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Want to Transform Public Education? Act Locally

Sure, schools need strong leadership and supported teachers, but what really makes a school work is plenty of parental and community involvement.


What does it take to transform a school? As a teacher and magnet advisor for the Environmental Studies Magnet program at Thomas Starr King Middle School in Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood, I know there is no silver bullet solution. But I can share what has transformed King: strong leadership, supported teachers, and plenty of parental and community involvement.

I have been teaching at King for 13 years and we serve a 1,517 student population that is 86 percent minority. About 16 percent of students are English Language Learners and over 85 percent qualify for free or reduced price lunch. I also live up the hill from the school, which gives me a different perspective on the transformation that’s happened here. Thirteen years ago my neighbors would not for a second think about sending their children to King.

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