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LOOKING BACK … 100 YEARS We’ve come a long way PAGE 33


… either allow people to speak freely in those spaces, leading to a site filled with invective and hateful speech, off-topic comments, and useless content, or closely monitor and moderate such spaces, infringing on people’s free expression but making the site usable for the majority of visitors.

Behind the Screen Excerpts from the book by Sarah T. Roberts, assistant professor of information studies This revealing investigation of the people “behind the screen” offers insights into not only the reality of our commercial internet but the future of globalized labor in the digital age. PA G E 1 0

At the intersection of media, technology, information and the urgency to teach all students Q&A with authors Douglas Kellner and Jeff Share

The time is now—we need programs in critical media literacy to address key issues of education and literacy, but also our politics and society.

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Embodying the principles of individual responsibility and social justice, an ethic of caring, and commitment to the communities we serve. 3 Message from the Dean 4 At the Intersection of Media, Technology, Information and the Urgency to Teach All Students A conversation with Professor Douglas Kellner and TEP faculty advisor Jeff Share on their recent book, “The Critical Media Literacy Guide—Engaging Media and Transforming Education” 10 Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media An excerpt from the new book by Sarah T. Roberts, assistant professor of information studies 14 My Critical Race Journey to Racial Microaggressions and Microaffirmations— 1969 to 2019 Professor of Education Daniel Solórzano shared 50 years of perspectives on the field of Critical Race Studies with his 2019 AERA Distinguished Lecture 18 Conservation of Featherwork Q&A with Ellen Pearlstein, Professor of Information Studies and researcher in the UCLA/Getty Program in the Conservation of Ethnographic and Archaeological Materials 22 Harming our Common Future: America’s Segregated Schools 65 Years after Brown UCLA Civil Rights Project Research Details Increasing Segregation in a Transformed School Population 27 A Path Forward: Finding Educational Success with Immigrant Students at UCLA Community School 33 Looking Back … 100 Years

cover: The main reading room in Powell Library (second floor), crowded with students, circa 1940.


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Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Ph.D. UCLA Wasserman Dean & Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies Laura Lindberg Executive Director External Relations, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies EDITOR

Leigh Leveen Director, Annual Fund and Donor Communications, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies lleveen@support.ucla.edu CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Joanie Harmon Director, Campaign & Development Communications, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies harmon@gseis.ucla.edu John McDonald Director, Sudikoff Family Institute jmcdonald@gseis.ucla.edu


Robin Weisz Design © 2019, by The Regents of the University of California




y the time you receive this Fall issue of the UCLA Ed&IS magazine our new school year will be underway in earnest. It’s never dull here at what I like to call, in a spirit of ebullient celebration, the “Most Amazing Graduate School of Education and Information Studies on the Planet!” And already this year a lot has been happening. More than 700 students in our Ph.D. and professional programs are deeply engaged in learning and research and working to advance practice in their fields. And our faculty members and staff are hard at work as well. In Information Studies, faculty members ­Ramesh Srinivasan and Sarah T. Roberts have published important new books and the department has launched a new colloquium series exploring “Communities in Formation.” In Education, the Principal Leadership Program, led by Nancy Parachini, celebrated its 20th anniversary, having prepared more than 700 educational leaders to work in urban schools. Professor Rashmita Mistry and her students have published a great new article in Psychology Today about talking with children about poverty. Also, Professors Tyrone Howard and Pedro ­Noguera, along with ­Joseph Bishop, director of the ­Center for the Transformation of Schools, released an important new study about the educational and social development of Black youth in Los Angeles County. This is just a small sample of our work here at UCLA GSE&IS. I hope you will find out more about what we are doing by visiting our online publications, Ampersand and Knowledge That Matters, and by following us on Twitter @‌UCLAGSEIS and on Facebook at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. This magazine UCLA Ed&IS is part of our continuing effort to keep you and others informed about our work. In the spirit of our commitment to public scholarship, UCLA Ed&IS shares an in-depth look at the research and projects of our

Photo: Jennifer Young

tremendously talented faculty, students and staff. One of my favorite articles in this issue is a Q&A with Information Studies Professor Ellen Pearlstein about her work to conserve cultural artifacts. Professor Pearlstein’s research focuses broadly on preservation principles and includes studies of Native American featherwork. The article highlights her book “The Conservation of Featherwork from Central and South America.” Last spring, UCLA Professor Daniel Solarzano was selected to give the American Association of Education Research Distinguished Lecture at the organization’s annual conference. It was an important honor, and in this issue, we highlight excerpts of his lecture “My Critical Race Journey to Racial Microaggressions and Microaffirmations—1969 to 2019.” We also talk with UCLA’s Jeff Share and Douglas Kellner about critical media literacy and the urgent need for a greater awareness of both media’s benefits and threats to culture and society. The piece contains a Q&A with Kellner and Share, and a look at their new book, “The Critical Media Literacy Guide—Engaging Media and Transforming Education.” In recent months, school segregation has been much in the news and the research of the UCLA Civil Rights Project has played an important role in fueling the discussion. In this issue, we share the findings of their recent study, “Harming our Common Future: America’s Segregated Schools 65 Years after Brown.” The study raises troubling issues, making clear that segregation is increasing in schools across America. If you follow the news, you may have also seen Congresswoman Katie Porter’s grilling of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over treatment of workers engaged in the moderation of extreme content on the company’s social media platform. The research of our own Sarah T. Roberts, an assistant professor of

Information Studies, had led the way in the study of this emerging field and has shined a very bright and intense light on the often-unsavory content moderation practices of social media companies. In this issue, we highlight her groundbreaking efforts with an excerpt from her new book, “Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media.” Finally, with immigration making headlines and putting families in Los Angeles and elsewhere under duress, we look at how one school is helping immigrant children dream and thrive. “A Path Forward: Finding ­Educational Success with Immigrant Students” looks at the strategies and practices of UCLA Community School in helping immigrant students and their families to succeed. From the examination of the cutting edge of the social media landscape, to tackling the issues of race, poverty and immigration that impact educational opportunities for so many young people, our graduate school is engaged in working to further the knowledge, understanding and practices needed to build a better future for our community, our state and the globe. We are pleased to share a glimpse of that work with you here. Enjoy— Marcelo

Marcelo Suárez-Orozco

Wasserman Dean & Distinguished Professor of Education UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

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Excerpts from “The Critical Media Literacy Guide— Engaging Media and Transforming Education” By Douglas Kellner and Jeff Share



hen a scholar of critical theory in the tradition of the Frankfurt School and an award-winning photojournalist work together to examine the need for critical media literacy in education,

the result is a groundbreaking book. Douglas Kellner, UCLA distinguished professor of Education, and Jeff Share, a faculty advisor and instructor in UCLA’s Teacher Education Program (TEP), have published “The Critical Media Literacy Guide—Engaging Media and Transforming Education,” an exploration of the intersection of media, technology, and information and the urgency to teach all students—from kindergarten to university—how to navigate this environment thoughtfully and from a socially just perspective. Kellner, who teaches in the division of Social Sciences and Comparative Education, is a distinguished professor in the UCLA departments of Education, Gender Studies, and Germanic Languages. He emphasizes the need for teaching critical media literacy and digital and information ­literacy in order to enable students to read and creatively interact with emergent technologies such as the Internet. In the tradition of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, Professor Kellner’s work uses the perspective of critical theory and the industrialization and commercialization of culture under capitalist relations of production. He has written extensively on media culture as a complex political, philosophical, and economic phenomenon and is the author of a comprehensive range of books on social theory, politics, history and culture, including “The American Horror Show: Election 2016 and the Ascendency of Donald J. Trump,” and “American Nightmare: Donald Trump, Media Spectacle, and Authoritarian Populism.” Since 1994, Kellner has been the inaugural George Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education at GSE&IS. In his career as a photojournalist, Share has documented issues such as poverty and social activism, including his award-winning coverage of The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament of 1986. He has taught in bilingual classrooms at Leo Politi Elementary School in L.A.’s Pico-Union community and served as regional coordinator for training at the Center for Media Literacy where he wrote curricula and led professional development.

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Share continues to provide professional development in critical media literacy for Los Angeles Unified School District teachers as well as for educators throughout the United States and internationally. Through Share’s collaboration with educators in Argentina, “The Critical Media Literacy Guide” will soon be translated into Spanish. In 2017, Share wrote, “Teaching Climate Change to Adolescents: Reading, Writing, and Making a Difference,” with co-authors Richard Beach and Allen Webb. In 2015, Share published an updated second edition of his book, “Media Literacy is Elementary: Teaching Youth to Critically Read and Create Media.” Share earned his Ph.D. at U ­ CLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies in 2006; Professor ­Kellner was his graduate advisor. Kellner and Share had a conversation with UCLA Ed&IS magazine on bringing critical media literacy to the classroom, its organic possibilities within the domains of education and information studies, and preparing the next generation for activism and positive change through critical media literacy skills.

