Jonathan Raymond Advocates for Social-Emotional Learning, Concludes Tenure in Sacramento City USD

December 2013

Outgoing Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) Superintendent Jonathan Raymond authored a Washington Post article reflecting on the United States’ poor performance on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Raymond argued that in order to bridge the gaps with higher achieving countries and overcome inequities within the American education system, adults must explicitly model and teach children the social and emotional skills – such as perseverance, goal-setting, and relationship-building – that will give them the motivation, confidence, and ability to succeed in school and the workplace. Raymond described efforts underway in eight urban school districts as a promising model to improve social and emotional learning for students and emphasized the need to continue prioritizing this work.
After four-and-a-half years at the helm of SCUSD, Jonathan Raymond concluded his tenure as superintendent in December 2013. An EdSource Today article reflected on Raymond’s contributions to the district, noting that he oversaw implementation of the Common Core State Standards; expanded summer programs; led a shift toward social-emotional learning; and forged new partnerships with parents, businesses, and the community. More controversial were his decisions to exempt teachers at certain low performing schools from seniority-based layoffs and to adopt a federal No Child Left Behind waiver that requires the adoption of a new teacher evaluation system. The article includes observations from other members of the education community as well as audio recordings from an interview with Raymond.