Titan Voice Lisa Kirtman: Building Partnerships to Close the Opportunity Gap

Lisa Kirtman

I grew up believing that education makes all things possible — that through education all students have an equal opportunity to learn about art, science, music, math and the world around them. My teachers taught me how to be an independent critical thinker. I learned from my mother, a teacher herself, that teachers also teach their students about working hard, being self-confident, and believing in their abilities to succeed in whatever path they choose to take. As a result, I’ve always believed education to be the great equalizer, giving me as much of an opportunity to succeed as any other student.

But things changed for me when I began to teach sixth grade in Southern California. The inequalities that I saw at the schools where I worked, juxtaposed against the bright eyes, smiling faces, and eager minds of my students made me want more for them and made me want to fight for them. Serving as a teacher of primarily low-income students of color made me realize that all educational opportunities are not equal. Continue reading in the Orange County Register.

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