Why do we need this book, especially now? JEFF SHARE: For the longest time, we

haven’t had really good literacy education, where we teach more than just decoding letters on a page. We need to help people to ask questions and think critically so that the level of comprehension goes beyond simply regurgitating answers from what is found in the text. We need to really start understanding the power of literacy … and the way all information has a bias, and to help people start to recognize how information is functioning in society to promote representations that support dominant systems and institutions. More than half the population of our planet is online. One of the things we talk about in the book is how this has become the dominant ecosystem because there have been so many changes. The technologies and tools have increased exponentially so that things are possible today that were never possible before. Kids walk into classrooms at almost any age with a little device in their pocket

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that can communicate with the entire world, that can access almost anything. It’s not a simple thing because media rarely cause direct effects—most people never commit a violent crime because they saw a violent movie. The bigger problem is the way the indirect effects of media tend to normalize problematic ideologies. The whole notion of patriarchy and white supremacy, the repetition of these representations and messages, produces a society and a culture that can elect a president who brags about groping women and defending racism. Those types of ideologies—of misogyny, sexism, racism, homophobia— that’s what’s being reproduced so often in media. DOUGLAS KELLNER: Since the 1960s,

there has been an increasing awareness of how different groups and individuals are addressing the whole question of media in society and how education responds to it. It’s unfortunate that education departments have not addressed this to the extent to which they should because more broadly in the culture ­everyone is aware that we’re in a media culture and society and that it’s having a massive effect. Certainly, the election of Trump dramatized the media dimension and how

we need to be more critical of it. I just hope that it can be now engaged in education and information studies departments [and] that we see that we ­really need action on this. The time is now—we need programs in critical media literacy to address key issues of education and literacy, but also our politics and society.

What are some positive effects of critical media literacy in schools and in professional development for teachers? SHARE: We conducted a research sur-

vey recently with former students who had taken the critical media literacy class in the last five years and are now teaching. Around 80 percent of the teachers who are teaching this now in their K–12 classes feel that it’s improving the critical thinking skills of their students. We are also seeing a lot more adaptation of using different types of technology. Our former students are helping their students think about the impact and the effects of these tools to create different types of messages that will challenge issues in terms of racism, sexism, classism … the ways that representations in the media are harmful to certain groups and to everybody in general.

How does critical media literacy at UCLA combine the aims of both the Departments of Education and Information Studies? KELLNER: More and more, we’re try-

ing to get projects together with people in UCLA’s Department of Information Studies and maybe even work out a program of critical media and information literacies that will address key issues in education and information studies. Both of our fields are connected by technological evolution and developments that have been stunning during our lifetimes. Critical media literacy has metamorphized into critical digital literacies. In other words, we’re increasingly aware that the media culture is now part of the bigger digital culture that includes social networks and all of that. When we started out with this, it was film and television that were the dominant media. Now, they’re watching TV shows and movies [online]. We’re going to do [­another] book that delves more into critical digital literacies. SHARE: This is really the marriage of

information studies and education. We see what we are doing as this wonderful nexus where the fabulous work that Leah Lievrouw, Safiya Noble, Sarah Roberts, and so many people in UCLA’s Department of Information Studies have been doing, can enter into education where it’s so needed.

How can critical media literacy create needed change to issues around the representation and misrepresentation of vulnerable groups and populations? SHARE: One of the reasons we named

it critical media literacy—and Doug was one of the first to do this—is to start identifying the differences between critical media literacy and other kinds of media education or media literacy. By naming it, we can bring in questions of ideology and power, and ask about the problems of racism, classism, sexism, and how these are being represented and reproduced in media and technology. This notion of pushing back or having a sense of agency and empowering

More than half the population of our planet is online. One of the things we talk about in the book is how this has become the dominant ecosystem because there have been so many changes. The technologies and tools have increased exponentially so that things are possible today that were never possible before.

students to create media that challenge these problems is really important. A big part of critical media literacy is that it is both analysis and production. KELLNER: And, from the theoretical

perspective, it’s important to stress that we’re not just trashing the media or digital technology. We’re arguing there are positive and negative features and we’re criticizing what we consider the negative aspects of this to be. It’s important to be aware of this two-sided dimension of media and technology, and to literacies. But as Jeff says, we’re putting out a positive agenda about how media and digital technologies can be used for progressive education and social change. SHARE: So many of our students come

in already very aware of how to use the tools. They’re creating memes, they’re posting—they’re already media producers. And yet, most of them lack that critical framework. That’s what critical media literacy tries to do—provide that theoretical framework, that lens to be able to see how can the information that I’m taking in and using, and also the information that I’m creating, be used in a critical way to benefit more than it hurts. What we try to do with critical media literacy is help people to see that all messages are either helping or hurting somebody: How is this message being constructed that’s positioning people to think in a certain way? Then, they’re going to have more chances to be able to understand what’s happening, be able to reject or think differently about it, and be able to create alternative messages to challenge that.

Jeff Share and Professor Douglas Kellner

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“The Critical Media Literacy Guide— Engaging Media and Transforming Education” By Douglas Kellner and Jeff Share



he convergence of information, media, and technology has created the predominant ecosystem of our time. Since 2018, more than half of the world’s population (over 4 billion people) are using the Internet. From cradle to grave, we are interconnected through a globally-networked media and consumer society. Media and information communication technologies can entertain, educate, and empower or distract, mislead, and manipulate. They are a profound and often misperceived source of cultural pedagogy that educate and socialize us about how to behave and what to think, feel, believe, fear, and desire. These complex systems of communication, representation, production, distribution, and consumption are forms of pedagogy that teach us about ourselves and the world around us. This is also an ecosystem that is constantly tracking and selling our movements, communications, and personal data. Therefore, learning how to question, analyze, and maneuver in this cultural environment are essential requirements for critical thinking and participatory democracy. Radio, television, film, cell phones, popular music, the Internet, social networking, and other forms and products of media culture provide materials out of which we forge our sense of selfhood; our notions of gender; our conceptions of class, of ethnicity and race, of nationality, and of sexuality. Media culture shapes our views of the world into categories of “us” and “them,” influencing our deepest values: what we consider good or bad, positive or negative, moral or evil. Media narratives provide the symbols, myths, and resources through which we constitute a common culture and through the appropriation of which we insert ourselves into this culture. Media spectacles demonstrate and legitimize who has power and who is powerless, who is allowed to exercise force and violence, and who suffers the consequences of it. We have written this book to promote critical media literacy as a theoretical framework and practical pedagogy in order to enhance individual sovereignty visà-vis media culture, empowering people to critically read, write, and create a better world. Indeed, the realities of 21st century life, and the technological and information revolutions which characterize it, demand that all citizens become media literate. In fact, many universities are expanding and opening up their cinema/television courses to the university at large due to rising demands for these kinds of analytical and practical skills, which are hardly restricted any more to those looking for careers in the entertainment industry. In particular, the pedagogy of critical media literacy should be an essential part of all education. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Too many educational institutions ignore or undervalue the significance of critical media literacy as a crucial dimension of the knowledge, skills, and awareness necessary for 21st century literacy. This book is designed for undergraduate and graduate students, K–12 teachers and university professors, as well as a general audience who is interested in critical media studies. It provides an introductory framework for understanding and decoding all forms of media culture from a critical perspective. Rather than separating different types of media into generic categories, this text introduces readers to critical theories and practices which are applicable to all forms of media and emphasizes

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the underlying similarities and unique qualities of each. As technology continues to evolve, new potential emerges for positive and negative uses. Recent developments of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality are creating the ability for more people to manipulate digital information, leading to impressive computer-generated imagery (CGI) in blockbuster movies, and also to the growth of fake news, doctored images, and misleading videos that go viral around the world in milliseconds. While new information communication technologies (ICTs) have created potent opportunities for sharing and connecting people across the planet, they have also concentrated access and control of information, and have produced digital divides and information inequalities. Today’s primary storytellers are enormous transnational corporations merging and expanding globally to almost every corner of the planet, and locally to every nook and cranny they can reach. Only a handful of corporations own the majority of the world’s media, creating a small group of wealthy oligarchs and plutocrats with tremendous power to decide who and what will be represented and what lessons will be taught by the largest cultural industry the world has ever known (McChesney & Nichols, 2016). When a small number of corporations have the power to create and disseminate enormous amounts of information, the diversity of ideas shrinks as the potential for abuse increases. Media consolidation is especially problematic when the majority of the audience perceives the messages and media through which they travel as neutral and transparent. Taking media culture for granted promotes a relationship with media in which messages are rarely questioned or challenged, especially when they are considered entertainment. At the same time, social media are providing new possibilities for individuals and groups to find each other and build grassroots coalitions. The Arab Spring, Black Lives Matter, and the #MeToo movement are powerful exam­ ples of the potential social media offer for connecting, organizing, and challenging systems of oppression. Yet, the social

