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Ed. Magazine

On the Ground: Los Angeles

On Deliberately Developmental Organizations

In this issue's On the Ground, we look at Los Angeles, the most populous city in California and second only to New York in the country. Nicknamed the City of Angels, it could easily be called the city of education with three public colleges, nine community colleges, and nearly two dozen private colleges. The K–12 public school system, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAU SD), is the second-largest school district in the United States. Here's a look at some of the ways that the Ed School is making an impact in Los Angeles.

Currently, there are 81 organizations registered with the Ed School for recruiting from the Los Angeles area. They include LAU SD, Greendot Public Schools, KIPP LA , and the Broad Foundation.

LAU SD participated in the Public Education Leadership Program in 2012 and 2013. Included was Superintendent John Deasy, a big supporter of the program.

The Strategic Data Project (SDP), a project under the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR), has a lot going on in Los Angeles, including a partnership with the city that involves two data fellows, Emily Mohr and Nicole Wagner, and one agency fellow, Hansheng Chen. Two related reports, in conjunction with the district's superintendent, were recently released, one focused on teachers and human capital, the other on graduation rates and college readiness. Noah Bookman, director of project management for the district, spoke at an SDP-sponsored panel at the Council of the Great City Schools annual conference in 2012. Bookman and SDP fellow Wagner will present on a panel at this year's conference. Lecturer and CE PR director Jon Fullerton and Patty Diaz-Andrade, SDP's director for education and outreach, conducted a one-day workshop for the LAU SD research and evaluation team. Last year, the district also sent three staffers to the SDP Summer Institute for Leadership in Analytics.

Three Ed.L.D.'13 students from cohort 1 completed residencies in Los Angeles and wrote related research papers: Maren Oberman ("Accountability, Coherence, and Improvement: Leadership Reflection and Growth in the Los Angeles Unified School District") and Michele Shannon ("Building Leadership Capacity: Los Angeles Unified School District") with LAU SD, and Katiusca Moreno ("Cultivating and Sustaining Personal Leadership Development: Redefining Teacher Leadership at Teach For America in the Los Angeles Region") with Teach For America's Los Angeles office. In cohort 2, Lucia Moritz started her residency this summer with LAU SD's Linked Learning Initiative, a district-wide strategy designed to transform high schools through integrating rigorous academics with real-world learning opportunities.

Dozens of Ed School alumni work at colleges and universities in Los Angeles, including Samuel Bersola, Ed.M.'90, assistant vice provost of graduate studies at UCLA ; Sally Richmond, Ed.M.'99, associate dean of admissions at Occidental College; and Ani Shabazian, Ed.M.'99, director of the Children's Center at Loyola Marymount University. A number also work for LAU SD, including José Cole-Gutiérrez, Ed.M.'98, director of the district's charter school division, and Tanya Sullivan, Ed.M.'03, principal at the Accelerated Charter Elementary School.

Harvard Education Press published Learning From L.A.: Institutional Change in American Public Education by Charles Taylor Kerchner, David Menefee-Libey, Laura Steen Mulfinger, and Stephanie Clayton. The book focuses on a four-year study of the last 40 years of education reform in Los Angeles.

In the past year, 21 participants from Los Angeles have attended PPE institutes, representing both the preK–12 and higher education sectors. This past summer, 11 more attended summer sessions. This included leadership programs with the Principals' Center and the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education, as well as preK–12 programs focusing on teaching and learning.

Ed. Magazine

The magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education

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