Louis Freedberg is executive director of EdSource. For more than two decades, Freedberg has analyzed and reported on local, state, and national education policy . Before coming to EdSource, Freedberg was the founding director of California Watch at the Center for Investigative Reporting. He spent 15 years at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was an award-winning education reporter, Washington correspondent, columnist, and member of the editorial board. He has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in child development from Yale University.
All posts by Louis Freedberg
The $1 billion program was implemented in less than two months.
December 11, 2018
Over 4.5 million more Californians cast a vote for state superintendent for public instruction in mid-term elections than did in 2014, the last time the position was on the ballot.
December 9, 2018
Outcome of race a major victory for California Teachers Association and allies, and a major defeat for leading charter school advocates.
November 19, 2018
Thurmond has 50.8 percent of the vote, compared to Tucks’ 49.2 percent.
November 17, 2018
Thurmond erases 86,000 vote lead by Tuck on Election Day and now has a 75,000 vote lead based on partial count of millions of mail-in and other uncounted ballots.
November 13, 2018
Thurmond has a 67,000 lead, with millions of votes yet to be tallied.
November 10, 2018
Contest between Wilson Riles and Max Rafferty in 1970 far more incendiary than current race for state superintendent of public instruction
November 6, 2018
California's new governor will be the key player in introducing new reforms. But where the funds to pay for them would come from is anyone's guess.
November 4, 2018
Poll shows Marshall Tuck favored by two-thirds of Republicans, half of independent voters, and one-third of Democrats in the week before the Nov. 6 election.
October 31, 2018
There can no longer be complacency with incrementalism when it comes to education equity in California. The stakes are too high for our children, for our state, and for our nation
October 30, 2018
Pretty much every candidate who talks about education at all this year will promise change. It’s up to us as voters to figure out whether they mean it.
October 28, 2018
The slowdown could increase competition among parents and students to get into the most sought-after charter schools.
August 5, 2018
Summit charter schools' teacher residency program is the first to focus on personalized learning.
July 24, 2018
With help from Facebook, an online learning platform helps personalize instruction and allows students to progress at their own pace.
July 23, 2018
Conservative organizations are spearheading a campaign that will involve emails, phone calls, visits to worksites, or even canvasing teachers at their homes.
July 11, 2018
Newsom also pledges, if elected governor, to sign legislation that would require greater transparency in the operations and finances of charter schools.
June 19, 2018
Educator with deep California roots will head state agency to help districts improve student outcomes.
June 7, 2018
The likely future governor of California opens a window to the painful world of dyslexia experienced by millions of children and adults.
June 6, 2018
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa placed third, despite $23 million from charter school supporters who backed his campaign.
June 6, 2018
Newsom outlined in detail what education reforms he would promote if elected governor in response to an EdSource questionnaire submitted to all leading gubernatorial candidates last month.
June 6, 2018
Contributions to independent expenditure committees set up by charter school advocates to back Villaraigosa near $23 million.
June 5, 2018
Spending accelerates ahead of June 5 primary
May 25, 2018
To tackle gun violence, children's well-being must be at the top of the nation's agenda
May 21, 2018
Contribution of $2 million from San Francisco philanthropist William Oberndorf boosts contributions to independent expenditure committee backing Villaraigosa to just over $16 million
May 16, 2018
Travis Allen's desire to cut funding for educating undocumented students is a reprise of the anti-immigrant fervor of the Proposition 187 era.
May 10, 2018
Major contributions went to independent expenditure committees supporting the candidates.
April 29, 2018
Contributions come at a critical period for Villaraigosa's campaign, as he vies to come out ahead of Republican contenders in the June 5 primary.
April 26, 2018
In some cases, the diversity gap between teachers and students in California has widened.
April 25, 2018
Gubernatorial race heats up in advance of what could be a decisive June 5 primary.
April 19, 2018
There will be nearly a $2.4 billion increase in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program.
