Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education
Access to Quality Education
The State should consolidate and expand funding for all infant and toddler services and enhance developmental screening in the earliest years of life.
The path to school readiness begins long before entry into preschool or kindergarten classes. The first three years of life can have a profound effect on children's ability to learn and on the physical, social, and emotional development that underlie achievement. Parents are the first teachers their children will experience, and some parents may benefit from assistance in meeting this responsibility effectively. Because low-income families are least able to provide the health care and enriching experiences supported by research and called for in this Master Plan, the State should ensure that during the phase-in of these services all state-supported health care and child care services give priority to low-income families residing in communities served by schools ranked in the bottom three deciles of the Academic Performance Index (API). Incentives should be provided to encourage collaboration among healthcare providers, early childcare providers, and community agencies to enable a collective responsiveness in these communities to the five components of school readiness adopted by the National Education Goals Panel:
- Health and physical development. Children who are born with the benefit of prenatal care, and who have good nutrition, health monitoring, and early intervention, perform better in school.
- Emotional well-being and social competence. Children who have secure relationships with family members and peers can become self-confident learners.
- Approaches towards learning. Children's attitudes toward learning, their ways of approaching new tasks, and their skills all affect school success.
- Communicative skills. Children with rich learning experiences have the tools to interact with other people and to present their thoughts, feelings, and experiences effectively.
- Cognition and general knowledge. Children who have the opportunity to explore and learn from their surroundings can construct knowledge of patterns and relationships, and discover ways to solve problems.
The State should support the effective coordination of health and social services delivery for all children, beginning with services that meet young children's developmental needs, at sites that are conveniently accessible to families.
Many factors not strictly educational in nature contribute to a child's readiness to enter and ability to succeed in school. These factors are primarily related to health, nutrition, and family support. Although many public and private providers offer essential services, many new parents, child care providers, and families have difficulty locating and taking advantage of these services. Californians can benefit from promoting access to these services. A decade of experience with the Healthy Start sites in California has shown that school-age children's outcomes improve when families have access to multiple services at a single site linked to the school. These outcomes include significantly increased math and reading scores for students most in need, decreased family violence, improved student health, improved living conditions, and decreased drug use, among others.
It is therefore in the interest of schools and other educational settings where children are located for much of the day to serve as sites for the delivery or coordination of essential non-education services, but schools must not be expected to be the deliverer of a much-expanded array of noneducational services. Therefore, partnerships should be actively promoted to bring community-based public and private service providers - including 'Proposition 10' School Readiness Initiative sites, Healthy Start sites, family resource centers, and child development centers - together to deliver a comprehensive array of health and social support services to children of all ages. To further this objective, we recommend:
The State should provide funding to establish neighborhood-based School Readiness Centers to give families access to essential services to meet young children's developmental needs.
To the greatest extent possible, schools should make available facilities where students and their families may access essential services from community health and social service providers.
For the two years prior to kindergarten entry, the State should provide voluntary access to formal preschool programs that offer group experiences and developmentally appropriate curricula.
Voluntary preschool beginning at age three has been demonstrated to have a clear link to children's readiness for, and long-term success in, school. California should also promote 'ready schools' by having preschool programs collaborate with elementary schools in developing individualized transition plans to smooth the movement of students from preschool to kindergarten. Formal preschools provide safe environments for young children and contribute to their social and physical development. In 1988, California's School Readiness Task Force recommended voluntary full-day preschool programs and noted that while quality programs do exist in the state, resources to support these programs are limited. Consequently, "far too many California families have few choices, or no choice, in gaining access to high-quality developmental programs for their preschool children."  Research indicates that provision of formal preschool would also offer California an opportunity to prepare children for active participation in a global society by introducing them to a second language. Scientists have shown that young children are biologically primed for language development. Early childhood settings could foster dual language learning, helping all children establish the foundation to become bilingual and bi-literate - an addition to California's current content standards that we recommend be developed.
The law should be changed to require full-schoolday kindergarten for all children, and preschool guidelines and kindergarten standards, curricula, and services should be aligned.
Data from the National Center on Educational Statistics demonstrate that, during the kindergarten year, children gain social and emotional competencies that foster achievement as they move through school and that they make measurable gains in specific reading and mathematics knowledge and skills. Moreover, children who attend full-schoolday rather than half-day kindergarten do better academically and socially during their years in the primary grades. For these reasons, attendance in kindergarten should be made mandatory for all children, with the understanding that private and home-study kindergarten are appropriate alternatives to state-operated and classroom-based kindergarten programs.
Because preschools and kindergarten have been independent operations in California, their guidelines and standards have not been aligned. Preschool guidelines stress developmentally appropriate activities to advance physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. By contrast, kindergarten standards emphasize narrower academic objectives; but kindergarten should also be developmentally appropriate. California needs a single, coordinated set of program standards for all publicly funded programs aimed at promoting school readiness for all children. These standards must recognize the developmental continuum that stretches from the early years to the primary grades and facilitate successful transition from one level of schooling to another. We therefore recommend the following:
The State should provide for the phasing in of full-schoolday kindergarten, beginning immediately for communities served by schools that currently have API scores in the lower three deciles and expanding annually until all of California's children have a full-schoolday kindergarten experience.
