Issues - Education

California Business for Education Excellence is a leading, unifying voice for business focused on the rapid improvement of our state’s public schools.  With a targeted reform agenda CBEE seeks to dramatically increase the academic preparedness for college and the workforce of all students.  We approach this in three ways:

Inform the business community about the education crisis created by the persistent achievement gap and the loss in GDP caused by the lack of academic preparedness for college and the workplace.  Through a unified business voice, we inform policymakers and education leaders of the opportunities to improve outcomes based on what is working today in high performing schools.

CBEE directly manages, a free online data and school improvement system built and paid for by the business community.  It provides comprehensive data for all 9,500 public schools and 1,000 school districts in California.  The website receives over 3 million hits per month. promotes the sharing of best practices between low-performing schools and high-performing schools with similar student populations to dispel the myths often used as excuses for performance.  This common sense approach helps schools clearly understand effective practices, and how to implement them.

Influence the state’s education policy agenda and create the conditions for statewide reform by leveraging the power and collective voice of the business community.

Mrs. Bush attended a roundtable discussion at Benjamin Franklin intermediate school

On February 9th, 2012, Mrs. Bush attended a roundtable discussion at Benjamin Franklin intermediate school in Colma, CA, to highlight Middle School Matters, a landmark education initiative of the Bush Institute. Middle School Matters recognizes the importance of middle school as a foundation for academic success and aims to increase the number of children who complete middle school at grade level and go on to graduate from high school ready for college or a good job. Learn more about Middle School Matters here:

This includes advocating for effective education policy through a common sense agenda of high standards, accountability and promoting proven success.  CBEE has successfully advocated for standards-based reforms and the adoption of the Common Core standards, focused attention on the effective use of data and best practices, and defended the need for increased transparency and accountability.

Improve education systems and practices through a business-like approach to education reform through data, benchmarking and scaling success.

CBEE identifies and recognizes the highest performing, achievement gap closing schools across the state through its annual Honor Roll campaign.  In 2010 there were 1,315 Honor Roll schools, with 478 high-poverty, achievement gap closing schools.  The Honor Roll is the only school recognition program that relies entirely on quantitative data.  Through a partnership between the business community and the California State University system, CBEE improves the teacher effectiveness programs by purposefully placing student teachers into Honor Roll schools, exposing them to high expectations and best practices before they begin their teaching careers.

Next Steps:

Improving the data system to make it understandable and actionable for parents and community leaders.  This will include:

  • Simplified applications that allow parents and community leaders to easily access the information they need on public schools.
  • New data displays that show school and district “growth” in student academic achievement and college academic preparedness to better identify effective schools and instructional practices.
  • A school and district grading system (A-F letter grades) that combines the extensive data analysis into one easy to understand rating system.



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