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San Diego County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter

My Views

By Karen (Jorgensen) Burstein

Candidate for Board Member; Valley Center Pauma Unified School District

This information is provided by the candidate
I am passionate about education for all children and am focused on better opportunities for youth when they graduate.
Karen is an experienced business leader who has been managing the human resources department of the largest charter school system in California. Karen is passionate about education of our youth, their retention in school, and accountability measurements to improve performance. Karen has solid experience as an educator and a business leader. Karen has written several books including Pay for Results and has taught at the university level. She started her career as a math teacher, and after 20 years of running a state wide business, she retired to go back to education and give back to the community youth.

Karen combines a unique combination of financial accounting, educational reporting and innovative educational programs. Here are some highlights of her background: worked for San Diego Trust in human resources, 1984 Olympic in LA, started a midsized human resources consulting company and managed it for 20 years, sold it in 2000 and began working with at-risk youth in a public charter school system. Karen has managed the training and development of over 200 teachers, managed the human resource issues, and set up the most sophisticated teacher incentive program in the state for public schools.

Recently, Karen has served on the financial committee and advisory board of the largest charter in California serving 8 school districts. With a background in innovative education, Karen also serves on the board of Pathways in Education which is a non-profit creating innovative educational methods to improve retention of at-risk youth.

Valley Center-Pauma District has done a remarkable job of educating our youth. Their CAHSEE pass rates and graduation rates are higher than the county and state averages, but they can still improve. State testing show only 25% of VC students tested are proficient at the 10 grade level in mathematics. Karen's background in innovative educational programs can help the schools close the mathematic gap to ultimately benefit our youth.

As a consultant, Karen worked with over 600 employers and found many graduates do not have the work skills necessary to succeed in business. Karen would encourage more school to work programs so that our high school youth learn more about work options and are better prepared for the employment market. Karen has been active in Career Technical Education working with Regional Occupational Programs, Junior Achievement and authored You and Your First Job which is a book used in many public school systems to train students.

Karen believes that dedicated teachers are the key to engaged learning. The one on one encouragement and mentoring of an experienced teacher shows up in the ultimate success of the student. Karen has a strong background in compensation, benefits and rewards for teachers. Karen can help the district redirect money to create a better outcome for our youth. With a strong financial and compensation background, Karen can be a valuable resource for our superintendent and staff and help tie rewards to performance using accountability and measurement of student academic growth.

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ca/sd Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 7, 2008 18:24
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