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Initiatives & Programs

Learn more about the initiatives and programs sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

A Blueprint For Great Schools
Recognizing that California must plan for the future, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson brought together 59 leaders from across California—teachers, parents, community, labor and business leaders—to share their thinking about education in the state. The resulting report, A Blueprint for Great Schools, provides vision and direction for our education system, including a focus on 21st Century learning, meeting the needs of the whole child, and rebuilding the ranks of California’s teachers with resources and respect.

Appointment vacancies, applications, and organizations represented by the California Department of Education.

Bullying and Hate Motivated Behavior Prevention
Provides resources for parents, administrators, and students on how bullying can be prevented and addressed. Resources include publications, sample policies, and frequently asked questions.

California Education Technology Blueprint
The latest information about planning for education technology use in schools.

California One System Serving the Whole Child
Supporting and scaling up an aligned system of supports serving the whole child.

Career Readiness Initiative 2015
Through his California Career Readiness Initiative, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has directed the California Department of Education to proceed with 21 key objectives to support, sustain, and strengthen Career and Technical Education in the State. The Initiative builds upon goals outlined in the Superintendent’s “A Blueprint for Great Schools.

Civic Education Initiative
A joint effort of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, this Civic Education Initiative kicked off with a Summit on February 28, 2013. The next step is the formation of a California Task Force on Civic Learning and Engagement. This task force will be charged with exploring and elevating the status of civic learning and engagement in California's curriculum, instructional practices, professional development for teachers, student testing, accountability systems, existing infrastructure, and partnerships with the community and business.

Core Reforms Engaging Arts to Educate (CREATE)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has partnered with a broad-based statewide coalition of agencies and organizational partners on an education reform movement, Core Reforms Engaging Arts to Educate (CREATE) CA, that views arts education as an essential part of the solution to the problems facing California schools.

Digital Chalkboard
An online Internet tool for California educator collaboration and resource sharing.

Education Technology Task Force
A volunteer group appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to advise ways to improve and expand the use of technology in California schools.

Educator Excellence Task Force
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has appointed an Educator Excellence Task Force to focus on the Educator Quality element of A Blueprint for Great Schools (released in August 2011) and designed to strengthen California’s teacher corps.

Family Engagement Framework External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF; 2MB)
On April 10, 2012, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled a new publication designed to help school districts engage families and communities in their children's educations.

Financial Literacy
The State Superintendent highlights supplemental resources to help parents, students, and educators ensure that California's next generation of consumers are financially responsible.

International Visitors and Official Delegations
Information for official international delegations of education, policy, and government professionals interested in visiting the Department of Education in Sacramento, California.

National Youth Science Camp
A residential science education program that honors and challenges two graduating high school students from each state. The NYSC is offered at no cost to participants. All educational and recreational programming, as well as meals, lodging, and round-trip air passage on scheduled airlines are provided free of charge to the delegates.

School Financial Emergency
On January 6, 2011, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson declared a state of financial emergency in California’s schools. He launched a department-wide review and urged Californians to come to the aid of schools across the state.

School and Teacher Recognition
Awards honoring exemplary teachers and successful schools for furthering excellence in education.

Schools of the Future Initiative (PDF; 1MB)
This statewide group—including education, design, environmental, financial, labor, and construction leaders—created recommendations to Superintendent Torlakson designed to make it easier for schools to build energy efficiency into every project, remove regulatory barriers, and identify potential funding sources. The team will also make recommendations about the California Department of Education's role in the process, Including identifying best practices and providing technical assistance to California's 1,042 school districts.

STEM Task Force
A volunteer group appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to explore the status of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education in curriculum, instructional practices, professional learning, student testing, existing resources, and community and business partnerships.

Summer Matters Initiative
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson believes summer learning programs play an important role in helping all California children succeed in school and beyond. The goal of this initiative is to achieve one of the goals of the Blueprint for Great Schools: to ensure all California students have access to high quality summer learning opportunities that support year-round learning and well-being.

Team California for Healthy Kids
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has initiated the Team California for Healthy Kids campaign to promote healthy eating and physical activity throughout the day, every day, in schools, before and after school programs, child care programs, and communities. The campaign will focus on making healthy choices the easy choices.

United States Senate Youth Program
Annual scholarship competition administered by the California Department of Education.

Questions:   Executive Office | 916-319-0800
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, February 1, 2017
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