More than 40 parents of low-income Black and Latino students in Los Angeles Unified School District met with Superintendent Alberto Carvalho on a recent night at Faith & Hope Community Church in South Los Angeles, bringing with them plans for boosting their childrens’ learning loss during the pandemic.
During the bilingual event, parents shared their concerns, including a lack of sufficient resources or high-quality tutoring, unspent money in the district’s Black student achievement and tutoring funds — and their solutions to these problems.
While the pandemic had an impact on students across the board, it had a disproportionate impact on Black and Latino students academically and socially. Today, just 31% of Black LAUSD students are on grade level in English while just 36% of Latino students are on grade level in English, according to the group.
Most tutoring has focused on the completion of homework, according to the group, but that isn’t beneficial for students in the long term, and the lack of high-quality tutoring exacerbates the situation.
“During the pandemic, students didn’t get adequate quality education, and now they’re dealing with trying to catch up and learning their current grade level,” said Rosie Coleman, a Carson parent. “So it’s almost double-duty for the students you’re catching up.”
The parents’ detailed presentation to Carvalho was produced in partnership with the nonprofit organization Innovate Public Schools, a partnership that began in 2018 when Silicon Valley-based Innovate Public Schools reached out to parents with children enrolled in LAUSD areas that have the lowest-performing schools — Southeast L.A., Westlake/Pico-Union and South L.A.
Each parent group meets twice per month and the advocacy is led and driven by the parents. Parents identify key issues that needed to be addressed, while Innovate Public Schools provides parents with resources they need to better advocate for their rights, such as compiling data reports, networking with elected officials, and coaching parents on becoming advocates to hold their elected representatives accountable.
Innovate’s spokesperson Jazmine Rodriguez said, “It has been an exciting journey and we are really looking forward to strengthening our partnership with Superintendent Carvalho to help narrow the opportunity gap.” She added, “We really are viewing this as an opportunity to strengthen our partnership with the superintendent and see how we can work together to make sure that students are getting the services that they need.”
Innovate also organizes with parents on a state level. The organization will be advocating for parents’ push for more tutoring funding and accountability in next year’s state budget, according to Jennifer Perla, Innovate’s associate director of research and policy.
During the pandemic, parent Rosie Coleman in Carson used resources like Khan Academy to help with her kids’ homework. Magda Vargas, whose children attend Elizabeth Learning Center in Cudahy, reached out to others for help to tutor her kids.
To make tutoring effective or high quality, experts say a tutor and student should meet two to three times per week. This ensures that students have a stable source of tutoring that addresses their individual needs and helps keep students engaged.
Judith Larson is a …read more
Source:: Los Angeles Daily News
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