State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell released the following statement in response to the 12th annual report issued Tuesday by The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning: California’s Teaching Force 2010: Key Issues and Trends. The report will be posted on the CFTL Web site at http://www.cftl.org/.
“I am pleased that the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning has delved into some of the most urgent issues facing education today, especially the pressure teachers are under to produce student achievement gains without adequate funding or classroom support. It has been extremely difficult for educators to survive these bleak economic times when thousands of teaching jobs didn’t.
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“Reductions in funding have touched every aspect of education: from teacher morale to enticing new teachers into the classroom to increased class sizes to reductions in subjects. To prepare all students for success in the global economy and to close the achievement gap, we need effective, well-trained teachers in every classroom.
“Unfortunately, as the report points out, the state budget crisis is ratcheting down the pipeline of prospective new teachers as just as we face the need to replace nearly a third of our teaching force anticipated to retire. Also discussed in the report is the dramatic lessening in professional development opportunities for teachers, yet another tragic impact of the budget crisis that will have serious repercussions in our classrooms.
“I applaud The Center for calling for a long-term stable and equitable source of funding for public education and for the restoration of funding for the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System or CALPADS. We need good, reliable data that can be used to evaluate classroom strategies and teacher preparation programs. To do that, however, the Legislature must restore vital funding to maintain progress of the CALPADS system.”
The California Department of Education (CDE) is a state agency with a core purpose of leading and supporting the continuous improvement of student achievement, with a specific focus on closing achievement gaps. For more information, please visit http://www.cde.ca.gov or by mobile device at http://m.cde.ca.gov/. You may also follow Superintendent O’Connell (@SSPIJack) on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/sspijack.