The past several years have jolted California’s education system like never before. Seismic shifts in school finance, standards, curriculum, and instruction sent shockwaves through our state’s education policy landscape. Long-familiar landmarks in school finance, accountability, and assessment were replaced by a host of new initiatives, including the Local Control Funding Formula, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, Common Core State Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards. In the coming years, as they ripple through our education system, these new initiatives have the potential to shift California’s focus more towards equity and close our state’s achievement and opportunity gaps. But we also know that without close attention to equitable implementation, these initiatives could widen existing gaps and create new fissures between our highest need students and their more advantaged peers. In our 2014 Policy Agenda, we recommend steps that policymakers should take in four core policy areas to ensure that students of color, low-income students, and English learners benefit from the changes in our education landscape.
February 14 2014