They say you can’t go home again. That’s not exactly true. You can return home, just be prepared for a lot of change. That’s what I found when I journeyed south to my childhood stomping grounds in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The setting was familiar, but the level of innovation I saw when I toured my alma maters, Wright Middle School and Westchester High, and Shenandoah Street Elementary, where my wife attended, was entirely new.
Change can be difficult, but this was change you can believe in! The focus on developing the whole child, on project-based learning, on cultivating a responsible outlook toward society and on engaging all students was completely inspiring. When L.A. Unified staff asked me to reflect on how the district had evolved since I tossed my graduation cap in 1969, I was happy to oblige.