UNITE-LA launched the new L.A. Educator Pathways Partnership (LAEPP) Policy Advisory Group in June. Our 18th L.A. Compact workgroup is a spin-off of the LAEPP —a longstanding data sharing and research collaboration between L.A. Unified and the region’s primary teacher training programs. The new LAEPP Policy Advisory Group will develop recommendations around teacher and teacher candidate recruitment, preparation, certification and effectiveness, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic; persistent, systemic racism and inequity; and other evolving conditions.
The new LAEPP Policy Advisory Group leverages the trusted relationships and profound expertise of the LAEPP—key leaders from L.A. Unified, UNITE-LA and local university teacher training programs at CSU Dominguez Hills, Cal State L.A., CSU Northridge, UCLA and USC—with the addition of new members including Alison Yoshimoto-Towery, Chief Academic Officer at L.A. Unified; and Dr. John Garcia III, President of the Greater LA Education Foundation.
At our first meeting, we discussed central issues, including:
- Disparities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, like the digital divide;
- Strategies to support teachers and teacher candidates of color;
- Barriers to admission into teacher training programs, especially for underrepresented students (e.g., standardized testing); and
- Teacher retention and the financial challenges of the profession
The LAEPP Policy Advisory Group will share its recommendations with policymaking bodies, such as the California State Board of Education, with the objective of influencing new, statewide policies to increase teacher effectiveness and promote race equity. We are excited to be extending the value of the LAEPP beyond the data and research efforts it has focused on to-date and will continue to activate the Policy Advisory Group to address pressing issues in our evolving environment.