Chancellor's Recent Speeches

California County Superintendents of Schools
Oxnard, CA
10/15/01

Thank you for that warm welcome. I appreciate the opportunity to talk about the work we are doing together and what we can do in the future for our students.

I can say one thing for sure about our educational system: We face a far different environment today than we did just over a month ago.

The world changed forever on September 11.

This new world is filled with uncertainty: We don't know how different it will look a year from now or even a month from now. Look how much changed in the past month.

But one thing is certain: Our jobs will be more important than ever. That's because education will be a critical part of our society's ability to adjust to this new world. We'll need to help students understand more about Eastern cultures, religions, and tolerance. We'll also need to talk more about safety at a time when our country faces many threats.

I see us all as partners in the education of California's students. And I look forward to working with you on meeting the needs of those students in these difficult times and the uncertain future. Our collaboration is essential to our success.

Having said that much, I wanted to bring you up to date on a few of our projects.

Teacher Education Evaluation

First - An update on our teacher education programs:

As you may know, the CSU prepares about 60 percent of California's teachers and about half of its administrators. But quality is our primary goal.

We know that teacher quality is the most significant factor in student achievement - we've seen the research. That's why we decided to do a thorough evaluation of the quality of our teacher education programs - the first systemwide evaluation in the country.

We knew that we would find areas that needed improvement. In fact, we looked for them. The whole idea was to ensure that our programs are of the highest possible quality.

Overall, many CSU graduates are well prepared to be teachers. Some others are not as well prepared as we want them to be. Interestingly, principals and administrators gave our graduates better marks than the graduates did about themselves.

A few more conclusions:

  • We have been generally successful in preparing K-8 teachers for reading and math instruction. But we will need to make sure that all of our graduates can teach these subjects successfully.


  • We have given much less attention to science, history, and social science than to English and math in K-8. We'll need to spend more time on those subjects.


  • Our graduates who teach grades 7-12 are extremely well prepared to teach in subject areas. But we will need to give them more assistance in helping students meet state standards.

In general, the CSU appears to prepare teachers who are well or adequately prepared for the rigors of teaching. We will continue to look for more areas of improvement.

Other Efforts - Professional Development

Along with improving teacher preparation, we are working on several other projects to assist and partner with K-12. For instance, in professional development:

  • We collaborated with 232 local school districts and county offices of education to provide professional development in technology to 5,000 educators.


  • We collaborated with the UC and other institutions to bring the California Subject Matter Projects to more than 56,000 California teachers.


  • The CSU/UC professional development institutes have assisted 80,000 teachers over the last two summers in teaching skills for reading, mathematics, technology, and other subjects.

Other Efforts - CSU/ACSA Partnership

We are also looking at administrative preparation - especially the need for more and better-prepared school principals.

The CSU and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) are collaborating on a proposal to initiate a partnership program in this area. This proposal would link ACSA, districts, and universities to provide more relevant Tier II preparation programs.

We could also meet the goals of AB 75 through this type of partnering.

We hope that by working at the district, county, and state levels, we can serve all schools: large and small, urban and rural. The group will meet next on Oct. 30.

Other Efforts - Preparing School Leaders

Also, I have been working with former New York City Schools Chancellor Rudy Crew and the Stupski Foundation, Dave Gordon, and others on an experimental alternative program for future school leaders.

This group is designing a program that is based on the new California Professional Standards for School Leadership, as well as five unique standards. The five standards are:

-- Supervision and Evaluation of Staff
-- Using Evidence and Data to Improve Instruction
-- Making Decisions and Managing Change
-- Allocating Resources Appropriately
-- Communicating Effectively

The partnership participants are:

-- West Contra Costa School District, with CSU Hayward
-- San Diego Unified School District, with San Diego State
-- Long Beach Unified School District, with Cal State Long Beach
-- Elk Grove Unified School District, with CSU Sacramento
-- Clovis Unified School District, with CSU Fresno

We will be writing a series of reports on this pilot project, analyzing its success and looking at implications for future projects.

Other Efforts - Testing Alignment

One other project I wanted to call to your attention is our effort to align the CSU placement tests with the new California Standards Tests that are under development.

If we can agree with policymakers to have the 11th grade standards tests cover the right material in English and mathematics, California could offer one test for 11th grade achievement and college placement.

  • High schools would benefit because they would be able to identify students' weaknesses in the 11th grade and then work on them in the 12th grade. This could be a part of a larger effort to make 12th grade more meaningful. In fact, a commission that I serve on, the National Commission on the High School Senior Year, just released a report calling for more attention to academics in the 12th grade.


  • The CSU would benefit because students would be better prepared by the time they got to us and we would be able to spend more time on college-level, rather than remedial education.


  • Students would benefit because they could focus on one test with direct and meaningful consequences for the future.

Of course, we're still in the discussion stage with statewide education officials. We're trying to iron out a few details, like including a writing portion in the test. But if we can reach agreement, we could have a pilot version as early as spring.

Education Doctorate

Last, but not least, I want to call your attention to the CSU's effort to offer an education doctorate.

I know that you know all about the need for more well-prepared educational leaders. However, our state's existing applied doctoral programs in education have not produced the number of graduates that California needs.

The CSU is seeking the authorization to offer this critical degree. We believe that our system can offer three key advantages: access, affordability, and expertise.

ACCESS

  • Only 21 percent of Californians live within 10 miles of a UC campus, compared to 56 percent who are as close to a CSU campus.


  • The CSU offers schedules, times, and formats that meet student needs - including nights, weekends, and part-time schedules.


  • The CSU attracts, retains, and graduates students from underrepresented groups. We are a "majority-minority" institution.

AFFORDABILITY

  • Tuition and fees for graduate study at CSU campuses are as little as 11 percent of the cost at an independent university.
  • Tuition and fees for graduate study at CSU campuses are less than half the cost of graduate study at the UC.
  • Study at the CSU does not require a student to leave his or her job.

EXPERTISE

  • The CSU has an extensive network of collaborations and partnerships with K-12 administrators and teachers.
  • We have the faculty, experience, and practitioner-focused models in place to offer an applied doctorate in education.
  • Our campuses would collaborate in creating high-quality programs.

We have a bill, SB 713, which will go to the Senate Education Committee in January. We have earned a great deal of support from K-12 and community college individuals and organizations who understand the important need for this degree.

I especially appreciate the support of those county superintendents who have formally endorsed SB 713:

John Boyd, Sutter County
Rudy Castruita, San Diego
Peter Mehas, Fresno
Martin Peterson, Stanislaus
Dan White, Tuolumne

Thank you very much. I would like to ask all of you, individually and as an organization, to help us in this effort.

We consider California's K-12 educators to be our partners in this effort. If we are authorized to offer this degree, we will be consulting with you about the details of the program and its implementation, and for more specifics about your local needs.

That wraps up my update on the CSU. Again, I'd like to thank you for including our university system in your dialogue. I would be glad to hear your feedback or take any questions that you might have.


Back to speeches