I am writing to ask for your support for the $1.5 billion the California State Assembly has included for Common Core State Standards implementation in the budget proposal it passed last week and sent to the Budget Conference Committee.
I advocated to the Education Coalition and throughout the state prior to the release of the May Revise Budget for state budget funds to help our schools provide the instructional materials, professional development, and technology required to ensure our state’s successful transition to the Common Core State Standards and the new generation of assessments.
After these efforts, I was very happy to see Governor Brown include $1 billion for this Common Core State Standards implementation in his May Revised Budget. That said, I believe California schools would benefit greatly from the additional funding proposed by the State Assembly.
That’s why I am asking you to contact the members of the Budget Conference Committee, and your State Legislators, to urge them to support the Assembly’s budget proposal and ensure it is a part of the final state budget that will be passed in mid-June. (Click here to find your legislators.)
Implementing the Common Core State Standards is consistent with the focus on 21st century skills outlined in my Blueprint for Great Schools (click here to download a pdf). The Common Core State Standards are rigorous, research- and evidence-based, internationally benchmarked, and address today’s demands to prepare students to succeed.
These standards are based on the practical, real-world skills our students need in the 21st century. The Common Core State Standards will help build creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, and communication. They also will help us fulfill our vision to ensure all students--no matter where they come from or what school they attend--graduate from our public schools with the skills and knowledge necessary to contribute to our global economy.
The California Department of Education has been hard at work on this vital transition. We have been coordinating internal and statewide implementation activities and collaborating with stakeholders to identify needs, opportunities, and resources for Common Core State Standards systems implementation.
The development of curriculum frameworks in English language arts and mathematics, and adopting the next generation science standards is moving forward.
The adoption of Common Core State Standards requires local educational agencies to align curriculum, provide professional development for instructional staff, and ensure technological capacity and infrastructure for the new generation of assessments. Teachers, schools, districts, and county offices of education are encouraged to use these standards to design specific curricular and instructional strategies that best deliver the content to their students.
As I have traveled around California visiting schools, I have had the opportunity to talk with teachers and business leaders. I have seen the excitement about this new, more creative form of learning. But without support for these local activities, the laudable goals of Common Core State Standards will fall flat.
Please let our legislators and Governor Brown know you support the Assembly’s proposed $1.5 billion for Common Core State Standards implementation. This funding would help our schools purchase the instructional materials needed, increase their instructional technology capacity, and provide professional development for teachers and site leaders.
I believe this is a key step to ensure our ability to help our students learn the skills required in the 21st century global economy.