Teaching to Change LA: An online journal of IDEA, UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education, & Access: Equal Terms in LA: The Struggle for Educational Justice, 1954: Vol.4, No. 1-5, 2003-2004
Los Angeles History
Where Have We Been—Where Are We Now—
Where Are We Going in the Struggle for Educational Justice?

In July 2003, a group of high school students from across greater Los Angeles came together to study how their schools had changed since the Brown decision. They also studied how youth worked with adults to gain Brown’s promise of education “on equal terms.” These students examined educational statistics, studied old yearbooks, and interviewed adults who had been students or teachers over the last fifty years. Some made video documentaries that told their “stories.” You can view the videos here.

Do you know where you might find a story of the struggle for educational justice in or near LA? This June, we will publish student work about education in greater Los Angeles and the efforts of communities to realize equal opportunity for all. This student work will inform youth, community members, and elected officials today. It may also be selected to become part of an historical archive (housed at the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research) for future generations of LA students to study. Your work can be individual or a small group or class project.

3 Perspectives for Telling Your Equal Terms Story:

The Past: How has your school community changed in the fifty years since Brown? How have members of your community participated in the struggle for educational justice? What are the lessons from the past 50 years for students, parents, educators, and elected officials today?

The Present: Do you think that your school has facilities, materials, and instruction that are equal to the best schools that students attend today? What makes your school unique? What are its special strengths? What needs improvement?

The Future: Change requires vision and action. We need images of high quality, socially just schools, and we need to join together to create them. Help us imagine new schools. What does a school that provides high quality education to all students look like? What would change if every child had access to a high quality school in their neighborhood? What needs to be done to make this happen? What are youth, parents, and educators doing to move this agenda forward? What more can they do?

Help Getting Started

Students, educators, activists, and elected officials speak out about conditions in LA schools.
The changing population of your school and community.

California's educational crisis: Teachers, Learning Materials, and School Facilities.
Unequal Opportunities in California's Schools.

Submit your project outline to be reviewed by UCLA/IDEA scholars by May 10. We can’t promise good advice or resources, but we can try.

Visit www.TeachingtoChangeLA.org!