networking that brings like-­minded people together is also being used to foment anger, hatred, and physical violence. These days, all types of groups, from the Islamic State to American street gangs, are using social media to find followers and spread their own agendas and beliefs, thereby turning social media into weapons of warfare (Singer & Brooking, 2018). Awareness and engagement through critical inquiry, therefore, becomes an essential requirement for literacy and education in the 21st century. As a response to changes in technology, media, and society, education and citizenship today require the development of critical media literacy (CML) to empower students and citizens to critically read media messages and produce media themselves in order to be active participants in a democratic society. This necessitates awareness of how media function in everyday life and developing critical literacies to decode crucial meanings, messages, and effects. Much of the daily public pedagogy that mass media (which includes social media) teach about race, gender, class, sexuality, consumption, fear, morals, and the like, reflect corporate profit motives and hegemonic ideologies at the expense of social concerns necessary for a healthy democracy and a sustainable planet. Since traditional education often does little to help students recognize and counteract these influences, we need a more robust type of literacy that expands critical consciousness to encompass new ICTs, media, and popular culture and deepens pedagogical practices to more complex levels in order to question the relationships between information and power. Critical awareness is akin to what Paulo Freire (2010) calls conscientização, a revolutionary critical consciousness that involves perception as well as action against oppression. Critical awareness in CML involves identifying, analyzing, and challenging media that promote representations or narratives involving racism, sexism, classism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination that further marginalize targeted social groups. Through this expansion of literacy and deepening of critical inquiry, CML aims to challenge popular assumptions

that frame media as unproblematic windows to the world. An essential concept of media literacy is the social construction of knowledge and the ramifications of that understanding to disrupt misconceptions of information and education as neutral and bias-free. This critical pedagogical approach to literacy offers the dual possibility of building awareness of media domination through critical analysis and empowering individuals to create alternative media for counter-­ hegemonic expression. CML pedagogy provides students and teachers with an opportunity to embrace the changes in society and technology, not as threats to education, but as opportunities to rethink teaching and learning as political acts of consciousness-raising and empowerment. Hence, as traditional educational systems promote oppressive practices that focus more on conformity and memorization than critical thinking and empowerment, we need a progressive educational response to challenge these harmful influences and provide a positive alternative to humanize and democratize education. The current obsession with standardization and accountability are prioritizing misleading notions of success and equality at the expense of students’ and society’s social and environmental needs. Democracy, social justice, and the fate of life on this planet require education that prepares everyone to work in solidarity to create a more humane, sustainable, and compassionate world. Teachers should guide students to challenge status quo practices and dominant ideologies that support racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, overconsumption, and all forms of oppression and exploitation. While pressures to privatize and standardize education have been building, a dramatic technological revolution, centered on computers, information, communication, and multimedia technologies, has been changing everything from the ways people work, to the ways they communicate with each other and spend their leisure time. This ICT eruption is often interpreted as the beginnings of a knowledge or information society, and therefore ascribes education a central role in every aspect of life. It poses tremendous challenges

to educators to rethink their basic tenets, to deploy the new technologies in creative and productive ways, and to restructure schooling to respond constructively and progressively to the technological and social changes that we are now experiencing. At the same time that this ICT shift is underway, important demographic, socio-political, and environmental changes are taking place in the United States and throughout the world. Immigration patterns have created the challenge of providing people from diverse cultures, classes, and backgrounds with the tools and competencies to enable them to succeed and participate in an ever more complex and multicultural world. Additionally, as the climate continues to warm, more people will be forced to leave their countries in search of the basic human needs no longer sustainable in their homelands. Digital technology is opening opportunities for individual participation and alternative points of view, while at the same time, a few enormous media and technology corporations have become the dominant chroniclers, narrators, and gatekeepers of information, often repeating the same story, at the expense of countless different perspectives and creative ways of thinking. Many of these storytellers are actually story-sellers, more interested in peddling ideas and products, than informing, enlightening, inspiring, or encouraging critical thinking. While children are using more media, they are also being used more by media companies. These giant transnational media and technology corporations are capturing personal data and targeting youth as one of the most valuable markets to build brand loyalty and to sell to advertisers or anyone willing to pay. Hence, we see the urgent need for critical media literacy at this point in our history.

Media culture shapes our views of the world into categories of ‘us’ and ‘them,’ influencing our deepest values: what we consider good or bad, positive or negative, moral or evil. UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019 9

BEHIND THE SCREEN Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media

SARAH T. ROBERTS is an assistant professor of information studies in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. She is a 2018 Carnegie Fellow and a 2018 winner of the EFF Pioneer Award. As a social media scholar, Roberts offers the first extensive ethnographic study of the commercial content moderation industry. Based on interviews with workers from Silicon Valley to the

Photo: Stella Kalinina

Philippines, at boutique firms and at major social media companies, the book contextualizes this hidden industry and examines the emotional toll it takes on its workers. This revealing investigation of the people “behind the screen” offers insights into not only the reality of our commercial internet but the future of globalized labor in the digital age. In this excerpt from “Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media” (Yale University Press, 2019), we are introduced to a content moderator named Melinda, as interviewed by Professor Roberts. Sarah T. Roberts 10 UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019


s a central and mission-critical activity in the workflow of online digital media production, commercial content moderation is little known, frequently low-wage/low-status, and generally outsourced. Content moderation ensures brand protection, adherence to terms-of-use statement, site guidelines, and legal regimes (for example, copyright, law enforcement). It is a key part of the production chain of commercial sites and social media platforms, yet companies often distance themselves from this work and dislike publicity about the moderation practices. But it also complicates, troubles, and directly contradicts notions of the internet as a free-speech zone. It introduces the existence of human decision-makers unknown to and unseen by the vast majority of end users, who are nevertheless critical in the production chain of social media decision-making. Their invisible presence disrupts comfortable and commonplace notions predicated on the one-to-one relationship of user-to-platform. It paints a disturbing view of an unpleasant work task that the existence of social media and the commercial, regulated internet, in general necessitate.



Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media CHAPTER:

Why Commercial Content Moderation Matters

A figure of folklore thought to be prevalent in Wales and England, the sin-eater was seen as a purifier in that he or she would eat, through means of bread or ale passed over the corpse of a recently deceased person, that person’s mortal sins. Often a poor member of the community, the sin-eater would be compensated with financial remuneration for the taking on of another’s sins through this eating. In this way, those who were economically precarious were more likely to ingest the sins of others. It was with this forgotten and tragic personage of British legend, and not with anyone from the tech or social media sectors, with whom Melinda strongly identified through her work as a commercial content moderator. At this point in our conversation, Melinda’s partner dipped back into the darkened living room in which we were meeting and chimed in with her own summation, based on her years online as both a user and a professional responsible for major media properties online: “If you open a hole on the internet,” she observed casually while sipping a glass of wine, “it gets filled with shi**.”

THE NATURE OF “COMMUNITY,” ONLINE AND OFFLINE Melinda’s longtime contributions as a volunteer moderator on a variety of online sites and social media platforms gave her an interesting point of comparison for how the work of commercial content moderation differed from those other experiences. She noted her lack of agency and control in her moderation work for YouNews versus other spaces, and a lack of clear resources or sites of support or escalation for the issues she encountered. She also highlighted the nature of online community in a space like DearDiary’s “Questioning Whiteness” forum, where people self-selected and where the conversations were very tightly moderated and very clearly bounded by guidelines and rules adhered to by all participants. Indeed, Melinda found the very notion of “community” in the context of YouNews to be misleading and a misnomer. She viewed the site’s forums as much less of a community and much more a space for people to enact hostility and aggression toward one another, the very antithesis of what community stood for to her. “Well, again, because my communities that I moderate on DearDiary I had a great deal of agency over, they also were a self-selected community with very clear, very strongly worded community guidelines that you had to agree with. … And we actually wrestled with this, I co-moderate that group, the “Questioning Whiteness” [forum]. And the moderators,

Social media on the internet can be a nightmarish place. A primary shield against hateful language, violent videos, and online cruelty uploaded by users is not an algorithm. It is people. Mostly invisible by design, more than 100,000 commercial content moderators evaluate posts on mainstream social media platforms: enforcing internal policies, training artificial intelligence systems, and actively screening and removing offensive material— sometimes thousands of items per day. UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019 11

we all went back and forth and there was one guy who was pretending to be a black woman but was actually a middle-aged white guy. Weird sh**! You know? We kept having to be like, “Let’s amend this to say you can’t pretend to be black if you’re not.” You know? I can’t believe we had to put that in the guidelines, but there you go! So when stuff would come up we would amend our documents. And we had resources, so if somebody was given a warning we had resources that they could go look at to understand why they f*cked up and how to not do it again in the future. And the community, because it was a closed community, and most of the people there were on there for a very long time, there was a great deal of personal investment among the community members to ensure that stuff got nipped in the bud right away. Sometimes that made it worse. But, generally, if somebody said something that was out of line, a community member would say something and then contact one of us and say, “This happened, can you get

