Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Initiatives and Programs of the Former SSPI

Initiatives and programs that were sponsored by former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
Important Notice
The following initiatives and programs were sponsored by former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Charter Schools Action Team

Superintendent Torlakson announced on August 14, 2018, the creation of an Action Team on Charter Schools to review laws governing California’s charter schools, and to provide recommendations about any needed changes to the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Governor, State Board of Education, and State Legislature.

Global California 2030
Speak. Lead. Learn.

Global California 2030 Logo

Superintendent Torlakson's Global California 2030 initiative vastly expands the teaching of world languages and the number of students proficient in more than one language over the next 12 years. Our mission is to equip students with world language skills to better appreciate and more fully engage with the rich and diverse mixture of cultures, heritages, and languages found in California and the world, while also preparing them to succeed in the global economy.

Global California 2030 is a call to action. We invite educators, parents, legislators, and community and business leaders to join us on the road to a multilingual California. Support from everyone is needed as our K–12 education system expands access to world language classes, programs, and experiences; trains more bilingual teachers; and improves the quality and availability of advanced language classes.

Our goal by 2030, is for half of all K–12 students to participate in programs leading to proficiency in two or more languages, either through a class, a program, or an experience. By 2040, we want three out of four students to be proficient in one or more languages, earning them a State Seal of Biliteracy.

This initiative is part of a larger effort to better prepare our students for 21st century college and careers, recognizing that multilingualism is a necessary skill. The California Department of Education stands committed to the transformation of our education system which we call the "California Way."

Make the Switch: Become a Teacher

As part of his effort to alleviate the teacher shortage, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, who started his career as a high school science teacher, encourages talented and committed people to consider becoming a teacher.

He is asking people in college to consider teaching, but also mid-career professionals who could bring a wealth of life experience, confidence, and professional knowledge to the classroom.

To highlight these professionals, the CDE's Communications Division is profiling teachers who have made the switch from non-education careers to teaching as part of a new “Make the Switch: Become a Teacher” campaign.

In addition to the profiles, the CDE is highlighting resources for those interested in teaching as a profession.

Safe Haven Schools

Superintendent Torlakson strongly encourages California’s public schools to declare themselves as "Safe Havens" for students and their families, regardless of their immigration status, heritage, religion, ethnicity, background, disability, sexual orientation or sexual identity.

Social and Emotional Learning

Superintendent Torlakson believes that it is critical for students to develop a range of skills needed for school and life. With the support of a group of expert advisors, CDE will develop a plan for the best ways to implement good social and emotional learning (SEL) in California schools. 

Teacher Shortage

Superintendent Torlakson, who started his public service career as a high school science teacher and coach, encourages talented and committed people to consider pursuing an education career and help with a looming teacher shortage in California.

Career Technical Education

Superintendent Torlakson leads the nation’s largest state investment in Career Technical Education, which prepares students for the challenging careers of the 21st century  and gives them cutting-edge knowledge about career options, technology, and skills required for success in adult life.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Superintendent Torlakson leads a range of initiatives to keep improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, upgrade curriculum and learning standards, and encourage more girls and students from disadvantaged communities to pursue STEM college degrees and careers.

Blueprint 2.0

A Blueprint for Great Schools Version 2.0 builds on the ground breaking 2011 report A Blueprint for Great Schools, which helped usher in a new era in California schools that has included major increases in funding, more rigorous state academic standards, online student assessment testing, and greater support for the students and schools with the most needs.

California One System Serving the Whole Child

Supporting and scaling up an aligned system of supports serving the whole child.

Other Initiatives and Programs

California Education Technology Blueprint
The latest information about planning for education technology use in schools.

Career Readiness Initiative 2015
Through his California Career Readiness Initiative, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has directed the California Department of Education to proceed with 21 key objectives to support, sustain, and strengthen Career and Technical Education in the State. The Initiative builds upon goals outlined in the Superintendent’s “A Blueprint for Great Schools.”

Core Reforms Engaging Arts to Educate (CREATE)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has partnered with a broad-based statewide coalition of agencies and organizational partners on an education reform movement, Core Reforms Engaging Arts to Educate (CREATE) CA, that views arts education as an essential part of the solution to the problems facing California schools.

Education Technology Task Force
A volunteer group appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to advise ways to improve and expand the use of technology in California schools.

Educator Excellence Task Force
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has appointed an Educator Excellence Task Force to focus on the Educator Quality element of A Blueprint for Great Schools (released in August 2011) and designed to strengthen California’s teacher corps.

Family Engagement Framework External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF; 2MB)
On April 10, 2012, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled a new publication designed to help school districts engage families and communities in their children's education.

School Financial Emergency
On January 6, 2011, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson declared a state of financial emergency in California’s schools. He launched a department-wide review and urged Californians to come to the aid of schools across the state.

Schools of the Future Initiative (PDF; 1MB)
This statewide group—including education, design, environmental, financial, labor, and construction leaders—created recommendations to Superintendent Torlakson designed to make it easier for schools to build energy efficiency into every project, remove regulatory barriers, and identify potential funding sources. The team also made recommendations about the California Department of Education's role in the process, Including identifying best practices and providing technical assistance to California's 1,042 school districts.

Summer Matters Initiative
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson believes summer learning programs play an important role in helping all California children succeed in school and beyond. The goal of this initiative is to achieve one of the goals of A Blueprint for Great Schools: to ensure all California students have access to high quality summer learning opportunities that support year-round learning and well-being.

Questions:   Executive Office | 916-319-0800
Last Reviewed: Thursday, November 18, 2021
Related Content
Recently Posted in Transforming Schools: Superintendent’s Initiatives
No items posted in the last 60 days.