Even when California is able to ensure that all young children have access to enriching preschool experiences, the first three years of elementary school will remain particularly important years of young learners' formal educational experience. During these years, learning is remarkably rapid, and children move from pre-operational to operational intelligence and begin to think abstractly. In the primary school years, children also build relationships with key adults - parents and teachers - and have their first experiences of being evaluated on a comparative basis with other children.
To ensure the benefits of efforts to promote readiness to learn in all young children are not lost upon enrollment in public schools, it is important to create 'ready schools' as well as ready children. The National Education Goals Panel developed and adopted ten attributes of ready schools that promote children's readiness for learning. Including these ten attributes, ready schools should:
- Smooth the transition between home and school;
- Strive for continuity between early care and education programs and elementary schools;
- Help children learn and make sense of their complex and exciting world;
- Are committed to the success of every child;
- Encourage parental participation in the learning and development of their children;
- Are committed to the success of every teacher and every adult who interacts with children during the school day;
- Introduce or expand approaches that have been shown to raise achievement;
- Are learning organizations that alter practices and programs if they do not benefit children;
- Serve children in communities;
- Take responsibility for results; and
- Have strong leadership.
Schools should establish and maintain explicit compacts for active and meaningful partnerships that make parents and parent groups full partners in the education of their children. Parents should seek to assist school personnel by preparing their children for continued formal and informal learning, and by providing home support designed to overcome barriers to children's learning.
Parents are the first teachers of their children. They have a responsibility to attend to the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development of their children. The manner in which they carry out these responsibilities goes a long way toward determining the extent to which their child will develop their natural curiosity for learning as the grow and come to understand the world. Parents who are able and willing to invest the time to ensure that their children's health needs are met, that they are properly nourished, that developmental delays are identified early and responded to, that they are exposed to other children and experiences in their environment, and that they receive opportunities to interact with other adults, produce children who view learning as both natural and fun. Developing such a disposition for learning within children readies them for the experiences they will encounter upon enrollment in formal schooling. When they are able to, parents should seek to continue their activeinvolvement in these children's learning by working closely with school personnel to build partnerships that continues to respect and promote the achievement of their children.
Parents create the early conditions that ready students for learning and should be actively enlisted to collaborate with schools to continue the emphasis on learning. This collaboration must be more than a specific, add-on school activity and must be supported with the provision of key school performance, career, and postsecondary education information to assist parents in making informed decisions. Schools and early childhood education sites should regularly communicate with parents about, and engage them in fostering, the progress of their children in meeting learning expectations and course requirements for admission to postsecondary education institutions.
Low levels of parental involvement and participation should be understood as the result of many causes, including the need for parents to work during the hours that schools are open, cultural unfamiliarity with the school system, language barriers, and even discrimination on the part of school personnel. Unfortunately, many parents do not have the skills or knowledge required to be the best advocates for their children's education. Parents have the primary responsibility for the success of their children, and schools have a responsibility to facilitate parental involvement. The schools' role, in supporting parental responsibility, is to provide open access, and information that is accessible both in language that parents can understand and in presentations that are welcoming. This role includes communicating with parents in their home language and providing translation services when necessary to facilitate parental involvement.
Too often parents receive mixed messages from public schools: they are urged to visit schools at any time, but receive a cool, if not hostile, reception when they question the behavior and/or decisions of teachers. Schools and early education providers must be diligent to nurture a culture that welcomes parents as partners in the education process and to offer guidance on ways in which parents can be of greatest assistance to teachers and to their children in promoting student achievement. This goal may require provision of learning opportunities for parents, particularly for parents of students who are English language learners or parents who have not had pleasant school experiences themselves. Additionally, it will require schools to charge specific staff members with responsibility for fostering parental involvement.
Parents also must be vigilant against sending mixed messages to school personnel and to their children. Parents should seek to understand the facts of a situation before taking a position for or against their children in disputes with school personnel and must also resist the temptation to communicate to their children the value that sports, work, and sibling care are more important than academic achievement. At all levels, including the postsecondary level, parents can help students understand that they can discover knowledge on their own and develop a passion for learning. Such an understanding prepares students to be active rather than passive participants in their own learning, and requires a willingness by parents to actively work with their children, particularly during the first few years of their children's enrollment in elementary schools.
Access To A Qualified And Inspiring Teacher In The Classroom
Research shows that teachers are the single most important school-based factor that affects student learning. Students who have access to highly qualified teachers achieve at a higher rate, regardless of other factors. Indeed, inconsistencies in the quality of teaching produce striking differences in student achievement throughout the state. Therefore, to meet its commitment to providing a high-quality education, the State must be committed to ensuring that every student has the opportunity to learn from a qualified and inspiring teacher.