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rid of it or deal with this person. ….” There just is so much more empowerment and agency and self-selection. I mean people were there because they choose to be in a community that was actively about White people unlearning their racism. That’s very specific.” The outcome of her experiences doing moderation work for YouNews left Melinda doubtful that the online generalist forums such as the ones it provided did anything positive for the advancement of dialogue or understanding among people. In fact, she believed it had the opposite effect and found the forums and other online spaces like it worse than useless; she found them damaging. “When you have any YouNews post [on a general interest article] about ­kittens, there is no self-selection, there’s no investment in the commu­ nity. … They don’t have any personal investment in the tone being civil and a real conversation taking place. You see that a little less in places like Huffington Post, where there is some accountability. Where people’s little avatar [is

displayed], and you can see the comments they’ve made in other places. I think Shakespeare’s Sister and Jezebel have an interesting self-moderating system, but those are communities where people are rewarded for good behavior they are discouraged from bad behavior. And you know, you can vote down the trolls. There is nothing like that in something like YouNews. All you can do is flag something as abusive or say you disagree with it. Like, click.” These experiences began to color her own engagement with other people, both online and off: “I think [the job] contributed to a lot of my depression and isolation. But like in terms of like meeting new people and like assuming that they’re not haters, I tend not to be as positive about people as I used to be since that. You know? And it’s just, I have a much more heightened awareness when I walk around or when I meet friends of friends that they are probably thinking terrible things about me. If they knew my identities, they would maybe smile and shake my hand and wish me burning in hell.” Ultimately, Melinda questioned the utility of the generalist forums and felt that they would never be put to good use but, instead, would always attract an element of people who desired to engage in angry, profane postings. Melinda cited their existence as a generator of the negative content for which she was hired to police. “I really don’t think that 90 percent of people that go in to any online forum have any intention of having a conversation. They just don’t. They want to barf out whatever it is they wanted to say. And just gleefully barf more when they’re called on their sh**. I would like to think that these people aren’t like talking like that in the real world. Because if they are, I hope there’s someone running around after them with a bar of soap. I know that’s what a lot of people think and just feel comfortable saying in these forums. But I think that’s how they really think. I think there’s a lot of ugly people.” Melinda’s engagement as a professional moderator in online news forums resulted in a difficult paradox: either allow people to speak freely in those spaces, leading to a site filled with invective and hateful speech, off-topic

People are horrible! [laughter] Just in having this conversation with you, I’m coming back really strongly to, you know, if you have an internet property and you don’t have a very good reason for a forum—don’t put it there. ’Cause it’s, it’s dangerous and it’s ugly and it doesn’t do anything for your brand. And it hurts people. So don’t do it.

comments, and useless content, or closely monitor and moderate such spaces, infringing on people’s free expression but making the site usable for the majority of visitors. Clearly, Melinda erred on the side of the latter, but was frustrated by the propensity of the forums for which she performed commercial content moderation to invariably fall into the patterns of the former. In the end, Melinda’s role for YouNews was one of brand protection and management, and her closing remarks to me underscored this perspective. She advocated the shuttering of such comment sites and forums on social media properties, presaging a largescale move by numerous major online media properties such as Popular Science, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and numerous others to do just that, or to greatly overhaul the posting process by necessitating a period of review, over the next few years. Indeed, a study from the University of Wisconsin in 2014 (also referenced in a New York Times article about the Popular Science webpage shutting off comments) demonstrated that people exposed to negative comments responding to a news story were more likely to react negatively to the content of the news story itself. Melinda put it simply: “People are horrible! [laughter] Just in having this conversation with you, I’m coming back really strongly to, you know, if you have an internet property and you don’t have a very good reason for a forum—don’t put it there. ’Cause it’s, it’s dangerous and it’s ugly and it doesn’t do anything for your brand. And it hurts people. So don’t do it.”

UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019 13


Racial Microaggressions and Microaffirmations 1 9 6 9 TO 2 0 1 9 Professor of Education Daniel Solórzano BY JOANIE HARMON


rofessor Daniel Solórzano’s 2019 AERA Distinguished Lecture entitled “My Critical Race Journey to Racial Microaggressions and Microaffirmations—1969 to 2019” charted his 50-year trajectory from teaching in classrooms across Los Angeles, including L.A. County Central Juvenile Hall, East Los Angeles College, and the California State University and UC systems. This led to his introduction to critical race theory (CRT) in the early 1990s as a junior faculty member in UCLA’s Department of Education. Since then, Solórzano has become one of the nation’s premier scholars of critical race theory and has expanded this field by establishing the Center for Critical Race Studies in Education (CCRSE) at UCLA in 2015. The center highlights the work of researchers across the country who are contributing to the development of the field. As of 2019, a total of 19 research briefs have been published, exploring areas of critical race studies in education including cultural intuition, racial battle fatigue, racial microaggressions, critical race history methodology, community cultural wealth, internalized racism, muxerista portraiture, critical race counterspaces, Asian American Critical Race Theory, Tribal Critical Race Theory, critical race educational history, critical race spatial analysis, Chicana (M)other work, Black Crit in Education, intersectionality, and racial microaffirmations. These research briefs serve as a resource for educators and scholars who want to use the tools of CRT to advance their own research and practice. The CCRSE is also beginning an oral history project on Women of Color in the academy, highlighting how their multiple identities shape their experiences and contributions when navigating academia as pioneers in their fields. Solórzano’s journey to critical race studies originated in the field of Ethnic Studies generally and Chicana/o Studies and African American Studies in particular. He defines critical race studies as “the work of scholars … who are developing an explanatory framework that accounts for the role of race and race in education.” Daniel Solórzano

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He defines critical race studies as ‘the work of scholars … who are developing an explanatory framework that accounts for the role of race and race in education.’ 

T H E

Professor Solórzano teaches in the Division of Social Science and Comparative Education in UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. His teaching, research and publishing interests also include critical race pedagogy and critical race spatial analysis. Solórzano has authored more than 100 research articles and book chapters on issues related to educational access and equity for underrepresented student populations in the United States, critical race theory, and racial microaggressions. Solórzano was previously honored by AERA with the inaugural Revolutionary Mentor Award in 2017; as an AERA Fellow in 2014; and with the organization’s Social Justice in Education Award and Lecture in 2012. He was the director of the University of California All Campus

Consortium on Research for Diversity (UC/ACCORD) from 2008 to 2015. In 2007, Solórzano received the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2012, he was honored with the Derrick Bell Legacy Award from the Critical Race Studies in Education Association. In his AERA Distinguished Lecture, Professor Solórzano delineated the extensive research on racial microaggressions and microaffirmations conducted by himself and his students. This work is culminating in a forthcoming book on racial micro-aggressions to be published in the Teachers College Press at Columbia University, co-written with his former student Lindsay Pérez Huber (’05, M.A., SSCE; ’09, Ph.D., SSCE), an associate professor in the College of Education at California State University, Long Beach.



They are also layered assaults, based on a Person of Color’s marginalized identities. FINALLY, THEY ARE CUMULATIVE


Race matters for reasons

that are really only skin deep, that cannot be discussed any other way, that cannot be wished away. Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter the neighborhood [in which] he grew up. Race matters to the young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown and then is pressed, ‘No, where are you really from?’ regardless of how many generations her family has been in this country. Race matters because of the slights, the snickers … the judgments that reinforced the most crippling of thoughts: I do not belong here.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor Shuette v. BAMN

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Adapted from the AERA presentation:

The definition of racial microaggressions is a form of systemic everyday verbal or non-verbal assaults directed toward People of Color. They are also layered assaults, based on a Person of Color’s marginalized identities. Finally, they are cumulative assaults that take a physiological, psychological, and academic toll on People of Color. One response People of Color experience in the face of everyday racism are racial microaffirmations, defined as subtle verbal or non-verbal strategies People of Color engage that affirm each other’s dignity, integrity, and shared humanity. These moments of shared cultural intimacy allow People of Color to feel acknowledged, respected, and valued in a society that constantly and perpetually seeks to dehumanize them. Racial microaggressions data is found in places one might not often look—for example, a U.S. Supreme Court dissenting opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor in the 2014 case (Shuette v. BAMN). Sotomayor wrote, “Race matters for reasons that are really only skin deep, that cannot be discussed any other way, that cannot be wished away. Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter the neighborhood [in which] he grew up. Race matters to the young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown and then is pressed, ‘No, where are you really from?’ regardless of how many generations her family has been in this country. Race matters because of the slights, the snickers … the judgments that reinforced the most crippling of thoughts: I do not belong here.” Without ever using the word, Justice Sotomayor is speaking of racial microaggressions. There are intersections of race, class, gender, immigration status, and sexual orientation that are critical in any study of racial microaggressions. We have to look at those intersections in a more nuanced and complex way in which race manifests itself in the everyday lives of people … interacting in racist institutions and with racist practices. The ‘micro’ in microaggressions does not mean ‘less than.’ The ‘micro’ in microaggressions means ‘in the

everyday.’ Microaggressions are painful. If you are on the receiving end of a microaggression, you get angry, you get stressed. Or, as racial battle fatigue sets in, you doubt yourself or experience imposter syndrome. They affect your academic performance and your health outcomes. People who experience racial microaggressions also resist, push back, and challenge those assaults and characterizations of themselves. Racial microaggressions are cumulative assaults, often people say, ‘well, that doesn’t seem like a big thing.’ While it may not seem a big thing to the perpetrator, it is a big thing to the person on the receiving end of that racial microaggression. And it’s not just one [incident]. It’s the multiple ways in which People of Color experience these everyday forms of racism. There are the secondary targets of racial microaggressions, situations when a Person of Color is not the direct target of the racial microaggression but is observing or hearing a racial comment directed toward another Person of Color. You can still feel the pain of the racial microaggression. You still experience the secondary trauma of the everyday racist act. One of the responses to racial microaggressions is resistance and the field of Ethnic Studies has documented the history of resistance by African Americans, Latina/os, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and other People of Color. Over the years, Ethnic Studies has been central in creating counterspaces as a response to racism—in high schools and colleges, communities, workplaces, and organizations. These counter­ spaces were also created to heal from the experiences of everyday racism. People and Communities of Color continue to respond to everyday racism through various art forms such as humor, music, dance, and public art. Young people ARE pushing back against everyday racism, sexism, and homophobia. A good example of microaffirmations as a response to everyday racism, as documented in The Washington Post on November 19, 2015, starts with the headline, ‘Harvard Law has a ‘serious’ racism problem, dean

