Welcome to the State of California


Members of the Commission

Linda Darling-Hammond
Linda Darling-Hammond Chair

Position: Faculty Member

Appointed: August 2011

Term Expires: November 2017
Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University where she has launched the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the School Redesign Network and served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program. She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and member of the National Academy of Education. Her research, teaching, and policy work focus on issues of school reform, teacher quality and educational equity. From 1994-2001, she served as executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, a blue-ribbon panel whose 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future, led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching in the United States. In 2006, this report was named one of the most influential affecting U.S. education and Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation's ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the last decade. In 2008-09, she headed President Barack Obama's education policy transition team.

Among Darling-Hammond's more than 300 publications are The Flat World and Education: How America's Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (Teachers College Press, 2010); Powerful Teacher Education: Lessons from Exemplary Programs (Jossey-Bass, 2006); Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do (with John Bransford; Jossey-Bass, 2005), winner of the AACTE Pomeroy Award; Teaching as the Learning Profession (co-edited with Gary Sykes; Jossey-Bass, 1999), which received the National Staff Development Council's Outstanding Book Award for 2000; and The Right to Learn (Jossey-Bass,1997), recipient of the American Educational Research Association's Outstanding Book Award for 1998. Among recent recognitions, she is recipient of the 2011 Brock International Prize in Education and the 2009 McGraw Hill Prize for Innovation in Education.

Kathy Harris
Kathleen HarrisVice Chair

Position: Teacher Representative

Appointed: August 2011

Term Expires: November 2017
Kathy Harris has been a classroom teacher in the Piner-Olivet Union School District for 25 years. From 1998 to 2009 she served as the Regional Director of the California Reading and Literature Project at Sonoma State University. She has done extensive study in the areas of reading, reading readiness, assessment, English language development, school reform, school leadership, and professional development, and has engaged in many field experiences with both teachers and principals, working to improve student achievement through effective professional development, technical assistance, and school reform. Kathy Harris has provided professional development in English Language Arts and English Language Development for K-12 teachers and administrators throughout the state as well as within the eight county region of the Sonoma/North Coast region of the California Reading and Literature Project. She continues to provide professional development focused on the California Common Core State Standards.

Kathy Harris became involved with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Development work in 2009 as a member of the National Council of Teachers of English Review Panel. In December of 2009 she joined the CCSS Development Team working on Text Complexity, and is actively working on this component of the CCSS. In 2010 she served as a member of the California Academic Contents Standards Commission. She is currently teaching 4th and 5th grade at Olivet Elementary School in Santa Rosa.

Photo of Joseph A. Aguerrebere
Joseph A. Aguerrebere

Position: Interim Ex-Officio Representative of California State University

Appointed: June 2015

Term Expires: Ongoing
Joseph A. Aguerrebere currently serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor of Teacher Education and Public School Programs at the California State University, Chancellor's Office.

Previously, he was President and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) based in Arlington, Virginia. Prior to leading NBPTS, Dr. Aguerrebere was deputy director of the Education, Knowledge, and Religion unit of the Ford Foundation in New York. In addition to his management responsibilities, his grant making focused on the development of human capital in educational settings working with key organizations in the U.S. and abroad.

His professional career began as a high school teacher in Southern California, serving in five diverse school systems as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and district office administrator in elementary, middle, and high school settings. He later served as a tenured professor of educational administration at California State University, Dominguez Hills, in Los Angeles and was director of the Future Teacher Institute and national director of the Consortium for Minorities in Teaching Careers.

He received his Ed.D. and M.S. degrees in educational administration, and B.A. degree in political science, all from the University of Southern California.

Kirsten Barnes

Position: Non-Administrative Services Credential Representative

Appointed: July 2013

Term Expires: November 2016
Kirsten Barnes has worked for the Hanford Joint Union High School District for the past 21 years. She began her career as a teacher for the continuation high school and after obtaining her counseling credential became the counselor of the continuation high for 5 years before transferring to Hanford West High School. She has been at Hanford West for the past 13 years. Kirsten also works part time in the evenings as a teacher and counselor for Crossroads Charter School in Armona, California.

Kirsten is the current President Elect of the California Association of School Counselors, (CASC), a State Council Representative for the California Teachers Association, Treasurer and Bargaining Chair of her local association: HSEA, and Vice Chair of the Tulare Kings Service Center Council. She is also a member of American School Counselor Association, National Education Association, Humane Society and the SPCA. She received her Masters in School Counseling from Fresno Pacific University and her Bachelors in Liberal Studies from Mount St. Mary's College.

