Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education
The California Master Plan for Education
The Legislature should create a joint committee to perform a comprehensive review of this California Master Plan for Education at least every ten years from the date of submission of this report.
Probably one of the most startling and compelling trends of our time is the ever-increasing pace of change. Because of the potential impact that rapid change could have on the success of the implementation of this Master Plan, we further recommend that emerging issues - many of which this committee has identified as presenting potentially major impact on public education, but which, because of their dynamic nature, cannot yet be explored or understood sufficiently for us to reach conclusions or make recommendations - be studied by the Legislature on a more frequent basis than decennially:
In light of the rapidly changing times and emerging conditions we are experiencing, the Legislature should create a joint committee no more than five years from the date of submission of this report, for the purpose of reviewing especially important, emerging issues, including:
- The potential impact of electronically-mediated and distance learning on the effectiveness of teaching and learning, as well as on the variety of learning options from among which Californians might choose to pursue their interests in acquiring new knowledge and new skills;
- The variety of formats in which textbooks and other instructional materials could be available and the possibilities that these formats could offer for assuring that every learner enrolled in a public education institution has access to current information and learning support;
- The findings of research on effective ways to create and sustain small learning communities and diverse learning environments, that may suggest new ways to structure and finance public schools; and
- Future governance styles that might cultivate educational leadership, and collaborative governance arrangements that could improve the effectiveness and seamlessness of California's education system, including an examination of current management practices and collective bargaining in the context of teaching and learning.
The legislative joint committee to be empanelled five years from the adoption of this report, pursuant to the preceding recommendation, should further examine, and when appropriate take action on, the implementation of key recommendations of this Plan to ensure that sufficient progress is being made toward the goals of this Plan. These recommendations include at least the following:
- Elimination of the use of teachers with emergency permits, particularly in low-performing schools;
- Progress in elimination of the use of multi-track year-round school schedules that have fewer calendar days of instruction;
- Development of 'opportunities for teaching and learning' indicators for inclusion in the Student Accountability Report Card and use by the Superintendent of Public Instruction;
- Review of the findings of various studies called for in this Plan, including those of optimal organization for county offices of education and school districts, and the cost of funding essential components of a quality education system; and
- Progress in implementing a comprehensive educational data system.
The Legislative Analyst should, on an annual basis, review the operations of the California Postsecondary Education Commission and the California Education Commission, to determine the extent to which, and the effectiveness with which, they are meeting the functions assigned to them, and should report the findings of that review to the Legislature during the annual state budget process. Within these reviews, the Legislative Analyst should assess the feasibility of merging the California Education Commission and the California Postsecondary Education Commission into one entity with two divisions to better serve the well-being of all California education.
The Legislative Analyst should annually review the foregoing, as well as other, emerging issues to determine their potential impact on successful implementation of this Master Plan and report to the Legislature any issues which appear to warrant further analysis and/or policy action.
This call for interim reviews is also driven by this Plan's focus on student achievement and by its commitment to both equity and accountability in the provision of high quality educational experiences for all students enrolled in California's schools, colleges, and universities. With all Californians supporting these basic principles, we will be able to provide more educational access, quality, and success to more students than ever before - a goal that is uniquely Californian and to which we can all aspire.