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Did You Know?

The Long Beach Unified School District has many reasons to be proud of the significant improvements taking place in local schools.

America's Best Urban Schools - The Long Beach Unified School District is a winner of the national Broad Prize for Urban Education, recognizing America's best urban school system for increasing student achievement. The school district also has competed five times as one of the top five finalists for the prize. The $1 million prize is public education's largest in the U.S. and goes to college scholarships for local high school students. The award is given to the urban school district making the greatest overall improvement in student achievement while reducing the achievement gap among high- and low-income students. Winning school districts are selected after rigorous screening and visits by leading researchers and practitioners.

World-Class District - LBUSD 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. McKinsey serves more than 70 percent of Fortune magazine’s most admired companies.

Newsweek's Best High Schools - Newsweek's most recent national ranking of "America's Best High Schools" listed Wilson Classical High School, Polytechnic High School, Renaissance High School for the Arts, Millikan High School, Lakewood High School, Avalon High School and the California Academy of Mathematics and Science among the top 6 percent of U.S. high schools. Schools ranked by Newsweek have the greatest number of students taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests, compared to the number of graduating seniors. Graduates of these high schools save millions of dollars in college tuition each year, earning college credit by passing these difficult exams. Many schools here have appeared on the Newsweek list multiple times.

Harvard Book Highlights Long Beach - The first book to detail examples of successful large-scale reform in the nation's most improved urban districts was released from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s publishing group, and it featured LBUSD. Bringing School Reform to Scale: Five Award-Winning School Districts, from Harvard Education Press, described specific district-wide reform strategies that led school districts to outpace their peers in raising student achievement – not just in individual schools – but in numerous schools districtwide.

Stanford Report Lauds LBUSD - A report from Stanford University said LBUSD is creating lasting reforms at the high school level. The school district’s reform model, known as linked learning (or multiple pathways), provides multiyear programs of study that are rigorous, relevant and directly connected to regional and state economic needs. The idea is to prepare students for success in a full array of options after high school.

U.S. News and World Report’s Top Schools - A ranking of America’s top high schools by U.S. News and World Report included the California Academy of Mathematics and Science, which earned a gold medal by placing within the top 100. CAMS placed 22nd out of more than 21,000 public high schools nationwide.

Scholarships Reach Record Levels - Scholarships and other monetary awards earned by graduating LBUSD seniors in the class of 2010 exceeded $51.5 million, far surpassing the previous year’s record of $40 million.

UC Berkeley Praises LBUSD Leadership - A study by UC Berkeley-based Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) praised the LBUSD’s leadership development programs, noting the school district’s efforts to identify and nurture potential school leaders within the organization.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Calls LBUSD a National Leader - A report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Center for American Progress and the American Enterprise Institute singled out LBUSD as an effectively managed school system. The report, "Leaders and Laggards," graded the 50 states on various aspects of their educational systems, and it described LBUSD as a leader in educational reform.

Higher Education Experts Say LBUSD Has National Model - A case study by the Washington, D.C.-based Business Higher Education Forum called LBUSD’s Seamless Education Partnership a national model. The Seamless partnership, started in 1994, connects LBUSD’s educators with business leaders, Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach to make certain that students progress smoothly through the education systems and into the workforce.

Australian Prime Minister Likes LBUSD - The upward trend of student achievement here attracted attention from the land down under. Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the country’s second-most senior officer, asked LBUSD to participate in a roundtable discussion on education reform at Rand Corporation’s Santa Monica offices. Gillard later became Australia’s first-ever female prime minister.

Top Rating by Sports Illustrated - Sports Illustrated magazine selected Poly High School as its top sports high school in the nation. In what the magazine called "the most selective ranking in all of sports," Poly topped the list of nearly 38,000 high schools in the U.S. based on all-around excellence during the past 10 years, state titles won and college athletes produced. Sports Illustrated also commended Poly's rigorous academics.

National Blue Ribbon Schools - Winners of the California Distinguished School Award may apply for a top national honor, the National Blue Ribbon School Award. Hill Classical Middle School earned the honor in 2006. The California Academy of Mathematics and Science was named in 2004. Lowell Elementary School was selected in 2001. Hughes and Rogers middle schools were named 2000 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Prisk and Twain elementary schools won the top national school designation in 1999. Cubberley School, the first Long Beach school to apply for this award, was selected as a 1997 winner of this prestigious honor.

