Initiatives & ProgramsLearn more about the initiatives and programs sponsored by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Below is a list of State Superintendent Tony Thurmond's key initiatives.
Visit the 2021-22 Back to School Resources webpage for key information important to families and educators as students return to campus for safe, in-person instruction.
The CA Digital Divide Innovation Challenge is an open, global competition that mobilizes inventor, entrepreneurs, researchers, and other innovators from public and private sectors to develop technology and strategic partnerships for universal affordable broadband internet access across the state. We will greenlight the boldest proposals driving collaborative solutions that can help all learners immediately and include California's students, educators, and families.
Closing the Digital Divide
The Closing the Digital Divide Initiative focuses on identifying needed resources and partnerships to support distance learning in California schools. Superintendent Thurmond and his Closing the Digital Divide Task Force have been working to help equip all California students with computing devices and connectivity to ensure equitable teaching and learning environments.
WHY: We want to improve reading levels throughout the state.
HOW: Provide books to students, training to teachers, and resources to families to reinforce the importance of reading.
Reducing Chronic Absenteeism
WHY: Students in grades K–3 miss more than 10 percent of school; districts lose integral revenue from loss of Average Daily Attendance (ADA).
HOW: Expand the number of staff dedicated to outreach to help students get back to school.
Closing the Achievement Gap
WHY: Students of color historically score lower than their white peers in California classrooms.
HOW: Expand California Department of Education (CDE) capacity to lead state-level equity work to build a pipeline of male teachers of color in elementary schools.
Jobs for Tomorrow
WHY: We want all students to have equal access to Science,Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) and Computer Science programs.
HOW: Increase CDE capacity to lead state STEAM efforts to increase the number of districts that offer courses and internships.
Focus on the First 100 Days
- Assessing and building organizational capacity.
- Supporting our local education agencies (LEAs) to address strikes.
- Strengthening relationships with the Governor and Legislature to increase funding for K–12 programs.
- Leading the Governor's task force on charter school reform.
- Working with LEAs to create new ways to provide teacher and educator housing, which helps with teacher recruitment and retention.
Transition Team Work Groups
Launched transition work groups to invigorate efforts to address major issues in education and to engage new stakeholders and partners.
- Closing the Achievement Gap
- Teacher Shortage
- Improving Literacy
- Improving Special Education
- Increasing K–12 Funding
- College Affordability
- Early Education
- Jobs of Tomorrow
- Dual Language
- Professional Development
- Improving Data Collection
- Addressing Pension Obligations
- Student Health & Safety
State Superintendent Thurmond has hosted a number of forums since taking office.
- Closing the Achievement Gap Panel: African American Student Achievement and the Recruitment and Retention of African American Teachers
- California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Data Dive Roundtable
- Ethnic Studies Expert Panel
- California State University’s Quantitative Reasoning Proposal
- Closing the Achievement Gap Virtual Town Hall
- High School Assessments and College Opportunities
- Disaster Preparedness Workshop: Coordination, Collaboration, and Capacity Building
- Closing the Achievement Gap for African American Students
Charter Schools Task Force
Governor Newsom requested that Superintendent Thurmond convene a group of experts to closely examine the impact of charter school growth on district budgets and to provide a report with recommendations by July 1, 2019. The task force has been meeting regularly since early March, and has culminated with a report that has both recommendations that were unanimously agreed upon by the task force members as well as discussed proposals that did not meet full consensus.
Looking for more?
- Additional Initiatives and Programs
- Initiatives and Programs from Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson