At once freewheeling and intense, Los Angeles is the country’s creative epicenter and a business powerhouse. The area is also ethnically diverse, including sizeable black and Hispanic communities, as well as many Asian and Middle Eastern enclaves. The public school system has struggled to serve these many needs well, with English language learners and low-income students most profoundly affected by the area’s educational inequity.
Education Pioneers’ work in this region is spread across the city of Los Angeles.
California has some of the country’s lowest per-pupil spending. That’s a challenge for Los Angeles Unified (LAUSD), the second-largest district in the country, which serves nearly three quarters of a million students. Many of those students – particularly those from low-income neighborhoods – attend chronically failing schools.
True to the area’s creative spirit, though, the district and many local nonprofits are working hard to change this equation. Efforts are underway in LAUSD to reach “100 percent graduation and 100 percent proficiency.” Meanwhile, local high-performing charter networks have banded together to improve teacher effectiveness and have spawned efforts to empower parents. There is also an increasing amount of startup activity in education technology.
Education Pioneers has been working in the Los Angeles area since 2007 to supply local organizations with the talented people they need to achieve their goals.
- 18 partner organizations, including Los Angeles Unified School District, charter school management organization Bright Star Schools, leadership developer The Broad Center, and the California Community Foundation.
- EP Fellows in the L.A. area work on strategic projects that make a difference, including: developing Bright Star Schools’ human capital strategy, including a new teacher mentoring and residency program; creating a multi-year capital renewal plan for LAUSD’s facilities portfolio; and identifying process enhancements at Santa Ana Unified School District that will improve business operations.
- Several of EP’s LA-based alumni have remained to contribute to the region on an ongoing basis, including 2007 Fellow Scott Thomas, now Chief Financial Officer for Pacific Charter School Development; 2010 Fellow D’Artagnan Scorza, now Executive Director and Founder of the Social Justice Learning Institute; and 2011 Fellow Cynthia Leonard, now Vice President of Operations at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools.