Like many large districts throughout the nation, L.A. Unified has been trying to increase the number of smaller learning communities, hoping that personalized instruction would boost student achievement and offer an alternative to charter schools, including the five Green Dot campuses near Jefferson.
The academy, one of four Los Angeles Unified campuses that opened almost two years ago, is partially funded through the New Tech Foundation, a Napa, Calif.-based nonprofit that supports 35 schools throughout the country. Two of the others, Arleta High School of Science, Math and Related Technologies and the Los Angeles High School for Global Studies, have increased their test scores dramatically. However, at Jordan New Tech High School, the API score was 25 points lower than that on the regular Jordan High campus.
Unlike charters, which are publicly funded but are not regulated by L.A. Unified, New Tech schools are run by district administrators. “We’re under a lot of pressure: pressure from parents, pressure from the public, to find results that work,” said Monica Garcia, president of the Los Angeles Board of Education, adding that New Tech “clearly works.”