South L.A. Doesn’t Need Saving

Instead, the Area Could Be a Savior to a California That's Pushing out Its Working Class

“How can we save South Los Angeles?” is a tired question. It’s an artifact of previous decades when the region formerly called South Central was known by its reputation for crime, gangs, poverty, racial conflict, and the 1992 riots, the deadliest American urban uprising since the Civil War.

So let’s retire the old query, and turn it upside down to pose a new and urgent question: How can South Los Angeles save us?

South L.A. is no longer a place apart. Today, it sits in the center of the California story, embodying …

For College Prep Charter Schools Serving Underprivileged Communities, High School Graduation Is Just the Beginning

With a Majority of Students From South L.A., USC Hybrid High School Rejected Teaching to the Test to Focus on Getting 90 Percent of Graduates Through College

In 2012, USC’s Rossier School of Education, where I am the dean, began working in South L.A. to improve high school education. Our goals were to help disadvantaged students find …

Why California Keeps Failing to Grade Its Schools

The State Is Inexcusably Late in Delivering a Revamped Public School Index

It’s a California educational reality worthy of Kafka. Our state’s leaders keep asking parents and communities to take bigger roles in making local schools better—even as those same leaders keep …

Schools Aren’t Teaching Kids to Argue Truth to Power

State Education Standards Are Failing Students by Ignoring Why History Matters

Why can’t history classes show students why history matters?

That’s what I thought as I read through a new framework for teaching K-12 history in the U.S.—California’s History-Social Science Framework.

This is …

Why Starting a Preschool Is Harder Than You Think

How A Reluctant Community Activist Took Matters Into Her Own Hands

I was a reluctant community activist. I didn’t plan on creating a movement for a new preschool in our community. I just wanted to find better care for my son. …

How to Turn Elementary School Teachers into Emotional Detectives

Strengthening the Bond Between Educators and Pupils Can Get to the Root of Behavior Problems and Bullying

About four years ago, I found myself asking a question many teachers ask their students: “Why would you do something like that?”

I was sitting down with a fourth grade …