California Education Dialogue

A public policy dialogue produced by Information Renaissance
with support from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation,
IBM Corporation and Intel Corporation



About Dialogues

Briefing Book

Discussion Archive


Why is the Master Plan for Education being re-drafted now?

  • Enrollment growth trends require the state to plan now for dramatic and continued growth.

  • The fastest growing parts of California's population are those that the states public education system has often done the worst job of serving. The future of this state is dependent on reversing this trend as soon as possible.

  • There have been too many consecutive years of ad hoc, disjointed efforts - including major reforms - to improve only parts of the education system at any given time.

  • Increasingly diverse needs of postsecondary students (English language learners, adult re-entry students, part-time students, etc.) demand a diverse education system now more than ever.

  • Education experts and the lawmakers have recently determined that a unified approach to educational improvement would likely yield more positive long-term results than the continued separation of K-12 and postsecondary education.

  • Recent focus on teacher preparation and remediation has demonstrated a pressing need for a more coherent/aligned system.

  • There has been a consistent call from both the education community and the public at large for a long-term vision for education, encompassing the system from birth through graduate school.

  • Heightened awareness of education issues among government, business, and philanthropic organizations is focusing debate on comprehensive improvements.

  • The Master Plan for Education is being developed by legislators who have long-term experience with education policy. Under term limits, many legislators who have gained a comprehensive understanding of how California's educational system has evolved over time and who have the ability to effectively use policy tools to effect change, will soon be leaving office.

  • There have been decades of increasing conflict among K-12 governance entities.

  • Current legislation calls for the original Master Plan, which addresses only higher education, to be reviewed every 10 years. The last review was completed in 1989.