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Legislative Findings and Intent   

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The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The purpose of the California public school system is to provide for the academic development of each pupil and prepare each pupil, to the extent of his or her ability, to become a lifelong learner, equipped to live and succeed within the economic and societal complexities of the 21st century.

(b) It is in the interest of the people and the future of this state to ensure that each child in California receives a high quality education consistent with all statewide content and performance standards, as adopted by the State Board of Education, and with a meaningful assessment system and reporting program requirements.

(c) Recent assessments indicate that many pupils in California are not now, generally, progressing at a satisfactory rate to achieve a high quality education.

(d) To remedy this, the state is in need of an immediate and comprehensive accountability system to hold each of the state's public schools accountable for the academic progress and achievement of its pupils within the resources available to schools.

(e) Any promising and effective accountability system must be based upon a constructive and collaborative process that seeks to include stakeholders in the accountability process.

(f) Any promising and effective accountability system requires the active involvement of parents and guardians, pupils, educators, community leaders, school boards, and schoolsite teams.

(g) The statewide school accountability system must encourage the active participation of parents and guardians, pupils, educators, and the local community in improving pupil achievement.

(h) The statewide accountability system must be easily accessible and understandable to parents and others.

(i) The statewide accountability system must include rewards that recognize high achieving schools as well as interventions and, ultimately, sanctions for schools that are continuously low performing.

(j) It is also the intent of the Legislature that the comprehensive and effective school accountability system primarily focus on increasing academic achievement.

(k) To achieve better pupil performance, it is the intent of the Legislature that any school accountability system do all of the following:

(1) Encourage teacher preparation that allows teachers to develop the ability to inspire pupils to become lifelong learners.

(2) Encourage teacher preparation and consistent ongoing professional development that serves to develop competency in content and pedagogy and that allows teachers to effectively involve themselves in promoting school accountability.

(3) Encourage the involvement of the community and its stakeholders in the accountability system.

(4) Encourage local community involvement in providing support for education and identifying causes of pupil failure and designing programs for remediation.

(5) Approach accountability with an attitude of collaboration, encouragement, and correction.

(6) Utilize the state infrastructure to support schools, school districts, and county offices of education in their efforts to improve pupil achievement and progress.

(7) Encourage each local community to support and sustain high-quality educational programs and to build the capacity of educators and schools to succeed in educating every pupil.

(8) Encourage active involvement of parents and guardians in the development and implementation of school accountability systems.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 3, Sec. 1.)