Moving On Without Race to Top Funding

The Long Beach Unified School District and six other California school districts that served as the working group for the recent Race to the Top federal funding application recently announced the creation of the California Office of Education Reform (CORE), a nonprofit group that will support education reforms in each of the districts.

The nonprofit, which has secured commitments of $3 million in funding, will help the school districts share best practices regarding curriculum, instruction and evaluation.

Joining the school districts for the announcement were California Secretary of Education Bonnie Reiss and other state officials along with leaders from Los Angeles, Fresno, San Francisco, Sacramento, Clovis and Sanger school districts.

The seven school districts represent over a million students combined.  While the last application for Race to the Top did not bring funding to California, it gave the seven superintendents a chance to collaborate and discuss how to meet the needs of students.  CORE will help to continue their work.

The formation of the new group drew praise from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and Secretary Reiss.

The participating school districts aim to advance reform in four key areas: implementing the national “common core” standards in English and Math; sharing and using information and knowledge more effectively; supporting great teachers and leaders; and building capacity for continuous improvement, especially in support of turnaround schools.

“We are committed to this work because it will better prepare students for success in college and the workplace,” said LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser.