The New School Year: The New Approach to Learning

The New School Year: The New Approach to Learning

Editorial: LAUSD’s efforts to address learning loss should inspire hope, not chaos and frustration

The Los Angeles Unified School District has been at the forefront of education reform since its inception. We believe that if we can move our students, parents, and our schools forward, that will be just as important as what we have been doing up to this point. We understand that we are in the middle of an educational crisis and that nothing is static. We all know that the best schools in the country are often the ones that are still growing and adapting to the real world. This is exactly the reality that schools are facing today.

As we move into a new school year, we are faced with another set of challenges. The biggest issue for all of us in the district is the fact that our students are struggling to learn, with one-third of our students achieving below a passing grade in English, and one-fourth of our students not achieving a grade even one letter below grade level in math. As a district, we do not believe the current policies regarding remediation, curriculum, and evaluation are working. We believe that our students need to learn differently, we need to design our curriculum for them, and we need to ensure that all our students are receiving the right kind of support and the right kind of help so they are not at risk for dropping out.

This year is our chance to turn things around. In just two months, we have a new principal and a new team with new ideas. The LAUSD Board of Education has just approved a very bold set of recommendations for the new school year, and over the next few weeks, I will be giving a series of speeches during which I hope to share some of the ideas we are trying to implement. We are trying to address three questions that I believe are going to be at the heart of our new approach to learning, the kind of learning that is relevant and unique to our students, what happens to our students beyond high school, and what we need to do about the kind of student we are.

When I look at what’s happening across the country today in terms of

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