September 4, 2013Jeanette Marrone is a Leadership for Education Equity ("LEE", Teach For America's c4) fellow working with CCSA Advocates this summer. She just completed her sixth year of teaching and was chair of the French department and a founding teacher at Environmental Science and Technology High School (part of the Alliance CMO) in Los Angeles. After her fellowship with CCSA, she will be starting a new job doing policy work for LAUSD School Board Member Tamar Galatzan.
Marrone is a 2007 alumna of Teach for America--Los Angeles and has held a school board fellowship with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellowship. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston College in 2007 with degrees in political science and French. In her free time, she likes hiking, camping, and cooking. This summer, Jeanette developed a model for teacher organizing for policy, advocacy, and electoral issues.
What drew you to the Leadership for Education Equity Fellow Program?
After teaching for six years (two in LAUSD, four in a charter), I was ready to leave the classroom and immerse myself in the policy challenges that impact classrooms. I wanted to do this internship to experience the type of work I want to get involved in long-term and network with professionals outside of the classroom. It has worked out really well!
What has been the most surprising thing you've learned in the course of your work this summer?
I wasn't aware of how many charter schools there are in California, particularly in Los Angeles. Additionally, it was interesting to learn that there are tens of thousands of students on the waitlist for charters. Wow! That's some demand.
What was your familiarity with charter schools before working at CCSA? How has your view of charter schools changed?
I taught at a charter school for four years and was pretty involved in the leadership team so I knew a decent amount. My view of charters as important alternatives to traditional schools that may not serve all students' needs was reinforced.
What changes would you like to see in our public education system?
I would love to see LAUSD break up into more manageable parts. I think that decisions need to be made as close to the school-site as possible if not at the school site. I'd also like to see some changes in the way the union wields power, and claims to represent all teachers. There are plenty of teachers out there who disagree with union leadership on important topics, and I hope their voices get heard more in the future.
What are your exciting plans for the future?
I am interested in education policy work. While doing my internship this summer, I accepted a job offer to do policy work with LAUSD School Board Member Tamar Galatzan. This is a great next step in getting involved in the policy world, and I look forward to collaborating with CCSA in this work.