Education News in Brief

Calif. School Reform Plan Released

By Linda Jacobson — March 25, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Stronger teaching and leadership, a useful and reliable data system, expanded high-quality early-childhood-education programs, and more flexibility for educators to improve student achievement are among the recommendations a California committee is making for repairing what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has called a “broken” public education system.

But in accepting the recommendations March 14, the governor said it was unfortunate that the 18-member group’s plan was being released in the midst of a “financial disaster” when midyear budget cuts have already occurred, and the state faces a $16 billion deficit in fiscal 2009.

Ted Mitchell, the chairman of the committee, however, said some changes can be made right away, while other recommendations are meant to point the state in a direction of improvement for the next decade.

“We mustn’t postpone education reform until the situation improves,” said Mr. Mitchell, who also serves on the state’s appointed board of education. And when California’s fiscal picture does brighten, resources shouldn’t be channeled “into the same old system,” he said.

Gov. Schwarzenegger used the formal announcement of the report, which has already been a topic of conversation and hearings around the state for a few months, to push once again for his plan to establish a rainy-day fund that would help the state withstand downturns in the economy.

“For healthy schools, you need a healthy budget,” he said.

The Republican governor’s Committee on Education Excellence, financed by several foundations, was created three years ago to address such areas as finance, school governance, and teaching. Along with several other groups, it requested a major series of research reports, called “Getting Down to Facts,” released a year ago. (“California’s Schooling Is ‘Broken,’” March 21, 2007.)

Not surprisingly, the committee’s report echoes many of the issues already highlighted in that document. Among them are that the state’s education system, with its piles of categorical funding programs, is confusing, and that it is “compliance-driven,” Mr. Mitchell said, instead of focused on results.

The committee report also agrees that while massive amounts of data are collected, they are not organized well enough to be used for making improvements.

“Our system actually impedes educators’ best work,” he said.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in California. See data on California’s public school system.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the March 26, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)