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Groups Sign Reform Compact for L.A. Schools

Leaders from a wide swath of organizations have signed an agreement, called the L.A. Compact, with a focus on reforming the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The effort includes leaders of nearly a dozen L.A.-area colleges and universities, the superintendent and board president, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and several local business executives.

The L.A. Compact has a strong focus on college- and career-readiness. The three main goals are:

— All students graduate from high school.
— All students have access to and are prepared for success in college.
— All students have access to pathways to sustainable jobs and careers.

The L.A. Compact
is modeled after the Boston Compact, which was launched in 1982. Beantown has been successful in gathering various parts of its community to work together on education issues.

"We need more than a bunch of signatures," Superintendent Ramon Cortines told the Torrance (Calif.) Daily Breeze. "We need to make sure that these groups put into action these words. Then this will be an important document."

Among the compact's aim is to provide a unified voice for the region in lobbying for education reforms, and to pool school and community resources to support students and families in and out of school. Students, for example, may have access to more internship opportunities as a result of the new partnership.

The group of 18 organizations includes almost every group from the City Council to the Chamber of Commerce, but not the local teacher's union, United Teachers Los Angeles. The union is adopting a "wait and see approach" to the compact's efforts.

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