Veteran journalist Dan Walters this week noted that the Long Beach Unified School District is among a few large, urban school systems in California to earn high marks for being well prepared based upon five key “domains” – community relations, finance, leadership, personnel policies and workplace conditions.
Walters’ piece, “Which California schools districts are well run?” appears on the website for CalMatters, a nonprofit news organization.
The analysis is based upon a series of benchmarks developed by another nonprofit organization, Pivot Learning, which advises school systems on improving instruction. Pivot Learning looked at every California district with at least 2,500 students.
“Some school districts spend their money wisely and effectively and some don’t, and outcomes largely hinge on the quality of their governance,” Walters observed. Districts with engaged and committed boards and administrators tend to have better outcomes than those with inconsistent, politics-driven and often chaotic governance, he said.
The Pivot system provides overall ratings designated by colors, with blue being best.
“A few large districts achieved blue status for being well prepared, including Fresno Unified, Long Beach Unified and San Bernardino Unified,” Walters said. “But most of the blue districts tend to be either in affluent suburbs – no surprise there – or in rural areas.”