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Orange County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Smart Voter

Continuously Improving Student Achievement

By Jan Wagner

Candidate for Board Member; Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District

This information is provided by the candidate
Continuously improving student achievement must always be our top priority. We need to assure that each child has the opportunity to reach his or her highest potential.
The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District budget and policies must support an effective, balanced curriculum that emphasizes reading, writing, and mathematics, but also includes science, social studies, and the arts. At every grade level well-qualified teachers must receive ongoing training and support.

I remain convinced that Reading, Writing and Math are at the heart of all learning. Every PYLUSD elementary school emphasizes reading, including phonics, writing, and mathematics. Hands-on learning takes place through the Beckman science program. Class size in first through third grade, ninth grade language arts and algebra is 20:1. Schools teachers, and students are evaluated against clear performance goals, allowing adjustments in time and focus to meet individual needs. Tutoring and remediation sessions take place before or after school at all sites. Specialized programs are in place at middle and high schools for students who struggle.

Over the past two years, we have increased Honors and Advanced Placement course opportunities at our high schools significantly, including non-traditional offerings, such as music, foreign language, and visual arts. The Val Tech and International Baccalaureate magnet programs will provide new, very rigorous, options for students. Our middle schools have also expanded options for students. New "Tech Labs" invite advanced exploration for all students. GATE clusters and the magnet school offer unique opportunities for accelerated learning.

I want to continue the progress we are making in technology. This year, we developed and adopted a K-12 technology standards curriculum, with performance tasks assigned for elementary students in each grade level, and by department in secondary schools. We have made significant strides in equipping our classrooms with the technologies needed for modern teaching and learning. Every school is connected to the internet; all teachers have email.

I am proud of what we have accomplished. Yet we cannot rest, because even good school districts like ours must be constantly striving and changing if we are to prepare our children to compete and prosper.

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