Senior U.S. Official Praises Long Beach

Greg Darnieder, the U.S. Secretary of Education's senior advisor on college access, praised local schools during Long Beach’s recent State of Education event, saying that education reform efforts here are “10 to 12 years ahead of almost every community in America.”

Darnieder addressed more than 200 business, community and higher education officials, many of whom had just spent the day shadowing local school principals as part of the Long Beach Unified School District’s annual Principal for a Day event.  The event is the largest single-day involvement of local businesses in Long Beach public schools.

“It was fabulous, unbelievable what I saw this morning – just absolutely incredible,” Darnieder said.

He said LBUSD has made systemic changes, through collaboration with teachers, parents and the community under the guidance of leadership that is genuine and trusted.  Such leadership is a hallmark of successful school systems, he said, “and it’s happening here.  I just want to commend all of you for what you’ve been able to develop here over the past 15, 18 years.”

Joining Darnieder for the State of Education were the following panelists: LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser, Long Beach City College President Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Cal State Long Beach Provost Don Para, Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President Randy Gordon, and Tricor Co-Founder Damon Dunn.

While college access has improved locally in recent years, K-12 and higher education officials here warned of dire consequences for schools, including unprecedented cuts to student services, if California voters next week reject tax initiatives that would provide revenue for public education.

HIGH PRAISE — Greg Darnieder, the U.S. Secretary of Education's senior advisor on college access, said Long Beach’s education reform efforts are 10 to 12 years ahead of almost every community in America.