Karen Hunter Quartz is Director of Research and Development of the UCLA Community School in Los Angeles. She’s a dynamic and accomplished educator with scores of awards and several books to her name. You can read more about her impressive accomplishments in Karen’s profile.
The UCLA Community School is unusual. It’s a pilot school, a partnership between UCLA, LAUSD Local District 4 and several community-based organizations, and situated in the mid-Wilshire (Pico Union/Koreatown) area. The school offers a unique perspective on education:
- Educators have automony and bring personal expertise to the curriculum.
- Many of the teachers and staff are bi- or trilingual.
- Teachers stay with learning groups for 2 years to build community.
- Youngsters are grouped into small classes, not by age but by learning level.
- Math and science emphasize real-world problem-solving, tailored to kids’ interests.
- In the older grades, UCLA students provide outreach about majors and careers.
The teachers radiate understanding of their students’ cultural backgrounds and family situations and they instill passion for learning. Karen feels that creating this school has been a dream job for her. “The common vision is very distinct knowledge of culturally-relevant instruction. We engage students in high-level thinking – and innovative curriculum,” says Quartz.