Best Practices

Mayor Allan Alexander

Education Policy Forum

The City of Beverly Hills, together with the Beverly Hills Unified School District and the RAND Corporation, a non-profit research institution, recently hosted a policy forum on public education entitled "Our Schools: Fact, Fiction, Future." The policy forum was attended by over 300 educators, public officials, interested citizens, students and concerned parents from the Los Angeles region to stimulate a productive dialogue on the current and anticipated crises in public education.

The premise of the policy forum is that governments at all levels are reinventing themselves and, in doing so, need practical policy guidance. With that philosophy, the city and school district engaged RAND which has developed a number of comprehensive studies on education since 1991. The three-way partnership between the city, the school district and RAND was ideal in making research accessible to the public and decision makers. At the policy forum, three central topics were presented by RAND:

California's State Budget -- the Outlook for Public Schools
We learned that with the growth in the prison system and other entitlements, less will remain for education.
  • Dispelling Myths -- Student Achievement and the Changing American Family
    We learned that despite the changes in family demographics, test scores have shown gains for racial and ethnic groups.

  • Preparing Our Students for the Global Marketplace
    We learned what must be done in preparing students, given recent international, technological and management changes.

A lively question-and-answer session was held after each presentation, allowing an exchange between the researchers and audience.

In addition, attendees were honored to have as the lunch keynote speaker, Delaine Eastin, State Superintendent of Public Education, who outlined her fundamental redesign for public education, focusing on results and accountability.

The policy forum was open to the public and arrangements were made to cover the $35 registration fee for those unable to pay. Next year, a second policy forum will be held focusing on technology in the schools.

Contact: Office of the Mayor, (310) 285-1013

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