Member Perspectives on the Collaborative

Superintendent Richard Carranza

"It is rare that superintendents, policymakers, and researchers sit around the same table to develop practical yet innovative solutions to urgent challenges. By providing this space, the California Collaborative for District Reform is not only immensely valuable, it is invaluable."

San Francisco Unified School District
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
Derry Kabcenell

"The California Collaborative on District Reform has been my most valuable and informative engagement with the California education landscape. It has helped to build relationships, expand promising practice, inform sounds state policy, and inform my own funding efforts in California public education."

The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation

"School districts in California are navigating a period of great change. New standards, new assessments, and a new funding system introduce uncharted territory that brings promising opportunities and immense challenges. The Collaborative has become an instrumental vehicle for us to accelerate our own learning while sharing our most promising practices with our peers.”

Sanger 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
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
Kristi Kimball

"The Collaborative’s core meetings have been wonderful professional development, and have provided a great way to stay informed and grounded as I continue my work in the education sphere. At the same time, the Collaborative creates a community among funders, providing common language and experiences that drive our understanding of, interaction with, and support for the education community.”

Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation
Executive Director
Mike 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
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.”

CORE (California Office to Reform Education)
Executive Director