Christopher J. Steinhauser, Superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District, discusses how transitional kindergarten is a winning solution for California.
Christopher J. Steinhauser
Christopher J. Steinhauser has served as superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District since 2002. The school district is California’s third largest, with about 83,000 students. With more than 30 years of experience in Long Beach’s diverse school system, Steinhauser has earned a national reputation for improving student achievement and closing achievement gaps. His school district has earned the national Broad Prize for Urban Education and has qualified as a finalist for the award five times. In a 2010 report, McKinsey & Company, a trusted advisor and counselor to many of the most influential businesses and institutions in the world, named the Long Beach Unified School District one of the world's 20 leading school systems -- and one of the top three in the U.S. -- in terms of sustained and significant improvements.
Despite millions of dollars in budget cuts due to California’s fiscal meltdown, Long Beach continues to outperform large districts nationwide. Its students, 70 percent of whom receive free and reduced-price lunches, recently earned a record $52.5 million in college scholarships. Seven of Long Beach’s high schools were named in 2012 among the top 9 percent in the United States by the Washington Post.
Steinhauser has a strong track record of boosting achievement in all geographic areas of the school district. Beginning as a successful teacher at an inner-city elementary school in Long Beach, Steinhauser went on to attain high student achievement as a school principal. He became Deputy Superintendent in 1999 before his unanimous appointment as Superintendent in 2002. During his years as Deputy Superintendent, students in all major racial and ethnic groups throughout the district made unprecedented gains on state tests.
Steinhauser is a product of the Long Beach Unified School District, where he attended continuously from kindergarten until his graduation from Wilson High School in 1977. He attended Long Beach City College and California State University Long Beach, earning a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in educational administration. He earned multiple-subject and administrative services credentials at the university.
Steinhauser’s wife, Alida, is a veteran educator who teaches fifth grade literacy at the district’s Signal Hill Elementary School. Their son, Edward, graduated from Long Beach’s Wilson Classical High School in June of 2005. Their daughter, Patricia, graduated in June of 2007.