Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education
Achievement of Students
Providing all students with not only access to a public education but to also to the components of education that are most closely associated with quality is just the first step. It is also important that the State, its education providers, and parents monitor the progress of students to ensure that education resources are being used effectively to provide all students with a solid foundation for learning. The foregoing recommendations articulate the importance of being attentive to the achievement of students, how that achievement varies in relationship to the opportunities to learn that different students are provided, and how teachers and faculty can improve their ability to promote student success. The State has a responsibility for assessing the effectiveness of its education system, both to evaluate its overall effectiveness in helping students meet or exceed state learning expectations and to determine where additional capacity is required by education institutions. In addition, education providers must be engaged in the following activities:
- Assessment of physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of young children by early childcare providers to identify learning disabilities and design appropriate responses early in a child's life.
- Continuous assessment of student learning by teachers and faculty to determine the extent to which students are mastering what is being taught and as a basis for referring students to appropriate learning support or accelerated learning opportunities, assessment for learning disabilities, or adaptation of instruction to better respond to the learning styles of students.
- Continuous dialogue between and among teachers and faculty to ensure that curricula are aligned throughout the education continuum and that successful student achievement at one educational level prepares students for success at the next education level.
- Aggressive efforts to blur the distinction between what have been historically known as vocational courses and those referred to as college preparatory, by ensuring that solid academic content is contained in vocational courses and that contextual application of knowledge is infused in college preparatory courses.
- Broadening the range of skills and knowledge expected of teachers and faculty, by supporting professional development activities and providing centralized information on new knowledge and practice that have a positive impact on student achievement.
Californians believe in quality education. Providing a qualified teacher in every classroom, safe and well-equipped schools, and up-to-date supplies and materials is of only marginal value if it does not contribute to student achievement. These resources must be used effectively to make a difference in the lives of students. Education providers should not wait for some state assessment to determine if students are being well served; they should be monitoring student achievement on a frequent, if not daily, basis. This Master Plan seeks to provide an impetus to statewide attention to the needs and achievement of students.