Superintendent ~ Poway Unified School District

15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128

SUPERINTENDENT, John P. Collins, Ed.D. 
(858) 521-2700 FAX (858) 485-1075

Tina McDowell, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
(858) 521-2700    FAX (858) 485-1075

Superintendent’s October 2015 Message

October 14, 2015

As part of my responsibilities as Superintendent, I receive and read reports from a wide variety of organizations, including California’s Department of Education. In July, the Department of Education published A Blueprint for Great Schools: Version 2.0.

I wanted to share with you some excerpts from the report’s Introduction, A Journey Together on the California Way, which I found both informative and inspirational:

Immediately following his election as California's State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2011, Tom Torlakson convened a Transition Advisory Team to provide him with advice on the critical issues facing public education. The result was the groundbreaking A Blueprint for Great Schools.

Now in 2015, as Superintendent Torlakson starts his second term, many of the goals identified in the Blueprint report have become reality. With the passage of Proposition 30 in 2012, the fiscal crisis impacting public education in California eased temporarily. But Proposition 30 soon expires, making the search for stable and sufficient education funding a top priority. Financial stability is essential for our state's districts and schools to continue the exciting implementation of the far-reaching changes now under way. These include the implementation of new California Standards, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), and the transformation of California's education accountability systems from the "test and judge" methods of the past to the "support and improve" approaches of the future that now have irreversible momentum.

The days of California's reliance on a single standardized test for accountability purposes are over. While we had good intentions, we now recognize that we were using the wrong drivers for positive educational change. The implementation of the LCFF and the new California Standards drive an accountability system that differs from the previous one in almost every respect. Schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) throughout California now have a unique opportunity to reconfigure themselves as learning organizations committed to continuous improvement.

The result of all of this work is emerging as The California Way, which builds on a collaborative team approach to positive education change and is now attracting national attention as an alternative to test-driven reform. The California Way rests on the belief that educators want to excel, trusts them to improve when given the proper supports, and provides local schools and districts with the leeway and flexibility to deploy resources so they can improve. The California Way engages students, parents, and communities as part of a collaborative decision-making process around how to fund and implement these improvement efforts, and provides supplemental resources to ensure that California's English learners (ELs), foster youths, and students in poverty have the learning supports they need….

We recognize that much work remains to be done. To provide a framework for his next four years in office, Superintendent Torlakson again asked key external advisers and staff at the California Department of Education (CDE) to describe California's Education North Star and to develop strategic recommendations that will prioritize and organize the work ahead. He asked that this work be undertaken rapidly so that it could provide the basis for detailed strategic planning by the CDE and its partners.

California stands at a crossroads of huge significance. The recommendations in A Blueprint for Great Schools: Version 2.0, when successfully implemented, will provide for great strides along The California Way for our students and the adults that serve them.

It is a challenging and exciting time to be a part of the K-12 educational system in California. Our District remains committed to providing every student with the personalized education they need in order to meet the challenges of college and career and become engaged and productive citizens.

We are proud to partner with you – and with the California Department of Education – as we lead our students along “The California Way.”

I encourage you to read the Blueprint at:

John P. Collins, Superintendent




John P. Collins, Ed.D. 

(858) 521-2700 FAX (858) 485-1075

Tina McDowell
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
(858) 521-2700    FAX (858) 485-1075

Director of Communications
(858) 521-2707  FAX (858) 485-1075


Wendy Anderson
Executive Assistant to the Board
(858) 521-2700   FAX (858) 485-1075



PUSD Report “Poway Research Paper Final”

Hanover Executive Summary

Overall Parent Perception Data K-12

Formal Response to DAC – DELAC