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Villaraigosa to focus on schools in state of the city speech

April 13, 2011 |  7:32 am

In his sixth state of the city address Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is expected to focus on education and the local school district -- an arena in which he has no direct control -- even as a huge budget deficit looms over the city.

He is also expected to lay out a list of accomplishments at City Hall, while making the case that education is a crucial and successful part of his agenda.

In his scheduled 5 p.m. speech at Jefferson High School, he is to take specific aim at the telephone-book-size teachers contract, calling it an impediment to improving schools.

The current contract expires in June -- an opportunity for change, the mayor is expected to assert. He plans to hold a "a breakfast gathering of education stakeholders" Thursday morning at Getty House, the mayor's official residence.

The speech occurs as the Los Angeles Unified School District unveils its new formula for determining which schools have made the most progress with their students based on standardized test scores.

The mayor is expected to call for such measures to be part of an individual teacher's performance evaluation.

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-- Howard Blume

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