Teacher quality is not solely determined by credentials or degrees, and we should think of quality as a characteristic that evolves throughout a teacher's career, rather than as a static achievement. Teacher quality is an attribute that grows or diminishes based on the conditions in which a teacher works, personal motivation, and opportunities for growth and development. The following qualities are essential for a teacher to be considered initially qualified, or qualified to begin work in the teaching profession, with the expectation that much more development will take place with experience, mentoring, practice, professional collaboration, and opportunities for focused growth:
- A belief that every child can achieve state-adopted academic content and performance standards with appropriate time, instruction, and intervention;
- Subject-matter knowledge that is broad, deep, and related to the curriculum that every public school teacher is expected to teach;
- Pedagogical knowledge and skill that includes a repertoire of teaching strategies that are responsive to a range of learning needs, including teaching strategies for integrated instruction, which blends academic content across the curriculum with its contextual application;
- Ability to be reflective about his/her own teaching and to improve his/her practice as necessary and appropriate to enhance student learning;
- Ability to examine and assess student work and student data and respond accordingly; and
- Commitment to professional collaboration.
The availability of qualified teachers varies dramatically among schools. Many of California's schools and colleges face serious shortages in the numbers of qualified and experienced teachers they are able to recruit and retain. This problem is especially acute in low-performing schools but also exists at the postsecondary education level. At least 20 percent of the teachers in schools in the lowest decile of the 2000 Academic Performance Index (API) possess only emergency permits,  and in some districts fully half the teachers have emergency permits or waivers rather than credentials appropriate to their assignments. In contrast, more than 90 percent of the teachers in the best performing schools on the 2000 API are fully credentialed for the subjects and levels they teach. The reasons for shortages of qualified teachers in low-performing schools are many and varied, but certainly include the following:
- Lack of a professional culture for teaching and learning;
- Lack of time and space for professional development and collaboration;
- Lack of effective, supportive leadership;
- Dirty, unsafe, and overcrowded campuses and classrooms;
- Lack of support staff; and
- Lack of up-to-date instructional materials and technology.
These same reasons have contributed to severe shortages of qualified teachers within the state's early child care and education sector, as well.
California's many ambitious reforms of recent years have had a significant impact on the professional development needs of California's teaching workforce. The adoption of new academic content standards for K-12 students, a new accountability system for PreK-12 schools, recently enacted laws regarding the delivery of services to English language learners in our student population, and the increasing diversity of California's student population, all affect the skills required of today's teachers and that will be required of those who will ultimately choose to become teachers. Despite these changing needs, little attention is currently given to helping teachers - in preschools, K-12 schools, adult education, and postsecondary education alike - engage in, understand, and apply research and new information about how students learn, and prepare students for the requirements of the modern workplace. Also, few structured opportunities are provided for teachers to learn, discuss, and collaborate on new effective strategies that emerge as California's student population changes. Poor coordination of professional development services remains a serious problem throughout the state.
If thinking is seen as a complex skill or set of skills, it is reasonable to assume that "thinking is something that may be done well or poorly, efficiently or inefficiently, and also to assume that how to do it better is something that one can learn…and can be taught"
-- James R. Davies, 1993
As a state and a nation, we often blame our teachers for their professional shortcomings, for their failures in the classroom. This view is too narrow and may well be misdirected. Colleges and universities must accept a significant portion of the responsibility for the dismal state of student achievement in the public schools today. They have the responsibility for preparing the nation's teachers, and research indicates that two or more years of exposure to poor or unqualified teachers results in low student achievement. Too often schools of education are marginalized and must struggle to attract the resources needed to provide prospective teacher candidates with the best knowledge of their individual fields, the latest theories of pedagogy, strong skills in technology, considerable classroom experience, and faculty mentors. Continued marginalization of schools of education would, have deleterious long-term effects on public education. Postsecondary education institutions must provide the financial, intellectual, and organizational resources schools of education require to be first-rate or they should close them.
Many California schools face serious shortages in the numbers of qualified and experienced teachers they are able to recruit and retain. It is unclear whether the overall shortage is primarily one of producing too few teachers annually to meet the demand for new teachers in California's public schools or simply of producing too few teachers who are willing to accept employment and remain on the job, particularly in 'hard-to-staff' schools. An analysis of data collected for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing by SRI International suggests that, together, the total number of newly credentialed teachers, teachers moving here from other states, and returning teachers are sufficient to meet the estimate of California's annual demand for new teachers. SRI further concludes that no teacher shortage crisis exists in close to half of the state's public schools, except in specialized fields such as mathematics, science, and special education. But the rest of the public schools do struggle with finding and retaining qualified teachers. There are still 42,000 teachers without full credentials who work in public schools.
Well-trained teachers are a national priority for the business community as well, as it has called for "rigorous periodic, public, and independent appraisals" of teacher education programs. The demographics of the state have stimulated a greater emphasis on increasing the number of teachers than on improving the quality of instruction. In addition to this concern, there is also a major shortage of workforce instructors and career counselors throughout the PreK postsecondary education system, as well as too few librarians to support the efforts of teachers and counselors. Many vocational teachers are retiring and others are being lured away from education by higher salaries in the private sector. The loss of vocational teachers also means a reduction in the capacity of schools to meet the needs and interests of substantial numbers of students. Schools can help mitigate this loss by establishing partnerships with businesses that result in attracting back intothe profession former teachers and by providing opportunities for other practicing professionals to teach vocational and academic courses on a part-time basis, a practice that could reinforce integrated teaching by infusing applied teaching and learning and contemporary business practices into course content.
