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California Schools: Common Core, Spring 2013

Hard Core

Common core standards and assessments prompt some critical thinking among educators and governance teams

In This Issue

A conversation with ... Tom Torlakson

California’s state schools chief discusses the future of assessments and the transition to the Common Core State Standards

A former science and history teacher and a veteran of the state Legislature, California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson fully appreciates the importance of fiscal support for public education.

Tell your story with conviction

Use data and storytelling to persuade and influence

We, as the public education community, have an opportunity to capitalize on the surge of positive public opinion in support of public education.

Common Core tech readiness: A CDE Q and A

As part of the state’s transition to Common Core State Standards, the California Department of Education is encouraging local educational agencies to take advantage of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s Technology Readiness Tool.


Executive Director’s note: Closing the achievement gap: It’s not one-dimensional

This issue of California Schools is devoted to exploring a topic that has existed in some form since the creation of the public school system in America—the “achievement gap” between white and minority students and children from affluent homes and poor children from all ethnic backgrounds.

Editor’s note: Pomp, circumstance and the hokey pokey

Our features this spring take a topical look at some of the most pressing issues facing school governance teams.


Christopher Maricle has worked with school district and county office of education boards on school governance matters since 2006.

Class act: At-a-glance system key to student improvement in Clovis

Clovis Unified School District’s Visual Data Tracking System won a 2012 Golden Bell Award.

Class act: Sing-a-long classes get kids and parents ready for school

La Habra City School District's Music & Movement program won a 2012 Golden Bell Award.

CSBA at Issue: School-based warning signs can help keep kids from dropping out

The need to improve the educational outcomes of students in California has never been so critical.