The Education Trust–West Responds to Governor Newsom’s Executive Order on Career Education

For Immediate Release
August 31, 2023

Contact: Mariel Matze, [email protected]


The Education Trust–West Responds to Governor Newsom’s Executive Order on Career Education

Oakland, CA — In response to Governor Newsom’s Executive Order on Career Education, Dr. Christopher J. Nellum, executive director of The Education Trust–West, issued the following statement:

Californian students of color are eager to thrive in the classroom and on the job, but barriers in opportunity, access, and infrastructure limit their education and employment journeys. For far too many years, the state’s cumbersome and convoluted education and workforce systems have hurt students of color the most. While the state has made significant strides toward equity in recent years, students of color deserve clear, coordinated pathways from the TK-12 system into higher education and their chosen careers. Revamping individual programs has gone a long way, but this initiative rightfully recognizes the importance of addressing big-picture barriers to opportunity. Californians of color have big dreams; it’s time the state match them with bold action. 

We must approach policymaking at the systems level with students at the center—much like this new initiative strives to do. Silos in our education and workforce systems serve no one, hinder progress, and perpetuate inequities. We are hopeful that steps such as this one today by Governor Newsom inspire other state leaders to think bigger and bolder, particularly when it comes to diversifying and sustaining the educator workforce. California can better support their vital work by streamlining the process to and through teacher prep programs in California colleges through strategies like dual enrollment.

As consistent champions of an equitable data system and active supporters of the current Cradle-to-Career data system development, we are pleased to see the governor take even bigger steps to ensure data systems support action as soon as possible.

We appreciate that Governor Newsom is bringing a systems-level vision to these issues. Uniting our education and workforce sectors into a coherent ecosystem would afford educators, advocates, and other stakeholders the infrastructure needed to not only remove barriers but share and scale best practices pioneered by educators and policymakers across the state. We are eager to learn more about the ways this new effort can inform stronger action toward re-centering and improving student experiences while advancing equity.

Please contact Mariel Matze at [email protected] for support with further comment.


About The Education Trust–West

The Education Trust—West is an evidence-driven advocacy organization committed to advancing policies and practices to dismantle the racial and economic barriers embedded in the California education system. For over two decades, Ed Trust—West has worked to improve racial equity in education by engaging diverse communities and increasing political and public will to build an education system where students of color and multilingual learners will thrive. For more information, see or follow us on X.



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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.