Member Perspectives: We Must Stand Up For Students Now

January 6, 2012

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On Feb. 4, charter school parents, teachers and students from across the city will stand up and speak out at the "Schools We Can Believe In" rally in front of LA Memorial Coliseum to tell our elected officials to put students first and ensure great schools and equity for all public school students. We are featuring different perspectives from community members leading up to the rally, sharing what this event means to them. Today, we have a piece from Dr. Jacqueline Elliott.

I have been in the charter movement since 1995 and I believe we are in one of the toughest periods we have ever been in. Despite our academic success, there continue to be attacks on charter schools and misinformation and myths spread about us. It is a constant struggle to secure the funding and facilities we need to serve our students, much less be able to grow to serve more students.

Far too many students in Los Angeles aren't getting the great public education they deserve. That's why we at Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC Schools) have opened 13 schools - to provide low-income students in Northeast LA and the Northeast San Fernando Valley what they deserved: a great public education that would prepare them for success in college and life. We are incredibly proud of what our graduates have accomplished. We have a 90 percent graduation rate from our high schools, with 100 percent of our students having been admitted to college when they graduate and 70 percent going directly to 4-year universities.

The PUC community is participating in the rally on Feb. 4 to show how deeply committed PUC Schools is to serving the students of Los Angeles and also how committed the charter school movement is to working in partnership with the district and the community to make sure every student in Los Angeles receives a great education.

I'm not only going myself - I'm bringing 2,000 parents, students and teachers from PUC Schools to make sure their voices are heard. We are at a critical moment for education reform in Los Angeles and it is up to us to stand up and make sure our elected leaders are held accountable! Our students deserve nothing less.

Dr. Jacqueline Elliott is co-founder of PUC Schools (Partnerships to Uplift Communities), which operates 13 charter schools in northeast Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. She is also the LA Region Member Council Representative for CCSA.

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