says after Black professors’ portraits defaced.’” The article reported an incident at the Harvard Law School. In the hallways, they have portraits of the entire current and former faculty. Overnight, Professor Tomiko Brown-Nagin and all the Black professors at Harvard Law had their portraits defaced with black tape across their faces. They found the vandalism in the morning, but people were posting on social media the pictures of the black tape before they pulled the tape off. A Harvard law student stated in the media, ‘For a lot of students, particularly students of color, it’s not surprising. It is just more public. It’s a public manifestation of what we experience in the everyday.’” As they pulled the tape off, students began to place Post-Its around the portraits. They wrote notes to the Black faculty members. And this is what Professor Ronald Sullivan posted in a Tweet that afternoon, ‘My shock and dismay, however, were replaced by joy and admiration when I saw the loving notes and affirmation and appreciation that Harvard law students placed on our portraits.’ The students’ efforts to support the Black professors in the wake of this incident were racial microaffirmations. How do we affirm the Harvard Law students and the students in our classrooms in the everyday? Is the presence of People of Color in spaces like this (AERA), in your classrooms, in texts or in history a microaffirmation? Finally, is the absence of People of Color in space, in texts, in history, a microaggression? There are five things to remember about microaggressions: First, the “micro” in microaggressions does not mean less than—the “micro” in microaggressions means in the everyday. Second, remember the cumulative impact of verbal and non-verbal racial microaggressions on People of Color. Third, microaggressions matter because they are symptoms of larger structural problems—racism and white supremacy. Fourth, we need to recognize and disrupt the discourse of racial microaggressions in the everyday, and fifth, we need to affirm the humanity of one another as a response to everyday racism. UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019 17

Conservation of Featherwork

Q&A with Ellen Pearlstein Professor of Information Studies and researcher in the UCLA/Getty Program in the Conservation of Ethnographic and Archaeological Materials

Drawing and terminology for pennaceous feather structure (courtesy Renee Riedler).

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n her work as a researcher and scholar of the conservation of cultural artifacts, Ellen Pearlstein has studied the use and preservation of natural materials, the role of indigenous communities in decision-making for exhibits and institutions that present cultural objects, and the education of conservators. A professor in the UCLA Department of Information Studies, Pearlstein focuses her research broadly on preservation principles, and her research includes studies of Native American featherwork. She has done extensive ­studies on the featherwork of the Maidu, Pomo, and Miwok tribes of California, as well as the featherwork of the Tulalip, a Coastal Salish tribe near Seattle. “The Conservation of Featherwork from Central and South America” was inspired by a course on Amazonian featherwork that Pearlstein taught at UCLA and a major collection of these artifacts at the Fowler Museum. While the book focuses on ways of preserving these artifacts and the highly vulnerable materials from which they are made, Pearlstein has written numerous articles on the cultural and ethnographic significance of featherwork and its embodiment of tribal pride and power. Professor Pearlstein teaches in the UCLA/Getty Interdepartmental Program in the Conservation of Ethnographic and Archaeological Materials and Conservation of Material Culture Ph.D. program. Her research interests include American Indian tribal museums; the effects of environmental agents on ethnographic and natural history materials; how display and storage standards are devised;

What got you interested in working in the preservation of featherwork? ELLEN PEARLSTEIN: Before I joined the

faculty at UCLA, I was a conservator at the Brooklyn Museum, which has a particularly impressive Native American collection. The museum did a kind of breakthrough exhibition in the late 1980s or early ’90s in that it engaged members of Indigenous communities before other museums were doing that when [displaying] Native American materials. I really fell in love with this collection of Native featherwork from California and so enjoyed learning more about it from the cultural descendants who came to meet with us at the museum. And I have to say, one of the first things I thought about when I moved to California was that collection of featherwork. It developed into a strong interest in researching exactly those materials … when I was introduced to this beautiful regalia and the people who cared so much about it. When I was able to pick up on this as a research area, when I came to UCLA, my knowledge expanded geometrically.

introducing context into cultural materials’ conservation education; and the development of conservation curriculum. She has worked as a conservator at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York and studied art history and archaeology at Columbia University and conservation methods and practices at the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. In 2009, she was honored with the Sheldon and Caroline Keck Award for distinguished teaching and mentoring from the American Institute for Conservation. She is a fellow of both the American Institute for Conservation and the International Institute for Conservation. UCLA Ed&IS magazine had a conversation with Professor Pearlstein on the ethereal beauty and resonating symbolism of Native featherwork, the very real environmental impact on what could become a dying cultural practice, and the humanistic value of Indigenous works and regalia in museums.

What were some of the things you learned from the tribal representatives about Native American featherwork and its associations with their tribe’s power and myth? PEARLSTEIN: Some of the things that

I’ve learned from regalia makers about featherwork came from those initial consultations at the Brooklyn Museum in the 1980s. This was before the 1990 passing of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act that prompted a lot of consultation between museums and tribes. When I started a serious study around 2008 on California featherwork, I also met with regalia makers and a lot of what stays in my mind now are things I learned in meetings with [them]. I learned the value of color. The intensity of color of the natural plumage is really highly valued by regalia makers. I learned that there were particular variants of certain birds, where you could find them with a very bright orange coloration or find them with a very bright

yellow coloration. Regalia makers are very aware of where to find feathers of these different colors. After feathers spend a year on a bird, they’re very worn. They’ve undergone a lot of potential fading from sun. The regalia makers know exactly when new plumage forms on a bird and when it’s time to get prime plumage that has the most beautiful color. Also, they collect feathers without killing the bird. Feathers are plucked and the birds are allowed to live. Making regalia is actually highly competitive. When you’re performing [native dances], you want to have the most outstanding regalia. And when you are coming up later in a performance and you have already observed very brilliant regalia, you might try to augment your own regalia to make sure you’re really “winning” when you [perform]. The way regalia makers conserve and preserve their work is very particular. [Regalia are] typically stored in the dark, away from light. They are often used in ceremonies that include a lot of smoke from fire, and that, we’ve realized, actually serves as an insecticide that keeps insects away from the feathers. Smoky, wood-burning fires include compounds known as aldehydes, a byproduct of the non-woody materials found in wood. Wood includes not just cellulose and hemicellulose, but it also includes resins, extracts, and all kinds of other materials [that] become volatilized when you heat wood to make a fire. So, there you are, sort of bathing this regalia in a preservative. We found that feathered regalia made for non-­performance [purposes]—for example, things that were made to be sold directly to tourists or given to museums—don’t have the same protection as things that were worn in performances.

UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019 19

Have materials become scarcer since you began this research?

Along with the many precautions and special handling techniques, what is unique about the preservation of feathers?

How does the digital environment enhance the preservation of featherwork apart from the ability to share exhibits online?

PEARLSTEIN: I would say that the an-

PEARLSTEIN: Feathers are a materi-

PEARLSTEIN: Increasingly, there are

swer to that is yes. Part of that has to do with the fact that the habitats for these particular birds have gotten urbanized as have the tribes themselves. California is home to a lot of urban Indians. So, the bird habitats have become harder to come by, the feathers have become harder to come by. Some of these birds are protected through migratory bird acts and federal legislation that protects bird species. A lot of feathers used for regalia are from birds that are protected and it’s sometimes hard to get feathers [that] are subject to U.S. Fish and Wildlife laws that restrict access. People are substituting other feathers even though the birds themselves have certain mythological associations.

al that can be very readily distorted through pressure and mishandling. They are structurally fragile. Moths love feathers. They’re made out of keratin, a protein. There are particular insect predators that prefer protein and amongst them are moths. Webbing clothes moths (Tineola bisselliella) and casemaking moths (Tinea pellionella) are two different categories that are very prevalent throughout the world. With global warming, many places are seeing an increase in infestations because what these moths need are elevated temperatures and elevated humidity. Often feathers are used in multiples and attached to a support and they overlap each other, so there are areas that are protected from light that are dark and enclosed. Moths love that. I’ve examined countless featherwork items where there has been moth activity on those concealed places.

digital tools that help us in identifying the birds from which the feathers are derived. For example, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a website called The Feather Atlas [which helps their] agents identify birds when they capture materials that they think are being tracked. The Feather Atlas also helps conservators and preservation specialists [to] identify species. There is also a very robust European website called Featherbase that includes parrot feathers that are not found in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife site because those [feathers] are not indigenous to the United States. The increasing availability of high-resolution images on these websites is a digital tool that is making our work substantially enriched. There have been efforts to compensate for lost areas on feathers by making a digital copy of the pattern and shape of an intact feather and to transfer it onto a

Karajá feathered skirt/belt, Fowler Museum at University of California, Los Angeles, X70.1838, detail of feather securing methods. Photo courtesy of Heather White.