First in the Nation - The Long Beach Unified School District in 1994 became the first public school district in the nation to require school uniforms in kindergarten through eighth grade. Hundreds of other school districts nationwide have since followed this example by implementing school uniforms. Uniforms are a key part of the school district's high standards of excellence for all students - not only in dress, but also in behavior and achievement.

College Enrollment Increases - Four-year college enrollment among LBUSD graduates continues to increase, growing by more than 33 percent since 2003. Enrollment in two-year colleges also showed a significant increase over the same period.

High Rating from Standard & Poor's - An independent report by business data leader Standard and Poor's shows that more schools in the Long Beach Unified School District are significantly closing achievement gaps than in any other California school district. Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services announced that it identified 103 California schools that have significantly narrowed reading and math achievement gaps between higher-performing and lower-performing student groups. The highly selective list includes four schools from Long Beach Unified, the most of any school district throughout the state.

Harvard Business Review Touts LBUSD - A Harvard Business Review report, "How to Manage Urban School Districts," describes successful management efforts in school systems nationwide, including in the Long Beach Unified School District. Schools here have developed a "culture of collaboration and accountability for improving student performance," the report states.

California Distinguished Schools - Carver, Longfellow and Naples elementary schools were named were named California Distinguished Schools by the California Department of Education in 2010. A total of 39 Long Beach Unified School District schools have now received this top state honor: Avalon, Cubberley, Hudson, Newcomb, Robinson and Tincher schools, Polytechnic and Wilson high schools, California Academy of Mathematics and Science, Hill, Hughes, Rogers and Stanford middle schools and Alvarado, Barton, Buffum, Cleveland, Edison, Emerson, Fremont, Gant, Henry, International, Keller, Kettering, Lee, Longfellow, Los Cerritos, Lowell, Madison, Muir, Naples, Prisk, Roosevelt, Signal Hill, Stevenson, Tucker and Twain elementary schools.

National Title I Achieving Schools - Two Long Beach Unified School District schools were named 2009-10 National Title I Academic Achievement Award winners: Signal Hill and International elementary schools. Both schools are repeat winners. Twenty-six other schools won the award in previous years: Addams, Alvarado, Birney, Bryant, Burroughs, Carver, Edison, Emerson, Fremont, Gompers, Harte, Hill, Hoover, Hudson, Hughes, Kettering, Lafayette, MacArthur, Madison, Mann, Robinson, Rogers, Roosevelt, Stanford, Tincher and Tucker schools.

Exemplary Head Start - Long Beach Unified School District Head Start has repeatedly earned glowing reviews by meeting or exceeding federal requirements during independent, exhaustive evaluations. One national expert called Long Beach Head Start "the best I've ever seen."

National Board Certified Teachers - One hundred and twenty-nine district teachers have earned their National Board Certification, the highest professional distinction in teaching.

Counselors 'Best in West' - Long Beach Unified School District's counselors have earned numerous statewide honors in the annual SPARC Academy Awards competition. The awards are presented each year to California schools that best define and implement the state school counseling reform curriculum. Earning Best in the West honors were Avalon, Cabrillo, CAMS, Hughes, Jordan, Lakewood, Renaissance, Wilson and Millikan. Winning the SPARC Academy Award were Robinson, Newcomb, Poly and EPHS, while Reid and Stephens earned commendations.

Signal Hill's National Honor - Signal Hill Elementary School is one of six schools nationwide to receive the 2007 National School Change Award for significant improvement in student achievement. The award is given by the National Principals Leadership Institute at the Fordham University Graduate School of Education. The award is the Long Beach Unified School District's second such honor in two years. Roosevelt Elementary School won the same award in the previous year.

International School's National Award - International Elementary School has won the 2009-10 National Center for Urban School Transformation's Excellence in Education Award. Only 13 schools were selected as winners nationwide. To compete for the award, schools must meet a long list of student performance criteria, including attainment of national Adequate Yearly Progress goals, high attendance, low suspension rates and high percentages of students completing rigorous courses of study, or awards for school-wide excellence in academic disciplines. Edison Elementary School won the honor in 2007.

