Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, and San Diego City Councilman Tony Young announced today they will host a seven-month "listening tour" geared toward improving public education in the region.
A forum per month will be held on a topic related to education, and the lawmakers hope to hear from everyone with a stake in education.
"We're going to listen to parents, principals, listen to teachers, listen to labor, listen to business," Fletcher said.
At the end of seven months, they will share what they've learned and hope to develop actions plans.
Young said the city plays a role in education, because it awards community block grants for school programs and has long list of joint-use agreements with school districts that use municipal parks.
The city also will lease two floors of the under-construction central library to the San Diego Unified School District, which will use the space for a charter school.
Businesses in San Diego require a skilled workforce to succeed, Young said.
The first forum is scheduled for tonight at Crawford High School with a meeting of superintendents, teachers, parents, students and community leaders.
Next month's event will focus on innovation. Other topics will be:
-- the achievement gap, in July;
-- the importance of early education, in August;
-- career technical education, in September;
-- college readiness, in October; and
-- what was learned, in November.
Fletcher said he hoped to learn what was working in education and find out how to replicate those things in other places.
"Every parent wants the very best for their children," Fletcher said. "As a parent and a legislator, nothing should be more important than ensuring our children have the strong foundation they need to succeed in life."
So much debate is focused on budgets now, he said, that other topics are in danger of being ignored.