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Superintendent Deasys Update for August 29-September 2, 2011

On a weekly basis, I will be providing an update on our progress toward implementing our four core strategies that will help us ensure all students graduate college-prepared and career-ready.

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In the last weeks, we have received a triple dose of good news. First, graduation rates went up; next, the STAR results showed that we outranked the state in nearly every category; and, finally, the 2011 Academic Performance Index (API) scores marked the fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth, this time by 19 points. Whats especially gratifying about the API results is that they measure year-to-year improvements in the performance of schools across multiple categories. Indeed, they are one of the best available means the public has to assess the commitment of each school to provide the highest quality education to students. Looking at various sub-categories, the API results are even better. A total of 209 of our schools met or exceeded the 800 API scorethe statewide targetin 2011-12, an increase of 36 over the previous year. And the rise in the average API score this year of 19 points was the highest such gain of any urban school district in California. Not only are we doing something right in our schools, we are doing something right at a time when there is every reason to believe we should be heading to the bottom. Any school district that has suffered massive cuts to its operating budget for four straight years would be expected to decline in key categories. That is not the case here. There is no mystery, or magical formula, to explain our success. It stems from the extraordinary, tireless commitment of parents, students, teachers, and administrators. Without that, no school district can thriverich or poor.

1. Using Data to Drive Standards-Based Instruction


Use data to drive standards-based, effective instruction for all students, coupled with support and intervention, when students need extra assistance or accelerated learning.

Academic Performance Index (API) scores were released this week. The API is a part of the State accountability system which measures year-to-year improvement in school performance across multiple subject areas. The API is a composite score that combines information across grade levels and content areas to give a single accountability score for school sites. API scores range from a low of 200 to a high of 1,000. The statewide target is 800 for the school and all subgroups. We are pleased to report that for the 4th year in a row the District has made double-digit growth.

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Table 1: LAUSD Continues Double-Digit API Gains for Four Consecutive Years
Year 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 Base 595 622 633 649 655 662 681 693 709 Growth 626 634 649 658 664 683 694 709 728 Growth Points 31 12 16 9 9 21 13 16 19

More than 200 LAUSD schools achieved an API score of 800 or higher. This is almost one-third of all District schools (32%). Less than 10% of our schools scored below 650. Table 2: More than 200 Schools Had API Scores of 800 or Higher
200102 Number of Schools* Elementary Middle High School All Schools 34 0 0 34 51 0 2 53 62 1 3 66 83 1 5 89 96 2 5 103 102 3 5 110 129 8 6 143 141 10 4 155 157 12 4 173 190 13 6 209 200203 200304 200405 200506 200607 200708 200809 200910 201011

Percent of Schools Elementary Middle High School All Schools 8% 0% 0% 6% 12% 0% 5% 10% 14% 1% 6% 12% 19% 1% 9% 16% 21% 3% 8% 18% 22% 4% 8% 18% 28% 10% 9% 24% 31% 13% 5% 25% 34% 15% 5% 28% 40% 16% 7% 32%

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Our API scores increased by double-digits for all major subgroups except for Asians and Filipinos, which both grew by nine points. All major subgroups exceeded the statewide growth. These increases reflect the hard work of all our staff, students and families. Congratulations on our achievements. Let us continue our work together to identify and replicate the evidence-based practices that have moved us forward over the years.

2. Supporting All Employees


We are accountable for our students success. We will use data to personalize the supports that all of our employees need to serve our students, from professional development and training to creating measurable performance goals.

Ive always believed that every employee in this District contributes to, and is responsible for, the success of each of our students. LAUSD is fortunate to have a very active, engaged group of community partners who are also deeply invested in the lives of our youth. This week, approximately 40 staff members representing community partners spent a significant part of the day with us learning about the Districts Educator Growth and Development Cycle, the Teaching and Learning Framework and Rubrics, and our Academic Growth over Time data tools. With this new information, staff will now begin sharing their knowledge with parents at school sites, provide parent training expertise to school leaders, and offer valuable feedback to our Supporting All Employees Team on how to better engage parents in our charge to build a support and development system for the Districts educators.

3. Budgeting for Student Achievement


We will make the District budget more transparent, align resources for greater impact and equity, and give schools the ability to target resources to meet their specific needs, bringing funding and decision-making closer to schools and classrooms.

As the budget team implements Budgeting for Student Achievement (BSA), we will bring you a series of profiles highlighting practices and strategies used by BSA pilot schools in developing site budgets. We highlight Frank Del Olmo Elementary School and Principal Eugene Hernandez today.

