July 24, 2015 marked the official release of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson’s A Blueprint for Great Schools: Version 2.0 (Blueprint 2.0), a new plan to guide California education over the next four years. The plan is an update to Torlakson’s 2011 Blueprint that outlined a vision for transforming K-12 education in California.
In Spring 2015, the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation convened the Blueprint 2.0 Planning Team to develop recommendations for Superintendent Torlakson in five strategic priority areas: California Standards; Teaching and Leading Excellence; Student Success; Continuous Improvement and Accountability Systems; and Systems Change and Supports for Strategic Priorities. The team of 29 California education leaders and experts was co-chaired by Martha Infante, a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District; David Rattray, Senior Vice President of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; and Chris Steinhauser, Superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District. The planning process was highly successful, bringing together diverse stakeholders to identify shared priorities and develop recommendations for what the next four years should bring for California education.
The resulting Blueprint 2.0 highlights significant shifts in California K-12 education. One of these is California’s thoughtful strategy to transforming the education system, including the “sensible, gradual, and collaborative” approach to implementing the Common Core State Standards, which was highlighted in a recent New York Times article. This approach, dubbed The California Way, is gaining momentum in California. With diverse stakeholders coming together to collaborate around a common agenda for the next four years, the Blueprint 2.0 Planning Team is a part of this broader shift.
In addition, the report provides recommendations for realizing other significant changes underway in our state’s education system, including the transformation of California’s education accountability systems from the “‘test and judge’ methods of the past to the ‘support and improve’ approaches of the future.” One of Superintendent Torlakson’s first steps in implementing Blueprint 2.0 will be to launch an Advisory Task Force on Accountability to follow-up on recommendations related to remodeling the state’s accountability system.
GPG coordinated and facilitated the Blueprint 2.0 Planning Team, including two in-person meetings and several conference calls dedicated to deeper discussions on specific strategic priority areas. GPG also provided research, writing, and production support for the report.
Many thanks to the Packard Foundation for making this project possible. GPG is honored to have been part of this important work and excited to see what lies ahead for the state’s education system!
See what others are saying about the release of Blueprint 2.0: