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Long Beach Unified Selected Among Top Districts Worldwide

Long Beach Unified School District made the list of the world's highest-performing school systems.

The Long Beach ranks among the top five school systems in the world, according to the Global Education Study conducted by Battelle for Kids, an Ohio-based nonprofit that works for school improvements.

The study was released last year, but nonetheless won praise Thursday from Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction.

"Hats off to [LBUSD] Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser and the teachers, administrators, staff, parents, and students of Long Beach Unified School District for this well-earned recognition as one of the highest-performing school systems in the world,” Torlakson said. 

“Their work to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century by providing them with the real-world skills they need for college and the workplace has made Long Beach a shining example of the success that comes from teamwork, focus, and commitment,” he said.

Other high-performing school systems named in the study are Finland; Hong Kong; Ontario, Canada; and Singapore.

Long Beach stood out for its pathways program, according to the report. Closely tied to the major businesses in the area, the high school pathways program ensures the school curriculum includes instruction that prepares graduates for the workforce.

Students identify their career options when they are sophomores and campuses are organized by career paths.

The quality of Long Beach's teachers and their training also received high praise.

“Long Beach teachers are comfortable sharing best practices with their colleagues and asking for help. Teachers are invested in the district (70 percent live within the district), and the district invests in them by providing systematic and in-depth professional development," according to the study.

Long Beach serves 83,000 students attending 84 public, private and charter schools and spends $9,982 to $12,097 per student, the study said.

Ontario, Canada, and Long Beach both "face a more turbulent financial climate," the study noted. "But they have kept mission over money as the driving force behind most of their decisions.”

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