The Gevirtz School, in pursuit of research and instructional programs, is committed to discovering educational responses to the diversity challenge that provide the best possible balance between the equally valued goals of equity and excellence in a manner consistent with our democratic society. In carrying out its research mission, the School supports diverse methods of inquiry on a wide range of issues as they relate to multiple domains of development (academic, social, affective), teaching, schooling, and institutional leadership. Our mission derives from the overall mission of the University of California which is to conduct research to address major challenges confronting the State, as well as to provide outstanding education for its students. Along with the entire University of California, the Gevirtz School is dedicated to bringing the benefits of higher education to all of its students. To that end, it is the Gevirtz School's policy to provide a fair and open academic environment: one in which all students feel encouraged to realize their potential, and one that is free from practices, whether intentional or not, that may affirm or reinforce stereotypes based on personal characteristics such as race or gender. U.S. News & World Report's 2008 edition of America's Best Graduate Schools has named the Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara one of the Top 50 Education Schools in the country. The school is also one of only three UC schools of education to make the list.
Gandara and Rumberger investigate the extent to which California’s English Learners—one-fourth of the state’s public school population—have access to the teachers, instructional materials, and facilities that will enable them to succeed in an English-only, standards-based policy system in which they must learn and compete for grade-to-grade promotion and high school graduation along side (and on the same terms as) their English speaking peers. Gandara and Rumberger conclude that that these students receive a substantially inequitable education vis-à-vis their English-speaking peers, even when those peers are similarly economically disadvantaged. They demonstrate that California has failed in its duty to guarantee that EL students have the teachers, the curriculum, the instruction, the assessment, and the support services they need to achieve meaningful access to the same academic content as native English speaking students. Furthermore, when the state has become aware of specific substandard learning conditions for English Learners it has failed to act effectively to correct these problems. Furthermore, with an ill planned class size reduction program and the poorly articulated implementation of Proposition 227, the state has worsened the learning conditions for these students.