Tom Torlakson

Torlakson Announces New Online Tools for Educators

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces New Online Tools for Educators SACRAMENTO—Educators across California, from those who work with the state’s youngest learners to those in high school classrooms, can use several free online professional development tools created by the California Department of Education (CDE), State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said today. The CDE is continuing to develop these resources as the state asks its educators to re-emphasize college and career readiness for their students. A series of Professional Learning Modules (PLMs), for example, is designed to help teachers implement the Common Core State Standards. Each of the 13 modules focuses …

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Common Core State Standards Officially in Print Form

SACRAMENTO—With schools beginning the year deeply engaged in the transition to theCommon Core State Standards, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that they are available in print for the first time. CDE Press, the publishing arm of the California Department of Education, is now offering print versions of the California Common Core State Standards: English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects (CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy)and California Common Core State Standards: Mathematics (CA CCSSM). Previously, the documents were available only online. At the same time, Torlakson released a short video explaining in plain language the importance of California’s transition …

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Teacher Trainings Kick Off California’s Common Core Summer

SACRAMENTO—With the state budget setting aside $1.25 billion to implement new standards in California’s public schools, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson kicked off California’s Common Core Summer with a daylong seminar to help teachers instill deeper learning of mathematics in their students. “For teachers, this is California’s Common Core Summer. They’ve just finished their own school year, but they’re already back in class—because they see the opportunity Common Core presents to prepare students for a successful future,” Torlakson said. “They’re setting aside the one-size-fits all curriculum, recycling the `drill and kill’ worksheets, and dumping the multiple choice `bubble …

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State Superintendent Proposes New Statewide Testing System

Common Core Assessments to Focus on Problem Solving and Critical Thinking SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today recommended shifting the focus of standardized testing in California to require students to think critically, solve problems, and show a greater depth of knowledge—key tenants of the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In a report to the Governor and Legislature, Recommendations for Transitioning California to a Future Assessment System, Torlakson made a dozen recommendations that would fundamentally change the state’s student assessment system, replacing the paper-and-pencil based Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program assessments with computerized assessments developed by the Smarter Balanced …

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Torlakson Invites Comment on New Career Technical Standards

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today invited the public to comment on the new Career Technical Education (CTE) Model Curriculum Standards. “I want all students to have the skills they need for demanding careers or the rigors of college after graduating from high school,” said Torlakson. “That’s why it is so important for all Californians have input on these new standards to assure that our students have the best programs to help them succeed and prepare for the future.” A standard is defined as the knowledge, concepts, and skills that students should acquire at each grade level. State …

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10% of California Schools are in Deep Trouble

A recently released report by State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson shows 13 school districts have “negative” certifications.  That means they may not be able to cover their bills through the end of next year. Nearly 2 million students—roughly 30 percent of pupils in California—now attend school in a district facing serious financial jeopardy, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced. “The emergency confronting California’s schools is widening and deepening,” Torlakson said. “As disturbing as these numbers are, unless the Legislature moves to place the Governor’s tax extension plan on the ballot, they are just the tip of the financial …

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