CA state superintendent tours Valley schools

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- State Superintendent Tom Torlakson paid a visit to schools throughout the Valley including Parlier Unified.

The trip to the Valley is part of his efforts to interact with not only school officials but students. Students at Parlier High School put their best foot forward as State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson paid a visit.

"Enthused, thrilled with what I seeing in the classroom here, the students are engaged, articulate, they're having fun and they're getting skills for life," he said.

Torlakson toured three schools within the district.

"We'd been tracking Parlier and hoping there would be a turnaround," he said.

"What I wanted him to see are a lot of the positive things and much of the transformation that's going on here today," interim superintendent Mike Berg said.

The district is working toward bouncing back after a number of issues in previous years including leadership turnover, governance issues and financial discrepancies. Berg says both students and staff are motivated.

"Everything we do has to be focused on that continuous improvement," he said.

"We're seeing tremendous progress," Torlakson said. "I'm heartened by the turnaround that's occurred in the district and the focus that the school board has. And the team effort with the teachers and really the enthusiastic bright students that are full of potential and full of enthusiasm."

The superintendent's academic blue print focuses on making sure students are not only college ready but career ready - something Parlier High School's NJROTC and nursing programs exemplify.

"We talked to the businesses and government leaders about what do you need, what kind of work force do you need, next year and the next five years and the next 10," Torlakson said. "And we're gearing our coursework to meet the demands of the new economy."
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