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What were some of your earliest experiences in museums and how did they propel you to seek an education and career that was oriented toward art and its cultural aspects? support that can be attached to the actual feather. Three-dimensional printing, which has been used in conservation to recreate missing parts of sculpture and ceramics, doesn’t lend itself to something that requires flexibility. It makes a rigid component and feathers have to be light and have the capacity to move. When you’re reproducing a section of a feather, you’ve got to be thinking about gloss, about shape, movement, weight. It has to be “light as a feather.”

In today’s knowledge environment that seems to exist largely online, what is important to scholars, researchers, and society in general about the physical preservation of natural materials that have been made into artifacts?

PEARLSTEIN: I was a big museum-goer as a child. I remember going to a King Tut exhibition as a child in Brooklyn. [I remember] its spectacular beauty and craftsmanship, just spectacular. Subsequent to that, I ended up working on various stone conservation projects in Luxor, Egypt for ten years. I also remember going to see a Van Gogh exhibit when I was a kid. The color, the brilliance, the rich use of brushwork was dazzling. The materials that I work with are either animal-sourced or plant-sourced. Paper and basketry are totally derived from plants. I have an art background before I went onto graduate study and the art that I love is based on the ability of the person to manipulate these natural materials into things of meaning and beauty.

PEARLSTEIN: Digital representations

of items don’t give you any sense of the way that an object like featherwork moves when it’s [worn in performance], the weight or lightness of that item. It doesn’t allow you to look at the technological choices that were made by the person who attached thousands of feathers to a support that might be made out of some sort of netting or a woven textile. There are so many attachment techniques that are specific to feather­ work that you cannot typically see in digital representations unless they were designed to give you that insight. Digital access means that you are accessing things in a way that has been decided for you instead of one-to-one direct access to an item, which allows you to access it in a way that you might want to access it. We talked about whether or not these traditions are at risk of loss. With the kinds of things that people need to know to continue to make things that were made by generations past and have gone into museums … they can’t just look at a digital image and understand how to produce that item.

After conservation treatment image of Fowler Museum at University of California, Los Angeles, Karajá headdress, X70.1830, prepared on storage support. Photo courtesy Elizabeth Burr.

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AMERICA’S SEGREGATED SCHOOLS 65 YEARS AFTER BROWN U.S. Deputy Marshals escort six-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana in November 1960. Photo: Associated Press


s the nation marks the 65th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling declaring segregation in public schools unconstitutional, the

UCLA Civil Rights Project Research Details Increasing Segregation in a Transformed School Population BY JOHN MCDONALD

UCLA Civil Rights Project has published new research

detailing school segregation in the nation’s schools amid a rapidly changing student population. Since 1988, the share of intensely segregated minority schools​ —schools that enroll 90–100 percent non-white students—has more than tripled from 5.7 percent in 1988 to 18.2 percent in 2016. The report details the transformation of the nation’s public school enrollment from primarily a two-race white and black school population, to one that is truly multiracial, reshaped by a surging Latino population and the emergence of a significant population of Asian students. Despite increased diversity in the U.S. population, the new research finds the segregation of Black students expanding and intensifying across the nation.

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FROM THE REPORT INTENSE LEVELS OF SEGREGATION— which had decreased markedly after 1954 for black students—are on the rise once again. In the 1990s, a series of Supreme Court decisions led to the end of hundreds of desegregation orders and plans across the nation. This report shows that the growth of racial and economic segregation that began then has now continued unchecked for nearly three decades, placing the promise of Brown at grave risk. Research shows that s­ egregation has strong, negative relationships with the achievement, college success, longterm employment and income of students of color. At a time of dramatic ­demographic transformation, the implications of these trends and research are important for us to address. We are a country that has always been racially diverse with a large majority of white residents for many generations. That majority is rapidly coming to an end and already is over among the school age population. All the trends show that this change will continue. When the nation last focused seriously on racial segregation of our schools, we were a country largely white with about an eighth black students and were at a historic low point in immigration. As we

become a country without a majority population, an absolutely central question for our future is how well are we managing our diversity? The basic statistics show profound and enduring gaps in educational and economic success in a country that is also very deeply polarized in terms of attitudes and political beliefs. A central belief in our democracy is that educational opportunity is the key to fairness in a society that does not support broad social policies, except for the elderly. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown decision held that segregated education was “inherently unequal” and created irreversible harm to segregated students. The Court was talking then about schools segregated by law in 17 states, but research shows that the impact of segregation is similar whether caused by law or by local policies and practices. This study reports on our progress in creating integrated education 65 years after Brown. Sadly, it shows that we are not making significant progress, as racial change affects every part of our society in all of the settings, from our small rural towns to the great metropolises, where the large majority of our children are growing up.

INTEGRATING THE WHITE MINORITY In the West today there are already more Latino than white students in the public schools, and in California only about a fourth of all students are white. In the South, the white minority in the region continues to decline as a share of total enrollment. There are trends in this direction in many parts of the country. Historically there were few whites in schools with a substantial nonwhite majority and large numbers attending schools where more than nine-tenths of the students were white. Today the growing sectors of enrollment are Latino and Asian and mixed race. A significantly larger share of whites are now minorities in nonwhite schools, and the number of schools that are over 90 percent white has plummeted. These trends are continuing. They mean that in many places white young people need to learn how to function effectively in situations where they will be in the minority. Parents say they favor their children learning to deal with people from other

groups, but white parents often seek homes far from nonwhite communities and schools.

BLACK SEGREGATION The desegregation of black students in 17 states with segregation mandated by law was a central objective of the civil rights revolution. After more than a decade of bitter resistance and very limited change, the passage of the most sweeping civil rights law in U.S. history, enforcement by the Johnson Administration, and powerful unanimous decisions by the Supreme Court, there was a huge breakthrough, and the Southern schools became the most integrated region of the country for several decades. Nineteen years after Brown, in 1973, the Supreme Court opened the door to desegregation lawsuits outside the South for both black and Latino desegregation but created both far more demanding standards of proof of violations than in the South and, in 1974, protected the suburbs from involvement in desegregation remedies, although many central cities had already lost the great bulk of the white population. By the 1980s there was a full-scale attack on integration plans by the Reagan and Bush Justice Departments and a leading opponent, William Rehnquist, became Chief Justice. Since the early 1970s there have been no expansions of federal desegregation law and no real creation of federal programs or policies to support integration of schools and neighborhoods. Segregation has engulfed central cities, spread far out into sectors of suburbia, and is now serious in our small metros and even our small towns. Most court orders in large districts ended in the 1990s. The success for black students growing up in integrated schools was substantial, as recounted in Professor Rucker Johnson’s 2019 book, “Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works,” based on sophisticated longterm studies of large numbers of African American students who were either segregated or desegregated. He found higher achievement, college success at more selective colleges, higher income, better jobs, less incarceration, and better long-term health for students in interracial schools. UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019 23

Nineteen years after Brown, in 1973, the Supreme Court opened the door to desegregation lawsuits outside the South for both black and Latino desegregation but created … far more demanding standards of proof of violations than in the South …

People protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., while the Supreme Court is considering whether school districts in Seattle and Louisville, Kentucky, are violating the U.S. Constitution in their efforts to integrate their classrooms. Both districts have limited the ability of parents to choose schools by imposing numerical ranges for racial composition. (Photo by Ken Cedeno/Corbis via Getty Images)

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The data in this report shows a disconcerting increase of black segregation in all parts of the country. This is true even though African Americans are a slowly declining share of the total student population, and many now live in suburban areas. It shows a very substantial loss from the high point of desegregation in the late 1980s. We also see that in the West where blacks are now only 5 percent of the total enrollment, most are attending schools that are predominantly Latino. This pattern is evident in many areas including parts of the South, traditionally the heartland of the African American community, where there are now larger numbers of Latinos than blacks. Very little attention has been given to these trends. A troubling development has been the enormous growth and intensifying segregation by ethnicity and poverty of the Latino students, who are now by far the largest nonwhite community. They are now more segregated in their own group than are blacks; and often, particularly in the Southwest and the West,

African American students are not only isolated from whites and from the middle class but they are, on average, attending schools where they are a minority group within a Latino school. Latino students now are typically in schools with insignificant white and middle-class populations, a particularly dramatic historic change in the West. Sometimes they are also segregated from students whose home language is English. Schools of choice have played a greatly increased role in public education. There was a huge growth of intentionally integrated magnet schools in the 1970s. Since 1990 most of the desegregation requirements in choice plans have been dropped, and there has been a vast expansion of charter schools, which are schools of choice. Typically they have no integration policies and are even more segregated than regular public schools, though unlike those districts and schools, they often are not tied to particular segregated neighborhoods.

THE SUBURBS ARE EXPERIENCING PROFOUND CHANGES. At the time of the civil rights movement the suburbs were white, and significant racial change did not develop until the 1970s. The data in this report shows that the change has been faster and more sweeping than most Americans understand, and there is now a majority of nonwhites in the suburban rings of our largest metros. Many of these suburban communities never had a desegregation plan, and many of their residents came to the suburbs after leaving racially changing city neighborhoods. White suburbs usually have much smaller school systems and not much diversity among teachers and administrators, and there has been little training or planning in communities now facing threat of ­resegregation. There have been no significant programs or policies to help these communities deal successfully with diversity either in education or housing policy.

