Too Little Thought Too Little Action


Schools serving the highest proportions of low-income students and students of color by and large employ the highest proportions of inexperienced and underqualified teachers. This trend has been well-documented nationwide and in California. It is perhaps the starkest example of inequality in our education system and the most formidable to closing pervasive and persistent achievement gaps. Again and again, research has found substantial differences in teachers’ abilities to move their students forward, and there is sound evidence that teacher effectiveness contributes more to student achievement than virtually any other factor. And though the research is inconclusive about the best proxies for teacher effectiveness the inequitable distribution of teachers in California by every measurable proxy – including experience, education level, credential status, and salary – is undeniable.


Published: September 13, 2006

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.