An old friend visiting from Minnesota posed this question.
If you would ask the superintendent, the school board, and anyone at the Beaudry headquarters they would cite the increasing graduation rate and improved test scores.
If you follow the major media that historically ignores the major LAUSD issues (like Pravda did) and demonizes the teachers you would think everything is rosy in every school.
Ask teachers throughout the district.
Ask parents in all but the Westside schools where their tremendous fund raising makes a huge difference.
Ask the students.
They will tell you the truth.
Everyone abhors testing. There is no fun anymore, anywhere in any classroom. Students just learn for the tests and then forget.
The teachers would tell you that the textbooks are deplorable, with poor explanations and insufficient practice while the pacing plans provide no time for mastery or review and remediation. There is no time for challenging or enriching the students.
The students would complain about dirty bathrooms, classrooms, and playgrounds while grumbling about poor school food.
The parents would be honest about poor discipline —especially in secondary schools—extremely overcrowded classrooms which prevents the teachers from reaching and helping every student every day.
Only on rare occasions do the Superintendents, Board members or other downtown administrators visit the schools. For those visits, the schools are cleaned up and selected classrooms are visited. Hear no truth, see no truth, want no truth. They have underlings to handle parental complaints so that they never see or hear the parents.
The teachers are demoralized, the students are treated like one-size-fits all socks being just a number with test scores behind it, and the parents, except for a few selected schools are extremely unhappy and wonder where their tax dollars went when you deal with a closed books, superfluous bureaucracy of a district.