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LBUSD Named National 'District of Year'

The Long Beach Unified School District has earned the District of the Year award from the national business news publisher Industry Dive and its publication, Education Dive.  The honor is part of the 2017 Dive Awards recognizing education’s “top disruptors and innovators.”

“These administrators, schools, trends and breakthroughs are transforming the industry and shaping the future,” today’s award announcement stated.

Washington D.C.-based Industry Dive serves more than five million executives with 13 industry-specific news publications: BioPharma Dive, CIO Dive, Construction Dive, Education Dive, Food Dive, Healthcare Dive, HR Dive, Marketing Dive, Retail Dive, Smart Cities Dive, Supply Chain Dive, Waste Dive, and Utility Dive.

Through mobile-optimized websites, email newsletters, mobile apps and more, Industry Dive provides business leaders with a convenient way to stay up-to-date on the most relevant industry news, trends, events, jobs, press releases and market research impacting their jobs.

Education Dive solicited suggestions for award nominees from its readers.  Winners were chosen by the editors of Education Dive based on resonance and industry impact.  The criteria for the award include “a district that has been leading in a specific buzz area, setting an example of how to do things in the context of 21st Century learning.”

Education Dive Editor Linda Jacobson visited LBUSD central offices and Cabrillo High School as part of the award selection process.

“Strong school districts have clear plans for where they want to go and how they plan to get there, and they don’t chase after the latest initiative just because it might carry with it some additional funding,” Jacobson said.  “The LBUSD has demonstrated these principles.”

Jacobson highlighted the Cabrillo Academy of Law and Justice as one of dozens of career pathways that have helped LBUSD high schools to increase graduation rates in recent years.  She described the school district’s focus on “equity and access,” including its nationally recognized Long Beach College Promise initiative and highly successful efforts to enroll more students in Advanced Placement college preparatory courses.

Jacobson’s article notes that LBUSD this year began giving every student, starting in eighth grade, a personalized College Readiness Guide, which was a response to parents asking if they can have all this information in one place. 

Jacobson also noted the district’s long-standing efforts to build systems of support, such as instructional leadership teams at each school and at the district level.

“These teams carefully lead schools through the implementation of major initiatives, such as the districtwide Chromebook rollout or challenges such as how to incorporate specific career and technical knowledge into classes of students from several industry pathways.”

“Thank you to Education Dive for recognizing the innovation and hard work of everyone in our school communities,” LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser said.  “We continue to find new ways to close achievement gaps for our students.  Being recognized for these efforts on a national stage gives our people a much appreciated boost of moral support.”

Other nominees for this year’s District of the Year Award were Vail and Benson school districts in Arizona (as a co-nomination); Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina; and Albemarle County Public Schools in Virginia.

For Long Beach schools, the District of the Year award adds to a growing list of national and international honors.  The Global Education Study by the national nonprofit Battelle for Kids organization listed LBUSD among five of the world’s highest performing school systems.  LBUSD also is one of the world’s top 20 school systems — and one of the top three in the U.S. — in terms of sustained and significant improvements, according to a report described as the most comprehensive analysis of global school system reform ever assembled.  The study was conducted by McKinsey & Company, a trusted advisor and counselor to many of the most influential businesses and institutions in the world.  LBUSD also is a five-time finalist and national winner of the Broad Prize for Urban Education.

View the full Education Dive article.