Mission Statement of the CSU Presidents' Group
on Teacher Preparation and K-18 Education

We believe Californiašs future is wedded to the quality of education it provides to its citizens. Our economic prosperity is contingent upon a well trained and knowledgeable work force. Our ability to respond in a thoughtful and productive manner to change---whether it be to the revolutionary developments in information technology or the dramatic growth in cultural and linguistic diversity throughout California---depends to no small degree on our schools' ability to provide a dynamic curriculum, offer inspirational teaching, and engage in continuous renewal. Although this responsibility rests with all segments of our educational system---from pre-school to post-baccalaureate---the challenges confronting our elementary and secondary schools are particularly compelling given the large number of students and the tremendous range of student backgrounds and interests.

It is our conviction that the strengthening of K-12 education is of critical importance and must be a key strategic priority of the California State University. A strong public school system is not only of vital importance to our statešs economy but will insure that the California State University can focus its resources on appropriate college level instruction, scholarly and creative activity, and service. We believe that the central mission of CSUšs relationship to K-12 schools ought to be to improve the quality of preparation programs for school site personnel and to insure that the scholarly, pedagogical, and technological expertise of the CSU is available to the schools on an ongoing basis.

In the pursuit of these goals, the CSU's initial focus will be on internal efforts to improve our own school site personnel preparation programs and their relationship to K-12 education. The ultimate objective, however, is to see that these reform efforts influence K-12 and postsecondary institutions, thus helping to transform educational practices and to affect state education policy.

The following principles will guide our work in strengthening education programs for teachers and other education professionals:
  1. The education of teachers is a university-wide responsibility and is of such critical priority that it will influence key decisions regarding faculty recruitment, promotion, tenure, compensation, and workloads. Because prospective teachers are most influenced by the quality of teaching they encounter as students, all university faculty need to demonstrate effective instructional practices and serve as good teaching role models.

  2. Students contemplating teaching careers will have opportunities in their undergraduate years to participate in academic majors and other university courses which integrate subject matter and teacher education course work and provide multiple site-based clinical learning opportunities. Such approaches will provide better opportunities to identify high potential students, recruit exemplary candidates for the teaching profession, and maximize the all-university nature of teacher education and the creation of an integrated five-year approach.

  3. CSU Schools of Education will embody the principles of good professional practice by providing extensive clinical experiences and establishing standards to define the characteristics of a well prepared teacher educated anywhere within the CSU system. In order to complete successfully a CSU preparation program, teacher candidates will be individually assessed based on these established standards, which include competencies such as knowledge in content areas and appropriate instructional planning and presentation skills.

  4. Schools of Education, as well as other schools and departments within the CSU, will develop and maintain partnerships with K-12 schools to facilitate continuous renewal of schools and universities alike. Regular faculty exchanges and other ongoing joint university/school activities will help achieve the simultaneous co-reform of teacher education and of K-12 schools.

  5. Regular consultation and collaboration with leaders in the K-12 community is an important all-university responsibility throughout the CSU. In addition, presidential engagement and action will be a high priority regarding recommendations made by groups working to improve education in the state such as the California Education Round Table, the CSU Remedial Education Task Force, the University of California Outreach Task Force, and the SB 1422 Advisory Committee.

  6. All CSU Presidents, as campus leaders, have a responsibility to promote the principles articulated above in their personnel practices, academic planning, budgeting, and public pronouncements. Indeed, for this effort to succeed, leaders throughout the CSU, including the Chancellor, the Board of Trustees, the Presidents, the Academic Vice Presidents, the Academic Deans, and the Academic Senates must also assume this responsibility.

Content Contact:
Candy Friedly
Office Manager
Institute for Education Reform
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6018
tel 916.278.4600
fax 916.278.5014
Technical Contact:

Last Updated: June 26, 1996

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