Op-Ed: Data Will Define 'Cradle to Career' Educational Success

California Competes Executive Director Dr. Lande Ajose and Children Now President and CEO Ted Lempert

In an op-ed published recently in The Mercury News, California Competes Executive Director Dr. Lande Ajose and Children Now President and CEO Ted Lempert discuss why a comprehensive education data system should be a top priority for incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom and all policymakers in 2019.

‘Cradle to Career’ was a frequent refrain of Governor-elect Gavin Newsom along the campaign trail and for the right reasons. Californians do best when investment in their education comes at the very start and continues through college into adulthood. But California lags far behind other states in tracking those positive outcomes in a meaningful or consistent way.

Experts on both ends of the learning continuum know solid, shareable information to assess the student experience before kindergarten and after high school in our state is spotty at best.

Just like laying the foundation for a strong home, mountains of research show early learning serves as a foundation for a child’s successful trajectory through school and into the workforce. Understanding how best to build on that foundation will require an overhaul of our fragmented state data systems. Experts on both ends of the learning continuum know solid, shareable information to assess the student experience before kindergarten and after high school in our state is spotty at best.

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