5 Goals of the Los Angeles Unified School District
We review the five goals of the Los Angeles Unified School District and their strategies for meeting those goals.
The Los Angeles Unified School District, one of the largest public school districts in the United States, has very specific goals for its students. Those goals are outlined at the district website, as well as the strategies the district plans to use for achieving those goals. The goals all point towards preparing students for career or college readiness once they graduate from Los Angeles high schools. However, the strategies begin implementation long before students ever set foot in a high school in the county.
Goal 1: Prepare Students for Career and College by Transforming the Teaching and Learning Process
At the foundation of this goal is the implementation of Common Core Standards. According to the website, Common Core Standards provide a consistent expectation for all students and faculty within the Los Angeles Unified School District. These standards encompass English Language Arts and mathematics. English Language Development standards are also in place for the district to ensure English learners are able to master the core requirements for English Language Arts.
Common Core Standards were chosen by the Los Angeles Unified School District for a number of reasons, including:
- These standards provide for career and college readiness after high school
- Common Core Standards include rigorous content and develop high-order skills
- The standards are consistent, understandable and measurable
- Common Core Standards are evidence-based
- These standards are used by other countries, so students in L.A. remain competitive on a global level
- Common Core Standards build on the strengths of California State standards
Goal 2: Engage Employees at All District Levels to Focus on Improving Student Outcomes
To ensure that everyone working in the Los Angeles Unified School District is committed to improving student outcomes across district schools, the district has established the Talent Management Division. According to the website, the primary responsibility of this division is to ensure every classroom has an effective teacher and every school has an outstanding leader. The division will also see that the principal and teachers at each Los Angeles school are surrounded by a talented, committed and highly skilled support team.
To achieve its purposes, the Talent Management Division has created the Teacher Effectiveness Task Force. This organization is responsible for recommending personnel and procedures to ensure the highest effectiveness from the staff within Los Angeles schools. the task force is comprised of stakeholders in the Los Angeles school system, including internal and external members from the district.
Goal 3: Create a Portfolio of High-Performing Schools throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District that Parents, Students and the Community will Benefit From
This goal is primarily the responsibility of the Creating and Supporting Quality Schools division of the Los Angeles Unified School District. This division works by providing needs-based support and services for students at all Los Angeles schools, for the purpose of improving student achievement across the board. Schools identified within the district as falling within the realms of this division include charter schools, pilot schools, and Network Partnership schools.
To that end, this division has established the Division of Intensive Support and Innovation, which has identified “Schools on the Move.” These schools have demonstrated innovative practices to increase the level of student achievement. The Division of Intensive Support and Innovation posts profiles on each of these schools to provide innovation and ideas for other schools in the district to utilize. The hope is that the success of some schools in the district will increase success at other schools through the sharing of programs that have proven effective within the Los Angeles school district.
Goal 4: Ensure a Safe and Nurturing Environment for All Youth in Los Angeles
Safety is a key concern in public schools across the country today, and Los Angeles Unified School District is no exception. This district employs the largest independent school police department in the country, with more than 350 police officers and 126 school safety officers. The Los Angeles Schools Police Department also employs 34 civilian support staff to handle the administrative responsibilities of the department.
Police officers employed through the department are responsible for the safety of students at the schools and for the safety of the surrounding community. These officers patrol school buildings, as well as neighborhoods around the schools. School safety officers also work on school campuses and in parking lots to ensure the safety of all students and staff in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Goal 5: Encourage Public Trust by Operating an Effective and Transparent Organization
To achieve this goal, the Los Angeles Unified School District has established the Budgeting for Student Achievement Division. This division is committed to four key components that will bring better financial management and accountability to the schools in the district. First the division promotes transparency of the district’s financial matters, by preparing reports and tools with the school websites.
All of the schools’ budgets are based on the per-student model, which allows flexibility in spending by individual schools so that they can directly address the specific needs of their students. This division oversees that flexibility and provides reports and training to stakeholders involving Budgeting for Student Achievement. Finally, the division is responsible for ensuring the per-student funding is allocated in a fair and equitable manner.
With a large student body and staff to consider, the Los Angeles Unified School District faces many challenges on a daily basis. To help overcome some of those obstacles and improve the quality of learning for students throughout the district, Los Angeles has outlined some very basic goals to ensure all of their students are career or college ready when they graduate from high school.
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