Fresno Unified superintendent celebrates improvement

FRESNO, Calif.

On Monday Fresno Unified's superintendent painted an optimistic picture for the district at the "State of the District" luncheon.

Because test scores and the graduation rate has improved, administrators teachers and students with Fresno Unified say they are ready to raise the bar.

"We continue to see progress and it's largely because we have the community paying attention to the importance of education," Superintendent Michael Hanson said.

Student achievement is improving. Overall test scores are higher and so were the scores in language arts and math. And Hanson says higher scores were key improvements this year.

"Our API jumped 10 points again, up to 724, we're still below where we want to be, but the 10 point, double digit progress is important for us," Hanson said.

The graduation rate is up by almost 4-percent and more kids are going off to college. School leaders say the staff's commitment to students is helping.

"We implemented accountable communities where our teachers are working collaborative together, we have intervention for our kids before and after school," Baird Middle School Principal Janetta McGensy said.

But the work isn't over yet. School officials say they will continue to strive for better results and students have ideas on how to make the learning environment a better place.

"One of the biggest challenges is the class sizes sometimes being a big too bigger and I would want to have that address because I think that plays a significant role when we look at test scores and the attention that the student gets from a teacher," McLane High School student Juan Esquivel said.

While progress was made with limited financial resources, administrators say they'll continue to work with the budget they have to keep kids on the right path to success.

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