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Stand With Me

Today I officially filed my paperwork to run for re-election as your State Superintendent of Public Instruction. I'm in this race!

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Doing What's Best for California Kids

To do what's best for California children.

That's the guiding principle for the decisions I make each day as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. It's why, as a teacher and coach, I decided to seek public office. It's why I ran to become California's state schools chief.

And It's why I sponsored legislation (AB 484) to change the way we assess our students. I believe it's time to move away from No Child Left Behind's inflexibility and teaching-to-the-test mentality. It's time to transform our schools and leave these bubble tests behind.

I was proud to stand with Governor Brown, legislative leaders, and leading educators to do what's best for California students last week. Some bureaucrats may prefer we continue to force our students to take outdated bubble tests.

But I'm here to do what's best for California students. I'm here to help prepare our students for the future. I'm here to ensure all our students receive the world-class education they deserve.

Please make a $5 donation to send a message that we know what's best for California's students.

It's time to transition to assessments that will ask students not to choose the right bubble, but instead ask them to reason through problems and think in-depth about what they've read. It's time for a move to tests requiring our students to think creatively to solve problems in order to do well.

Reasoning, critical thinking, creativity, problem solving: these are skills worth fighting for. These are 21st century skills our students will need to ensure they enjoy success in career or college.

Our goals for 21st century learning, and the road ahead, are clear. We won't reach them by continuing to look in the rear-view mirror with outdated tests -- no matter how it sits with officials in Washington.

Will you respond by giving $5 to to show that our education movement has real grassroots support, and that attacks on how we educate our children will only make us work harder?

Best regards,
Tom Torlakson Signature


Celebrating Labor Day

Today my wife Mae and I joined Labor Day celebrations in Wilmington and Santa Barbara to honor the contributions that working men and women achieved for all of us. I hope you've enjoyed a safe and happy Labor Day!



I Am A Teacher

To all the teachers just completing the first week or two of school: congratulations and thank you for everything you do! Happy Friday!



California's Transition to the Common Core

California’s transition to the Common Core standards needs you! It will take all of us – teachers, parents, administrators, school employees and the business community – to make this a success for our children and our state.

Read State Board of Education President Mike Kirst’s op-ed on the road ahead, and why moving forward now is good for students and for California’s future.


The Affordable Care Act and Our Families

This fall, California will lead the nation in launching a statewide health benefit exchange through Covered California. I’ve been working with The Children's Partnership to make sure our schools are well connected to the resources needed to educate families about this opportunity.

The Children's Partnership Co-President and Founder Wendy Lazarus discusses the work we are doing together in this Huffington Post piece.



A P21 High School

One of my favorite parts of being State Superintendent is being able to visit schools and see so many inspiring examples of learning and teaching. Here's a new video about my visit to Savanna High School in Anaheim, where I visited the medical sciences academy, a STEM classroom, and participated in a panel discussion on 21st century skills.


A Statement about the CORE NCLB Waiver

All California schools deserve relief from the unworkable mandates of No Child Left Behind, so it’s noteworthy that a few districts have—temporarily at least—managed to navigate the complex waiver requirements imposed by the Administration. I continue to believe that Congress should make it a priority to revise NCLB, and that relief from the failings of federal policy should not be reserved only for those prepared to provide Washington an ever-expanding role in the operation of California’s public schools.

California is in the midst of a historic and positive transformation of its public schools, making new investments in our children and their futures, and completing that work successfully remains my top priority. Once the terms of these agreements are made available to the Department and the public, I will encourage the districts involved to collaborate closely with teachers and other stakeholders in devising a workable system of accountability and oversight.


Students Need Our Help

The educational opportunities and jobs available to our students after they graduate increasingly require the use of high-tech skills and abilities.

children_at_computer_275.jpgTechnology is changing nearly every aspect of our lives. But in California--home to Silicon Valley and the world's leading technology companies--too many students and schools have been left out of this technology revolution.

We need to take action to ensure every one of our students can access the tools and skills needed to be ready to succeed in career or college.

My Education Technology Task Force highlighted the need to do more to ensure our low-income and rural communities have modern technology and high-speed internet access.

I believe we must update and expand the federal E-Rate program. This will help us ensure our schools and libraries have the resources needed to give every student access to these vital tools.

I've also agreed to co-chair the Council of Chief State School Officers' Digital Learning Task Force to help coordinate national efforts to improve student access to technology and broadband connectivity.

There have been several exciting developments in this area. President Obama last month announced the ConnectED initiative and just a few days ago the Federal Communications Commission announced it was launching a thorough review of the E-Rate program.

I need your help to make sure our state and nation take the necessary steps to ensure we leave no child left offline. Please sign my petition to ask the Federal Communications Commission to update the E-rate program.

I will share the signatures with FCC Commissioners and other people working to ensure this digital divide does not become the next achievement gap.

Best regards,



Happy Birthday, Tom!


It's amazing to think I've been working for Tom Torlakson now for more than 30 years. Over that time Tom has been my boss, my teacher and mentor, and my friend.

I am so proud of what we've accomplished together--first for the people of Contra Costa County and now statewide.

I'm so glad the teacher and County Supervisor for whom I started working is now fighting for every one of California's 6.2 million students as State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Our team has fought tirelessly to secure more funding for our schools. And Tom's team has been striving to implement his Blueprint for Great Schools and do what is necessary to ensure every child receives a world-class education!

Friday, July 19, is Tom's birthday. Please join me in signing a online birthday card for him!

We'll share the signatures with Tom on his birthday so you can be part of the celebration!

Happy Birthday, Tom! Let's keep moving forward with our team on behalf of our students!

Best regards,

Gloria Omania


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