Constance Baumgardt Blackburn

Position: Teacher Representative

Appointed: November 2008

Term Expires: November 2016

Connie Blackburn has been a Kindergarten teacher at Central Elementary School in the Escondido Union School District in San Diego County for 23 years. She holds a Multiple Subjects teaching credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills and a specialist credential for Communication Handicapped from California State University, Los Angeles. Her area of expertise is in early literacy and cross curricular integration. An eighth generation Californian, she comes from a family of educators. Previously, she has taught the Deaf in Los Angeles County, Louisville, Kentucky and Houston, Texas.

Educated in the Torrance Unified School District in Los Angeles County, she holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies from California State University, Dominguez Hills and an M.A from California State University, Los Angeles. She was selected as a California Teacher of the Year in 2003 and currently serves on the executive board of the California Teachers of the Year Foundation. She believes passionately in supporting the teaching profession and has served as a master teacher for teacher candidates since 1989. In addition, she has served as a Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) support provider.

Kate Williams Browne

Position: Ex-Officio Representative of the California Community Colleges

Appointed: September 2014

Kate Williams Browne is a tenured professor and Chair of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Department at Skyline College and Coordinator of the San Mateo Region of the California Early Childhood Mentor Program. She currently serves as President of the Faculty Senate of Skyline College and Executive Secretary of the California Community College ECE Faculty Association. A native Californian and the first in her family with a college education, she holds a BA (with Academic Honors) in Psychology from Stanford University and MA (with Academic Scholarship) in Early Childhood Education from the University of Michigan. Her education credentials include Elementary Certification from Michigan, a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from California, a California Children's Center Permit and a California Community College Credential.

Among Kate's professional experiences are ECE teacher and administrator (including parent co-op, child care, bilingual preschool, kindergarten/first grade and 15 years at Stanford's Bing School); textbook writing (Beginnings & Beyond: Foundations in Early Childhood Education, Beginning Essentials, To Teach Well: ECE Student Teaching Guide, and Guiding Young Children in a Diverse Society); and higher education instructor (Stanford University, Foothill, De Anza, Canada and Skyline Colleges). She also served on the Steering Committee for the ECE Competencies Integration Project at the California Department of Education. Among recent recognitions, she is the recipient of the Meyer Award for Teaching Excellence (Skyline College), ECE Professional of the Year (Peninsula Association for the Education of Young Children) and Who's Who of American Professional Women.

C. Michael Cooney

Position: Public Representative

Appointed: June 2011

Term Expires: November 2017

Michael Cooney is a partner in Investment Group of Santa Barbara and President and General Counsel of Cimarron Management Company. Mr. Cooney is also currently a member of the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission. He served on the California Student Aid Commission from 2000-2004 and was Chair of that commission for 3 years. He was on the Board of Directors at EdFund from 2006-2010 and a trustee with Montecito Union School District from 1977 to 1988. Mr. Cooney also was a partner with Price, Postel & Parma in Santa Barbara, California for 30 years.

Marysol de la Torre-Escobedo
Marysol de la Torre-Escobedo

Position: Teacher Representative

Appointed: December 2015

Term Expires: November 2019

Marysol de la Torre-Escobedo received her Bachelor's Degree from UC Berkeley and her Clear Social Science Teaching Credential and M.A. in Education from Stanford University. In 2003, she began her teaching career as a founding member of East Palo Alto Academy High School. As a founding member of EPAAHS de la Torre-Escobedo worked closely with the Stanford School Redesign Network and their efforts in meeting the needs of all students and creating a model of school reform.

De la Torre-Escobedo has taught AVID, Economics, Spanish, US History, and World History in the Bay Area, the Dominican Republic, the Glenn County Juvenile Hall, and Chico. She has been a teacher for the Chico Unified School District since 2007. In 2010, she co-founded Chico's first in-district charter school, Inspire School of Arts & Sciences, where she currently teaches. In 2013, she was selected as a Chico Rotary Educator of the Year and she also received the Golden Apple/KHSL Teachers are Heroes Award in 2014.

De la Torre-Escobedo is the first generation daughter of Mexican immigrants. She currently resides in Butte County with her husband and two children, ages 6 and 4.