CURRENT BARRIERS TO FURTHER INTEGRATION Due to the changing federal judiciary and a series of Court decisions, many districts are being released from court oversight, which is contributing to resegregation in the South for black students. Further, because states and districts no longer have laws and policies that explicitly assign students to schools on the basis of their race to maintain racial segregation and because the Supreme Court has limited and ended remedies, there are few new federal cases challenging segregation, though there are a range of ways in which decisions by policymakers and by families contribute to the segregation in schools that we describe here. Desegregation struggles have of­ ten focused on urban districts that disproportionately enrolled more students of color. In a decision two decades after Brown, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the extent to which courts could include suburban districts in desegregation remedies—a decision that was especially constraining outside of the South where metropolitan areas were fragmented into more districts. This mattered because urban districts required to desegregate were often surrounded by many largely white districts untouched by similar desegregation obligations, creating an incentive for white families to settle there. Now suburban districts are much less racially homogeneous, particularly in our largest metropolitan areas. As our population has suburbanized, suburban schools are enrolling a growing share of the metro enrollment, including students of color and low-income students. These demographic patterns have been layered on top of a maze of school district boundary lines, which are sorting students in the suburbs similar to racial change in cities in the 20th century. Black and Latino suburban students go to school with many fewer

white children than white public school students. Differences in student composition and perceived school quality get capitalized into home prices in uneven ways, resulting in vastly different tax bases that school districts can tap to support the public schools. Thus, we’re seeing patterns of segregation and inequality spreading on a wider geographic scale, and considerable complexity among suburban districts. These very districts, however, may only recently be diverse and lack policies, programs, or expertise to understand and address barriers to full inclusion and opportunity. Moreover, suburbs are less likely to have the same supports as cities do for low-income students or students of color. supports that can be crucial to ensuring policies like student assignment don’t exacerbate existing residential segregation. In a number of suburban districts—as well as countywide districts containing suburban areas—the increasing diversity has engendered contentious debates about student assignment policies, particularly those that would try to reduce segregation Mindful of the segregation and inequality across district boundary lines, some areas have sought regional approaches to reducing racial isolation, either voluntarily or as a result of court orders. Such plans have dwindled in recent years, but remain popular where implemented and students generally had impressive social and academic gains.

DOUBLE SEGREGATION Racial segregation and economic segregation frequently overlap in K–12 public schools. Black and Latino students on average attend schools with a far higher share of poverty, measured by eligibility for free/reduced-price lunch. New analysis from the Kids Count Data Center shows that 28 percent of African American children and 19 percent of Latino children are living in areas of concentrated poverty, compared to 6 percent

of Asian children and just 4 percent of whites according to American Community Survey data from 2013–2017. Other research has shown socioeconomic disparities by race, especially when measuring wealth, but these data suggest that part of the concerning inheritance of severe residential segregation is the disproportionate exposure to concentrated poverty, which then is a root cause of school segregation. The reality in our schools is that segregation by race usually means segregation by concentrated poverty as well. This means that most students of color attend schools which reflect the problems of poverty in many, less qualified teachers, peer groups, parent influence, and many other limitations, richly documented in the research on the sociology of education. The fact that these children come from the families with least wealth, the most risk of hunger, homelessness, untreated health problems and many other forms of inequality means that the schools have less capacity to help the doubly segregated students or to provide the opportunities and connections routinely available in middle class schools.

As our population has suburbanized, suburban schools are enrolling a growing share of the metro enrollment, including students of color and low-income students. UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019 25

RECOMMENDATIONS #1 Better training for school and community staff to understand and respect newcomer groups and to get training in techniques that produce positive outcomes in diverse settings. #2 Universities must play a major role in assisting schools as well as ensuring that teacher and educational leadership preparation programs graduate educators and school/district leaders who have studied the many dimensions of how schools and districts should be structured. #3

Strong affirmative action plans for faculty, administrative, and staff diversity are keys to successful interracial schools and positive relationships with diverse groups in the community. Once hired, districts need to make sure to retain diverse faculty and staff, and provide them with training to successfully welcome and teach in interracial classrooms and schools.

#4 Supporting regional approaches to desegregation is essential and would mirror the provision of other governmental services in metropolitan areas. Such efforts need to include housing but also need to consider how to facilitate student movement across district boundary lines to facilitate integration. #5 Provide supports for suburban districts—that themselves vary widely—to adopt plans and policies to effectively respond to growing diversity. #6 There should be federal and state funding and university sponsorship for the creation of integrated metropolitan-wide magnet schools that provide distinctive opportunities for regions and even states. States could play an important role in regional educational equity approaches, including incentivizing interdistrict cooperation.

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A PATH FORWARD Finding Educational Success with Immigrant Students at UCLA Community School


CLA Community School is a unique partnership between the Los Angeles


Unified School District, UCLA and the local community. This partnership ­enables the school to offer students enrichment activities at UCLA and

the opportunity to learn alongside university students and faculty working at the school. UCLA has helped create an ecology of best practices and innovative K–12 approaches in teaching and learning—all focused on creating pipelines to college and ­career success in this emerging digital and global era. The partnership with UCLA means the school is at the forefront of educational practices that seek to r­edefine public education. The school is a part of the UCLA Community Schooling initiative, which advances university-assisted schools. As stable anchor institutions, universities play a unique role as K–12 community school partners. The research, teaching, and service missions inform and are informed by the work of local schools and communities.

UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019 27

The school is a part of a growing movement to build a K–20 pipeline to prepare firstgeneration collegegoing students to enter and succeed in our university systems. Today’s university partnered schools are notable for their commitment to serving students traditionally marginalized in higher education.

28 UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019

In the United States about a quarter of all students have a foreign-born parent. Here in California, the number jumps up to about half. In the Los Angeles Unified School District, 67 percent of students have a foreign-born parent. And many students are themselves new arrivals to our nation. In recent months, the issue of immigration has become highly charged. The rhetoric of the Trump administration has castigated immigrants as criminals and worse, and policies have sought to ramp up deportation efforts and block those who would seek asylum. The UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies sees immigrants differently. They see them as the future. “These children and their families have so much to offer our schools and our communities,” said Jody Priselac, Associate Dean for Community Programs. “Their experiences and culture add greatly to our neighborhoods and schools. We are learning so much from them, and together, we are finding ways to succeed.”

The Graduate School is engaged in multiple efforts to ensure the educational success of students from immigrant families. Perhaps the most established of these is UCLA Community School in Koreatown, which started in 2009 as a pilot school within the Los Angeles Unified School District. Built on the Robert F. Kennedy campus at the former site of the Ambassador Hotel, the school was intentionally designed and developed to meet the needs of neighborhood children and families, almost all of whom are immigrants. The school is a part of a growing movement to build a K–20 pipeline to prepare first-generation ­college-going students to enter and succeed in our university systems. Today’s university-partnered schools are notable for their commitment to serving students who are traditionaly marginalized in higher education. UCLA Community School is one of the founding schools in the UC Network of College-Going Schools, which provides a promising context for marrying research and practice to bring about fundamental change in schools, with the potential for the spreading of innovation to more districts and universities. “We wanted to break the mold,” Priselac says. “We wanted to be a school where the least served, and too often thought of as the least likely to succeed, found a way to do so. We knew there was going to be a large immigrant population and so we intentionally set out to learn about and find ways to meet their needs.” That desire drove early decisions about the school, from hiring the principal to recruiting and preparing the teachers, to the development of the curriculum and the structure of the school. “We started at square one,” Priselac says. “We brought in community people and organizations, university people, teachers, students, the principal, everyone, and asked ‘How are we going to come together as a community to create a special place of learning? What’s going to guide the work that will create a school that’s for the children of the neighborhood?’” With a grant from the California Community Foundation, UCLA GSE&IS leadership began by listening to the people who lived in the neighborhood.

Teachers and staff went out and knocked on doors, walked the neighborhoods and made home visits. They talked with parents and kids, and got to see who the families were and where the kids lived. It showed the parents and kids that they cared enough to come, and it helped to break down the barriers between the school and community. “From the inception, there was a real intention to address the needs of the community and the ways it might be changing,” adds Leyda Garcia, principal of UCLA Community School. “We are always trying to pay attention to what those needs are based on our interactions with families and students, and changes they go through and the specific needs they have.” Today, UCLA Community School serves about 1,000 students from transitional kindergarten through high school. It is a neighborhood school and all students in the neighborhood are welcome. The school population is 80 percent Hispanic, with many of the students and families from the Northern Triangle of Central America, and others from Mexico. Ten percent of the students are Asian, many hailing from Korea. Others are Filipino. More than nine in ten are from socioeconomically disadvantaged households. Two-thirds of the residents in the school’s neighborhood are ­ foreign-born—among the highest percentage of immigrants in Los Angeles. More than a third are classified as ­English learners. “In spite of all the challenges they face, the things they have left behind, and all the things that could define them, we see them just thinking about other possibilities and a different kind of future for themselves—it’s inspiring,” Garcia says. “There is a layer of culturally affirming pedagogy and curriculum and leadership here. It’s not just responsive to who you are, but it’s actually affirming. We say, ‘What you bring with you matters; it’s rich; it’s important,’ and we affirm it. What each one of us brings is really valuable.” Since day one, there exists a focus on academic success and on going to college, but also on welcoming students and their families and making sure they know they belong.


