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Australians Seek LBUSD's Advice

The upward trend of student achievement here has attracted attention from the land down under.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the country’s second-most senior officer, asked the Long Beach Unified School District to participate in a roundtable discussion on education reform this week at Rand Corporation’s Santa Monica offices.

LBUSD Superintendent of Schools Christopher J. Steinhauser joined Gillard and a select group of education experts from Southern California on Monday to discuss issues of transparency and accountability in K-12 education.

Steinhauser provided information on LBUSD’s use of student achievement data, its parental and community involvement, and Long Beach’s nationally recognized Seamless Education partnerships with higher education, among other topics.

“She was the highest ranking public official I’ve ever met,” Steinhauser said, “but she was very down-to-earth, very friendly.”

Gillard is Australia's first female Deputy Prime Minister and one of the most powerful ministers in Australia's history, holding the positions of Minister for Education, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister for Social Inclusion.

In 2007 Gillard became the first woman in Australia's history to assume the Prime Minister role by becoming Acting Prime Minister while Kevin Rudd attended a United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.