In California's high-performing schools, conditions are nearly the opposite of those found in low-performing schools: there is a professional culture that respects teaching and learning; professional staff are supported in their efforts to continually improve their effectiveness in promoting student learning; school sites are well maintained; school leaders build and maintain effective partnerships with parents, community groups, and local businesses; and instructional materials are current and aligned with California's academic content standards. The challenge for the State, and the operational responsibility of local districts, is to ensure that such conditions exist within every public school in the state. To ensure that every student will be taught by a qualified teacher, California must take the following actions:
The State should require that every teacher be adequately prepared prior to being assigned independent responsibility for a classroom of students.
Minimum qualifications must be maintained for all teachers who enter the classroom. We reaffirm California's current and developing processes for determining teacher preparation standards, education programs based on those standards that lead to the attainment of teacher credentials, and credentials themselves as an indicator of initial qualification to begin work in the teaching profession. This recommendation will ensure that California will meet or exceed the standards for teacher preparation established by federal legislation. The committee is also concerned that teachers acquire an appreciation for and sensitivity to the diversity of California's students, training in strategies to inspire students to embrace learning, and practical strategies for engaging parents as partners in student learning.
Since the 1960's, when internships were first launched, California has embraced multiple routes to the attainment of teacher credential qualifications. The diversity of needs within our state is the basis for allowing multiple approaches to learning to teach, and the committee reaffirms California's commitment to maintaining and enhancing a variety of routes into teaching. We are also committed to the development and implementation of valid and reliable assessments of teachers' preparedness as a precondition to the award of credentials, and recognition that the availability of such assessments may further enhance prospective teachers' access to the profession.
Even with these various entry opportunities available to prospective teachers, however, California has long had a shortage of qualified teachers available and willing to teach in some of its schools, especially those characterized as low-performing. With the advent of class-size reduction in 1997, the demand for teachers grew enormously, greatly outstripping the supply in many places and greatly increasing the variability and inconsistency of instruction to which students are exposed. It is currently estimated that California will need to hire more than 275,000 new teachers over the next ten years. Efforts to secure sufficient numbers of teachers to meet this need must not be used to excuse exposing students to unqualified or unprepared teachers, and the effects of that exposure must be mitigated while the State strives to eliminate it.
Novice teachers would benefit from additional support. A validated or proven instructional system, developed by local districts or the State for at least the elementary school level, would provide new teachers with model lesson plans and teacher guides to improve the consistency of instruction by new teachers. Such a system would include textbooks and instructional materials aligned with the State's academic content standards and curricular frameworks, effective use of human and automated tutoring, diagnostic and formative assessment of student learning, and both remedial and learning enhancement activities linked to assessment results. Support by master teachers would improve the confidence of new teachers in implementing such an instructional system and supplementing it with additional learning materials as they grow professionally, and would reduce the inconsistencies in teaching to which students are exposed.
This additional support would be valuable to teachers working with emergency permits and those enrolled in pre-internship programs, as well as those initially qualified with a full credential. Teachers teaching with emergency permits have not completed a teacher preparation program and are used primarily to fill urgent needs for teachers within schools. Teachers in pre-internship programs have not completed teacher preparation programs either, but receive district and school support to complete their preparation to attain full credentials and become initially qualified to be assigned independent responsibility in the classroom.
California maintains an adult continuing education system that bridges both secondary and postsecondary education. It addresses the needs of young adults who have not fared well in public schools; adult newcomers to California, many of them foreign-born, who want to participate in the education, employment, and civic opportunities of this state and nation; adults with disabilities; and older adults, among others. It is equally important that these groups have access to high-quality teachers and that their educational opportunities be aligned with the rest of California's education system. Although some of the categories of instruction for community college adult education courses and K-12 adult schools are identical, there are different requirements for instructor qualification in the two programs. K-12 adult school instructors must be credentialed by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, while community college adult education instructors must meet minimum qualifications established by the Academic Senate of the California Community Colleges.
Because it is incumbent upon the State to make every effort to ensure that every student is taught by a teacher who is adequately prepared, we further recommend:
The State should immediately replace emergency permit usage with universal participation in the pre-internship program, requiring that every uncredentialed teacher be hired as a pre-intern, utilize a state- or district- developed instructional system, and be supported to complete teacher preparation as soon as is feasible.
The State should set a specific timeline (approximately five years) to phase out the use of the pre-internship program and require that all teachers be qualified before being assigned independent responsibility for a classroom.
On a more aggressive schedule, the State should eliminate the use of the pre-internship program in California's lowest performing schools and require that all teachers be qualified before being assigned independent responsibility for their classrooms in those schools. In addition, the State should seek to eliminate altogether the assignment of credentialed teachers to subjects not included in their credentials. Further, the State should require that all teachers serving in low-performing schools possess valid teaching credentials.
The State should increase the capacity of California's postsecondary education systems to prepare larger and sufficient numbers of qualified educators, especially from among racial, ethnic, and linguistic groups, and the gender group underrepresented in today's teaching workforce, for our public schools and preschools, particularly in regions where there are large numbers of teachers serving on emergency permits or where projected shortages of teachers are greatest.