April 18, 2018
Contributions come at a time of slowing expansion of charter school sector in California and nationally
April 16, 2018
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation-initiated campaign hopes the next governor will focus on children beginning at birth, and implement child-friendly programs within the first 100 days.
April 12, 2018
California could learn from the experience of other states that have established separate departments or divisions to oversee early childhood programs.
April 5, 2018
Will the passion provoked by the Parkland school massacre be sustained so that the current wave of protests evolve into an authentic youth movement?
March 26, 2018
Candidates for California's top school chief post call for more transparency in spending of state funds
During the debate, they also called for substantially increasing education funding.
March 20, 2018
Teacher whose gun accidentally fired in a classroom was a reserve police officer and highly trained.
March 19, 2018
President Trump suggests that federal guidelines put forward by the Obama administration encouraging alternatives to suspension and expulsion somehow contributed to the Parkland school massacre.
March 13, 2018
The state is currently negotiating with federal officials over its plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act.
March 7, 2018
The gap between high school graduation and college completion rates varies considerably by race and ethnic group.
February 26, 2018
California has been moving in just the opposite direction in its efforts to keep firearms off campus
February 23, 2018
Antwan Wilson apologizes for skirting district rules to transfer his daughter to another D.C. high school.
February 21, 2018
A new report from the Learning Policy Institute says new state initiatives to recruit and retain teachers will take three to five years to yield results.
February 20, 2018
High school students from Parkland FL are speaking out eloquently and powerfully in favor of gun regulation, in a way elementary school students from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, were not able to do because they were too young
February 20, 2018
School safety plans only go so far to protect students and staff.
February 15, 2018
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has issued requests for proposals focused on collaborative, locally based efforts to improve outcomes for black, Latino and low-income students in middle and high schools.
February 14, 2018
California's ambitious education reforms paying off in higher graduation rates and math scores, study finds
The study showed a significant increase in math performance, especially among low-income high school students.
February 8, 2018
The proposals are a response to concerns that it is difficult to track how school districts are spending funds they received for high-needs students under the Local Control Funding Formula.
February 6, 2018
Community water systems that serve schools will be responsible for testing water.
February 1, 2018
Brown affirms his belief in "local control" for K-12 schools and defends his record on funding higher education, which he says has expanded dramatically since he assumed office at the tail end of the Great Recession.
January 26, 2018
Fears of rapid expansion of school choice programs have proven unfounded.
January 23, 2018
Available evidence suggests that legalization for recreational use among adults won't lead to big increases among teens, but more data and research is needed.
January 18, 2018
California Department of Education says California is a "local control state" and it is responsibility of local school districts to ensure that students meet all local and state graduation requirements
January 18, 2018
Majority of superintendents in the state's largest 30 districts had strong ties to their districts when they were selected.
January 8, 2018
Associate Superintendent Vivian Ekchian will remain at the helm of the nation's second largest school district as acting superintendent.
January 6, 2018
Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing for California to establish a fully online community college to serve under-skilled workers.
December 8, 2017
Next California governor is likely to be a strong advocate for the expansion of early education programs.
November 20, 2017
Rancho Tehama school shooting is another reminder that more must be done to protect children from gun violence.
November 15, 2017
John Chiang, Delaine Eastin, Gavin Newsom, and Antonio Villaraigosa all say they support the Local Control Funding Formula and California's emphasis on local control.
November 7, 2017
But district's decentralized operations may help it weather turmoil in district headquarters for now
October 27, 2017
All four leading gubernatorial candidates agree that for-profit charter schools should not be allowed in California.
October 25, 2017
Only former L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa commits to taking on teacher tenure and seniority laws if elected governor. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom says "crisis" of demoralized teachers is a more important issue.
October 25, 2017
CTA gives early boosts to several leading Democratic contenders for statewide office
October 22, 2017
In strategy shift, Gates Foundation to spend bulk of education dollars on 'locally driven solutions'
The foundation says it will spend $1.7 billion on K-12 education over the next five years, on local, regional and state networks, "big bets" on innovation, charter schools, and research and development.
October 20, 2017
Hundreds of schools, some more than an hour from the fire zones, closed due to poor air quality. Others closed due to fire hazards.
October 12, 2017
Michael Kirst says the special education system, rooted in concepts and laws that need updating, is battling to recruit and retain fully prepared teachers
October 11, 2017
State audit shines spotlight on problems at online charter schools
October 9, 2017
A survey of California registered voters also shows strong support for school districts to devote more funds and resources to addressing the needs of the state’s most vulnerable students.
October 4, 2017
School districts and parents already have their students scores, so why do we need statewide results on the Common Core-aligned test results?
September 25, 2017
The fate of undocumented immigrants is now in the hands of Congress.
September 15, 2017
Students will take pilot tests based on new science standards.
September 13, 2017
Trump's comments that he "loves" DACA recipient seem at odds with push to repeal the program giving them relief from deportation along with permission to work in the United States
September 12, 2017
Can Congress channel the spirit that prevailed in Washington on Sept. 6, 2001, when Mexican President Vicente Fox addressed a joint session of Congress?
September 6, 2017
President should keep DACA in place until Congress has a chance to enact the bipartisan Dream Act.
September 1, 2017
Teachers can respond to students' concerns by encouraging discussion.
August 27, 2017
Far more students are now eligible to enroll at UC and CSU, without a parallel increase in the universities' ability to admit more students.
August 17, 2017
Despite recent changes at the college level, more needs to be done in K-12 schools.
August 7, 2017
The Vision for Success plan adopted by the college system's board of governors lays out a pathway to support students.
July 18, 2017
By insisting charter schools are public schools, charter advocates are distancing themselves from Trump's proposed cuts to federal funding for public schools.
June 29, 2017
Nick Melvoin says "victory" for him over the next few years would be "across-the-board improvements in the district," not charter growth.
June 19, 2017
The U.S. education secretary says the movement has departed from its founding principles of creativity and innovation.
June 13, 2017
School boards hope that superintendents with ties to their districts will reduce the churn in leadership.
June 5, 2017
Expanding charters will exacerbate L.A. Unified's major challenges, including a prospective budget deficit and declining enrollment.
May 24, 2017
Los Angeles Unified is at the epicenter of the charter school conflict.
May 15, 2017
Sal Khan says the new arrangements are the first he has forged with large, diverse school districts.
May 4, 2017
The president has accomplished few of the initiatives outlined in his Contract with the American Voter.
April 27, 2017
California and Washington appear in sync on at least one issue: local control of schools.
April 27, 2017
Schools have an important role to play to help students and their families cope with deportation fears.
April 23, 2017
The challenges Latino students face are entrenched, systemic, and begin early in students’ academic lives
April 19, 2017
MALDEF president says landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling guarantees undocumented students the right to attend public schools.
April 18, 2017
About 70 percent of schools in California offer full-day programs.
March 30, 2017
A new EdSource report underscores the benefits for children of attending full-day programs.
March 27, 2017
Cuts to California would come about if Congress agrees to $9 billion in cuts to the U.S. Department of Education budget
March 16, 2017
Her remarks appeared to be her strongest endorsement of public schools since taking office just over a month ago.
March 15, 2017
The Trump administration has had to overcome a series of controversies and embarrassments regarding civil rights since the November election.
March 8, 2017
A new commission convened by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon seeks to come up with a long-range plan for early childhood education services.
March 6, 2017
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos backtracks again on comments about historically black universities that stirred controversy.
March 1, 2017
It will be difficult to reverse the momentum in the state, where implementation of the Common Core is well underway.
February 27, 2017
DeVos is sending signals of cooperation after a contentious confirmation fight.
