As members of the Educators 4 Excellence-Los Angeles team, we set out to do something we didn’t have the chance to do as teachers—learn from the best ideas and practices used at diverse district and public charter schools in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). We focused on schools that grew 40 points or more based on data published by the Academic Performance Index (API), a database used to measure school performance across California.
E4E-Los Angeles team members visited all of the 29 schools featured in this report, and held focus groups with more than 300 teachers, administrators and other school-site personnel. Our aim was to unearth the strategies used to elevate expectations, morale and performance at these schools. Additionally, we conducted interviews with teachers and administrators to get a vivid picture of what true grit has looked like on their campuses.
After conducting focus groups and interviews, we analyzed the data to identify consistent trends in terms of strategies commonly leveraged at these schools. The trends that emerged became our True Grit Factors:
- Strengthening School Culture
- Making Data Dynamic
- Working Smarter Together
- Partnering with Parents and the Community
For each factor in this report, we have highlighted how specific strategies support the different needs of diverse stakeholders—from staff to students, family and the community.
We are excited to share what we learned and hope it will spark further conversations and ongoing sharing of best practices.