Sunday, November 18, 2007

REFRAMING THE VISION: Addressing the Needs of Urban Youth

It's great to see California coming together! I hope the "joint use facilities" initiative mentioned provides a level of priority to programs and services specifically serving the communities and people many of the facilities are in. -Patricia

California Mayors' Education Roundtable
Policy Statement

November 16, 2007

Mayors from many of California's largest cities have formed the California Mayors' Education Roundtable with the purpose of addressing education and youth- related issues that confront our cities and the state.The Roundtable has been made possible with support from The James Irvine Foundation.

Mayors are held responsible for the health, safety, economy, and education of their cities whether or not they have legal authority or responsibility for these areas. The time is appropriate for mayors to join with the leaders of education systems in their cities and the state to help improve the lives of the children.

We have come together because the educational needs of our children and youth are not being adequately met.Meeting the educational and social needs of our children and youth is more than just a school issue. Mayors need to take an active role in state and local conversations as new policies, programs, and practices are discussed and developed.

The current conversation about improving education has not addressed the broader issues that affect our youth, and their attendance and performance in school. From our perspective, the focus has been too narrow to successfully improve education in our cities and the state.The vision for education in this state must be expanded beyond a goal of improving test scores of children in K-12 to increasing educational attainment, and providing integrated and comprehensive support for youth.

We need to examine the policy barriers-legislation, rules, guidelines and practices-that prevent flexibility in the use of state and local funds to address the needs of our children and youth; increase the capacity of cities to address their needs; link funds and programs across agencies and authorities; and encourage partnerships, joint ventures, and working relationships between and among agencies and organizations.

Some of the strategies we plan to investigate and address include:

* Integrating policies, programs, practices and funding for education, health care, workforce development, social and human services, out-of-school time, and community initiatives including joint use facilities;

* Creating more flexible funding streams that reflect the changes in policy and practice, by not only utilizing the old smokestack solutions of categorical funding to address problems;

* Providing adequate, transparent and flexible funding to address the developmental needs of all children and youth, and the resources and services that affect their development; and

* Enabling mayors to implement comprehensive youth support programs and systems in conjunction with school and county services to address the social and safety problems confronting our urban centers.

We therefore call for reframing the vision for educational and school improvement in ways that acknowledge that if students are to be successful in education and the workplace a more comprehensive set of policies, programs, services and practices need to be put into place.Our focus at the Mayors' Roundtable will be to work together within and across cities as well as with state leaders to achieve these goals.

Signed by the following California Mayors:

* Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates
* Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox
* Fresno Mayor Alan Autry
* Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster
* Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
* Modesto Mayor Jim Ridenour
* Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums
* Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard
* Riverside Mayor Ronald Loveridge
* Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo
* San Bernardino Mayor Patrick Morris
* San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom
* Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido
* Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum

No comments:

Post a Comment