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Report Details Schools' Priorities for Reform

April 01, 1993|RICHARD WINTON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

PASADENA — A draft "vision statement" for school reform in the Pasadena Unified School District promises to set districtwide academic standards, introduce a new form of student assessment beyond standardized testing, and hold students accountable through use of a contract or certificate system.

Staff will be more "customer friendly" toward parents and teachers, and more accessible through convenient conferences and a phone message system that could inform parents about their child's activities, said the statement revealed March 25 by Supt. Vera Vignes.

More than 1,000 students, parents and teachers showed up at the Pasadena High School auditorium for "Education Summit II" on the massive reform effort under way in the district, which encompasses Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre.

The vision statement they heard promises to improve relations with non-English-speaking parents by newsletters, conferences and activities in other languages. A Partners in Education volunteer center would be established to recruit and train volunteers for the schools.

Vignes said there would be action groups for communications, safety, instructional programs, accountability, resources, multicultural sensitivity and volunteerism. These subjects were chosen in four months of meetings and by 1,200 participants in a districtwide teleconference last November.

"People ask if this is just talk," Vignes said. "It is true we have done a lot of talking. We will do something. We will do many things."

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