Jose Gonzalez
José L. González

Position: Administrative Services Credential Representative

Appointed: June 2014

Term Expires: November 2019

José L. González has been an educator for 18 years. He is the current Superintendent of the Planada Elementary School District, a position he has served since November 2010. Prior to serving the Planada Learning Community, José was Superintendent/Principal of the Ballico-Cressey School District for four and a half years. Aside from his professional duties as an educator, José is the Immediate Past President of CALSA, serves on the SEAC Board of Directors, ACSA Superintendent's Council, and most recently received a gubernatorial appointment to serve on the CTC. In 2009, José was awarded the ACSA Region IX Superintendent/Principal of the Year Award.

José is the son of Mexican and Portuguese immigrants. Growing up, he saw the challenges his mother and father faced due to a lack of formal education. As a result, José feels a deep commitment to ensuring that all children, regardless of their personal struggles or circumstances, receive the quality education that will give them opportunities in life. He is married to María González who is a Second Grade Teacher in Livingston. They have two beautiful daughters, Alexí 15 and Alía 9.

Alicia Hinde

Position: Teacher Representative

Appointed: August 2011

Term Expires: November 2016
A native Californian, Alicia grew up on the beaches and in the mountains of Santa Cruz. She knew she wanted to be a teacher in kindergarten when Ms. Condor, her kindergarten teacher, allowed her to eat the cheese cut into various shapes upon reciting the correct shape name.

Alicia has been teaching elementary school for 15 years in the Cambrian School District, where she lives for the joy and excitement for learning on her students' faces. Aside from teaching full time, Alicia has spent time active in her teacher's union where she served as President for four years. She also is a representative for California Teachers Association's State Council where she serves as Chair of the Credentials and Professional Development Committee.

Alicia has three wonderful children, ages 9, 11 and 13 who enjoy laughing, the beach and throwing big parties. In her free time Alicia can be found underwater scuba diving and taking pictures to bring back to her students. She also enjoys poetry, hiking and fine wine.

Bonnie Klatt

Position: Teacher Representative

Appointed: June 2014

Term Expires: November 2017

Bonnie Klatt currently teaches high school English and serves as English Department Chair at the Performing and Fine Arts Academy at Natomas Charter School. Prior to working at Natomas Charter School, she worked for five years as a consultant and administrator for the California Department of Education and the California State Board of Education on projects including the California High School Exit Examination, a variety of programs within the Charter Schools Division, and the implementation of new statewide assessments. Before joining the Department of Education, she taught high school English, media literacy, and AVID in the Center Unified School District and in the Grant Union High School District for a total of 15 years. At Center High School, she acted as a technology mentor, helped to implement and build a California Partnership Academy program, and co-developed districtwide writing assessment tools.

Ms. Klatt is a lifelong resident of the state and has either attended or worked for California public education institutions since kindergarten. She earned her B.A. in English at the University of California, Los Angeles, and her M.A. and teaching credential in English at California State University, Sacramento.

Shane P. Martin

Position: Ex-Officio Representative of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities

Appointed: June 2008

Term Expires: Ongoing

Shane P. Martin, an educational anthropologist by training and expert in the areas of intercultural education, cultural diversity, Catholic schools, and charter schools, was appointed dean of the LMU School of Education in 2005 and dean of Graduate Studies in 2012. Dean Martin is visible in the education community as past chair of the Green Dot Public Schools Board of Directors, and a member of the Loyola High School of Los Angeles Board of Regents and Teach For America Los Angeles Board. He is a speaker in a variety of arenas - civic, business, and education - and keynotes conferences in the United States and internationally. Professional activities include serving as past president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Education Council and regular invitations to review articles and manuscripts.

In addition to honors in "Who's Who in the World, in America, and in Education," Martin received the National Catholic Educational Association's (NCEA) Michael J. Guerra Leadership Award in 2005 and Catherine T. McNamee, CSJ, Award in 2009, and the Loyola High School Alumni Association's Cahalan Award in 2008. He is a member of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Board of Examiners and the California Committee on Accreditation Board of Institutional Reviewers. He is currently chair of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Special Interest Group (SIG) on Catholic Education.

Dean Martin earned his Ph.D. in International and Intercultural Education at the University of Southern California, a Master of Theology degree at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley (JSTB) with a specialization in Hispanic Ministry, and his Master of Divinity degree also from JSTB. An LMU alumnus, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1980 and holds his California State Clear Secondary Teaching Credential. Before returning to LMU as a faculty member, Martin's classroom teaching experience included six years in middle and secondary school settings and work in 17 Latin American countries.

