Educators gather Sept. 21 at UCSC for summit on the future of education in the Monterey Bay region

Lora Bartlett will deliver the keynote address. Photo by Jim MacKenzie.

Educators and policy makers from Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito counties will gather on Friday, September 21, for a one-day summit on the future of education in the Monterey Bay region.

The regional K-12 teacher workforce will be the focus of the conference, which will take place at the UCSC Music Recital Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"Despite great progress, the region continues to have far too many underqualified math, science, and special education teachers," said Lora Bartlett, assistant professor of education at UCSC and a keynote speaker at the conference. "This is an issue of teacher recruitment and retention, and it's an issue of educational equity and social justice. This summit is bringing together the people committed to improving learning conditions for all of our region's students."

A specialist in teacher workforce issues, Bartlett will present her findings as chair the research committee of the Teacher Workforce Initiative, a three-year collaborative effort to generate a detailed portrait of the region's teacher workforce, including qualifications, job satisfaction, turnover, and retention.

The Sept. 21 conference, "2020 Vision: The Future of Education in the Monterey Bay Region," is being hosted by the UC Santa Cruz Educational Partnership Center (EPC) on behalf of the Monterey Bay Educational Consortium (MBEC). The consortium is made up of top administrators of local schools, colleges, and universities, who collaborate to raise the educational achievement of all students in the region.

"The quality of teaching is a critical factor in improving the academic success of students, and this summit lays the groundwork for educators to work together to find solutions to local teacher workforce issues," said Carrol Moran, executive director of the EPC.

Although school districts are required by law to provide the state with annual data regarding teachers, districts often lack the resources to analyze the data in a timely way. Bartlett expanded the data-collection effort to include detailed information about salaries, benefits, school-based working conditions, and teacher turnover rates, which affect the quality of classroom instruction and student achievement.

Educators from schools, colleges, universities, and educational organizations around the Monterey Bay will attend the conference. MBEC co-chairs George R. Blumenthal, acting chancellor of UCSC, and Dianne Harrison, president of California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), will welcome participants.

A morning panel moderated by Cabrillo College President Brian King will focus on teacher recruitment and retention. Panel participants include Rodney Ogawa, professor of education and chair of the Education Department at UCSC; Betty Achinstein of the UCSC New Teacher Center (NTC); John Ittelson professor of information technology and communications design at CSUMB; and Louis Denti, distinguished professor in special education at CSUMB.

An afternoon panel moderated by Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Michael Watkins will discuss math, science, special education, and the needs of English language learners. Participants will include Bartlett, Gretchen Andreasen, a resource center director with the California Teach Program at UCSC; Edward Landesman with the UC Office of the President; Judit Moschkovich, associate professor of education at UCSC; Jerome Shaw, assistant professor of education at UCSC; and George Bunch, assistant professor of education at UCSC.

Following each panel presentation, participants will form smaller moderated breakout sessions for further discussion and problem solving. Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Kotowski will provide a wrap-up of the day before EPC Executive Director Moran offers closing remarks. A full schedule is available online at

The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning provided additional funding for the conference.