University News

How the Geffen Academy will help UCLA advance public education in L.A. and beyond

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Chancellor Gene Block issued the following statement on Nov. 13, 2015:

The Geffen Academy at UCLA will be an independent school accountable to a public institution. We will leverage our capabilities as a major research university to provide unique learning opportunities, develop innovative curriculum and share best practices with the Los Angeles Unified School District and other partners that are committed to educational equity.

We want to be clear about the academy’s mission and UCLA’s commitment to public education. These points deserve emphasis:

  • UCLA Community School, located in Los Angeles’ Koreatown neighborhood and opened in 2009, is an LAUSD pilot school. By using teaching techniques informed by UCLA research and exposing students to UCLA resources, we have helped to triple the neighborhood’s college-going rate; 90 percent of the most recent graduating class, many from poor and immigrant families, enrolled in college. UCLA is working with LAUSD to develop plans for a similar school in South Los Angeles.
  • UCLA provides educational and curricular resources to four LAUSD schools near our Westwood campus, and our faculty and staff have an opportunity to enroll their children at those schools.
  • UCLA Lab School on our Westwood campus is independent, supported entirely by tuition and philanthropy, and accountable to UCLA — as the Geffen Academy will be. And like the Lab School, the Geffen Academy will educate a diverse student body and offer robust financial aid to ensure access to students from low-income families. No more than half of the academy’s students will be children of UCLA faculty and staff.

The generous and visionary gift from David Geffen established a $5 million endowment to further strengthen this network of schools through cooperative programming, exchanges and other joint activities. As UCLA has long done, we will continue to share effective educational practices with LAUSD and other institutions that share our long-standing commitment to ensure that every child has access to a high-quality education.

UCLA was founded almost 100 years ago as a teacher-training college. We are mindful of our heritage, proud of our record and steadfast in our mission in service to the public good.

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