THE THOMAS AND DOROTHY LEAVEY CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF LOS ANGELES RESEARCH COLLECTIONLAAMP COLLECTION (CSLA-16) :History of LAAMP
Part of its half-billion dollar initiative to resolve the crisis of the urban public school system in the United States, the Annenberg Foundation allocated fifty three million dollars to fund the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project (LAAMP) in 1994. The Board of Governors for LAAMP had submitted a proposal to The Annenberg Foundation on November 28, 1994, detailing the structure and goals of LAAMP. The Annenberg Foundation was created by Walter H. Annenberg (former ambassador to Great Britain from 1969-1974), who supported the foundation through his publishing fortune. The money was allocated with the stipulation that matching funds from other sources would more than double the amount, with the purpose of creating a financial resource to shape educational reform in Los Angeles.
LAAMP's Board of Governors included business executives with ties to educational reform in Los Angeles: Roy Anderson (Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Lockheed Corporation; Chairman, Weingart Foundation) and Robert Wycoff (Chairman and CEO Emeritus, ARCO; Chairman, Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now). Board of Governors drawn from education included Steven B. Sample (President, University of Southern California), Blenda Wilson (President, California State University at Northridge), and Charles Young (Chancellor, University of California at Los Angeles). After approval of the proposal, the Board appointed Maria Casillas as the Director. LAAMP's philosophy was to extend and enhance the reform efforts already at work in Los Angeles through such organizations as the Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Reform Now (LEARN).
LAAMP's strategy centered on developing school families (composed of one high school working together with corresponding "feeder" schools), to develop stabile schools characterized by coordinated educational policies that cut across grade levels. LAAMP employed specific policies for curriculum and assessment tools that allowed the use of student data to shape instruction. Results from student data were used to plan curriculum, help create transitions from one grade to the next, and to correct shortcomings in the previously employed instruction. LAAMP's efforts were channeled through professional development programs, desinged to support stable school family learning communities, and to create responsibility among the teachers, administrators, parents and the larger civic and business community (the "stakeholders") for successful schools.
To achieve these goals, LAAMP administered two grants: the Challenge grants and DELTA grants (for the latter, see below). The Challenge grants were allocated to twenty-eight school families (247 schools and 200,000 students) within the Los Angeles area, primarily in the Los Angeles Unified School District. By signing a Memo of Understanding with LAAMP, each school family agreed to a reform strategy and to the seven following "Action Principles":
Becoming stable learning communities in which students know and are known by adults in the schools and in which students experience personalized teaching and learning;
Creating equitable opportunities for every student to engage in a broad, intellectually challenging curriculum that is based on the integration of content represented in the California Frameworks and Goals 2000 initiatives;
Sustaining a strong sense of equity and inclusiveness among parents and stakeholders;
Decentralizing control of resources and decision making;
Linking professional development to the creation of stable learning communities;
Reallocating professional time in schools and School Families;
Creating, using, and publicizing ongoing assessments of student and school performance.
LAAMP worked closely with other Los Angeles based educational reform organizations, such as the Weingart Foundation. The Weingart Foundation supported one of LAAMP's goals by creating DELTA--"Design for Excellence Linking Teaching and Achievement"--for teachers' professional development, with the gift of $8.9 million (supplemented with the Ford Foundation's $2.5 million). By fostering teacher accountability for student performance, the participating DELTA schools took the LAAMP "School Family" model to a deeper level by being linked linked to specific California State University campuses. DELTA also expanded a partnership with the California State University system, leading to redesigned and integrated professional development programs.
After the Challenge grants were completed in 2001, LAAMP took the next step and merged with LEARN (see Center for the Study of Los Angeles collection CSLA-14) to create a new entity, "L2", to carry on systemic educational reform in the Los Angeles area.
This history incorporates information found in the LAAMP Fact Sheet, Action Principles, and the report: Preliminary Reflections on the Annenberg Challenge.
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