Saturday, June 25, 2022
An Education Giant Succumbs… Judy Ivie Burton
By Sentinel News Service
Published May 24, 2017

Judy Ivie Burton

The education community is mourning the passing of a nationally renowned educator, Judy Ivie Burton, who passed away on May 19, 2017. Dr. Burton dedicated her life to ensuring that all students, but in particular students of color from the most economically disadvantaged communities, had access to a high quality education.

Judy lived and worked with a singular focus on kids. A native of Ft. Worth, Texas, Judy grew up in South Central Los Angeles. She attended Washington High School, graduated from UCLA with a degree in Spanish and became an elementary school teacher. Her innate leadership and talent led her to become a principal and later, a central office executive within the Los Angeles Unified School District where she invariably was at the center of every new initiative to make schools work better for students. In 2005 she finished her career at the district as an area superintendent responsible for more than 80,000 students in Northeast Los Angeles.

Judy at Simon Ribbon Cutting

After retiring from LAUSD, Judy became the founding CEO at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools. From the beginning, Alliance schools reflected Judy’s belief that all students could learn at high levels if the adults in the school created an environment for students to succeed. Under Judy’s leadership, Alliance schools quickly became some of the best in the state – graduating nearly all students in communities where graduation rates were often below 50%. Under her management the organization launched 26 highly successful charter schools in low performing, overcrowded target communities in Los Angeles and raised more than $150 million in public and private grants for operations, facilities, instructional technology, professional development and scholarships. The only 2011 National Blue Ribbon high school in Los Angeles, was an Alliance school and four Alliance high schools were 2009 California Distinguished Schools. Today Alliance high schools are significantly outperforming the California and LAUSD average and are among Los Angeles’ highest performing charter high schools.

In 2005, in recognition of her concepts for a blended leaning program that revolutionized the way that students learn, the Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High School was named in her honor. During her career, Judy was the recipient of numerous awards for her excellence in the field of education.

Judy with Heritage Students

Judy is survived by her brother Rickey Ivie, her sister Tamanika Ivie and a number of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.


Her family has asked that in lieu of flowers, please send contributions to UCLA’s Black Alumni Association or to Alliance College-Ready Public Schools. Donations to Alliance will help establish a Judy Ivie Burton College Scholarship Fund for college-bound seniors at Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology High School.

Categories: Celebration of Life | News
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