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ED TALK Raises Community Voices

It was great to have all the different voices together at one table… to hear all those stakeholders along with the student.

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, Pasadena Educational Foundation held an education-focused panel discussion featuring nationally-recognized experts and local education leaders — ED TALK with Larry Mantle — on Wednesday, November 9 from 6-7 P.M. at Caltech’s Ramo Auditorium. The conversation focusing on the future of public education from a Pasadena perspective was moderated by Mr. Mantle, the premier radio-talk show host of the longest running daily talk show in Southern California.

During the event, panelists Dr. Pedro Noguera – Dean of University of Southern California’s School of Education, Dr. Hayin Kimner – Managing Director of Community Schools Learning Exchange, Dr. Brian McDonald – Superintendent of Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD), Reyna Uka – Spanish Dual Language Arts teacher at Octavia E. Butler Magnet, Scott Harden – President of the PTA Council of PUSD, and Mya Hernandez – a senior in the Graphics and Communications Academy at Pasadena High School and member of the PUSD Student Think Tank discussed how Pasadena public school students are doing following the pandemic, how community schools support learning, and how our community can actively support students and families. All commented on programs and initiatives they’d like to see in Pasadena public schools moving forward. PUSD student journalists interviewed attendees following the event to get their feedback. More than 155 people attended.

Following their participation on the panel, student Mya Hernandez commented: “Parent feedback is important in the process of getting input, but so is student feedback. Because you cannot get any more targeted.”

Attendees agreed. One commented to a  student journalist, “It was great to have all the different voices together at one table… to hear all those stakeholders along with the student. And to hear Dr. Noguera with all the work he’s done up in Oakland and now as a Dean at USC, it was wonderful just to hear him tie it all together.”

All agreed public education has changed post-pandemic in positive ways and that its evolution should continue.

“We have made a commitment as an organization to build upon the positive changes in public education right here in our own community,” said Patrick Conyers, Executive Director of Pasadena Educational Foundation. “We will continue our mission to further excellence and equity in all Pasadena Unified schools by raising student voices, supporting teachers, and empowering families through community engagement.”