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EdSource Highlighting Student Success
March 31, 2014
Welcome to the second issue of "Leading Change," a new weekly online newsletter from EdSource for school and district education leaders.

This week, you'll find a major new publication from EdSource on testing and accountability, and we've put together a set of resources on foster youth, identified as a priority group under the Local Control Funding Formula. We also continue to look at how districts are progressing with the first stages of developing their Local Control and Accountability Plans. An interesting range of district priorities is emerging.

How is your district's LCAP evolving? Have there been surprises along the way? Let us know.

And if you missed the debut issue of the newsletter, click here to check it out. Your feedback and ideas are most welcome.


Newly released! "Essential Principles" for reform of California's testing and accountability system
EdSource file photo
Reforming Testing and Accountability: Essential Principles for Student Success in California from EdSource is a major new resource for school boards and superintendents trying to develop effective assessment and accountability systems to meet LCFF requirements. The report identifies eight essential principles for maximizing the effectiveness of California's testing and accountability systems now undergoing a dramatic transformation, along with a timeline for their implementation over the next several years. Click here to read the report in .pdf format.

Superintendent Chris Funk explains how the goals of the district's strategic plan and the LCAP mesh. Credit: John Fensterwald, EdSource Today
One of the first school districts to finish a draft of the spending and accountability plan required by the state's new school funding law is proposing to hire social workers to deal with the effects of troubled home lives, cyberbullying and other social and emotional issues hobbling students' ability to concentrate and learn. Click here to read more.

Credit: Alex Gronke, EdSource Today

California's new school funding law has sparked a major push to get input from parents, at least in most school districts being tracked by EdSource in diverse parts of the state.

Those districts have held--or plan to hold over the next few weeks--public forums that go significantly beyond what is prescribed in the law and its central feature, the Local Control Funding Formula. The funding formula targets additional funds to districts based on the number of low-income students, English learners and foster children attending their schools.  

Click here to read more. 

   


PRIORITY: FOSTER YOUTH
Under the state's new school finance law, districts for the first time will receive additional funds based on the number of foster students enrolled in their schools. The law also requires that, by July, districts set academic goals for those students. But just identifying them by then is a problem. Click here to read more.
Foster students are significantly less likely to enter community college than other students, and about half of those who do don't return after their first year. These dismal outcomes are behind a bill that would offer those students more support. Click here to read more.

Foster Youth: Additional Resources 
Around the State
New school funds should go to 
needy students first, group says
San Diego bucks trend, hires music teacher for Common Core
CA schools gird for glitches in trial run of new computerized test

 

A coalition of community groups in Los Angeles is demanding that 80% of $1 billion in new school funding headed to L.A. Unified be spent on needy students.

Coalition members plan to submit more than 7,000 petitions articulating their demands. They are urging an additional $50 million for students in foster care, $25 million for those learning English and extra services for low-income youth -- including more counselors, social workers and academic support staff. Click here to read the LA Times story.


 

Alex Cortes, principal at J. Calvin Lauderbach Elementary in Chula Vista, says he's found a way to enhance his school's implementation of the new Common Core education standards. In addition to improving technology and offering teacher training, as schools across the state are doing, Cortes also decided to hire a full-time music teacher.

"I believe music can help the academic progress of my students," says Cortes, "even under Common Core."

Click here to read the story from New America Media.


 

A new era in standardized testing of students begins Tuesday--but this test is only a test.

California is starting its trial run of a new state exam to measure elementary, middle and high school students' performance each year. The test is meant to tap more sophisticated thinking and problem-solving skills than the familiar fill-in-the-bubble forms of old.Click here to read the KQED story.   

 


Your Voices

School districts should begin planning now for new science standards commentary from Trish Williams, member of the California State Board of Education

The Next Generation Science Standards, adopted last September by the State Board of Education, will better engage and educate all students in science, and better prepare them to enter more in-depth science, computing and engineering courses in high school and beyond. Click here to read more.


On Our Reading List
Designing, Leading and Managing the Transition to the Common Core: A Strategy Guidebook for Leaders by Brentt Brown and Merrill Vargo of Pivot Learning Partners, from PACE
 
Save the Date

5/7: EdSource Symposium on Testing and Accountability

Washington Watch
Can Obama Initiatives Elevate Black Achievement in Age of Higher Education Standards? 
-New America Media
 
-a conservative leader comes out in favor of Common Core: former governor of Alabama Bob Riley in The National Review   
Tweet of the Week
Xilonen Cruz-Gonzalez, Azuza Unified SD School Board Member

@Roger_Hernandez

"We can't treat children equally when they come from unequal circumstances."

@CSBA_Now Region 23 EdSummit #LCFF 
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