Smart Voter
State of California June 2, 1998 Primary

Full Biography for Delaine Eastin

Candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction


This information is provided by the candidate


On November 8, 1994 Delaine Eastin was elected to a four year term as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Eastin is the highest ranking official in California's elementary and secondary public school system and the first woman to be elected State Superintendent.

As State Superintendent, Eastin's top priority was to reduce class sizes in early elementary grades. Her advocacy of class size reduction convinced the Governor and the legislature to invest $1 billion in cutting class sizes in K-3. Once the money was allocated, Eastin moved quickly to implement the program. Today, 94% of all school districts have cut K-3 class sizes to twenty students.

In response to declining student performance, State Superintendent Eastin initiated development of new math and reading guidelines. Recognizing the benefits of technology in increasing student performance and preparing youth for the workforce, Eastin established the California Education Technology Task Force to craft a statewide plan to increase student access to technology in the classroom. She is also pushing for an increased emphasis on the arts.

In the fall of 1995, Superintendent Eastin launched the "Challenge Initiative," a groundbreaking effort to establish high standards and accountability in California schools. Fifty-six school districts, covering 450,000 students, agreed to set high standards for every grade and in every subject area. Those standards constitute the framework for new statewide standards for all California students.

As State Superintendent, Eastin serves as the Executive Officer and Secretary of the State Board of Education and is the Director of the California Department of Education. In addition, the State Superintendent is a member of various boards and commissions that make education policy in the state. The most notable of these are the Regents of the University of California and the Trustees of the California State University system.

Prior to her election as State Superintendent, Eastin served four terms in the State Assembly and chaired the Assembly Committee on Education.

A native Californian, Eastin received her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis, and her master's degree in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After teaching political science and women's studies for seven years, Eastin served as a corporate planner for Pacific Telesis Group, a position she held until her election to the State Assembly. Eastin lives with her husband Jack Saunders in Fremont.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 13, 1998 22:46
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