National Champions in Academic Competition - The Hudson K-8 School Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) team took first place in the middle school competition at the national finals.

Middle School Earns National Distinction - Marshall Middle School earned the prestigious honor of being a National Demonstration Site for the college readiness program AVID, or Advancement Via Individual Determination. Of the 285 middle schools in Los Angeles County, only six other middle schools share this distinction.

Eureka and Prospector Awards - Emerson Parkside Academy Charter School is the first school of its kind to win the statewide Eureka Award for Performance Excellence. The award is the top honor given by the California Council for Excellence, recognizing leading businesses and organizations for using Baldrige continuous improvement strategies. Emerson is the first charter elementary school in the state to win the honor. Emerson had earlier won the Council's Prospector Award for use of Baldrige strategies, an honor also earned by Hill Classical Middle School and the Long Beach Unified School District's Personnel Commission.

Golden Bell Award - The Long Beach Unified School District won this top state award from the California School Boards Association in recognition of The Summer Enrichment Program for first through eighth grade students. The school district has also won Golden Bell awards for the significant benefits to students that have resulted from the Board of Education's courageous decision to become the first public school system in the U.S. to require school uniforms in grades K-8, its Safe and Civil Schools Initiative, its Beginning Teacher Support project, its Project PEAKS training for teachers of English language learners, and the Long Beach School for Adults' Community-Based English Tutoring.

School Volunteers - Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS) have provided millions of hours in donated direct services to LBUSD schools and students. They have grown from just a handful of volunteers in 1969 to more than 9,000 volunteers today.

Principals For A Day - The Long Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Long Beach Education Foundation co-sponsor the successful Principal For A Day event. These business and community leaders are well informed about and supportive of what local schools are doing to help students learn.

Educational Partnerships - More than 1,200 businesses, organizations and agencies have now formed active educational partnerships with our schools, a record level of involvement. These enlightened businesses assist schools, provide guest speakers and field trips, reinforce students' successes and recognize their achievements.

Most Inspiring Students - The most inspiring students in the school district-one from each school-are honored each year by the Long Beach Education Foundation for their courageous actions, community and school service, dramatic improvements and other exemplary achievements.

Musical Excellence - Year after year, LBUSD students are well represented in Southern California honors orchestras. The music program at Poly High School was recognized by the Grammy Foundation as one of the top seven high school music programs in the nation, and several schools have won state and regional honors.

Honor Roll Schools - Eight schools here were named 2009-10 Honor Roll Schools for closing achievement gaps. The honor from the California Business for Education Excellence Foundation and Just for the Kids included schools recognized by business leaders for improvement and high achievement. The winners were the California Academy of Mathematics and Science, Emerson, Gant, International, Lowell, Mann, Naples and Newcomb schools. Most of these schools are repeat winners.

Dispelling the Myth - Hill Classical Middle School was one of only five schools statewide honored with the Dispelling the Myth Award from The Education Trust-West. The awards go to some of the highest performing and most improved schools in California.

In addition to these highlights, a 2010 progress report on a two-year-old, local initiative to prepare more youngsters for college success revealed promising results. Leaders from LBUSD, Long Beach City College and California State University, Long Beach two years earlier signed The Long Beach College Promise, committing the three institutions to providing local students with greater opportunities to pursue, and succeed in, higher education. Preliminary results show:

  • More LBUSD graduates are pursuing higher education, with half of them attending LBCC or CSULB.
  • More high school students are being tested on the Early Assessment Program to make certain they are prepared for college work.
  • LBCC students from LBUSD have better math skills than other incoming students.
  • LBCC students from LBUSD are much more likely to persist, or remain enrolled at the college, than their counterparts from other school districts.
  • CSULB’s commitment to prioritize local students for admissions has resulted in an acceptance rate far exceeding that of students from other high schools.
  • CSULB students from LBUSD and LBCC are more likely to persist, or remain enrolled at the university, than their counterparts from other high schools.

For more information on the Long Beach Unified School District’s accolades and accomplishments, visit www.lbschools.net regularly.

Long Beach Unified School District • 1515 Hughes Way, Long Beach CA 90810 • (562) 997-8000 • www.lbschools.net