Case study
Policy brief

There's Lots to Learn from L.A.

Policy Levers for Institutional Change
Charles Taylor Kerchner
Claremont Graduate University


A new PACE policy brief reviews the history of the Los Angeles Unified School District over the past five decades, a history that reveals an organization pulled up from its early 20th Century Progressive Era roots. Decades of reform efforts have provided a lively audition for what a new institution of public education could look like. But public policy and the surrounding political system have created an atmosphere of continuing crisis rather than a new institutional stability. In this policy brief Charles Kerchner reviews the recent history of LAUSD, drawing from the recent book, Learning from L.A.: Institutional Change in Public Education. He shows how successive reform efforts have sketched out the design of a more effective educational system, and identifies five policy levers that can help to create a new institutional structure for public education, in LA and beyond.

Suggested citationTaylor Kerchner, C. (2010, January). There’s lots to learn from L.A.: Policy levers for institutional change [Policy brief]. Policy Analysis for California Education.