Education reform has always been a cornerstone of my administration. This week I’ve visited several schools and witnessed the positive impact that reform and providing students with new approaches to learning has on a child. I’ve been talking with parents, teachers and administrators about creating the schools their children deserve. Ultimately, we need to provide parents with choices between successful schools of all types so they can choose the teaching method that is best for their child.
On Monday, I visited Locke High School, the site of a dramatic transformation story that has unfolded in the heart of South Los Angeles. Previously labeled a “drop-out factory,” Locke has witnessed tremendous success in reversing its drop-out rate since converting to a small schools model run by Green Dot. This year, Locke kept a stunning 93% of its students in school, a 36% increase from previous years! They are one of the most successful school operators in the City of Los Angeles, and I am so thankful for their leadership and impressed by the work they have done to transform Locke.
I also stopped by Dolores Huerta Elementary School, the newest campus in the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. Huerta Elementary, named after the legendary civil rights pioneer, is led by Principal Desiree Manuel, who previously served as Assistant Principal at 99th Street Elementary, one of the Partnership’s highest-performing schools.
On Wednesday, I was honored to accept the California Charter Association’s Elected Official of the Year Award. In speaking to them, I issued a challenge to go beyond their schoolhouse doors and export success to benefit all public school students. Charters have had great results, but we must serve all students and by collaborating across the public, private, and non-profit sectors, we can ensure that all our students receive the education they deserve, one that will prepare them for college, the global job market, and beyond.