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Archived News Release from 2005

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Education Foundation Invites Community to Special Screening of Important Documentary:

“First to Worst – the Roots of California’s Education Crisis”

Documentary screening will be followed by a panel discussion with education experts.

Redwood City, CA - November 1 , 2005 - The Redwood City Education Foundation (RCEF), a non-profit, all-volunteer foundation committed to providing quality education for the 8,000 students in 15 schools throughout the Redwood City School District, will present a free screening of an excellent primer for understanding the roots of California's current education crisis – “First to Worst.”

This powerful and enlightening documentary film by John Merrow focuses on what the State is doing to return the school system to the excellent academic performance of the 50s and 60s, and highlights ways that communities in California can financially assist their local schools district wide. The Redwood City community is invited to this screening and a community discussion:

  • WHEN: Tuesday, November 15th starting at 7:00 pm

  • WHERE: McKinley Institute of Technology auditorium, 400 Duane Street, Redwood City

Following the movie, a panel of knowledgeable experts from various areas of education will engage in a community discussion moderated by Mark Simon, an award-winning local journalist who has covered State and local politics for over thirty years. The panel consists of:

  • John Merrow, executive producer of the movie and host of “The Merrow Report.” He has been reporting on education policy for the last thirty years.

  • Delaine Eastin, former superintendent of public instruction for California from 1995 to 2003 will provide an overview of policy changes and school funding reform through the 1990s.

  • Susan Sweeney, Director of the California Consortium of Education Foundations (CCEF), will explain the necessarily expanded role of education foundations.

  • Dr. Kenneth Hill, Redwood City School Superintendent from 1970 to 1990, will offer a local historical look at how the Redwood City School District weathered the drastic changes that took place during his tenure.

Anyone interested in improving the education of our community’s children is encouraged to join us for this important documentary and discussion,” said Vice Mayor Barbara Pierce. “We’ll highlight the issues facing our educational system and discuss how we, as a community, can work together toward making essential improvements.

This free event is co-sponsored by the City of Redwood City, The League of Women Voters of South San Mateo County, the Redwood City San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce, the Redwood City School District, California Assemblyman Ira Ruskin, and California State Senator Joe Simitian. For more information about the film visit, and for more information about RCEF please visit

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the city and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and city government.


Georgia Solkov Jack
President, Redwood City Education Foundation
(650) 218-7774

Barbara Pierce, Vice Mayor
(650) 368-6246

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