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EdSource Highlighting Student Success
April 25, 2014
This week, we focus on LCAPs.  A growing number of districts have issued their draft accountability plans -- here's a partial list -- and in the next few weeks hundreds more are expected to do the same. In this issue, you'll read that districts can expect a bit of leeway from county offices of education when they submit their plans for approval -- but just in 2014-15. You'll also read about how Santa Ana Unified has used some innovative techniques to promote impressive turnouts for their LCAP parent and community meetings. 

If you haven't yet registered for the EdSource Symposium on 
May 7 in Los Angeles, now is the time! Registration closes on April 30, and you won't want to miss the chance to hear Michael Fullan, Linda Darling-Hammond and David Conley give an insider's view of the new testing and accountability system. Where else could you hear them all in one place?

As always, if you missed the debut issues of the newsletter, click here to read them. And keep sending your feedback and ideas!

Parents made suggestions in the form of post-it notes at an LCAP forum in 
San Diego.
Credit: Karla Scoon Reid, EdSource

State and county education officials are seeking to reassure school districts that might be worried that county superintendents will reject the new accountability plans they'll submit by July 1 for the 2014-15 year. Tighter scrutiny will come, just not for the initial plan. "The approval process

is fairly objective, at least 

this year" and should be 

non-judgmental, Christine Swenson, director of the state Department of Education's Improvement and Accountability Division, told the State Board of Education last month. Peter Birdsall, executive director of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, backed up Swenson's perspective. "There is the expectation of a good-faith effort (by school districts)," he said. "This is the first year, so nobody should have a budget denied for lack of legal compliance." Click here to read more.

Santa Ana Unified caters to parents to boost LCAP meeting attendance 
Armando Gutierrez, an assistant principal at Lowell Elementary School, writes down parents' concerns and comments during a Local Control and Accountability Plan meeting at King Elementary School in Santa Ana.
Credit: Karla Scoon Reid

After agreeing to coordinate the Santa Ana Unified School District's public meetings about its Local Control and Accountability Plan, Frances Byfield's first question was: "What are we serving for dinner?" Much like Mary Poppins with her "spoonful of sugar," Byfield used translators, meals, babysitting and prize raffles to motivate parents to attend the district's 23 LCAP community workshops. Each meeting venue was prepped in advance to identify locations to set up audio-visual equipment, childcare services and meals consisting of turkey sandwiches in the evenings and coffeecake in the mornings. Maintenance crews were dispatched to schools prior to each meeting, carefully cleaning the spaces and, in some cases, even applying a fresh coat of paint. Click here to read more.
In other education news ... 

Jane Brittell, principal at Lorena Falasco Elementary School in Los Banos, says she's worried the drought will force families to leave and pull their kids out of school. Los Banos Unified could lose up to 5 percent of its students. For a district like Los Banos, with 10,000 students, that's about 500 kids.  

"We're still deficit spending this year, so if we were to lose 500 students, that's somewhere around $3 million we would be out," Tietjen says. "How many teachers would we have to cut to save $3 million?" Click here to read more from KQED.   

California high school seniors faced a tougher time winning a spot at most of the UC campuses for the fall, with their chances at UCLA and UC Berkeley now fewer than one in five. In a controversial move, UC substantially increased the number of students from outside California who were offered admission to at least one campus. Those admitted from other states rose 8.9% from last year, to 12,840, and those from other countries were up 17.6%, to 12,905, according to the new statistics. Click here to read more from the Los Angeles Times.

The 23 schools in the Oceanside Unified School District are the first in California to adopt a zero-waste program. The commitment pushes the district to reduce waste at all school sites and the district office by 75 percent by 2020.

Colleen Foster, Oceanside solid waste and recycling management analyst, said the learning curve to reduce waste is quick.

"It takes schools from a 10 to 20 percent recycling rate when we first work with them,  

within weeks to a 70 to 75 percent recycling rate," she said. 

Click here to read more from KPBS. 


Your Voices

This commentary from Ted Lempert, president of Children Now and Mark Friedman, CEO of First 5 Alameda County, describes how early learning should be fully integrated into a district's LCAP. 

On Our Reading List
This new brief  from PACE, the state's leading education research and policy organization, 

identifies four critical areas where research suggests that investment of new resources is most likely to produce gains for students. The brief says that "the thoughtful expenditure" of LCFF revenues can bring about real gains in performance for schools and students.

Instead of promoting STEM education indiscriminately, try this
A thought-provoking blog post on being reflective about the goals of STEM education by Rafiq Dossani, senior economist at the RAND Corporation. 

Sign Up Now 
Final days for registration for EdSource's 2014 Symposium in Los Angeles on May 7 on "The New Accountability: Testing Students and Evaluating Schools in the Age of the Common Core." Featured speakers include Michael Fullan, David Conley and Linda Darling-Hammond.
Common Core Watch
Education Week looks at how the reality of the PARCC and Smarter Balanced tests stack up to their original promise.

The incredibly stupid war on the Common Core
An opinion piece from The Daily Beast questions the movements against Common Core standards, on the right and left.
An important front page piece in The New York Times describes rising Republican opposition to the Common Core.
Tweet of the Week

New @PPIC survey finds Californians support #commoncore standards and #lcff giving more $ to needy students. http://lat.ms/QIatzD¬ 

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