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Welcome to Essential Education, our daily look at education in California and beyond. Here's the latest:

  • All L.A. Unified schools in the San Fernando Valley will be closed through Friday, as well as 17 on the Westside. After two days of closure for all Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District schools, Malibu's public schools will remain closed Friday. Santa Monica's will open. More information here.
  • An outside panel hopes to help the L.A. Unified School District launch some pilot programs that could spread to all schools.

In Lynwood, Advanced Placement classes are no longer only for the elite

 (Lynwood Unified School District)
(Lynwood Unified School District)

By the time Elizabeth Valenzuela entered her senior year at Lynwood High School, she had taken seven Advanced Placement tests and earned potential college credit on five of them. It was an impressive accomplishment, made more impressive still by the fact that in her small school district she wasn’t one of a kind.

Increasing numbers of students from low-income Latino and black families are taking advanced courses and passing AP exams in Lynwood Unified School District, south of downtown Los Angeles.

To make this happen, the district of 15,000 students provided incentives and assistance and eliminated prerequisite courses and grade requirements that used to limit who enrolled.

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