"State of …” addresses are by nature optimistic occasions. We’ve never heard one starting with, “This year has been a disaster and it’s not getting any better.”
Maybe San Bernardino leaders were thinking that in 2013, the year after the city filed for bankruptcy. But saying it out loud wouldn’t help. And it’s good news that the city exited bankruptcy last year.
In the educational community, we feel a true sense of determination from the primary grades through college to train students for the opportunities coming to this fast-growing region.
In his State of Education address last week, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre spoke of selfless and collaborative efforts of educators and their community partners as a key to the region’s economic progress.
“Our district superintendents and their staffs are at the forefront of seeking innovative solutions to meet the needs of all students,” he told a gathering at the California Theater of the Performing Arts.
Alejandre particularly praised the cradle-to-career vision. Despite many pockets of poverty, there are good jobs to be had — if those entering the workforce get the training they need.
As if to confirm his optimism, the California Assessment of Student Performance results came out on Tuesday, showing San Bernardino County students gained 3 to 5 percentage points in math and English language arts. This is a critical age for students to embrace the love of learning for the rest of their lives.
Many organizations are working in this mission, such as the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, which will hold its sixth annual awards ceremony on Nov. 7 in Ontario.
We’re also impressed with the San Bernardino Community College District, which is asking voters to approve a $470 million bond issue to accelerate its mission of aligning training with the needs of employers.
And, of course, this region is blessed to have substantial institutions such as the University of Redlands, Cal State San Bernardino and UCR.
There is good reason for optimism. As the Monty Python characters sang in the 1991 movie “Life of Brian,” always look on the bright side of life.