The Bay Area Council is working to reform California’s education system by creating a strategic plan to put in place a data system and reform finance and governance.
Our schools need our help. California’s students’ ability to read is ranked 49th in the country by the U.S. Department of Education. Their ability to do math is ranked 48th and, we are second to worst in science. Compared globally, the situation darkens further. Of the top 35 nations, the U.S. is ranked 29th in science and 35th in math. Your neighborhood school might be good by California standards, but that isn’t good enough in the 21st Century.
Given the importance of education to our global competitiveness, the economy, and lives of our children, we have to do better, and we can. Our students are competing for the jobs of the future with students from all over the world. The Bay Area Council works to return California to its former position as a leader in education, from preschool through higher education.
• Co-sponsored and passed SB 1357 (Steinberg) to establish a data system process for an early warning system of student failure or dropout.
• Led and passed SB 1381 (Simitian) to raise kindergarten entry age to five with transitional schooling for eligible four year olds.
• Helped pass the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act allowing for a transfer specific degree from Community College to confer eligibility for transfer into a four year institution as a third year student.
• Led discussions on how to incentivize Community Colleges to increase course completion rates. Discussions ultimately led to SB 1143, which passed successfully and requires a taskforce and recommendations by 2012.
• Bay Area Council VP of Education named to Transition Team for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson.
• The Bay Area Council Education Committee advocates for systemic improvements in:
• School finance and funding (preschool through higher education)
• Flexibility and efficiency with resources
• Curriculum and assessment
• Accountability and data (with fiscal and student outcome transparency)
• Educator evaluation, professional development, and support
• Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education
• Support and enhance the best practices work of successful Superintendents around the state and nation that are making significant progress in improving education outcomes.
• Push for increased access and higher quality early childhood education for at risk children; ensure that systemic education improvement discussions include preschool through higher education.
The Committee has taken a strong leadership position on developing a longitudinal education data system, believing strongly that good information is necessary for cost efficiency and quality decisions in all areas and to build a culture of continuous improvement in outcomes. The Committee strongly advocates for finance and other systemic improvements to ensure that we can reach our goal of an effective and efficient continuously improving educational system, preschool through higher education, that places California back among the world’s best.
In a globally competitive workplace, early education is no longer optional. The Committee makes the case to the larger business community, and to the State of California, that we can no longer allow children to enter school unprepared to learn and to succeed.
Please also see the Council’s recently released report:Key to Economic Success in the 21st Century: Investment in Early Childhood Programs
The Workforce Development Committee seeks to develop and strengthen ties between educational institutions and industry to identify skills, support curricula development, and ensure a seamless supply of qualified workers at every employment level. The committee supports STEM, career technical education, linked learning, and other 21st Century curriculum innovations to enhance student engagement and workforce development. The committee advocates for linking the Education Data System to workforce, higher education, corrections, and other post graduation outcomes.
George Halvorson, Kaiser Permanente’s Chairman & CEO, discusses the importance of early childhood education
John Fensterwald, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson and Dr. Jerry Weast discuss education reform in California
Dr. Jerry Weast, Superintendent of the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, speaks to the group of top superintendents...