EdSource is pleased to announce a new resource for school leaders, our "Leading Change" newsletter. This free online publication will focus on the major public education reforms of the past few years, and how they are being implemented in schools and districts across California. School board members, county and district superintendents, and school leaders at all levels will find relevant news from around the state, delivered to your inbox.
Take a look at our first issue, below, and click here to subscribe today!
March 21, 2014
Welcome to our debut issue
In 2014, local education leaders are confronting the most sweeping set of policy changes seen in years. From the Local Control Funding Formula to Common Core to Smarter Balanced tests, the stakes have never been higher.
EdSource is offering this free online newsletter to education leaders as a go-to source of news and information as you help enact these reforms at the district level.
This newsletter will in particular look at how the reforms in play are connected to each other and how they can be implemented as part of a unified strategy. In each issue, we will take a deeper look at one or more of the Eight Priority Areas which must be included in your Local Control and Accountability Plan. We will be highlighting promising work, hearing your voices and tracking policy developments as they happen, in California and nationally. Let us know what you think, what you need to know and what challenges you are facing.
PRIORITY: PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT
Poll measures parental involvement
Credit: Mark Coplan, Berkeley Unified School District
A statewide survey by EdSource suggests that parents are eager to get involved in school district spending decisions, but underscores the need for districts to actively engage parents if they are to fulfill their new role under the state's Local Control Funding Formula.
New funding law puts focus on translation for non-English speakers
Credit: Barbara Grady, Oakland Local
School districts with high concentrations of English learner students are facing a new challenge in ensuring that parents who need language translation are informed of their role under the funding formula for schools.
PTA program creates parent advocates
Credit: Neil Hanshaw
The PTA thinks it has the right formula for training parents in their new watchdog role under California's reformed school finance and accountability system. The PTA program, called School Smarts, is aimed at giving elementary school parents the tools they need to advocate for their children and their school.
Merced High School District community weighs in on LCAP priorities, asks for school counseling services
Parent Universities help districts tap into feedback on community priorities
Long Beach elementary schools will receive progress reports, not report cards
Merced Union High School District officials have been meeting with community groups to determine future priorities as it prepares its LCAP. Feedback shows the community wants to see improvements in counseling services, additional elective classes, healthier food choices, and increased accessibility to technology.
Two of the state's largest school districts - Long Beach and Fresno - recently redesigned their Parent University programs, focusing more on reaching a high number of families. While the programs were not initially inspired by the new funding plan, they are helping connect schools with parents' ideas on how best to spend state money.