Parents, students, teachers and other interested stakeholders in the communities surrounding Dorsey and Los Angeles high schools and 42nd Street Elementary School are being invited to attend a special academy where they will review and provide feedback on the plans submitted to operate these Los Angeles Unified School District school under the Public School Choice programs.

The academy for 42nd Street Elementary will be held Monday from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the school, 4231 Fourth Ave., L.A., in the Parent Center Room 25.

The academy for Los Angeles High will be held Monday from 8-10 a.m. in the school’s parent center, 4650 W. Olympic Blvd., L.A.

Dorsey’s academy is Saturday (Dec. 10) from 9 a.m.-noon in the library, 3537 Farmdale Ave., L.A.
Childcare and breakfast will be provided at each of the academies.

Under Public School Choice, campuses that have consistently missed academic targets or failed to show adequate educational growth are put on a list of focus schools that are up for take-over by other groups of educators or school operators.

Those interested in operating these three schools submitted their plans to the LAUSD Nov. 18, and now parents and others will have the opportunity to vet these offerings.

Once community input is received, the LAUSD staff will make recommendations to the school board, which will decide which plan is most feasible. The selected candidate could take over the school for the 2012-13 school year.

However, a tentative agreement hammered out between the school district the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) union, could drastically change the Public School Choice program for at least the next three years.

According to the agreement, for the next three years only in-district applicants (not charter schools) can apply to operate existing Public School Choice focus schools. High-needs campuses will also be eligible for a package of supports coordinated by UTLA, the district and the union for administrators.

Additionally, the agreement allows a Local Initiative School model that will enable school faculty, after they have received the appropriate training, to create a package of “automatic waivers” that could give them autonomy over the curriculum, instruction, assessments, daily schedules and more.

The agreement overall shifts much of the onus for improving educational outcomes at failing schools back to teachers and other educators, who will work in conjunction with the school district, universities and others to make improvements.

The LAUSD superintendent will have the final word on whether an improvement plan is “high quality.”

UTLA union members will vote on this agreement through Dec. 14, and the results will be posted on utla.net on Dec. 16. A “yes” vote on the agreement would change the approach of the Public School Choice program for the next three academic school years.