Dylan Scott is a GOVERNING staff writer.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Los Angeles Unified School District will overhaul its approach to educating English-language learners and African-American students after the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights announced the conclusion of its investigation into the opportunities available to those students.
The school district will develop and implement a new English Learner Master Plan, which will include more effective monitoring of those students' progress, new professional development opportunities for their instructors and improved communication with their parents. Improving the district's curriculum so that it will prepare those students for higher education or a career is also a crucial element of the overhaul, according to a department press release.
For African-American students, the district will increase the education resources available to those pupils, including technology and library materials. Teachers who serve African-American populations will also be given access to programs that will help them develop. Plans are also in place to establish a pilot community school, which will include health and social services in a single environment.
The Education Department's civil rights office will monitor the implementation of these reforms, according to the department release. The enforcement action is the first of its kind undertaken by the office during the Obama administration.
"The achievement gap is the civil rights issue of our time, which is why everything we do at LAUSD...is geared toward protecting every child's right to learn and to prepare for life," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement. "We can - and must - do better."