City Hears the State of the Schools

Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Jon Gundry at the 2012 State of the Schools event.Pasadena Unified School District President Renatta Cooper delivers the 2012 State of the Schools Address2012 State of the Schools Address2012 State of the Schools Address2012 State of the Schools AddressPUSD Board of Education members ed Honowitz and Elizabeth Pomeroy speak with Superintendent John Gundry before the event.State Assemblymember Anthony Portantino greets students as he enters the 2012 State of the Schools event.2012 State of the Schools Address2012 State of the Schools AddressPasadena Educational Foundation Executive Direcor Patrick Conyers addresses the audience at the 2012 State of the Schools Address


11:08 am | September 28, 2012

[Updated Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 | 1:00 p.m.]  Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) Board of Education President Renatta Cooper said that the state of the district is “hopeful” in the annual State of the Schools address Friday morning.

The early morning event was held this year at Blair Middle School and was attended by about 170 school and city officials and community leaders.

The implications of the state’s education budget woes ran through Cooper’s speech.

“We know what needs to be done,” said Cooper in her address. “We have more research than we’ve ever had to tell us what needs to be done to improve education for children in our country. Ad now because of fiscal matters – particularly in this state of California – we’re doing the opposite.”

“We know – we knew before we got in the crisis – that we had shortest school day of any western industrialized country in the world,” continued Cooper. “220 is the average international. Ours is 180. And we‘ve gotten permission to cut it to 175. Now, that’s going the wrong way – we need a longer school day, and a longer school year. And we are going in the opposite direction not because it’s what good for kids, just because it will save money.

Cooper spoke after the audience heard from Pasadena Educational Foundation Executive Director Patrick Conyers and PUSD Superintendent Jon Gundry.

Gundry focused on PUSD’s intention to emphasize “21st century learning” to ensure that Pasadena moves forward in the current educational environment.

“The school board has adopted the basic framework for 21st century learning,” said Gundry in his message. “This means that we are going to infuse in our classroom and across our curriculum communication skills – teaching our kids strong oral and written communication skills; the ability to collaborate effectively with others – the ability to work together to accomplish common goals; the ability to think critically in a higher level than they’ve been doing; creativity and innovation.”

“The board has adopted those as framework for delivery of instruction in all of our classrooms around the PUSD,” added Gundry.

The event was held at one of PUSD’s newest and most beautiful campuses, Blair Middle School. Students in the high school’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Academy prepared and served breakfast to the attendees before the program.

The PUSD Board President is required by the Pasadena City Charter to annually deliver a State of the Schools Address on or before September 30.

“These are your schools. These are your kids,” called Cooper in her closing statement. “Don’t cheat them of the opportunity that we were all afforded. California has moved from being among the first to the worst. All within my lifetime – and I’m not that old.”