There are several approaches to education reform in which the California Collaborative has engaged deeply over a sustained period of time. The topics pages linked below highlight some of these areas of focus. Each page provides a brief description of the topic and the nature of the California Collaborative’s involvement, as well as a compilation of all publications, core meetings, events, and member spotlights associated with that issue.
In 2020, school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the conditions in which students learn and experience schooling. The Collaborative has been actively learning from emerging district strategies, connecting district leaders with one another, and elevating both concerns and promising practices as school systems strive to provide students with high-quality learning environments.
Assessment refers to the process through which educators and other stakeholders monitor student learning progress. The Collaborative often explores the challenges and opportunities associated with assessment practice—from classroom strategies to state policies and systems—through member meetings, publications, and presentations around California.
The Common Core State Standards define the knowledge and skills students must develop during their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The California Collaborative has been on the cutting edge of Common Core adoption and implementation efforts, and has been actively engaged in building the knowledge base and sharing best practices among our members and with districts across the state.
The California Collaborative is part of a growing trend toward cross-district collaboration, in which district leaders leverage the experiences and expertise of their peers to accelerate their own professional growth and to inform improvement in their own local systems. Examples of district networks and partnerships reveal a range of approaches to collaboration and highlight lessons learned from working across system lines.
English learners (ELs) represent a sizeable portion of the state’s student population: nearly one in four California students speaks a language other than English and has yet to demonstrate academic proficiency in English. Several California Collaborative meetings specifically have focused specifically on the resources, instructional strategies, and supports required to meet the academic challenges that ELs face.
The Fresno-Long Beach Learning Partnership is a joint effort of the third and fourth largest districts in California to pursue common goals, measure student outcomes, share professional knowledge, learn from each other, and support each other’s progress. Collaborative staff developed four briefs as part of a four-year documentation effort designed to share lessons about this groundbreaking model for cross-district learning.
California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is a statewide weighted student formula that establishes an equal level of base funding for all students in the state and targets greater amounts of funding to meet the needs of low income students, English learners, and foster youth. LCFF also grants school districts with almost full discretion over the vast majority of state funding. Collaborative members actively contributed to the development and passage of the new funding system, and the California Collaborative continues to identify and share promising practices and early lessons learned under LCFF.
School turnaround involves the quick, dramatic improvement of chronically underperforming schools by removing factors that inhibit school growth and fail to support effective teaching and learning. State and national policy dialogue has increasingly highlighted school turnaround as a top education priority, yet often narrowly locates the causes—and thus the solutions—for persistent low performance at the school level. The Collaborative has actively wrestled with the challenges of school turnaround, and advocated for a more systemic approach that acknowledges and leverages the district role in school improvement.