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A City Education: It Takes More Than One Person to Change the System

A City Year Los Angeles corps member learns that fixing public schools isn't easy.


In our A City Education series, two City Year corps members share their experiences working as tutors and mentors in schools in hopes of closing the achievement gap and ending the dropout crisis.

Ten months ago, I started my service at Markham Middle School in the Watts section of Los Angeles. As a student journalist who covered public education, I thought I knew what I was in for. I started this year with the confidence that I would be able to bring my student's reading levels up to where they were supposed to be. I soon realized though that catching up kids who were up to three grade levels behind was going to be harder than I’d expected. After serving as a tutor and mentor for an entire school year I now view the world differently.

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