1 Language and culture are central to learning and human development. 2 Individuals learn as members of a community that values their participation and is respectful, productive, and inclusive. 3

The purpose of schooling is to guide all learners, both students and adults, to think critically about the world around them, to engage as agents of social change, and to promote democratic practices.

The youngest students start school in a nurturing transitional kindergarten, then move through the lower school in multi-age groups, staying with the same teacher and peers for two years, creating a strong, supportive community for children and allowing teachers to personalize learning. Building on the language assets of school families, all students participate in a dual language program in Spanish and English, or in Korean and English—where students receive language and content instruction in two languages. “At our school we hold a lot of pride in being able to speak multiple languages. Our culture is to honor multiple languages,” says Rebekah Kang, coordinator for UCLA Community School. “We are valuing their identity and who they are. All of that builds a sense of pride for students and builds a sense of community. Students really feel like this place is their home because we value their language.” The middle school provides a student-centered learning community. Sixth grade students develop close relationships with teachers in two key content areas, math/science and humanities. In seventh and eighth grades, students move upstairs and rotate across core classes and project-based seminars, supported by the same advisor for two years. In the high school, all students enroll in a rigorous sequence of college-prep courses that exceed the standards for admission to the University of California/

Today, UCLA Community School serves about 1,000 students from transitional kindergarten through high school. It is a neighborhood school and all students in the neighborhood are welcome.

UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019 29

The core aim of the Community School is to create a replicable educational example from which schools across the country can learn.

30 UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019

California State University systems. The aim is for 100 percent of graduates to be college-ready, bilingual and bi-­literate, and to become leaders of change. Teachers and school leaders are engaged in an effort to expand the dual language program from the early grades through the high school, and there is a new focus on multi-lingual and multi-­ cultural learning in the upper grades. Building on the bilingual strengths of students, teachers and UCLA researchers have created a multilingual and multicultural approach including linguistic assets and resources, democratic classrooms, language and literacy strategies and multicultural pedagogy in teaching practices. The school’s leadership team of teachers and administrators is providing a professional development series on trans-language language, and the expectation is that trans-language strategies will be implemented in all classes K–12. “I think immigrants bring the beauty of their experiences, their pictures, their languages, their family to our school and community,” says Jason TorresRangel, a teacher at UCLA Community School. “Our responsibility is to value

those identities, their languages, those experiences, and to respect them. We talk about things like immigration, race, poverty and other issues that let students explore their own identities. Even though I teach English, I make sure the classroom is a safe space for languages other than English. And I make sure that they know that will be valued.” There is evidence that the efforts of students, families and teachers at the community school are making a difference. In 2018, 83 percent of third graders were reading at grade level—61 percent in both Spanish and English. On final report cards, in grades 6–8, more than 80 percent of students received Cs or above in all subjects. In the upper school grades, 45 percent of students reported using a language other than English with teachers. Eighty-six percent of the Class of 2017 enrolled in college and 85 percent of the Class of 2016 persisted from their freshman to sophomore year. In 2018, UCLA Community School was recognized by U.S. News and World Report with a Silver Award as the fifth best high school in Los Angeles and one of the top 1,000 public high schools in the nation.

COMMUNITY AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC NEEDS Job and food insecurity, lack of access to affordable housing, and sometimes homelessness have a real impact on students and their families at UCLA Community School. “We have little kids, kindergarteners, who come to school and just pass out,” Garcia says. “They are sleeping in their car, and it’s not comfortable, and they are not getting a good night’s sleep. So what we do, is, we say ‘you need to sleep,’ and we let them sleep. And we try to get their parents to come in, and without judgment, to ask them what’s going on, how can we be of help? “I think maybe the most important thing we do is listen. The teachers are very aware of who the students are,” Garcia says. “We spend so much time building community and doing these community circles. And the children will sometimes share, and that helps us to respond in a particular way or to refer a student or their family for some extra support.” Working with the researchers from UCLA, the school also began to conduct research about the social-emotional needs of immigrant students, including students who just arrived in the country as teenagers and their additional needs as learners who have been out of any educational system for some time. One of the results of the research was the establishment of a class called Learning in a New Land, named after the book “Learning In a New Land: Immigrant Students in American Society” by Carola Suárez-Orozco and Marcelo SuárezOrozco of UCLA with Irina Todorova. The class is a space where students can get the time, resources and help they need to succeed. A key element is a community circle, where students build connections and develop a sense of belonging. With the support of UCLA undergraduate tutors, students can work on their English and develop cultural and other skills that help them to adjust to life in Los Angeles and in the United States. “One thing we have learned is that the vast majority of these students go to work right after school, and they work

until midnight or one in the morning. These are not kids who get to go home and have dinner and then go in their room and do their homework,” Garcia says. “So whatever they get here is what they get and are going to be able to do. So we are trying to maximize the time they have to study and learn things.” To address fears and tensions around the rhetoric and policies of the Trump Administration over immigration, students, teachers and community members at the school worked together to develop a sanctuary protocol. They conducted research on policies and practices in the school district and from other schools and cities. They have trained staff, students, and parents on the sanctuary policies, and established a network for sharing information. This spring, UCLA Community School, with the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, joined with the UCLA Law School to launch an Immigration Legal Clinic to provide legal services to parents and students. “There are all these eyes raised in our community all the time. We make sure that everyone knows they are safe here,” Garcia says. The core aim of the ­ Community School is to create a replicable educational example from which schools across the country can learn. Researchers at UCLA are learning best practices for supporting immigrant youth and the challenges they face by offering them the path forward to educational and life success. At UCLA Community School, researchers, administrators and teachers have designed strategies and practices that develop and support an inclusive school community. The development and implementation of a ­college-going culture has illuminated the need to consider students’ unique circumstances and needs during college advising. In addition to ensuring that students have access to a college preparatory curriculum, there is a concerted effort to build students’ college knowledge, particularly, preparing students for the college choice process and transition to college.

One thing we have learned is that the vast majority of these students go to work right after school, and they work until midnight or one in the morning. These are not kids who get to go home and have dinner and then go in their room and do their homework. So whatever they get here is what they get and are going to be able to do. So we are trying to maximize the time they have to study and learn things.

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UCLA Center for the Art of the Performance Since 2009, Design for Sharing has teamed with UCLA Community School to provide longterm sequential arts programming for hundreds of fourth, fifth and sixth grade students.

Part of a national movement to create urban teacher residencies, Center X’s IMPACT Program started at UCLA Community School in 2010.



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T O TA L B R U I N S A N D C O U N T I N G …

UCLA Community School is the first in a series of Teaching Schools established by UCLA. These K–12 partner schools serve much the same role as the teaching hospital system that transformed our nation’s medical practices. Recognized in March 2015 by the State of California as a model of innovation in higher education, UCLA’s Teaching Schools are designed to create, evaluate, and demonstrate innovative instructional strategies; to help shape stronger teacher education programs; to serve as sites for training future and current educational professionals.

SUPPORTING COLLEGE-GOING FOR UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS UCLA Community School is committed to advancing public scholarship on a broad range of issues facing educators, including the contentious debates about immigration. RESEARCH, PRACTICE, POLICY BRIEFS UCLA Community School brings together researchers and practitioners as coauthors to share research, practical experience, and policy resources to inform the work of educators on this timely and important topic.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT UCLA COMMUNITY SCHOOL: “2018–19 Annual Report: Ten Years of Growing Together” https://uclacs. org/admissions/ why-choose-ucla-cs/

Looking Back …


CLA itself started in 1882 as a teacher training institution, the Los Angeles Normal School, which featured a small elementary laboratory school making it possible for future elementary teachers in the 1880s to bring to life what they were learning by working within ­ real-world classrooms. In 1919, the Los Angeles Normal School was named the Southern Branch of the University of California, and then in 1927 became UCLA. UCLA’s first degrees were all in Education. Today, UCLA has evolved into a leading public research university and UCLA GSE&IS has emerged as a beacon for educational advancement throughout the world. And that little elementary laboratory school is still thriving 135 years later as UCLA Lab School, globally known for its innovation in early learning.

Top: Members of the Kindergarten Primary Club at the Southern Branch of the University of California, 1921. By 1922, a four-year Bachelor's of Education degree was offered at the Southern Branch. Middle: Southern Branch of the University of California, 1919. Bottom: The future site of the University Elementary School. The first permanent buildings of the elementary school, today known as the UCLA Lab School, appeared on this site in 1950.

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Profile for UCLA Ed&IS

UCLA Ed&IS Magazine, Fall 2019  

The UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ magazine highlights the public scholarship of our faculty. In this issue, we...

UCLA Ed&IS Magazine, Fall 2019  

The UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ magazine highlights the public scholarship of our faculty. In this issue, we...

Profile for uclaedis