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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #16-35
May 11, 2016
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

Superintendent Torlakson Releases Report by the
Accountability and Continuous Improvement Task Force

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced the release of his Accountability and Continuous Improvement Task Force report today, which calls for an accountability system organized around three imperatives: performance, equity, and improvement.

The report was developed by a diverse, 30-member task force composed of leaders in many fields—teaching, administration, business, higher education, and philanthropy—as well as students, parents, and school board members. The task force was co-chaired by Wes Smith, Executive Director of the Association of California School Administrators, and Eric Heins, President of the California Teachers Association.

"This report contains many exciting ideas about how to build an accountability and continuous improvement system that works for students, parents, teachers, districts, and the entire community," said Torlakson. "It will add to the already rich dialogue taking place in California, which is leading the way in the development of a groundbreaking new accountability and continuous improvement system."

Torlakson thanked the task force for its hard work, insights, and commitment to collaboration. He said the cooperation was a great example of the California Way, working together to create positive change in education.

"I'm pleased our task force, after intensive study and discussion, could come together to produce a report that has many innovative concepts that can help develop a new, more useful accountability system," said Smith.

Heins agreed: "The task force brought together people from differing perspectives all united around the same goal: improving our education system by developing an accountability system that gives our schools, districts, and communities the broad view of how our schools and the systems that support them are doing, rather than focusing on one narrow, incomplete view."

The report calls for aligning (to the extent possible) local, state, and federal accountability and continuous improvement systems to create one integrated system. It also reinforces the concept of multiple measures that will look at a variety of indicators, such as high school graduation rates, chronic absenteeism, college and career readiness, school climate, and standardized test scores.

The task force report places top priority on identifying and closing the achievement gap, not only with regard to test scores, but also to ensure equitable access to educational resources and opportunities.

It also makes the following recommendations:

  • Connecting the accountability system to a system of continuous improvement for all districts and schools that relies on sharing best practices, supporting the intrinsic motivation of teachers and educators, and encouraging innovation.
  • Using a dashboard of measures to identify districts that need focused improvement support and intensive improvement support.
  • Continually monitoring, refining, and improving the system.

The Task Force report can be found on the CDE Web site [Note: the preceding link is no longer active].

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Monday, February 8, 2021
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