February 08, 2008
The Long Beach Unified School District, already nationally recognized for exemplary student achievement and improvement, has launched an ambitious initiative to prepare even more students for success in college and the working world. The Academic and Career Success for all Students Initiative was approved unanimously by the Board of Education this school year to enhance, expand and better coordinate the many learning opportunities available to students in local schools.
The initiative includes an emphasis on literacy, early algebra completion, expansion of rigorous Advanced Placement course offerings, more outreach to parents, completion of college entrance requirements, enhanced counseling services and much more.
“This is one of the most comprehensive initiatives that the school district has ever undertaken,” said Christopher J. Steinhauser, LBUSD superintendent of schools. “Our students have made great strides in recent years, but they can and will do even better.”
The initiative was recommended to the school board by a diverse committee of students, parents, employees and community partners. The recommendation came after the committee examined and discussed graduation requirements, college entrance requirements and survey results from more than 20,000 students, teachers, staff and parents.
At the heart of the initiative is the enhancement of the school district’s existing Seamless Education effort, which involves a partnership between LBUSD, Long Beach City College and California State University Long Beach. Seamless Education was developed in the 1990s to create seamless pre-kindergarten to post-graduate school education. This partnership aligns academic standards, teaching methods and student assessment from preschool through master’s and doctoral degrees to improve student achievement and teacher quality. Enhancements to this effort include:
• Educating students and parents about “A-G” college entrance requirements and career options starting in sixth grade.
• Collaborating with LBCC & CSULB to establish criteria for guaranteed college admission, helping students meet those criteria, identifying various college pathways for students, and providing support to students during college.
• Aligning the higher education initiatives with career technical education to make certain that students have as many post-high-school options as possible.
With enhanced Seamless Education at its core, the Academic Success Initiative includes many other integrated efforts. The school district will report its progress on the initiative through a variety of measurements such as fifth and eighth grade English and math proficiency, graduation rates and performance on college entrance exams.