Marlene Canter

LAUSD Board President

Board Member, District 4




Marlene Canter was overwhelmingly elected to the Los Angeles City Board of Education in June 2001 and again in March of 2005. In July 2006 she was unanimously re-elected by her peers for a second consecutive term as Board President. The Los Angeles Business Journal named her Woman Executive of the Year in May 2006 for her leadership on the Board.


Ms. Canter represents students and their families in neighborhoods stretching from the Valley to the Pacific Ocean, including the communities of Encino, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Miracle Mile, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Westwood, Venice, Westchester, Mar Vista, Marina Del Rey and Playa Del Rey.


As Board President, Ms. Canter has worked diligently with her colleagues toward fulfilling the Board’s vision of becoming one of the top urban school districts in the country. The Board’s top priorities include: ensuring student safety, eliminating the achievement gap, completing the massive school construction program, and engaging parents, teachers, principals and the community in the work of school reform.


During her tenure on the Board, Ms. Canter has made children’s health and well-being one of her top priorities. She authored the resolutions to ban the sale of soft drinks and junk food in LAUSD schools – which passed in 2002 and 2003, respectively – making LAUSD the first large urban district in the nation to approve such bans.


Drawing on her 30-year career as co-CEO of a successful teacher training company, Ms. Canter also created the Board’s Human Resources Committee.  The committee, which she chaired for 4 years, has overseen impressive improvement in the recruitment of highly qualified teachers.  In 2003/04, 92 percent of the District’s new hires met the State’s definition of highly qualified compared to 64 percent of new hires in 2002/03.


Ms. Canter began her career in education as a special education teacher at Alta Loma Elementary School.  She went on to co-found and serve as the co-CEO of Canter & Associates, now Laureate Education, Inc.  The company became one of the world’s leading teacher-training organizations and trained more than 1 million K-12 teachers worldwide.  It developed an extensive catalogue of professional development programs, distance learning graduate courseware and resource materials for teachers, administrators, and parents. 


Ms. Canter sits on State Superintendent Jack O’Connell’s P-16 Council and on the Board of Directors for her alma mater, Pacific Oaks College. She is also an advisor to the Children’s Partnership, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan child advocacy organization. Ms. Canter also has served on the Boards of Directors for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Kehillath Israel Synagogue of Pacific Palisades.