May 11, 2011 12:04:37 AM PDT
Despite hundreds of students walking out and protesting in front of LAUSD headquarters, the board approved a reconstitution plan on Tuesday.

About 300 students walked off campus for the seven-mile march to the LAUSD headquarters ahead of the vote, accompanied by 10 to 15 teachers and staff.

But the walkout didn't change the board's mind. The LAUSD board voted for a complete overhaul of Huntington Park High School and four other underperforming schools.

The plan is to replace half the faculty at Huntington Park High in the next six weeks. Teachers and administrators will be required to reapply for their jobs.

"I think a lot of our good teachers are not going to apply, so it is not going to work out," said student Denora Quintanilla.

LAUSD said teachers who do not reapply for their position at Huntington Park High will not be dismissed. They will instead be reassigned to another school.

Huntington Park High sits at the bottom for student performance - and has for years. The school has a 26-percent dropout rate, and a large percentage of its students do poorly on standardized tests.

Yolie Flores is a graduate of the high school and the board member pushing for more committed teachers.

"We know that a significant number of the personnel there is simply not a good match for this school, not a good match for these students, and the data and the results have proven that," Flores said.

According to the data, only one out of every 20 students is proficient in math. Out of every four, only one is proficient in English language skills.

But the teachers union said they suffered from overcrowding and other problems.

"We believe that support needs to be provided by the school district, not chaos, not things done quickly but things done deliberately for students," said Betty Forrester of UTLA.

Four other low-performing schools are also targeted for faculty sweeps, including Clay Middle School and Muir Middle School in South Los Angeles, Burbank Middle School in Highland Park and Jordan High in Watts.

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