The State should adopt more rigorous education requirements and certification standards for all individuals who teach young children in center-based settings or who supervise others who care for young children, and should immediately require a minimum program of state-approved professional development for all publicly funded providers of care to young children.
Educators tend to leave positions in which they believe they will be ineffective or unable to inspire students. Quality teachers can be attracted and retained by promoting an atmosphere of positive support for education, providing improved training and professional development, increasing teacher salaries, and installing outstanding facilities - strategy components that have been unevenly applied, or not applied at all, in hard-to-staff schools. Children living in poverty have special needs, and educators need additional resources and skills to succeed educationally with such students. Hard-to-staff schools are concentrated in low-income and urban neighborhoods and enroll students who have been served least well, according to all available measures of student achievement. Special efforts must be made to attract to these schools qualified teachers who have the disposition and passion to persist in challenging environments, and these teachers must receive the support necessary to enable them to improve their effectiveness.
Too often, staff development is delivered either as an add-on to or in lieu of the regular instructional day. Traditionally, staff development activities have consisted largely of workshops or institutes that do not provide the clinically based or collaborative activities that research has indicated are some of the most powerful and effective types of development activities. These programs also do not provide the follow-through focus of continuing coaching, mentoring, and reflection that can make theoretical lessons pertinent to the practical classroom world that teachers face everyday. Viewed in the aggregate, the state's teacher professional development programs have been characterized as "incoherent and disconnected."  Responsibility for coordination of PreK-12 professional personnel development activities should be placed with local school boards and receive support from the Office of the Governor. The Office of the Governor can serve as a centralized mechanism for gathering research and evaluation findings on which professional skills are most closely correlated with effective teaching and learning, and communicating this information to all of California's education providers. This function would enable local districts and schools to assess these best practices against the strengths of their local workforces and to direct use of available professional development resources to increase capacity of district personnel to improve achievement of students enrolled in district schools.
The resources devoted to professional development are insufficient and too stratified by categorical funding streams. More time and increased funding are necessary to thoroughly familiarize teachers and other education professionals with state academic standards and how every student can be assisted to meet or exceed these standards. While the State has provided important new resources for state-operated institutes, it has reduced the amount of time available for local professional development. It is our view that more attention needs to be given to local professional development activities that involve collaboration between experienced and less experienced teachers, as well as with other education professionals. It is also recommended that instructional time for students not be reduced in exchange for improved teacher development. To make progress in these areas, we further recommend:
The State should provide additional resources to attract and retain the finest educators for schools serving high concentrations of students living in poverty.
The State should require teacher preparation, teacher-induction and ongoing professional development programs, validated or proven instructional systems, and institutional activities to feature a focus on teaching children with diverse needs, ethnicities, nationalities, and languages; on teaching children who bring particular challenges to the learning process; and on teaching in urban settings.
The State should provide short-term grant funding to create additional professional development schools that operate as partnerships between institutions of postsecondary education and low-performing schools. These professional development schools should focus on increasing the production of teachers motivated and appropriately prepared to effectively promote achievement of students enrolled in these schools. 
The State should eventually provide ongoing resources for ten days of professional staff development annually at all public schools. These resources should be provided initially for school districts throughout the State with the lowest performing schools, consistent with school improvement plans approved by those districts and with state standards.
The State should provide funding to selected districts to permit linkage of an increase in staff development days with a corresponding increase in instructional days, especially in low-performing schools.
The State should provide grant funding to develop models for embedded professional development at the school-site and district levels.
The State should establish a career ladder for teachers that rewards exceptional teachers for staying in the classroom.
Since teachers have the greatest impact on student learning, it is essential that students continue to benefit from the instructional talents of the most exceptional of qualified teachers. In order to attract individuals to the profession and retain them, teacher salaries should be attractive for both new and experienced teachers; and salary schedules should offer opportunities for increased compensation without departure from the classroom. In addition, we must create a school culture in which teachers assume leadership roles in school decision-making, collaboration occurs on a regular basis, professional development is ongoing, and new teachers are supported. This type of school environment leads to improved instructional practices and student learning. Recent statewide initiatives that support and financially reward National Board certification are now in place in California. But there are very few opportunities for exceptional teachers, even those with National Board certification, to assume leadership roles in the public schools without leaving the classroom. California's investment in the professional development of our teachers should not be lost through incentives and practices that draw our most talented and experienced teachers away from the classroom. The expertise of teachers can make or break a school, and we must find ways of capturing, focusing, and rewarding the expertise of teachers within this most important setting. Additionally, the power of different districts to provide more attractive benefits, as part of their compensation packages, as an inducement for experienced teachers to transfer between school districts, should be curtailed. Accordingly, we further recommend:
The State should provide incentive funding to school districts to create career ladders that reward teachers for demonstrated knowledge, expertise, and effective practice.
The State should promote recognition that becoming and remaining a qualified and effective teacher is, as with mastery of any profession, a long-term, developmental process.
To achieve equity as well as reduced provider charges through the use of collective purchasing power, the State itself should negotiate with statewide employee organizations, and fund the employer share of, uniform non-salary employment benefits for all local school employees.
