|State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell spoke on ?Policy and Politics in California Education? at the Kellogg West Main Conference Center.|
California?s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell gave a speech on ?Policy and Politics in California Education? on Friday, Nov. 14, at the Kellogg West Main Conference Center.
O?Connell spoke on current issues in education, including the budget, school reform, quality of education, and partnerships between K-12 schools and higher education.
The recently released national and state test scores show continued academic improvement for most students, he said.
“By any standard, public education is moving in the right direction,? said O?Connell.
He touched on the state budget, noting that although voters last November approved $538 million in bonds for school construction and modernization, the state may be faced with program cuts in the near future.
?No matter how bad we tell you it is, it?s worse,? he said.
O?Connell said although a lot has been done to improve education, there is still more to do, such as reducing fourth through twelfth grade class sizes and upgrading computer technology in classrooms.
In addition, state education is charged with forming partnerships that will contribute to a well-trained, well-educated, technical workforce.
O?Connell commended Cal Poly Pomona on its efforts to create partnerships and its commitment to teacher preparation programs.
?With your continued support and with the partnerships you?ve been able to form here ? because you really are a model in the CSU system ? the best is yet to come for public education in California,? he said.
Cal Poly Pomona and Edison International co-hosted the free event as part of their commitment to fostering educational excellence throughout the region. Cal Poly Pomona sponsors included the Campus Forum, California Faculty Association, Student Coalition for a Just Peace, College of Education & Integrative Studies (CEIS), and College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences.
More than 180 government leaders, educators and students attended the event. Bob Foster, president of Southern California Edison and a California State University trustee, introduced O?Connell. University officials, including President J. Michael Ortiz, Provost Tomás Morales and Joan Bissell, dean of CEIS, also addressed the group.
Ortiz said the event was a clear indication of Cal Poly Pomona?s efforts to advance elementary and secondary education, and to partner with local communities and schools.
?We have been working to create partnerships on our campus, and we hope that by creating these partnerships we can begin to establish a system which will be seamless to students as they move forward through the educational process and toward completing their college education,? said Ortiz.