Ryan Smith

Guest Blogger

Executive Director, The Education Trust—West

Los Angeles, California

Prior to joining The Education Trust–West, Ryan was the director of education programs and policy for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles where he was responsible for the education program and policy efforts for the organization. He also coordinated Communities for Los Angeles Student Success (CLASS), a Los Angeles-based coalition of civil rights, education and community advocacy groups dedicated to closing the opportunity and achievement gaps for students-of-color and students living in poverty.

Prior to his role at the United Way, Ryan worked for former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. In his role as Senior Director of Family and Community Engagement, Ryan led a team that improved parent involvement over 40 percent and built systems within schools to help support authentic family, school and community partnerships. Ryan founded the Parent College which so far has educated over 5,000 parents across Los Angeles on the “parent three r’s”—their rights, roles and responsibilities.

Prior to joining the Partnership, Ryan was the director of the Los Angeles Parents Union and managed public affairs for Green Dot Public Schools. He has also worked as a youth organizer for Youth United for Community Action’s (YUCA) educational equity campaigns and worked as a volunteer teacher in Mexico City and Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Ryan currently serves as a Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellow. He graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from University of California, Los Angeles. He is currently a doctoral candidate in education at UCLA. Ryan has authored more than a dozen editorials and opinion pieces published in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, EdSource, and other publications. He was named by Education Week as one of the “Ten Education Leaders to Watch” nationally and also received the Families in Schools’ “Parent Engagement Leader of the Year Award”.

RECENT POSTS

Posted June 8, 2016

Here’s Why We Fight for Equity, Accountability and ESSA in California

They rose before dawn, kissing mothers and fathers goodbye, loading onto buses bound for Sacramento, 1,000 Black students strong. A…

By Ryan Smith

Read Post

OUR NETWORK

Featured Posts

Posted Oct. 14, 2019

She Has a Plan for Everything, So Where Is Elizabeth Warren’s Plan for K-12 Education?

I love a woman with a plan! And, Senator Warren, it seems like you have a plan for just about everything. There are currently 50…

By Lisa Hollenbach

Read Post

Posted Oct. 9, 2019

Fellow Black Parents, It’s Time to Break the Silence About Our Kids With Disabilities

My mom and society have taught me that it is rude to offer advice when no one asks for it. But Black folks aren’t talking about…

By ShaRhonda Knott-Dawson

Read Post

Posted Oct. 11, 2019

Time for Democrats to Recognize the Progressive Roots of Charter Schools

Listening to the rhetoric of Democratic presidential candidates, one would think charter schools were a Republican initiative opposed by all progressives. Bernie Sanders calls for a…

By Emily Langhorne, David Osborne

Read Post

Accountability

How does the federal government support our public schools? Find out the ABC’s of ESEA, ESSA and No Child Left Behind →

Browse by Date

Keep Up With
Education Post

Sign up for weekly emails featuring our top blog posts:

Want more? Get our morning update and join us in #Voices4Ed.

What We’re
Tweeting