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California Department of Education (Office of Superintendent)

Summer 2013 Fellow: Violet Trachtenberg

Faculty Mentor: David Plank

Office Description:

The fellow will work the office of the new Superintendent of Public Instruction in the California Department of Education.  The Department of Education is tasked with ensuring that the public school system meets the comprehensive learning needs of the students of the state.  The core purposes of the office is to lead and augment the continuous improvement of student achievement, as well as provide leadership for strong school and ensure equitable outcomes for all.

Office Website:

Projects Fellow Should Expect:

The fellow has, in past years, worked on legislative and tasks, analyzing proposed legislature related to education and making recommendations as to whether the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) should take a position on bills. The fellow will work directly with the Superintendent’s legislative representatives concerning language in proposed bills and tracking them as they move through committee.  The fellow may also be tasked with writing letters of support for bills on behalf of the Superintendent and writing extensive internal memos regarding different topics in education.

Desired Personal Qualities:

  • Professionalism
  • Punctuality
  • Organization and Time Management
  • Collaboration
  • Ability to perform complicated tasks under pressure

Desired Skills, Experience, and Coursework:

An interest in improving the education of the students of California and a desire to work to close the achievement gap between students of different socioeconomic groups.

Basic understanding of computer applications, including Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel.

Main Fellowship Disciplines:

  • Public Policy
  • Political Science
  • Communication
  • Students interested in the intricacies of education policy