February 17, 2017
Nearly half of families with young children say a parent left the job market to address child care needs.
February 15, 2017
Janet Napolitano, once criticized for her role in immigrant deportations, now defends the DACA program allowing students to stay in the United States.
February 13, 2017
Critics of the new education secretary were alarmed by her advocacy of school vouchers.
February 10, 2017
Republicans needed Vice President Michael Pence to decide the closest vote ever for a Cabinet nominee.
February 7, 2017
Broad finds common ground with teachers unions in opposing Trump's education secretary nominee.
February 2, 2017
Eastin enters what is likely to be a crowded field in the race to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown.
January 27, 2017
Gov. Jerry Brown touts California's accomplishments and vows to protect immigrants.
January 24, 2017
President Donald Trump, in his inaugural address, effectively labels the U.S. education system a failure.
January 21, 2017
Democrats on the committee were angry that they were only given five minutes each to question Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to be secretary of education.
January 17, 2017
The California Charter Schools Association says it will "actively resist" efforts to impose a private school voucher plan on California.
January 16, 2017
Trump nominee for education secretary has been a key player in allowing "soft money" contributions to election campaigns, including contributing to the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.
January 10, 2017
She has been a proponent of taxpayer-supported vouchers and other ways to underwrite tuition for private schools.
January 5, 2017
If California does what the U.S. Department of Education says it should do, some students could end up taking two standardized science tests instead of one this spring.
December 13, 2016
Betsy DeVos also wants to end what she calls "the federalized Common Core."
December 12, 2016
California has a history of opposition to vouchers that can be used for private school tuition.
December 8, 2016
Trump's nominee is a prominent supporter of school choice programs, including taxpayer-funded vouchers for private school tuition.
November 23, 2016
The district has had three superintendents in the past four years.
November 22, 2016
What is unknown is whether Trump will make opposition to the Common Core a litmus test for his secretary of education.
November 21, 2016
The vouchers could be used for a wide variety of schools, including private schools.
November 18, 2016
The former controversial chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools is now based in California.
November 18, 2016
The tuition hike is part of a plan to expand access to California students by increasing in-state undergraduate enrollments.
November 16, 2016
Voter support for the ballot measure reflects the state's movement toward a multiracial and multiethnic society.
November 14, 2016
GOP emphasis on giving more power to states consistent with California's reforms stressing local control.
November 10, 2016
More than $75 million has been spent in an effort to get the three ballot measures passed.
November 7, 2016
An EdSource survey of the state’s 30 largest districts shows that in 17 out of 30 districts, the superintendents have been in office for three years or less.
November 6, 2016
Despite an increase in the number of candidates in teacher preparation programs, too few are seeking careers in math and science.
October 31, 2016
Charter schools have drawn an increasing share of California's approximately 6 million public school students. How this conflict plays out will have major ramifications for the kinds of schools those students will attend in future years.
October 30, 2016
the California Teachers Association this weekend mobilized supporters to boost voter turnout on behalf of two ballot measures -- Propositions 55 and 58 -- that will have a direct bearing on schools and community colleges.
October 23, 2016
California high school graduation rates are slightly below the national average but are rising more quickly.
October 17, 2016
The education department rejected the state's request for a science testing waiver.
October 13, 2016
A California ballot initiative would legalize recreational marijuana use for adults.
October 4, 2016
At least 23 community colleges are offering "College Promise" initiatives.
September 8, 2016
Charter schools are required to admit all students who want to attend.
August 1, 2016
Up to this point, education has not been a major focus.
July 28, 2016
The new system will move away from relying primarily on test scores.
July 27, 2016
California is moving toward a system comprised of multiple measures.
June 29, 2016
Federal draft regulations are calling for a 'single rating' of schools
June 12, 2016
The law gives states and local school districts more authority.
May 26, 2016
Plan would support "blended" teacher preparation programs.
May 19, 2016
State superintendent is recommending new standardized tests for grades 4, 7 and high school.
