Press Releases

Tommy Chang Joins GPSN

Tommy Chang Joins GPSN

Dec. 9, 2019 (Los Angeles, CA)- Great Public Schools Now today announced that Dr. Tommy Chang will join the nonprofit organization as Senior Advisor of Strategy and Programs. Chang recently served three years as the superintendent of Boston Public Schools and previously was a senior administrator at L.A. Unified and a policy director at the California Charter School Assn.

“Education has played a central part in my entire life, and I am excited to be part of Great Public Schools Now and to work to ensure that every student in Los Angeles has a great public school to attend,”  Chang said. “I look forward to continuing my previous relationships in Los Angeles, as well as forging new ones with Supt. Austin Buetner, board members, and educators to find innovative ways to increase educational opportunity for all children.”

GPSN has partnered with L.A. Unified on many projects, including investing to replicate three high-quality campuses in South L.A. that currently serve nearly 700 students.

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 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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Great Public Schools Now Applauds Mayor Garcetti’s Offer To Help Avoid UTLA Teacher Strike

August 27, 2018 (Los Angeles, CA)- Great Public Schools Now welcomes the news that Mayor Eric Garcetti offered to help convene L.A. Unified leaders and UTLA to avert a possible strike. GPSN recognizes that a strike could be harmful for the most vulnerable and most innocent of stakeholders: Los Angeles' working families and students. Not only could a work stoppage be a tremendous burden for low-income and working families who might need to find alternative child care, but the loss of critical learning time at the beginning of the school year would be a blow to their academic progress from which it will be difficult to recover.

The mayor’s offer comes as the union is holding a strike authorization vote and against a backdrop of fiscal urgency that experts agree would catapult L.A. Unified toward insolvency and state takeover.


Jason Song

(213) 452-2804

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Statement on New L.A. Unified Superintendent

Great Public Schools Now Executive Director Myrna Castrejón Statement on Appointment of Austin Beutner as next L.A. Unified Superintendent

May 1, 2018 (Los Angeles, CA)- On behalf of Great Public Schools Now, I congratulate Austin Beutner on his appointment as the next superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. As a distinguished Angeleno, he has a long history of working to improving civic life in Los Angeles, from serving as deputy mayor to advocating for immigrant students through his support of DACA, and bridging philanthropy with the needs of LAUSD students.  He is uniquely well-positioned to solve the challenges the district is facing while also helping L.A. Unified’s many successful programs continue to grow.

We look forward to working with Supt. Beutner to help all children have an equal opportunity at a great education.

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GPSN Statement on Retirement of L.A. Unified Supt. Michelle King

GPSN Executive Director Myrna Castrejón Statement on Retirement of L.A. Unified Supt. Michelle King

January 5, 2018 (Los Angeles, CA)- On behalf of Great Public Schools Now, I thank Michelle King for her dedication to improving education for all students in Los Angeles. She is a pioneer and a role model, and I particularly admire her as a woman of color in a leadership role in education. Supt. King has been a champion for children for her entire career, and Great Public Schools Now was proud to partner with her to replicate two of South Los Angeles’ highest performing schools so that even more students will have a chance attend a high-performing school.

The entire Great Public Schools Now team wishes Supt. King strength as she focuses on her recovery, and we will continue to work with L.A. Unified leadership to advance Supt. King’s mission of putting children first. 

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GPSN Statement on DACA Announcement


Statement from GPSN Executive Director Myrna Castrejón regarding Trump Administration Rescinding DACA

Sept. 5, 2017 (LOS ANGELES, CA) -  Great Public Schools Now is appalled by the plan to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Our hearts go out to the 800,000 immigrants who will be directly affected, their friends and families, and the communities those immigrants live in and serve. We all deserve better than this shortsighted and cruel action. 

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Los Angeles Voters Want Good Teachers and Good Schools for All Students

August 18, 2017, (LOS ANGELES, CA) – With the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education set to discuss critical budgetary and policy decisions for the first time this term, Great Public Schools Now (GPSN), a nonprofit dedicated to identifying and replicating successful educational programs in underserved communities, today released additional results of its summer poll of Angelenos on the topic of education. In addition to points already released, the poll found:

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Amid Statewide Shortage, Great Public Schools Now Announces Grant to Recruit Teachers for Hard-to-Staff Positions

May 2nd, 2017 (LOS ANGELES, CA) – Great Public Schools Now (GPSN) announced today that it will award up to $250,000 in grants to help educational organizations recruit teachers for hard-to-staff positions.

“Now is the time when schools can use extra resources to hire the best and brightest candidates. Supporting innovative recruitment strategies to assist schools and school networks to finish the hiring season strong will ensure students have a great teacher when they start school in August,” said Eric DeSobe, Director of Talent for GPSN.

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