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Torlakson unveils California’s ‘Great Schools’ plan, version 2.0

Craig Clough | July 24, 2015

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Tom Torlakson

Tom Torlakson

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson came to the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce today to announce his latest action plan for California’s education system.

The five-year plan is a continuation of his 2011 effort, called A Blueprint for Great Schools, which has been updated and rebranded as A Blueprint for Great Schools Version 2.0.

The new plan includes outlines of the state’s ambitions for better teacher recruitment and training, a new school accountability system and continued incorporation of Common Core Standards.

“Blueprint 2.0 is the next stage of a rocket that is propelling California into a bright future in which every child receives a world-class education,” he said in a released statement. “I look forward to implementing these recommendations, which will help us better prepare students for college and careers in the 21st century.”

The plan was developed by a team comprised of 29 education leaders and experts, including co-chair Martha Infante, a teacher at the Los Angeles Academy Middle School.

Torlakson thanked the team for its “hard work, leadership, and thoughtfulness,” adding, “We have made great progress in recent years, but much more needs to be done to ensure all California children receive the education they deserve. Blueprint 2.0 provides a road map for the next phase of our journey.”

The part of the plan that will receive a lot of attention will be development of a new accountability system, a persistent hot-button and controversial issue in California. The state has no current system as it transitions to the new Common Core standards.

The Blueprint plan calls for the formation of a committee to formulate a new system and would need to be approved by state lawmakers. The committee will be co-chaired by two union leaders — California Teachers Association President Eric Heins and Association of California School Administrators Director Wes Smith, Torlakson told the Los Angeles Daily News.

“We’ll have a solid recommendation to [lawmakers] as to what a new, multi-dimensional system for school success should be,” Torlakson told the Daily News.

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