About » WHO WE ARE


Fifteen years ago a group of Los Angeles educators, civil rights activists, and community leaders believed in great public schools. They believed all kids could learn, regardless of zip code or background. They believed they could make a difference––and they did. Together, they founded Alliance College-Ready Public Schools to challenge the status quo for public education. 

Today, 95% of Alliance seniors graduate high school and are accepted to college; 73% to a four-year college or university. In comparison, when Alliance opened its first public charter school in 2004 at the corner of Western and Martin Luther King Boulevard, the high school graduation rate in Los Angeles was 49%––many Los Angeles high schools were known as drop-out factories.

Despite great odds, Judy Ivie Burton, a long-time Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) educator and leader, as well as Howard Lappin, Founding Principal and nationally-recognized school leader, welcomed 150 ninth grade scholars at Alliance College-Ready Academy #1, currently known as Alliance Gertz-Ressler High School. 

Alliance now serves 13,000 scholars and 14,000 alumni who hail from 18 high school and 10 middle academies.  Although kids enter Alliance schools on average four grade levels behind in reading, our schools outperform neighborhood schools. Alliance schools have been recognized among the best in the state and nation by US News and World Report, the California Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education among others. 

Our Role in the Community 

Alliance public charter schools strengthen neighborhoods by providing families with a high-quality public school option that is focused on high expectations, strong supports, and a scholar-centered education. Our families choose Alliance schools because of the personalized attention their children receive and because of our strong track record of success.

That success and our roots are grounded in the unwavering belief in the academic ability and unlimited promise of every single scholar who walks through our doors.  Our singular focus is to ensure they are college-ready––academically and emotionally–– to support them on our campuses and beyond, and to open up for each scholar a limitless horizon and boundless dreams through a great education.

We exist to bring educational equity to our community

Alliance’s founders believed that all children deserve a fair shot at a great future. They were inspired to create high-quality public schools for families and neighborhoods that had been systematically underserved, to bring education equity to our community, and to make college-success a possibility for every youth in Los Angeles, regardless of zip code.

We are driven to prove that all kids can be college-ready

Every Alliance scholar is lifted toward the graduation stage by our school community’s unwavering belief in their academic ability and promise…and by our relentless commitment to ensuring the doors to college are open to them when they take that first step off the graduation stage with their Alliance diploma in hand. That belief and dedication has paved a strong track record of success.  Since our founding, 95% of Alliance scholars graduate and are accepted to college with 73% accepted to a four-year university of college.

We strive to push boundaries of what is possible

As an independent, public charter school, we are unbound by the bureaucratic restrictions of large school districts. That empowers us to give our schools and our educators the flexibility and agility they need to focus on and be responsive to the needs of our scholars. That approach helps us attract and keep educators dedicated to excellence and academic achievement, and it is an essential factor in helping us reach our goal of having every scholar and every school be high-achieving and ensuring that at least 75% of Alliance scholars will go on to complete college.

We are advocates for our scholars

As the largest public charter school network in Los Angeles, we have a strong voice. We not only use it collectively to advocate for our families and scholars, we lift up the individual voices of our scholars, their families, and our staff by empowering them to advocate for themselves, their schools, and their communities.  We have built a strong and active network of supporters who are education and community leaders committed to sharing knowledge and expertise to help ensure public charter school scholars and families have an impact and a say on the future of our city’s public education system.