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Frank Del Olmo Elementary Enrollment: approximately 900 Year entered BSA model: 2010-11 Achievement highlights: Frank Del Olmo has an API of 743 for 2010, and has made large proficiency gains for the 20102011 school year on the California Standards Tests (CST) across all grades. Between 2009-10 and 2010-11, Frank Del Olmo Elementary raised the percentage of kids testing proficient or higher in math by 19% and by 14% in English language arts. Fifth graders went from 37% proficient in English language arts in 2010 to 60% proficient in 2011, and from 45% proficient in math in 2010 to 72% in 2011. The No. 1 benefit of per-pupil is that it gives us more flexibility to examine our data to see how we should be investing our resources. We take a look at how many boys and girls are at a particular academic level based on the California Standards Tests, Hernandez explained. We look at multiple data points, API scores, AYP, how may English learner students are making the targets. We also analyze our school plan and ask, What does our school plan say about closing the achievement gap? We have a long-term vision for what we want to do. Regarding spending decisions, he asks What is your goal to have that computer lab, for example? Is it to do word processing skills, or is it to tie into language arts and science? It takes a lot of work, but the bottom line is whatever expenditures I have are based on the school plan and the district objectives. Its not what Eugene Hernandez wants. If school scores showed a large achievement gap for English language learners, how are we targeting our resources to improve that gap? We are not going to only do compliance. What are we doing to inform teacher practice to get into classrooms, look and monitor instruction for those students? How are we going to be focused? How can you improve student achievement and how can you inform teachers practice to improve student performance? That is the big thing. You have to use the money to have teachers inform their practice. They are the practitioners who are working in the classroom. So a lot of our funding flexibility goes toward professional development. Hernandez said data is reviewed every period and praises the Districts My Data program. For elementary schools, we have tests every six weeks, and it is not to suggest that a teacher is doing a bad job. Its to take a look at the results. Lets take single-digit addition. If all my students missed it, what can I do to get better at single-digit addition? Sometimes we play too much of the blame game as teachers and as principals and as a district, Hernandez said. Instead, we ask, how can we take a look at that and inform our practice to get better at teaching single-digit addition? All my expenditures support my instructional goals. I use my data to drive standards-based instruction and that is what we are all about. Another benefit of per pupil budgeting to us has been the potential for cost-savings. I improved attendance for 2010-11 by 1.2 percent and our school improved overall teacher attendance as well, resulting in additional revenue and lower [Type text]

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expenditures, creating additional dollars at the campus. Explaining staffing flexibility, Principal Hernandez says: We have also used our flexibility to have better control over our positions than through norm-based funding. Under norm-based, you have to take what they give you and theres no flexibility, even if you understand your enrollment, you better have 34 teachers. Whereas with per-pupil, they are going to give you money and you have more position control. For example, it has helped me with operations like the plant manager. So when plant managers were taken away from most schools, because we were per pupil, it helped me to keep my plant manager. Being per pupil helped me to add four hours of custodial time. So now I have 24 hours of custodial time. Principal Hernandez recommends the practices below, which he uses at his campus: Continue to focus your resource allocations based on your academic goals, which must be based on an in-depth examination of data for every child. If I get more resources or part of my carryover, I would use that money for my Response to Intervention with the 5%-10% of students who need a replacement program because sitting in the classroom isnt working for them. Thats what I would use my money for, to better focus on how we can close the achievement gap. Then we assess how well this strategy is working and whether we should continue to invest our resources. Principals must focus on improving attendance and saving money to add resources to their school. Schools must focus on high attendance every day because it is used to determine school funding. Additionally, employee attendance is critical too. Lower staff absence rates free up dollars that can be allocated to instruction, intervention or other areas, based on school needs.

4. Creating and Supporting Quality Schools


We will analyze multiple data points to differentiate the service and support we deliver to schools. In addition, we will capture and share best practices across all of our schools regardless of school models.

On August 30, the Los Angeles Board of Education voted to conditionally amend the Public School Choice (PSC) 3.0 process such that only in-district applicant teams (current or retired LAUSD employee-designed school plans) can apply for new schools first. If none of the plans submitted by in-district applicants are deemed excellent, then outside applicants (charter operators and other non-profit groups) will be considered. The enactment of this amendment requires a successfully negotiated Memorandum of Understanding between the District and its labor partner, United [Type text]

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Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), by November 1. In light of the changes to the PSC process, staff is currently working to finalize new timelines, which will be available in the coming weeks. Additionally, the two sessions of the Family & Community Engagement Update scheduled for September 1 and 12 have been postponed until further notice. Upcoming PSC Calendar Events To view and register for all upcoming PSC calendar events, please click on the following link: http://publicschoolchoice.lausd.net/calendar. Please use the Event Reservation Form found in the workshops listing in the PSC website to register. You can also access the Event Reservation Form directly at the following link: http://publicschoolchoice.lausd.net/event_reservation_form.

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