March 9, 2016
An LAO report says Legislature should avoid "broad statewide policies."
March 1, 2016
Parent engagement is one of eight priorities in California's school funding law.
February 22, 2016
The course would be aligned with CSU's expectations for incoming freshmen.
February 17, 2016
It will take a “cradle to career” approach to improving education outcomes.
February 17, 2016
Substitutes filling in for teachers on leave would be able to stay longer.
February 12, 2016
The proposal would lift the 30-day limit on substitute teachers' classroom time.
February 8, 2016
The state has already adopted many of the reforms in the new federal law.
February 3, 2016
The bills would offer financial support and more training for aspiring teachers.
February 2, 2016
About 2.6 percent of the state's superintendents are African-American.
January 20, 2016
The number of those teachers with has nearly doubled in the past two years.
January 18, 2016
California was initially criticized for moving too slowly.
January 10, 2016
The legislation is based on political compromise, not hard data.
January 4, 2016
Education officials reported a shortage in nearly every subject area.
December 21, 2015
The Every Student Succeeds Act takes effect in the 2017-18 school year.
December 18, 2015
The president's approval will end the No Child Left Behind Act.
December 9, 2015
The state is devising a new accountability system.
November 30, 2015
Districts are involving teachers in the selection process
November 18, 2015
The majority describe the shrinking supply of teachers as “very serious.”
November 17, 2015
District documents range from 47 to 438 pages
October 28, 2015
Obama wants to reduce standardized testing to 2 percent of instructional time.
October 26, 2015
Educators are urging parents and students not to get discouraged with this year's Smarter Balanced test results.
October 13, 2015
State would have been required to provide preschool to all low-income children.
October 9, 2015
The new law would grant diplomas to those who failed the high school exit exam.
October 6, 2015
Arne Duncan is the longest-serving member of President Obama's cabinet.
October 2, 2015
A new survey asks California teachers about college and career readiness.
September 29, 2015
The bills were introduced as enrollment in teacher preparation programs declines.
August 17, 2015
Funding is 50 times what the governor initially proposed in the budget.
June 19, 2015
The standards are mentioned in less than half of accountability plans of surveyed districts
June 3, 2015
At the same time, the number of short-term and provisional permits increased.
May 21, 2015
In his budget remarks, he questioned the need for uniform metrics.
May 18, 2015
Tony Smith starts May 1 as Illinois state superintendent of education.
April 23, 2015
New standards may create hurdles for English-learners
April 1, 2015
With the growing certainty that Jeb Bush will be a candidate in the 2016 presidential campaign, his support for the Common Core State Standards guarantees that the standards being implemented in 43 states will be drawn into the whirlpool of presidential politics.
February 2, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown ventured Friday for the first time during his governorship into the challenge of preparing -- and retaining -- teachers. The issue has received relatively short shrift in the raft of reforms being implemented in California schools.
January 9, 2015
Backed by a new report from his Council of Economic Advisers, President Barack Obama is framing his push for universal preschool and early education as an economic issue that will yield extraordinary financial benefits not only to children and parents, but to the nation as a whole.
December 15, 2014
In response to efforts in many California school districts to reduce suspensions and expulsions, EdSource is convening an Educators Network for Effective School Discipline to help school and district officials as well as teachers share best practices and collaborate on successful strategies.
November 24, 2014
California will be the main beneficiary of President Barack Obama's historic announcement on Thursday night of a program granting temporary relief from deportation to unauthorized immigrants – and in most cases children will be the key to them taking advantage of it.
November 21, 2014
Even though schools across California offer similar amounts of instructional time each week, and instructional days during the school year, students in high poverty schools get far less time for actual learning, a new report concludes.
November 18, 2014
After soliciting input for over a year from education groups, research and advocacy organizations, students and parents, the State Board of Education on Friday approved final regulations governing how districts spend funds they receive through the Local Control Funding Formula, the state's new school financing law.
