Reforms Bring International Acclaim

A new book examining successful and enduring school reform in the U.S. and beyond praises the Long Beach Unified School District’s steady gains in student achievement.

The book, “All Systems Go: The Change Imperative for Whole System Reform,” says that “Long Beach has had a long run of success from 1992 to the present.”

Author Michael Fullan details LBUSD’s development of higher standards for students, and how those standards are attained through effective central office support for schools.

Fullan contrasts Long Beach’s successful reforms with California’s penchant for piecemeal policy making and fiscal uncertainty.

While “Long Beach represents another example of whole-system reform at the district level,” the book states, “California continues to be one of the worst examples of piecemeal reform, not to mention the fact that it is currently desperately in debt.”

Among LBUSD’s successes cited in the book are the increase in the number of fifth graders reading at grade level here, and a dramatic decrease in high school dropout rates.

The author, Fullan, is professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and is special adviser on education to Dalton McGuinty, the premier of Ontario.  He is currently working as adviser and consultant on several major education reform initiatives around the world.

Find Fullan’s book at www.corwin.com.  Type “All Systems Go” in the search field.