Secretary of education appointed: Get REAL coalition confident he'll work to increase CTE courses

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 30, 2007

In a press release this week, CMTA and the Get REAL coalition commended the Governor's appointment and pledged to work with David Long, the new State Secretary of Education, to expand career technical education and strengthen academics.

Long has more than 40 years of experience in the field of education and for 21 of those years he taught in a classroom. Since 1999, he has served as the superintendent of schools for Riverside County where he oversees 23 school districts and more than 400,000 students.

He serves on the Board of Directors for the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, where he is also immediate past-president. Long also serves as chair of the Federal Education Safe and Drug Free Schools and Community Advisory Committee, which reports directly to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.

In addition to his career affiliations, Long has been deeply involved in his community. He currently serves as a commissioner for the First 5 Commission of Riverside and chair of United Way Educational Countywide. Long also initiated an annual Educational Summit in Riverside County, which last year drew more than 450 educators, legislators and community leaders together to address key issues facing Riverside schools.

"With thirty percent of high school freshman dropping out of school and thirty percent of four-year college students failing to earn a degree, major reforms are clearly needed to make school more relevant, more inspiring and more important for today’s students," said GetREAL co-chair Jack Stewart, president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Association. "Given his long record of experience and his clear dedication to students, we’re confident that Mr. Long shares the Governor’s belief that a four-year college degree isn’t the only path to success."

GetREAL is working to expand career technical education in California schools, so that students can benefit from a balanced education that includes challenging academic studies and "hands-on" learning.

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