Systems Transformation

Systems thinking becomes part of organizational and classroom culture and practice
The California Education Round Table — comprised of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the chief executive officers of all the public & independent higher education sectors — has sponsored the California GEAR UP Program and overseen the Program since 1999.


Program Purpose

The programmatic focus of the California GEAR UP Program is to develop and sustain the capacity of feeder sets of middle and high schools to prepare all students for higher education through a systemic network of support for the adults who influence secondary school students. By expanding the capacity of the adults, the expected result will be a greater proportion of students will graduate from high school and be able to access a greater array of postsecondary options without the need for remediation.


Program Goal

To increase the number of students at sets of participating middle and high schools who met or exceeded standards on grade-appropriate statewide assessments in English/Language Arts and Math by 10 percent as compared to the performance of students in the same grade at these schools in the 2016-17 school year.


Program Philosophy

The California GEAR Up Program is guided by the following philosophy:

  • data analysis is a critical component in building college-going culture that is sustainable, school-wide, and academically rigorous
  • principals are the instructional leaders at their site who function to support teachers in providing rigorous and aligned curricular content.
  • participation in a regional community of practice offers the opportunity to align practices, create seamless transitions from middle to high school, and promote collaboration
  • tools, resources materials, information, and guidance are crucial for educators to support students and their families in preparing for college

Program Services and Partnerships

Support services are determined in collaboration with school site leadership and the GEAR UP Program Leadership. The principal services include, but are not limited to:

Diagnostic Assessments and Evaluation of Student Achievement

  • Equity and Access Initiative: University of California, Merced;
  • Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Program (MDTP);
  • Eligibility for Public Higher Education: University of California’s Transcript Evaluation Service;
  • Using student achievement data to determine successful practices: Educational Results Partnership; and,
  • Progress monitoring and formative assessment support.

Site Leadership Professional Development.

  • School Site Leadership: California Academic Partnership Program (CAPP).
  • Coalition for Educational Partnerships (CEP).

Teacher Professional Development

  • Math Professional Development: Applying College and Career Equity-based Stem Strategies (ACCESS);
  • Content Specific Professional Development: California Subject Matter Projects (CSMP);
  • English/Language Arts Professional Development: Expository Reading and Writing Curriculum (ERWC);
  • Math and English Language Arts curriculum and materials: College Board’s Spring Board; and,
  • Intervention design and support.

Family-Centered Partnerships

  • Coalition for Educational Partnerships (CEP).
  • Regional Communities of Practice to align, problem solve, and network about effective practices

Innovative Practices