When I was elected to serve as your State Superintendent of Public Instruction, it was clear to me that our schools faced unprecedented challenges in the midst of a huge financial emergency. That is why I brought together 59 people from across our great Golden State to share their best thinking about our public education system.
Co-chaired by Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond of the Stanford University School of Education, and David Rattray of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, this Transition Advisory Team included a wonderfully diverse group of our state's public education stakeholders. The group included leading teachers, parents, school employees, and administrators as well as community, labor, and business leaders.
Today we released a 31-page report this team prepared: A Blueprint for Great Schools. The report's recommendations include provisions to foster excellence in teaching, provide community support for families, and retool schools to make more students competitive in college and the workforce.
We have created this Blueprint because I know from my experience as a teacher and as a coach that the first step in reaching a goal is setting one. My Transition Advisory Team has taken an honest look at where we are, where we want to be, and created a vision about how to get there. This Blueprint is a call to action!
The report deals with a wide range of education policy issues, including the urgent need to address the financial emergency facing our schools.
Overall, I say there is cause for great hope and optimism. On issue after issue, you will find a wealth of sound strategies that hold great promise for our students and our schools. Some areas need further study, discussion, and debate. Some will require changes in law to carry out. Others merely need nurturing and support to achieve lasting results.
I hope you will review the Transition Advisory Team's efforts and this Blueprint for Great Schools. Please let us know what you think.