Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Chris Steinhauser (Stephen Carr/Press-Telegram)

LOS ANGELES - Seven California school districts, including Long Beach, have formed a nonprofit organization to pursue education reforms promoted by the Obama administration.

District superintendents and high-level education officials on Monday announced the formation of the California Office of Education Reform, which will foster communication and collaboration among the seven districts.

"There has never been this type of collaboration among school districts," said Long Beach Unified Superintendent Chris Steinhauser. "It's never been done on this kind of scale."

Funded by more than $3 million in support from foundations, the organization will focus on reforms that the Obama administration promoted as part of the federal "Race to the Top" program.

States that agreed to pursue certain education reforms competed this year to claim a share of the $4.3 billion in funding available under the program. California applied, but it lost out to other states.