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Pursuing Coherence, Combatting Fragmentation

**Coherence Lab Fellowship. (2018). Addressing fragmentation in public education: The Coherence Lab Fellowship.

Educators have experienced first-hand how reform initiatives come from the state to the school without communication about how different initiatives fit together. Without the communication and support to bring different reforms together, many educators take on a “this too shall pass” attitude, and many promising initiatives fail to realize their potential. The authors set out to understand why the problem of fragmentation exists and persists by looking at available research and conducting interviews with parents, teachers, principals, and state educational agency (SEA) and local educational agency (LEA) leaders. Among the findings were the following: a) SEAs and LEAs often lack the organizational capabilities for effective cross-agency integration and collaboration, resulting in the disconnected design and rollout of policy initiatives and programs; b) Very few states and districts are organized to engage practitioners authentically and with effective motivational strategies; and c) SEA and LEA leaders need to create opportunities for professional and social networks to flourish and generate appropriate and useful pedagogical knowledge to support integration.

California Department of Education. (2022). Transforming schools: Superintendent’s initiatives.

For your reference, this webpage includes information and resources about California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond’s seven initiatives and priorities for transforming California’s K-12 schools: community schools, professional learning, mental health support, universal pre-kindergarten, universal meals, antibias education, and expanded learning programs. The page also lists three other areas of priorities: black student achievement task force, literacy task force, and closing the digital divide. The website states that these programs should be integrated among each other to best support students and their families but offers no guidance or language on how to do so.

School Services of California, Inc. (2023). New laws for 2023. Available on Dropbox.

This five-page document lists 28 bills signed by Governor Gavin Newsom that will affect local education agencies as of January 1, 2023 and 11 bills that do not take effect until a later date. The areas of focus of these various bills include College and Career Access Pathways, English Learners, homeless students, firearms, the California Family Rights Act, Juneteenth, facilities, teleconferences, and COVID-19 testing, among others. The document does not address integration with existing initiatives and reform efforts.

**This document is a priority reading.