I believe in having government and schools that work. This means having public policies that are aiming for the right outcomes, and to have regulations that place the right incentives and constraints on schools to have those schools perform their best in the education of their students and have the best outcomes for our nation’s future.
I also recognize that schools, school districts, and colleges/universities are all inherently social systems, and that changes made to any part of them may have unintended consequences. Further, I recognize that our current political environment is one where many politicians attempt to exploit problems in the system for political gain, as opposed to delving in to understand the problem and solve it.
But to have a better system with better outcomes for our society, we cannot just make brash decisions, which often “throw out the baby with the bath water”, but must dive into the details of the system, see how they are working, and see what is not working, and then adjust the regulations appropriately to improve the outcomes. And when new policy is being developed, it must be built upon good frameworks, and consider the unintended consequences that may occur.
I have had the fortune to be able to have some effect on California education policy, even if in a small way. The following are some of the committees I have been part of, and the effects they have had:
WASC ACS Postsecondary Advisory Committee (2010-2011)
My participation in this committee was instrumental in revising the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission of Schools, Postsecondary accreditation, and to transition the accreditation from being the Title IV purely compliance-based model to being an improvement model similar to WASC ACS’s other types of accreditation.
California Statewide Career Technical Review Team (2011)
In this committee, we reviewed the 2005 Model Curriculum Standards for California for the Information Technology sector. Suggested revisions, with one of the most major being the adoption of the more globally recognized term “Information and Communication Technology” (ICT) instead of just “Information Technology.” Several areas of standards were combined and rearranged.
California Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards Writing Team (2011-2012)
As part of a 3-person writing team, revised the State of California’s Model Curriculum Standards for Information and Communication Technologies. I worked most on improving the rigor of the Support and Services Pathway and the Software and Systems Development Pathway, which have now been adopted by the California State Board of Education. Of utmost importance to me in this process was to ensure that the skills and knowledge in the standards were those that were actually applicable and relevant to the careers of the future.
State ICT Advisory Committee (2017-Present)
Our committee has analyzed course enrollments and course descriptions for Information and Communication Technologies courses throughout California, learned about current legislation, and provided feedback about industry trends that are relevant to California ICT classrooms.