Recruitment & Retention A National Roundup

Los Angeles District Honored for Human-Resources Overhaul

By Jeff Archer — January 19, 2005 1 min read

The Los Angeles Unified School District has won a national award for its management of human resources, an operation often derided as woefully inefficient in many urban districts.

The magazine Workforce Management this month named the 720,000-student district as one of 10 winners of its 2005 Optimas Awards, which recognize businesses and organizations for improving the way they recruit and train employees.

Among the changes cited by the magazine, the district created an online application process and began hiring teachers year-round, instead of just in the spring and summer. Inspired by crime-reduction efforts used in New York City, the district tracked the success rates of its recruiters.

In two years, the proportion of Los Angeles teachers considered “highly qualified” under federal guidelines has gone from 81 percent to 98 percent. Meanwhile, the human-resources staff has shrunk from about 450 to 350.

A retired U.S. Navy captain, Deborah Hirsh, led the reorganization. “It’s doable,” said Ms. Hirsh, the district’s chief human-resources officer.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 19, 2005 edition of Education Week

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