A sold-out education forum tonight at UC Irvine will be the first in a series of free public panels co-sponsored by the university and The Times Orange County.
The joint series, called "Getting Smart on the Issues," starts with a discussion on education issues affecting the state and Orange County.
The Times and UCI aim to host four forums each year, addressing key issues in Orange County including crime, child care, drug abuse and transportation.
The speakers at tonight's "What Is Quality Education?" forum will be state Secretary of Child Development and Education Marian Bergeson, Newport-Mesa School District Supt. Mac Bernd, and Judy Magsaysay, principal at Pio Pico Elementary School in Santa Ana.
Other panelists include UCI's co-director of the Orange County Annual Survey Mark Baldassare, Times education reporter Nick Anderson and Louis Miron, chair of UCI's Department of Education.
UCI Chancellor Laurel L. Wilkening will present the opening remarks.
Topics to be addressed include how smaller class sizes affect learning, state and local budgets on education and children's issues, and trends in education reform.
More than 250 people countywide are expected to attend the event from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, next to UCI.
"The Times is pleased to present this ongoing series with UCI in an effort to provide comment, dialogue and leadership on issues important to the quality of life in Orange County," said Times Orange County President Robert G. Magnuson.
For more information, call Gerry Albrecht of The Times Orange County at (714) 966-5966.