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A Call to Action

Continuing Our Journey Toward a World-Class Education.

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During my first term in office, the Great Recession caused revenues to drop so fast that our schools faced devastating cuts—30,000 teachers were laid off, class sizes swelled, and I was forced to declare a fiscal emergency for California schools. But the education community refused to become discouraged. In fact, teachers, parents, administrators, classified employees, and business, community, and civic leaders rallied.

Some education leaders lent their creativity, vision, and talents to my Transition Advisory Team, helping to issue a report in 2011 called A Blueprint for Great Schools, which outlined a new path forward for public education. Since then, we have worked together to transform education. We are implementing new, more rigorous California academic standards to better prepare students for twenty-first-century careers and college, we passed Proposition 30 to help temporarily make up for lost revenues, and we are developing an improved accountability system that uses multiple measures to more completely assess the progress schools are making. These changes and our gradual, sensible, and collaborative approach toward implementing them have begun to draw national attention to what we call The California Way.

But we have many more miles to travel on The California Way before we get our schools where we want them to be. That's why I asked a special team of education leaders and experts—the Blueprint 2.0 Planning Team—to create an action plan that keeps our momentum going forward and guides our journey over the next four years.

I am fortunate and grateful that this outstanding team of educators assembled to develop A Blueprint for Great Schools: Version 2.0 is co-chaired by three great leaders: Martha Infante, Teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District; Chris Steinhauser, Superintendent, Long Beach Unified School District; and David Rattray, Executive Vice President, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

A Blueprint for Great Schools: Version 2.0 outlines recommendations in five critical areas: California standards, teaching and leading excellence, student success, continuous improvement and accountability systems, and systems change and supports. Please read this plan, discuss it with your peers, and consider how to contribute to making it a reality.

I believe strongly in the African proverb that teaches, "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together." I want to go far because there is so much at stake. By educating and training the students of today to be the problem solvers, inventors, and pioneers of tomorrow, we are ensuring that our economy will remain robust and strong—and that California will remain the land of opportunity and abundance.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

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Questions: Dina Fong | dfong@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0551 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, November 22, 2016
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