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Jeffords to Visit, Speak at Bethune, CSULB

U.S. Sen. James M. Jeffords will visit Long Beach to give his first keynote address on education since switching his party affiliation from Republican to Independent. The Vermont senator, whose controversial switch dramatically shifted the balance of power in the Senate, will discuss national education issues. Jeffords will join prominent educators from throughout the nation at a conference on K-16 partnerships June 20 to 22 at CSULB. He will speak on "Sharing Responsibility for Student Achievement" at 9:45 and 11:30 a.m. on June 22. He will also speak at a 2:30 p.m. reception at Mary McLeod Bethune School, which has served homeless students here since 1991. The conference is sponsored by the Long Beach Education Partnership, which includes the Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach City College and CSULB. During a prior visit to Long Beach, Jeffords praised the Partnership's seamless education efforts, which coordinate and streamline curriculum and teacher preparation. Jeffords, who chaired the powerful Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, calls seamless education "a national model for practical, bold and efficient school reform." The senator also has hosted numerous visits by Long Beach educators in Washington, D.C. to discuss K-16 partnerships, special education, preschool, ESEA, higher education and other timely topics. Each year the California K-16 Partnerships and Student Success Conference attracts hundreds of K-12 teachers, college and university faculty and administrators, state education leaders and policy makers, and representatives of foundations that support education. Other featured conference speakers include: Kerry Mazoni, California Secretary of Education; Charles Reed, Chancellor of the CSU System; Tom Nussbaum, state Chancellor of Community Colleges; Richard Atkinson, president of the UC System; Delaine Eastin, state Superintendent of Public Instruction; and Dr. Pedro Noguerra from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Conference presentations and workshops will address ways to improve student achievement, to provide greater equity and access to higher education, and to create effective seamless education through K-16 partnerships.