Influencers Opinion

How can we improve education? A discussion at Fresno Bee’s California Priorities summit

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Missed the California Priorities: Focus on Education event? Watch the video here, from Community Media Access Collaborative.

And learn more about the Education Lab, which Fresno Bee launched at the summit:

»» Fresno Bee is expanding its coverage with the Education Lab. What this means for you

»» About the Education Lab

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Parents. Students. Teachers. Business owners. Concerned citizens.

If you fall into any of the above categories – and most of us do – you will want to be at Fresno State the morning of Sept. 18 when The Fresno Bee brings together top educators and experts to discuss issues and solutions surrounding critical education-related issues.

The Bee’s California Priorities: Focus on Education event – sponsored by Fresno State with a supporting sponsorship by State Center Community College District – will delve deeply into a number of topics ranging from early childhood education and safe learning environments, to the role of the community in establishing a better environment for educational attainment, to the access and affordability of higher education. Members of the community are invited to attend. Registration, through EventBrite, is complimentary.

Headlining will be Timothy White, chancellor of the California State University system, who will deliver a keynote address on higher education access and affordability issues. He also will take questions.

“This forum presents a unique and valuable opportunity for community and educational leaders from the Central Valley and beyond to engage in a focused conversation about ways we can work together to raise educational attainment in this vibrant, dynamically diverse and economically critical region of the state,” White said. “I can think of no issue more consequential to the Central Valley, and I look forward to participating in the event.”

Following White’s keynote, the event will be divided into two panels.

The first panel will center around early education and K-12 education issues and the role of the community in creating an environment that’s conducive to education. The panel will be moderated by Jim Boren, executive director of Fresno State’s Institute for Media and Public Trust and former executive editor of The Bee. Panelists are Veva Islas, trustee, Fresno Unified School District (Area 4); Ted Lempert, president, Children Now; and Eimear O’Farrell, superintendent, Clovis Unified School District.

The second panel will continue the discussion of access and affordability to higher education. It will be moderated by Joe Kieta, executive editor of The Bee. Panelists are Joseph Castro, president, Fresno State; Audrey Dow, director of the Campaign for College Opportunity; Carole Goldsmith, president of Fresno City College, and Fred Ruiz, one of the founders of Dinuba-based Ruiz Foods and a former member of the University of California Board of Regents.

“The Bee takes seriously its role to convene and facilitate conversations about important community issues, and education frequently tops the list,” Kieta said. “We’re thrilled to gather such a fantastic group of education influencers from across the state to look for solutions that can lead to real change.”

Doors at Fresno State’s Satellite Student Union will open at 8 a.m. Sept. 18 for coffee and networking. The program will begin promptly at 9 a.m. and will wrap up by 11 a.m.

For more information, email The Bee’s Toni Machado at You can sign up on EventBrite by searching “California Priorities.”

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