November 17, 2014
The Common Core State Standards, the principal reform now underway in California schools, emerged unscathed from the state's fall electoral battles, including one of the most combative races for state superintendent of public instruction in decades.
November 7, 2014
One immediate consequence of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson’s rebuff of challenger Marshall Tuck is to ensure the continuance of the cohesion in state education policy that has been forged since Gov. Jerry Brown returned to Sacramento four years ago.
November 5, 2014
Of the panoply of reforms now being implemented in California schools, the one affecting the state’s youngest public school students passed almost unnoticed this fall. California children now have to be 5 years old by Sept. 1 to enroll in kindergarten.
October 27, 2014
Enrollments in teacher preparation programs in California are continuing to decline at a precipitous rate, according to new figures from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Between the 2001-02 and 2012-13 school years, enrollments in teacher preparation programs dropped 74 percent.
October 9, 2014
The crucial challenges of recruiting, preparing and retaining teachers has gotten short shrift in the reform debates over the last few years, despite the fact that effective teachers will be crucial to the success of a range of current reforms.
October 8, 2014
During the next few weeks California educators will play a pivotal role in a crucial phase of work for the new Smarter Balanced assessments California students will take this spring: setting the cutoff scores that will indicate how well a student is performing.
October 5, 2014
Last spring more than 3 million students in California, the largest number ever to take an online test in the state, took field tests of new assessments aligned to the Common Core state standards without major technical breakdowns or system crashes, according to state officials.
September 21, 2014
After months of negotiations, seven California school districts have received a one-year extension of the waivers from the federal government exempting them from key provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act in return for meeting a slew of new requirements.
September 15, 2014
The Oakland Unified School District has begun the school year with a new superintendent, Antwan Wilson, at the helm. Wilson sat down with EdSource's Louis Freedberg and John Fensterwald for a wide-ranging discussion on why he came to Oakland, his views on the Common Core, and his goals for the district.
September 11, 2014
After seeking clarification from the Los Angeles Unified School District about how it calculated the funds it said it was spending on low-income students, English learners and foster children, the Los Angeles County Office of Education has approved the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan.
September 9, 2014
In the sharpest exchange of the first, and most likely, only debate between the two leading gubernatorial candidates, GOP challenger Neil Kashkari on Thursday night accused Gov. Jerry Brown of putting the interests of teachers unions over those of students.
September 5, 2014
The tradition of heading back to school after Labor Day is disappearing. A survey by EdSource of the state's 30 largest districts, serving one-third of the state's 6 million students, shows that only seven will start school after the holiday.
August 20, 2014
The Los Angeles County Office of Education is withholding approval of the Local Control and Accountability Plan drawn up by the LA Unified School District pending clarification of the $700 million the district says it is spending on high-needs students.
August 19, 2014
Students Matter, the organization that has taken the lead in challenging teacher tenure and hiring and firing laws in Vergara v. California, has added one of the nation's leading – and liberal – constitutional scholars to its legal team: Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe. Students Matter filed its lawsuit on behalf of nine students in 2012.
August 12, 2014
Michelle Rhee has announced that she will step down as head of StudentsFirst, the Sacramento-based national advocacy organization she founded four years ago after resigning as chancellor of the District of Columbia school district. She stated that she wants to devote more of her energies working with her husband, former basketball star and current Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson.
August 12, 2014
An unusual runoff election with what is expected to be an extremely low voter turnout is taking place today, with potentially far-reaching implications for education in the state's largest school district, Los Angeles Unified. The election is being held to fill the seat left by the death of longtime member Marguerite Poindexter Lamotte last December.
August 12, 2014
At City Arts and Tech, one of three high schools in the Bay Area-based Envision Schools charter network, deeper learning – an approach that goes beyond rote memorization and the superficial mastery of facts – has been integrated into all aspects of the school curriculum.