Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Kenneth M. Young Making Significant Progress
La Prensa Hispana Newspaper endorses and strongly supports his re-election candidacy
La Prensa Hispana
Editorial Board Report
Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Kenneth M. Young visited La Prensa Hispana at their Latino Community Central offices in Indio. It was a very interesting conversation with a man who is totally focused and concentrated on the education of our children. There were many statistics cited including the average scores on the Academic Performance Index for Hispanic students of the Coachella Valley. Data shows scores have risen dramatically over the past ten years.
In 1999, the average score for a Hispanic student was 483. In 2009, through dedicated efforts, those scores have risen to 719. Coachella Valley Hispanic students are still behind the rest of Riverside County where the average Hispanic student score is 745, nevertheless, an increase from 483 to 719 is commendable. The Coachella Valley is noticeably more challenging due to the high concentration of English language deficient students. The scores for proficiency for English Language Arts of Hispanic students have made major strides in attempting to catch up with the rest of the county. In 2002 only 11.7% of Hispanic students were scoring proficient on the English Language Arts test. In 2009 that average had been increased to 37.6% while county wide it was increased to 42.1% from 16.0%. The testing results for mathematics had the same commendable statistical increases from 16.1% to 45.7% in seven years. For the Coachella Valley, Hispanic student graduation from High School rates dramatically increased to 80.1%. Less than ten years ago, 50% of Coachella Valley Hispanic students were headed for drop-out status.
While the numbers suggest something right is being done, Superintendent Young had no illusions about the continuing needs and the two main challenges to bring all Hispanic student s a desired level of proficiency. Number one is to have all Hispanic students become proficient in English and number two is to increase the parental support in the child’s education. Superintendent Young has seen a student’s success is directly tied to parental support. An unsuccessful student can almost always be identified as one with no parental support.
In speaking about the Coachella Unified School District, the Riverside County Superintendent has recommended to Jack O’Connell, the State Superintendent that the Coachella Valley Unified School District be released from the need for a trustee. Superintendent Young states CVUSD has made significant progress through reform and changes and no longer falls in the category requiring constant supervision. The pending final decision will be made by the State Board of Education.
Superintendent Young has an extensive territory in Riverside County. He oversees 23 school districts and 423,000 students. In a school district with a representation of 52 different languages, Superintendent Young states that despite ongoing border disputes, his mission is to educate every child that walks through those school doors. “We need to help parents to reinforce their child’s education, to teach them the expectations we have for the child and to monitor their progress.”
There is an interesting disconnect which takes place with parents. Parents are very focused and connected to their child in the elementary grades. In Middle School, schools become more closed for parent involvement and in High School; parent involvement becomes more challenging as adolescents begin to form their own identity.
Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Young is demonstratively focused on his job and where many more topics were discussed, in the final analysis, he is the right man for the job. La Prensa Hispana Newspaper, Latino Community Central supports him in his re-election bid.