The State should take action to increase the capability of California colleges and universities to attract and hire academically qualified teachers and faculty members who also have knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning, and to develop teachers with appropriate expertise to staff a comprehensive school curriculum.
California colleges and universities have a core responsibility to provide comprehensive, high-quality educational experiences that optimize student learning. Essential to meeting this responsibility is faculty knowledge and understanding of instructional and learning processes, design and development of curriculum, assessment of learning, and identification of student needs. Further, faculty knowledge of and comfort with teaching and learning in diverse classrooms and appropriate integration of technology into teaching and curriculum, including into career technical education, are critically important to the achievement of all students. Unfortunately, few doctoral programs (a common requirement for tenured faculty appointments in the California State University and University of California systems) incorporate preparation in these areas into their core curricula.
The committee recognizes that postsecondary institutions have traditionally considered possession of a doctorate or master's degree in the relevant discipline as an initial requirement for entering the faculty ranks, and urges that the skill of teaching also be embraced as an expectation for initial qualification. In career and technical fields, postsecondary education institutions should consider professional experience as a valid qualification in lieu of master's or doctoral degree attainment. Qualifying to be a teacher-scholar should be understood as an ongoing process of professional development and experience. Faculty knowledge, skills, and attitudes must be fully engaged to help institutions find creative and feasible solutions to the challenges facing education specifically, and society generally.
Over the next ten years, California will need to hire about 35,000 faculty in all postsecondary education sectors, a number equal to more than half of the current workforce. It must be noted that the California State University and the University of California systems can potentially make substantial progress toward meeting this need by hiring a greater proportion of their new faculty from among graduates of California institutions. With our need for a tremendous number of new teachers and faculty there is also an unprecedented opportunity to influence the quality of teaching and learning in California for the next several decades.
It is important to note that postsecondary education faculty are charged with the responsibility for preparing teachers for employment in California's schools, preschool through adult school. Faculty within schools of education are essential to state efforts to ensure that all teachers and faculty have not only academic expertise in at least their teaching subject areas but also a broad capacity to adjust teaching strategies in response to different learner needs. Each academic and career technical education department has a responsibility to ensure that its graduates have mastered knowledge and competencies required by its faculty, and to inspire students to continue learning more about its discipline. It is the special responsibility of education faculty to ensure that graduates know how to communicate and help others learn what they have mastered. Of the 35,000 new faculty estimated to be needed over the next ten years, a substantial number will be needed in schools of education, both to replace retiring faculty and to expand capacity. Care in the selection of these faculty will further enhance our state capacity to improve both teacher practice and learning outcomes.
To make sure that this opportunity to ensure access to qualified faculty for Californians pursuing postsecondary education is not lost, we further recommend:
The State should expand programs to attract talented individuals, especially from underrepresented groups, into PreK-12 teaching and postsecondary faculty careers, through forgivable loans and teaching fellowships.
California colleges and universities should strive to ensure that their schools of education have the resources needed to produce a substantial proportion of the teachers and faculty needed to staff our preschools, K-12 and adult schools, colleges, and universities, over the next decade and beyond.
The State should increase doctoral and master's degree production in areas of high need, drawing upon the combined resources of the California State University and University of California systems, as well as the independent sector of postsecondary education.
California colleges and universities should develop an infrastructure to support the ongoing professional development of faculty, in order to improve the quality of teaching and promote student learning. The components of this infrastructure should include:
- integration of teaching and learning curricula into master's and doctoral degree programs;
- inclusion of teaching expertise and experience criteria, when hiring decisions are made;
- continuous development support throughout faculty careers, including focused support for each newly appointed faculty member during his or her first year;
- development of an organizational structure that supports and rewards teaching excellence and the scholarship of teaching throughout a faculty member's career;
- sustained efforts to make teaching and the scholarship of teaching more highly valued aspects of faculty culture;
- expansion and dissemination of the knowledge base about college teaching and learning, including establishment of a statewide center on postsecondary teaching and learning; and
- preparation of experts in the field of teaching and learning.
The Legislature should direct the California Community Colleges, California State University, and the University of California to adopt policies, within one year of being directed to do so, regarding the appropriate balance of temporary and permanent/tenure-track faculty for their respective systems, and to provide the rationale for the policies adopted.
Traditionally, universities have defined educational quality, in part, as the average student/faculty ratio - a proxy for the ability of faculty to focus on the learning needs of students. Table 3, following, provides evidence, by this definition, that California is moving in an undesirable direction within the California State University. These data also reveal a growth in the percentage of part-time lecturers employed by the California State University since the 198990 academic year, a trend that is even more evident in the community colleges and that prompts the following recommendation.
