Member Perspectives on the Collaborative

Michael Hanson

“I have been a member of the California Collaborative since 2007 and, simply put, it has transformed my work as a leader and an educator. I no longer view my work as a superintendent of a school district but rather as an educator of America’s future workforce.”

Fresno Unified School District
Rose Owens-West

“In our work with districts and schools we emphasize the importance of making time available for teachers to collaborate, plan and support one another to improve their practice. Professional learning communities are now widely promoted for bringing teachers together to focus work on common interests and concerns. However, there has been much less emphasis on collaboration to enhance practice among school and district administrators and other education professionals. The tremendous value of the California Collaborative on District Reform is that it fills this void.”

Region IX Equity Assistance Center at WestEd
Kenji Hakuta

“It has been one of the best learning experiences of my career, and I believe that most of the members would say the same thing.”

Stanford University
Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education
Cynthia Coburn

“As a researcher, it keeps me grounded. It helps ensure that the research I do is rooted in the realities of California schools and school districts. And, it helps me pick topics or problems to work on that have a greater likelihood of meeting the needs of people in schools. The problems facing policy makers and practitioners in California schools are both pressing and extremely challenging. We will only solve them by bringing people from diverse roles, perspectives, and expertise together with a focus on what’s best for the children in California and structures for getting things done. The Collaborative does this. No other organization does.”

Northwestern University
Professor of Education
Rick Miller

“As a policy maker, the Collaborative provided me what was in many ways the only direct, sustained and meaningful collaboration I had with both practitioners and researchers. It gave me a nuanced understanding of the ramifications of the policy I was implementing and made a demonstrable difference in the decisions I made…Too many in Sacramento get lost in an insular world. The Collaborative was critical to keeping me grounded in the reality of day to day struggles for California’s six million plus students.”

Partner, Capitol Impact LLC
Senior Partner, California Education Partners
Brad Stam

“The diverse and powerful community created by the Collaborative has fostered tremendous professional learning among its participants, and has catalyzed action that has significantly influenced both educational policy and practice within California…I am a better and more informed leader as a result of my participation in the Collaborative.”

ConnectEd: California Center for College and Career
Vice President
Tony Smith

“The people in the Collaborative are strong and thoughtful leaders, people who have demonstrated how to do things, people who have real longevity and history and can speak from experience and from their heart at the same time. As a practitioner, it’s great to be in the room with people whom I respect and from whom I can learn a lot…The level of trust makes it a real, authentic learning place.”

W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation
Executive Director

"The influence of the Collaborative extends beyond its membership.  Through its core meetings and the policy statements and briefs that emerge from them, the Collaborative has enabled stakeholders across organizations to pool knowledge and make it available for policymakers."

The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation
Jim Brown

"The Collaborative has created a professional learning community that is reaching outward to a much wider group and helping to affect the course of reform in California public education.”

Pivot Learning Partners
Christopher Steinhauser

“In a time of dwindling resources for public schools in California, it is more important than ever for school districts to share their expertise and successful practices so that they can more efficiently and effectively meet the needs of students. In this regard, [the Collaborative] plays a vital role as a hub of information and collaboration for educators statewide.”

Long Beach Unified School District
Marc Johnson

“Especially in this time of reduction of resources available to districts, collaborative efforts such as this one can have a profound impact on a district’s ability to achieve their mission, student learning, through the sharing of best practice. The Collaborative is without a doubt the most unique growth opportunity I have had in my career as a superintendent.”

Sanger Unified School District
Former Superintendent