Last updated on: 6/6/2012 | Author:

Michael Matsuda, MPA Biography

Co-Chair of the California Coalition Partnership for 21st Century Education (P21)
Con to the question "Do Standardized Tests Improve Education in America?"

“In a multiple-choice, test-driven world, kids are taught that there is always a right answer and moreover that the answer is always given to them.

Kids learn early on that they don’t have to think outside the box, they don’t have to be creative, collaborative or be critical thinkers. They just have to be good at memorizing rote facts and eliminating the wrong answers. Of course if they get stuck, just follow the advice my eighth grade son’s principal gives and choose the letter ‘C.’…

The irony is stultifying. While the Chinese are moving to an education system that innovates, we have transformed ours into a bureaucratic, centralized Politburo that rewards test takers and stifles out-of-the-box thinkers.”

“Will America Produce Another Steve Jobs?,” Voice of OC (Orange County, CA) website, Feb. 10, 2012

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Co-Chair, California Coalition Partnership for 21st Century Education (P21)
  • Trustee, North Orange County (CA) Community College District, Aug. 2005-present (President, 2010; Vice President, 2009; Representative to Orange County Legislative Task Force, 2005-2009; Secretary, 2008)
  • Coordinator, Teacher Support and Professional Development, Anaheim (CA) Union High School District
  • President, Californians Together
  • Founding Board Member, Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA)
  • Co-Founder, Vietnamese American Coalition Mentorship Program, University of California at Irvine
  • Co-Editor, “Vietnamese American Experience” and “Mendez v Westminster Civil Rights” K-12 curricula
  • Commissioner, California Curriculum and Instructional Materials Commission, 2004-2008
  • Chair, California History Social Studies Subcommittee, 2007
  • Member, Raymond Elementary School Site Council, Fullerton, CA, 2005-2006
  • Chair, Fullerton School District Serve-a-Thon, 2005
  • Recipient, Founders Award, University of Southern California Asian Pacific American Support Group, 2002
  • Former Teacher, Reading and Conflict Management, Orangeview Junior High School, CA, 1994-1998
  • Former Teacher, Honors English, Oxford Academy, Cypress, CA, 1998-2000
  • Former Teacher, Summer Leadership Academy, CA
  • Preliminary Administrative Credential, California State University at Fullerton, 2004
  • Single Subject Teaching Credential, Chapman University, 1994
  • MPA (Master’s in Public Administration), University of Southern California, 1982
  • BA, English, University of California at Los Angeles, 1979
  • Member, California Coalition for Education for Democracy, Vietnamese American Public Affairs Committee, Literature, Enrichment, Achievement, Plus (LEAP), California International Studies Project Board, California Association of Teachers of English, Fullerton School District Strategic Planning Committee, and California Teachers Association
  • Member, English Learner Advisory Committee for State Board of Education, CA, 2008-2009
  • Named Policy Maker of the Year, California Reading Association, 2008
  • Recipient, Veterans of Foreign Wars Community Services Award, Anaheim, CA Chapter, 1998
  • Named Teacher of the Year, Orangeview Junior High School, CA, 1995 and 1997
  • Recipient, Building Bridges Award, Orange County Human Relations, 1996
  • Recipient, Orange County PALs (Peer Assistance Leadership) Program of the Year Award, Orangeview Junior High School, 1995
  • Recipient, Human Services Award, Parent, Teacher, Student Association, Orangeview Junior High School, 1995
  • Recipient, Orange County Human Relations Award, 1993
  • Former Member, Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission, CA
  • Resident of Yorba Linda, CA
  • Married to Suzie Dong-Matsuda
  • Has one son, Ethan, born 1998