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ERIC Number: ED532076
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Finding Common Ground in Education Values: Influential Californians Speak on the Purpose of Public Education
Rogers, John; Bertrand, Melanie; Perez, Wendy
This white paper explores how influential Californians conceive of the purpose of public education. The authors' intention was to learn how the purposes converge and to uncover potential building blocks for a consensus that puts students at the center and rises above disparate beliefs and alliances. The paper draws on 50 interviews they conducted with a bipartisan group of legislators and legislative staff, as well as leaders from business, labor, and civic life. They invited participants to share personal experiences of powerful learning from their youth, and identify what students should learn in California public schools in preparation for life beyond high school. Taken as a whole, the interviews point to several intriguing points of consensus across this diverse group of respondents. Democrats and Republicans, business leaders and labor leaders, policy insiders as well as equity advocates share a broad set of beliefs about teaching and learning. Points of difference tended to cut across conventional lines, except when they asked narrowly partisan questions. By foregrounding the purpose of education, the interviews suggest a different and more promising platform for advancing educational policy in California. The white paper begins with a description of the methods for they study. They then report on how respondents conceive of powerful learning and what they identify as the critical knowledge, skills, and understanding every California student should develop. They go on to consider whether respondents believe California is promoting desired learning outcomes and providing equal learning opportunities for all students. They also report on respondents' views about whether California students should follow a common learning pathway or whether some students should be prepared for college and others for the world of work. Their conclusion addresses perceptions of the value of public education to the future of California.
UCLA IDEA. 1041 Moore Hall Box 951521, Los Angeles, CA 90065. Tel: 310-206-8725; Fax: 310-206-8770; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: UCLA, Institute for Democracy, Education and Access (IDEA)
Identifiers - Location: California