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Israel, Japan Ask to Visit LBUSD

Delegations from Israel and Japan have joined a growing list of international media and educators seeking to learn about the Long Beach Unified School District’s innovations and successes.

LBUSD received an inquiry last week from Israel’s Channel 10 News, where the documentary program “Hamakor” is planning to feature Long Beach schools.  Israeli journalist Tal Granot said her country’s latest international rankings on student performance were disappointing.

“During our research we read about ‘The Long Beach Way,’ which aroused our curiosity, and of course encouraged us to contact you, hoping that this example will inspire Israeli decision makers and will have an influence on the future of our children.”

The title of the Israeli program “Hamakor” has double meaning in Hebrew:  “The Source,” and “The Original.”  The program is considered to be the Israeli equivalent of America’s “60 Minutes.”

Also scheduled to visit Long Beach schools are officials from the Japanese Ministry of Education, who are interested in a pilot project that has provided iPads to algebra students at Washington Middle School and Hudson K-8 School.  The year-long pilot program allows students to use the first-ever interactive algebra curriculum app for iPad.

The Israeli and Japanese visitors will arrive in Long Beach in the coming weeks.

The school district has seen an increase in national and international attention since it was named in December as one of the world’s 20 leading school systems by McKinsey & Company, a research firm that serves more than 70 percent of Fortune magazine’s most admired companies.

Aside from the latest international visitors, the school district also is attracting thousands of virtual visitors from throughout the world to the official LBUSD website at lbschools.net.  About 1,000 visitors a week view the website from 123 countries and territories other than the United States.