Local, state, and national leaders to gather at UCLA on Feb. 8-9 to explore university-assisted public education.
As director of research for the UCLA Community Schools, Karen Hunter Quartz has led student and community-centered learning at the first UCLA Community School in the Koreatown-Pico Union neighborhood for nearly a decade. Last year, the Mann UCLA Community School was established in South Los Angeles, and continues to grow its inaugural high school class. This year, she seeks to share the work of these schools and connect UCLA to the national K-12 community schools movement with the launch of the UCLA Center for Community Schooling. The Center will convene a two-day discussion on the future of university-assisted public education from local, statewide, and national perspectives.
“Here at UCLA, we have many ways that we contribute to the civic life of Los Angeles, including our deep engagement at the UCLA Community Schools,” says Quartz. “The purpose of our convening is to embrace the intersection between two reform movements – K-12 community schools and higher education civic engagement. At their roots, both movements are about advancing democracy through collective problem solving and partnerships.”
The convening will examine collaborative teaching practice; extended learning and social supports; research-practice partnerships; and community engagement, advocacy, and policy. An afternoon site visit to UCLA Community School on Thursday, Feb. 8 will provide a glimpse at UCLA’s engagement in an urban setting, with teachers, students, parents and university partners co-leading workshops, tours, and panels for 75 participants from 35 organizations. During a welcome reception at UCLA’s Luskin Conference Center, Pedro Noguera, UCLA Distinguished Professor of Education and co-director of the Center for the Transformation of Schools at UCLA, will moderate a panel on the role of university partners in community schools.
On Friday, Feb. 9, Ira Harkavy, associate vice president and founding director of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania, will deliver a keynote presentation on university-assisted community schools as an expanding global movement. Participants will engage in small group sessions on the convening’s themes, concluding with a luncheon session led by Jose Munoz, director of the National Coalition for Community Schools, and a musical performance by the Mann UCLA Community School Drumline.
Quartz says that the expertise and resources of universities provide unique supports for students, teachers, schools, and families – supports that encourage a socially just and college-bound culture at public schools.
“As social centers in their neighborhoods, the two UCLA Community Schools are reimagining education through culturally sustaining pedagogy propelled by UCLA-prepared teachers, and a strong college-for-all culture supported by UCLA programs, students, and faculty,” she says.
The UCLA Center for Community Schooling is a campus-wide initiative to advance university-assisted community schools. As an anchor institution, UCLA is poised to disrupt historical inequalities and reimagine schooling as a public good that prepares all students to succeed in college, careers, and civic life with research, teaching, and service missions that are informed by the work of local schools and communities.
The UCLA Community Schools are part of a growing University-assisted Community Schools Network convened by the national Coalition for Community Schools and the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships. The UCLA Center for Community Schooling is designated as a regional center for schools in California, Oregon, and Washington. This inaugural convening is supported by the Netter Center.
“At the end of the day, the UCLA Community Schools exist to serve students and help launch bright futures,” says Quartz. “The connection with UCLA runs both ways. UCLA Community Schools are places where students, teachers, and families learn alongside our teacher educators, engineering professors, and thoughtful graduate students. In turn, the schools provide UCLA with a hub of civic engagement for the university.”
For more information on the UCLA Center for Community Schooling and UCLA Community Schools, visit this link.