What does it really mean - Every student prepared for college, career, life?

Why I'm asking your vote on November 4. 


All Berkeley students need to receive the same high level of education to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the 21st century economy. Our high school graduates need to be prepared to pursue post secondary education and training that will equip them for a future with living wage jobs with affordable benefits and career growth opportunities. We need to ignite their passions, engage their minds, and apply their skills.


Students prepared for college and careers need to master the core academics of reading, writing and math. They need to be competent in science and technology for the new global economy, and be grounded in humanities and social sciences to be a well-rounded contributor to society. The profile of a college and career ready graduate encompasses competency in technology, critical thinking and problem solving, along with skills that include teamwork and ability to adapt to rapidly changing conditions.

To help realize this vision, I am proud to have the endorsements of leaders in the workforce and education development field, the Berkeley Fire Fighters Association, the Building and Constructions Trades Council of Alameda County, the Berkeley Police Association, Iron Workers Local 378, Carpenters Local 713, Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 342, IBEW 595, Sheet Metal Workers Local 104, Operating Engineers Local 3, and local business leaders.

Nationally, 55 million jobs are predicted through the year 2020. 35% will require a Bachelor’s degree and 30% will require some college or Associates degree. According to former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, “each year of education or job training after high school, whenever it occurs in the course of a career, increases average incomes by 6 to 12%. Many technical skills can be learned in a year or two by someone with a high school degree. In fact, one goal we should consider is universal, high-quality K-14. You heard me right: K-14.” 

Berkeley’s new initiative to create career pathways at the middle and high school level is about all students applying curriculum in real world environments, exploring careers they never new existed, tapping their curiosity and excitement for learning and seeing their possibilities. A student may think he/she wants to be a nurse, entrepreneur, graphic artist, firefighter, police officer, or bridge builder but has no idea how their classes help them reach their goal. BUSD needs to help a student develop a vision for their future, and peak their interests through exploration and experience. By supporting our teachers with BUSD’s new Common Core curriculum, we will help our students reach their goals.

Over the next few years, I will be working with school districts, community colleges, 4-year colleges and employers to establish partnerships to better prepare our students. My goal will be to ensure that when all Berkeley students walk the stage to receive their High School Diploma they have at least six college credits or a credential combined with real world experiences that help them reach their education and career goals.  

Julie Sinai
Current School Board Director and 2014 School Board Candidate