Thursday, March 24, 2011


Colleen Oliver Brings Experience from Turnaround and Effective Teaching Efforts in Chicago and Memphis

PLAS Press Release

 Wednesday, March 23, 2011 5:33 PM - LOS ANGELES – The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools today announced Colleen Oliver will join the organization on April 11 as Chief Academic Officer. Ms. Oliver currently is a Senior Program Officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she manages foundation effective teaching and turnaround efforts in Memphis city and Chicago Public Schools.

“Colleen brings more than 25 years of experience in education to the Partnership,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “She has been a teacher, a principal, and an administrator both in traditional and charter public schools, as well as a Senior Program Officer at the Gates Foundation. As a Director with Seattle Public Schools, she worked closely with principals to transform low-performing, low-income campuses, giving her a deep knowledge of what works in urban schools. We are thrilled she has joined us on our mission to help turn around some of LA's most historically underserved schools.”

“We feel very fortunate to have Colleen join us,” said Marshall Tuck, CEO of the Partnership. “Colleen's varied, yet deep experience in urban school transformation will help us build on the momentum we've established in the last two and a half years. Moreover, she not only has experience in turning around challenged schools, she understands that teachers and principals are key to this work. Her years in the classroom and in running schools have given her a strong foundation as to how to best support teachers and principals in accelerating student achievement.”

Ms. Oliver will oversee teaching and learning across the 22 Partnership schools, all of which are located in low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Established three years ago by Mayor Villaraigosa, the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools serves more than 18,000 students in historically low performing schools. The Partnership, which operates existing LAUSD public schools under an agreement with the school district, has had success in improving academic achievement in the vast majority of its schools.

“I feel extremely fortunate to be joining the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools and am excited to join a network that is committed to ensuring that all students receive a high quality education,” said Ms. Oliver. “We know that effective teaching and strong school leadership are essential components of successful turnaround schools, and I look forward to working closely with the entire Partnership team to provide our teachers and principals with the support and tools they need to continue to dramatically increase student achievement.”

The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools was founded in 2007 as the cornerstone of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's strategy to improve education in Los Angeles.

It is a unique collaboration between the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District to turnaround LA's lowest performing schools and to create a model for doing so district wide. The largest non-district school operator in Los Angeles, the Partnership today manages 22 schools with over 18,000 students and 1500 employees. The Partnership is a 501(c) 3 non-profit education management organization with 30 employees.

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