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Mission

Great Public Schools Now is a California not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring all Los Angeles students receive a high-quality education by accelerating the growth of high-quality public schools.

Today, more than 160,000 students in Los Angeles and surrounding cities attend schools that are failing to provide them with a quality education. Our goal is to help as many students as possible get the education they want, need and deserve by replicating successful public schools, such as charter, magnet, pilot, and Partnership schools, in high-poverty areas of Greater Los Angeles.

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Why Now

88 percent of Los Angeles residents support making sure every student in a district with an underperforming public school has a choice of attending a higher performing public school.

More than 130,000 LAUSD students choose to attend great public magnet and charter schools each year.

More than 41,000 students were on waitlists for public charter schools in the greater Los Angeles area in 2015.

87 percent of Angelenos support reforming the local public school system

* Results based on a telephone poll conducted from September 20 to October 1 of 1,150 voters throughout communities within the Los Angeles Unified School District. The margin of error of the poll was ±2.9 percent

Latest Updates

Schools

 New GPSN Funded LA Unified School Set to Open

Aug. 15, 2019 (Los Angeles, CA)- Western Ave. Elementary School will hold a grand unveiling of its transition to the new Western Ave. Technology, Engineering, Communications and Humanities “TECH” Magnet, modeled after the successful program at Melrose Ave. Elementary. With a renewed focus on math, science and technology, the school will be expanding to include middle school and will be welcoming its first class of sixth-graders and their families. The school will ultimately serve students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

The transformation includes $30,000 worth of new furnishings that will allow students to move around classrooms and collaborate in small clusters with mobile technology. Support provided in part by a three-year,

$750,000 grant by Great Public Schools Now, an education nonprofit organization that works to build high quality schools throughout the Los Angeles area and has funded two programs similar to this transformation at Los Angeles Unified schools.

 

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Ana Ponce to Lead Great Public Schools Now

Ana Ponce to Lead Great Public Schools Now

Camino Nuevo Charter Academy CEO to join GPSN on Feb. 1st

Nov. 29, 2018 (LOS ANGELES, CA) - The Board of Great Public Schools Now announced today that it has chosen Ana Ponce as the organization’s new Executive Director. Ponce is the Chief Executive Officer of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, a network of high-performing schools in the MacArthur Park area.

Ponce will join GPSN after almost 18 years at Camino Nuevo, where she led the organization as it grew from one to eight schools. Camino Nuevo currently serves more than 3,600 students from Pre-K to 12th grade and has graduated more than 1,200 alumni. At Camino Nuevo, nearly 80 percent of students enter school as English language learners, more than 97 percent graduate high school, and nine in 10 go on to college. For her efforts, Ana was named one of the top seven most powerful educators in the world by Forbes magazine in 2011.

Ponce grew up in Los Angeles and holds multiple degrees from Middlebury College, Columbia University, UCLA, and Loyola Marymount University. She spent a decade as a classroom teacher and founding team member of the first startup charter school in South L.A. before joining Camino Nuevo in 2001. She is also a national board member of UnidosUS, a national advocacy organization, and a founding member and advisory committee member of EdLoC, an organization dedicated to elevating the leadership, voices, and influence of people of color in education and to improving public education through more inclusion efforts.

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Myrna Castrejón to Lead California Charter Schools Association

After launching Great Public Schools Now, Castrejón will now lead association representing California’s charter school community

October 1, 2018 (Los Angeles, CA)- The Board of Directors of the California Charter Schools Association announced today that it has chosen Myrna Castrejón as the organization’s new president and CEO.  She will be stepping down as executive director of Great Public Schools Now at the end of the year to assume this new role.

Myrna joined GPSN after a 13-year stint at CCSA in leadership roles ranging from leading regional growth and advocacy to heading up government affairs and serving as the acting CEO for the organization.  She then joined GPSN as the founding executive director in early 2016, helping to launch the organization, recruit the board of directors, staff the organization, and shepherd its initial grant making.

During Myrna’s tenure, GPSN replicated and expanded high-performing schools, strengthened the teacher pipeline, increased parent advocacy and voice, and strengthened community engagement to build a constituency for quality and equity across LA’s most impacted neighborhoods.  GPSN’s work has now reached more than 35,000 parents. 

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