Dean Martin's published books are: Justice, Care, and Diversity: Addressing the Needs of All Students in Catholic Secondary Schools (NCEA, 2009), with E.F. Litton, Equity, Advocacy and Diversity: New Directions for Catholic Schools (NCEA, 2004), with E.F. Litton, and Cultural Diversity in Catholic Schools: Challenges and Opportunities for Catholic Educators (NCEA, 1996). He has contributed to many peer-reviewed publications on the topics of cultural diversity in Catholic schools, technology and learning, social justice in education, and multicultural education. He also has presented numerous scholarly papers, including those at the National Catholic Educational Association, the American Anthropological Association, and the American Educational Research Association.

Haydee Rodriguez

Position: Teacher Representative

Appointed: June 2014

Term Expires: November 2016

Haydee Rodriguez is a bilingual/bicultural National Board Certified Teacher in Social Studies who received her bachelor's (with distinction) in History from San Diego State University and earned a master's in education in 2002 from Stanford University. While a graduate student at Stanford, Rodriguez participated in the founding of East Palo Alto High School, a student-centered/teacher-led school. Additionally she has been with the Central Union High School District since 2005; during this time Rodriguez has advised the Interact Club and as coach has taken the ACADEC and Mock Trial teams to victory at the county-level and on to state competitions. Rodriguez has taught AP Spanish Literature and Language, Humanities, US History and is currently teaching US Government and Theatre at Southwest High School in El Centro, CA.

Rodriguez has received various awards and fellowships, among them the merit-based Governor's Teaching Fellowship in 2001, NCSS Student Teacher of the Year, in 2008 she was named ACSA Imperial County Teacher of the Year and was selected by Rotary International to represent Southern California in a group study exchange in Ghana and Togo. In 2009, she served on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Social Studies-History Standards Committee and is currently serving on the NBPTS Board of Directors.

Rodriguez has demonstrated her commitment to equity, access and social justice by serving on various boards such at the AAUW-Imperial County, Orphanaid Africa, Literacy Volunteers of America, and ICAC.

Rodriguez was born in Mexico and was raised in a rural border town in Southern California where she currently resides.


Ref Rodriguez

Position: Public Representative

Appointed: July 2013

Term Expires: November 2016

Dr. Ref Rodriguez is President and CEO of Partners for Developing Futures (Partners). Partners is a social venture investment fund that primarily invests in high-potential, early-stage minority-led charter schools and charter school networks that serve underserved students. Partners' mission is to efficiently identify, recruit, and support leaders of color in creating and growing high-quality charter schools and charter school networks.

Prior to joining Partners, Ref co-founded and served as co-Chief Executive Officer of Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC), a charter school management organization serving communities in the Northeast San Fernando Valley and Northeast Los Angeles. During his tenure, PUC developed 10 schools and became a well-regarded charter management organization in California. Ref's original inspiration for starting a charter school was to offer high quality learning experiences for youth in the predominantly Latino working class community where he grew up. His outrage for being considered "fortunate" for having graduated from college because of his socio-economic background is what drives him to create and support schools where college graduation is an expectation for all. Before joining the charter schools movement, Ref worked in the business sector and as a teacher and administrator in Catholic parochial schools. He is the first of five children of Mexican immigrants to graduate from college. Ref is an advocate for the health and welfare of vulnerable populations. He has been appointed to boards and commissions that focus on serving those most in need.

Ref is adjunct professor in the School of Education at his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University where we helped develop a Master's and Administrative Credential Program for aspiring leaders in charter schools. He is a fellow of the Aspen Institute-Pahara Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education, Class of 2007. He is a fellow of the German Marshall Fund's Marshall Memorial Fellowship Program, Class of 2011. Ref holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara.


Tine Sloan

Position: Ex-Officio Representative of University of California

Appointed: May 2007

Term Expires: Ongoing

Tine Sloan is the Acting Director of the Teacher Education Program in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara. She has taught courses in the Ph.D. and Teacher Education Programs focused on issues in human development, educational psychology, teacher education, and assessment. Her primary research interests revolve around teacher education, particularly with respect to teacher and teacher educator learning, as well as to the role that policy and context play in this learning and in program development. Related to this is her interest in understanding, developing and using valid and reliable assessments of teacher and student learning. All of her work is framed by her primary interest in understanding and advocating for the well being of children in educational contexts. Prior to coming to UCSB, she spent 3 years in Singapore and was a member of the faculty at the National Institute of Education in Nanyang Technological University. Dr. Sloan completed her teacher certification at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1988, and her master's and doctoral work at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996.

  Michelle Zumot

Position: Designee, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Appointed: July, 2011

Term Expires: Ongoing


Current Commission Vacancies

  • Public Representative (2 vacancies)
  • School Board Member Representative

Updated May 19, 2016