June 13, 2003
By Chris Steinhauser
Superintendent of Schools
This school year has tested our mettle. Your courageous performance speaks volumes about the strength of this school system. Last fall, Carl Cohn stepped down as your superintendent after 10 years of wise leadership. The state budget crisis grew worse each day. This spring, the war, orange alerts and terrorist threats made headlines. We lost Ed Eveland, our revered Board of Education member who died after more than 50 years of service to our schools.
Through it all, you stayed focused and achieved great victories for kids. For the second year in a row, our district made the Broad Foundation’s list of the nation’s top five urban school systems that are beating the odds and closing the achievement gap. We’re up for the top prize in September. Whatever the outcome, our kids are the real winners because you always put them first. More state and national honors keep coming in as a result of your extraordinary efforts.
I want to give special thanks to each of you who gave your best to our kids and schools during these lean, challenging times, and for doing so with dignity and grace. Many of you have made quiet sacrifices, rising above everyday pressures and distractions to serve students so well. We value you and will continue to avert the demoralizing layoffs that other California school districts now face. In good times and bad, we stick together.
As the year ends, I’m impressed by the fact that here in America’s most diverse large city, we may soon be named America’s very best urban school system. That says so much about your work. It says even more about America’s strength. Your determination to educate every child is so important and an example to all.
Thank you for a great year.