Meet our 2014 Leadership for Educational Equity Fellow: Andrew Blumenfeld

August 28, 2014

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Andrew Blumfeld is a Leadership for Educational Equity fellow. He recently completed his first year as Teach for America corps member, teaching fifth grade at Crown Preparatory Academy in the West Adams district of Los Angeles. He is a founding member of the Students for Education Reform nonprofit group, and vice president of the La CaƱada Unified School District Board of Education. Andrew graduated from Princeton University in 2013, where he studied education policy, and is currently pursuing his master's in Urban Education Policy and Administration at Loyola Marymount University. Andrew is investigating best-practices in small-dollar giving programs, as well as a plan to create a teacher-led political action committee.

Describe the project you worked on this summer.

This summer I developed a plan for the rollout of a charter school teacher-led Political Action Committee. This PAC would endorse and generate support for candidates that help charter school teachers best serve students. The plan calls for leveraging charter leaders to advocate for the election of policymakers that support successful charter schools.

What are you interested in doing in the future or after graduate school if attending?

I will be back in the classroom at Crown Preparatory Academy in Los Angeles. I hope to stay involved in the political work of education as that work greatly impacts my students.

What drew you to the Leadership for Education Equity?

I appreciate LEE's focus on connecting the work of classroom teachers with the policy contexts in which that work takes place. It can often be tempting to close my classroom door and ignore all that happens outside of it. But LEE helps remind me that policy decisions impact my kids, and that teachers can be advocates for their kids inside and outside of the classroom.

What has been the most surprising thing you've learned in the course of your work this summer?

I have been encouraged by how widely CCSA gets involved in supporting charter schools across the state. Whether it is a local school board seat or a contest for statewide office, if there are implications for charter schools and the communities they serve, CCSA seems to have an eye on it.

What was your familiarity with charter schools before working at CCSA? How has your view of charter schools changed?

I spent the year prior to this Fellowship as a teacher in an independent charter school, which gave me an appreciation for the entrepreneurial spirit of these schools. This summer I have learned more about the many political challenges that they can face, and on how many different fronts charter school teachers, leaders, and advocates must fight to serve students in California.

What changes would you like to see in our public education system?

I would like to see parents provided with more quality, digestible information about schools, and then afforded the freedom to choose the school that would best serve the individual needs of their child.