Temporary faculty members offer myriad benefits to colleges and universities. They often bring real-life experiences and practical skills to their interaction with students, and add to the diversity of faculty in many ways. At the same time, they allow more flexibility in the use of instructional resources and work at a lower cost to institutions than tenure-track, permanent faculty. The temporary nature of their assignments inherently provides colleges and universities with significant flexibility to modify educational offerings in timely response to the identification of state and local needs. A growing concern about temporary faculty, however, is related to how their increasing numbers affect the ability of institutions to carry out the full range of activities necessary to fulfilling their respective missions. Temporary faculty members usually do not participate in curriculum review and development; personnel hiring, promotion, and tenure review; student admissions, major advisement, and retention initiatives; and other important faculty responsibilities. These activities constitute an essential part of the academic and student affairs of a campus. Temporary faculty do not participate in these activities because they are prohibited from doing so by collective bargaining contracts or faculty senate policies, not necessarily because they are unqualified.
CSU Regular Rank and Lecturer Faculty/Student Ratios: 1990 to 2001
|Student FTE||Regular Fac. FTE||Lecturers FTE||Student/All Fac. Ratio||Student/Reg. Fac. Ratio||Percentage Lecturers|
|Source: George Diehr, "Where Have All the Tenure-Track Faculty Gone?"(2001)|
Although institutional needs for permanent and temporary faculty will change over time, the Legislature and Governor should provide the resources necessary to attain for all sectors of postsecondary education a faculty balance that meets the comprehensive needs of students and the institutions; but they should not prescribe this balance in statute. The State would be well served by continued research to foster a better understanding of the impact temporary faculty have on student achievement and of theconstraints placed on the participation of temporary faculty in other faculty responsibilities. Accordingly, we further recommend:
The California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California systems should report to the Legislature each year the ratios of permanent/tenure-track to temporary faculty employed by their respective systems and how those ratios compare to their respective system-wide policies.
The California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California systems should report to the Legislature the sets of activities reserved for permanent/tenure-track faculty, in their respective system, and their rationales for why temporary faculty cannot be enlisted to assist in carrying out such activities.
The California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California systems should provide adequate pro rata compensation to temporary faculty who agree to perform functions usually restricted to permanent and tenure-track faculty.
The State should strive to maintain compensation schedules that make California competitive in attracting and retaining excellent teachers, faculty, counselors, administrators, classified staff, and other education professionals for its early childhood education settings, public schools, colleges, and universities.
California has historically been successful in attracting talented people to teach in its public schools, largely because of the general public assigns high value to our public schools and because for many years teaching was an attractive profession for women choosing to join the workforce. California has similarly been successful in attracting faculty to its public colleges and universities, in part because of the reputation for quality that has been maintained by to our public postsecondary education institutions, to which the academic reputations of the faculty currently employed by California colleges and universities significantly contribute. In recent years, several factors have contributed to the increased difficulty experienced by California's early childhood education providers, public schools, colleges, and universities in attracting and retaining the needed numbers of teachers, faculty, counselors, administrators, other education professionals, and classified staff. California's population has increased by between 400,000 and 600,000 persons every year since 1950, generating continually increasing demand for education professionals and classified employees to staff our growing public education system. California's decision to reduce class sizes in kindergarten through 3rd grade has created further demand for K-12 teachers. In addition, California's public colleges and universities lost many of their outstanding faculty during the 1990's when faculty members were offered early retirement options as a partial response to difficult financial conditions. Moreover, many others in the current public education workforce are approaching retirement and will soon have to be replaced.
Beyond these factors, the cost of living in some parts of California generates a demand for higher compensation to permit prospective public education employees to contemplate establishing a lifestyle similar to that to which they are accustomed, if they accept employment in a California public school, college, or university. This cost-of-living issue is particularly important if a prospective employee is considering a move from another state or from a less- to a more-urban section of California, where the cost of living is substantially higher. Public schools, colleges, and universities are not alone in their efforts to attract talented people, especially those who have acquired expertise in mathematics and science. Education institutions (both public and private) in other states, the health care profession, and private business are in direct competition with our public education institutions for both current and prospective education personnel. Consequently, California must consider compensation inceases in order to retain the excellent teachers, faculty, counselors, administrators, other education professionals, and classified staff it already has, as well as to remain competitive in attracting new personnel.
In the instance of early childhood education providers, compensation is extremely poor in comparison to that of K-12 teachers, a fact which contributes to high staff turnover and thereby impedes continuity of care for children. Salaries and benefits for providers who have backgrounds that are similar to, and perform functions comparable to, those of their public school colleagues, must be made commensurate to compensation in the K-12 sector, if California is to establish a professional early childhood education sector as part of a coherent system of education.
Our vision for California public education requires not only that all students be taught by qualified teachers or faculty members but that they also have access to other qualified individuals necessary to a successful educational experience, including effective administrators, health care professionals, counselors and advisors, librarians, and learning support staff. These personnel components of quality cannot be provided without a firm commitment by the State to provide competitive compensation schedules and adequate base funding to ensure their presence in every education institution.
Despite the costs associated with increasing compensation for all public education personnel, California must especially find ways to keep teacher and faculty compensation competitive, in order to ensure that every student enrolled in a public school, college, or university is taught by an excellent teacher. Postsecondary education faculty are generally expected to engage in more activities than teaching alone, including research, public service, and supervision and/or mentoring of students and student groups. These supervision and mentoring activities are important to the success and persistence of many students, particularly students from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds. Faculty and other educational professionals engaged in such activities should receive appropriate recognition for their contributions. But we wish to emphasize that it is excellent teaching that is most essential to the education system we envision. We therefore further recommend:
The governing boards of all three public sectors of postsecondary education should direct an examination of faculty promotion, tenure, and review policies and practices, and revise them, as needed, to ensure that teaching excellence is given significant weight in decisions that affect the compensation awarded to faculty.
