Tom Torlakson launched his second term as State Superintendent of Public Instruction by announcing an ambitious Agenda for Excellence, highlighting the key initiatives the California Department of Education (CDE) will undertake during the next four years. Superintendent Torlakson seeks to continue striving to realize the mission he articulated in his first term with the goal of “providing a world-class education for all students from early childhood to adulthood.”
Believing that achieving excellence requires the execution of excellent plans, Torlakson has convened two important planning groups. The first, a group of statewide education leaders, will provide recommendations for refining and implementing the vision put forth in Torlakson’s first term plan, Blueprint for Great Schools. The Blueprint provided CDE with a direction and roadmap for change and supported the development and implementation of many far-reaching education change initiatives over the last four years including the Local Control Funding Formula, early education expansion, and increased career education. The Blueprint 2.0 Action Planning Team will be co-chaired by Chris Steinhauser, Superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District; David Rattray, Senior Vice President of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; and Martha Infante, Teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District.
The second group, Torlakson’s Second-Term Planning Team, will be chaired by Glen Price. The Glen Price Group (GPG) has supported comprehensive institutional development work within the CDE since 2011 and Glen Price and the GPG team have worked collaboratively with several CDE departments to develop innovative plans and initiatives, including support for the development of the After School Division’s groundbreaking strategic plan. The Second-Term Planning Team will focus on recruiting talent for open leadership positions at CDE, support the Blueprint 2.0 Action Planning Team, and develop the next generation of CDE institutional strengthtening activities. Members of the team include Glen Price and current and former CDE staff including Becca Barrett, Craig Cheslog, Erin Gabel, Jennifer Peck, Jason Spencer, Rich Zeiger, and Michelle Zumot.
Torlakson believes that the best is yet to come for California’s students and their schools. The planning groups that he has appointed will work to ensure that California schools meet the needs of the 21st century economy and help students realize their dreams by becoming college and career ready.