Tyrone C. Howard to Lead UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools

UCLA professor of education and founder of the Black Male Institute at UCLA will also continue as director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for the Strengthening of Children and Families.

Tyrone C. Howard, a professor of education at UCLA and the Pritzker Family Endowed Chair for Strengthening Children and Families, has been named Faculty Director of the UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools. He will begin his new role on July 1. Howard will also continue as the director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools face daunting, perhaps unprecedented challenges that will require significant transformation of almost every aspect of schooling,” Howard said.  “The laser-like focus of CTS on equity will be of great benefit to schools as they strive to meet these challenges.  I am very excited to join the effort.

“And as the pain and frustration of events in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd have made all too clear, the need to confront racial injustice is paramount.  Our schools have a critical role to play in addressing the inequities that have too long plagued our communities. Our work at CTS will place equity and racial justice at the forefront of efforts to transform schools to better serve all students.”

Howard replaces UCLA Distinguished Professor of Education Pedro A. Noguera, who has been named Dean of the Rossier School of Education at USC.

As the new director of the UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools, UCLA Professor of Education Tyrone Howard (at left), looks forward to collaborating with his colleague and soon-to-be former CTS director, Pedro Noguera. Professor Noguera will leave UCLA Ed & IS and take the helm at USC’s Rossier School of Education, effective July 1.
Photo by John McDonald

“I’m very pleased to see my colleague and friend, Tyrone Howard, assume leadership of CTS,” Noguera said.  “Professor Howard has a long track record of doing excellent work to advance equity at schools throughout the nation.  Under his leadership, CTS will grow and have even greater impact on the issues facing our schools.  His direction will be particularly important in providing research to support schools after they re-open given the enormous challenges they will face.”

At CTS, Professor Howard will lead a team designed to serve as a thought partner for districts, counties and states to pursue whole child, whole community approaches to school system improvement.  Seeking to spur meaningful innovation and change, the research and actions of CTS help educational leaders to implement strategies that place a commitment to equity at the center of their work. The goal is to encourage comprehensive approaches to education that foster positive, healthy learning environments, and treat youth development and wellness as integral to the mission of preparing and inspiring future generations.

“Pedro and Tyrone have brought a fierce and unrelenting focus to our work at UCLA to address the needs of Black and Latino students in Los Angeles and beyond,” said Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Wasserman Dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. “Tyrone is stepping into some very large shoes, but I expect that his outstanding work with low- income students of color and his experience in working across our campus and the community will add great value to the efforts of CTS to transform schools.”

In leading CTS, Howard will draw on the expertise and resources of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families.  Established in 2018, the Center is a UCLA campus-wide initiative focused on the needs of children and youth who are disconnected from traditional pathways to success, in particular foster youth. The Center serves as a collaborative hub for research, prevention and intervention to strengthen families to prevent children from entering the child welfare system, and to support those in it. Leaders at the UCLA Pritzker Center are engaged in efforts to link UCLA’s work to nonprofit agencies, K-12 systems, other education institutions, and government support services. 

“One thing I have learned through our work with Pritzker is the value of our multi- disciplinary approach. We are working across campus and the community to bring together educators and health and mental health folks and the medical school to really think and work collaboratively about these concepts and problems,” said Howard.  “I envision doing the same thing with CTS. How can we bring those same stakeholders and others together to think about how schools can be better? We’ve got to get out of the silo approach.  Educators cannot just talk only to other educators to fix this.  We have to talk with lots of smart people with expertise in different fields.”

Howard is also looking forward to furthering collaboration with his longtime friend Noguera to further the work of CTS to transform schools. 

“We were already talking about a number of new things even before Pedro decided to head for USC,” Howard said. 

“There may be a UCLA-USC rivalry when it comes to sports, but when it comes to solving the complex issues affecting children and schools there is no rivalry – there is collaboration. We have a chance to strengthen that collaboration and a great opportunity to work together to transform schools.”