The boards of trustees of local school districts should review their compensation policies, and revise them as needed, to ensure that continuing professional education for which they grant salary credit is targeted to courses likely to yield clear benefit in terms of either employees' pedagogical, instructional leadership, or management skills, or the depth of their academic subject matter knowledge.
Supervision and mentoring of students and student groups should be given ample consideration in employee performance reviews and be a factor in decisions that affect compensation of teachers, faculty, and other education professionals.
Access To Rigorous Curriculum That Will Prepare All Students For Success
The State must ensure that all students, from preschool through grade 12 and adult education, have access to a curriculum that encompasses the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for productive work, active citizenship, and successful postsecondary education participation. As a part of these curricula, all schools must offer programs and coursework that provide every student an equitable opportunity to qualify for admission to, and success in, any of California's public, independent, or privatepostsecondary institutions, and that simultaneously qualify them for an array of jobs in today's workplace and the continually evolving information economy. Preparation for success in postsecondary education, without need for remediation, requires more than simple completion of a prescribed set of courses. It requires teaching and mastery of specific competencies and skills across the curriculum in a consistent manner in all public schools.
Some students enrolled in public schools choose to go on to postsecondary education immediately after completing their high school education, while others prefer to enroll in additional training or enter the workforce. Many other students fail to complete high school prior to seeking employment. The curricular offerings in high schools should be comprehensive as well as rigorous, affording students a range of choices without foreclosing the option of later decisions to pursue different post-high schooloptions. The curriculum must also be sufficiently comprehensive to meet the needs of adult learners who choose to enroll in adult schools to complete their high school education, or to obtain vocational skills or English literacy that will enable them to become self-sufficient by successfully attaining employment. To ensure this high-quality curriculum for all students we recommend:
The State should set ambitious learning goals and provide all students a challenging and comprehensive PreK-12 curriculum, including preparation for postsecondary education and careers.
The ambitious learning goals we recommend here are represented in the academic content standards the State Board of Education has adopted for each grade level in the areas of mathematics, language arts, science, the social sciences, and the visual and performing arts. These standards form the basis of an aligned system of curriculum, materials, instruction, and assessments for each level of the educational system. This academic content should be taught in all courses included in the school curriculum, both career- and college-preparatory alike. However, the current standards and requirements are not yet a complete expression of what California students should know and be able to do to be successfully prepared for their future lives, as described in the foregoing narrative.
California's standards should also recognize the congruity of academic achievement, workforce preparation, and the knowledge and skills needed for democratic participation in a diverse society. Instructional strategies must be made more integrated in nature, so that students are taught not only academic content but also how that content can be usefully applied in a variety of practical contexts. In addition, education must prepare Californians for participation in the international community. Ours is the nation's most linguistically rich state. At a time when global knowledge, skill, and understanding are at a premium, California's multi-lingualism is an asset that should be developed to a much greater extent. We must recognize our state's widespread multiculturalism and bilingualism and embrace them as 21st century educational and social resources. Accordingly, we recommend:
The State should ensure that early learning gains are continued, by aligning developmentally appropriate guidelines, standards, and curricula for preschool, early childhood education, kindergarten, and the primary grades.
The State should establish a standard, academically rigorous curriculum for every high school student. This curriculum should make available career and technical courses, so that every student can be aware of, and prepared for, a full array of post-high school options. The State should provide the learning support necessary, including resources for career guidance and assistance, to enable students to successfully complete this postsecondary readiness curriculum.
The State should ensure that all schools provide all students with a curriculum and coursework that include the knowledge, skills, and experiences to enable them to attain mastery of oral and written expression in English and that establish a foundation for future mastery of a second language, by the end of elementary school, and attainment of oral proficiency and full literacy in both English and at least one other language, by the end of secondary school.
The California Adult School program and the California Community Colleges should collaborate to strengthen articulation of adult education courses with community college coursework, to enable successful transition of adults from adult school to postsecondary education. Similarly, career technical courses offered by K-12 schools and community colleges should be articulated with postsecondary coursework.
The California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California systems should collaborate to strengthen the programs in community colleges that prepare students to transfer successfully to the California State University or the University of California and to ensure that those courses are acceptable for transfer credit at all campuses of the California State University or the University of California.
The California Community Colleges should enhance their career and technical programs that lead to occupational certificates and occupational associate degrees; all high schools, regional occupation centers and programs, adult schools, and postsecondary education institutions should offer industry skill certifications that prepare students to enter the job market with a set of competencies they will need to succeed; and the California State University and University of California systems should enhance the quality of their programs that prepare students to enter professional careers with the competencies they will need to succeed.
The K-12, regional occupation centers and programs, adult schools, and community college workforce preparation systems should be linked to state job training agencies and employers through one-stop career centers and other venues and through their inclusion in an expanded workforce report card.