(Photo Credit: Violeta Vaqueiro)
A working group created to support successes in implementing California’s landmark school funding reform closed out their first year by highlighting early efforts for state education leaders.
The California Schools Boards Association/California Forward Local Control Funding Formula Collaborative Working Group consists of governance teams from 17 school districts and offices of education representing the diversity of California.
The group, organized by CSBA and CA Fwd, first gathered in 2014 and convened throughout 2015 to collaborate on best practices related to LCFF’s goal of improving outcomes for students.
In 2015, the working group engaged with experts at the forefront of education innovation: Rick Miller of the California CORE districts; Michael Fullan of Motion Leadership; Carl Cohn, newly appointed executive director of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence; and representatives from the State Board of Education.
“A well-crafted plan on paper isn’t going to rescue the 6 million students in this state,” Cohn told the group. “It starts with people in schools.”
Fullan believes California districts are on board for change and advised they “make the learning the work” rather than overdoing front-end process.
Rick Miller described the CORE districts’ deep dive into data which resulted in the creation of a well-rounded School Quality Improvement Index by which entire schools systems hold themselves accountable for improved results.
These interactions informed the working group’s efforts, with two key initiatives emerging during the year:
- Creating a concise, user-friendly summary for Local Control Accountability Plans which conveys the vision of what the district hopes to achieve
- Developing a tool to help districts evaluate the applicability of promising practices for their own students
Progress on these initiatives was shared at the 2015 CSBA Annual Education Conference held December 2-5 in San Diego. San Diego Unified School District superintendent Cindy Marten, Corona-Norco Unified School District superintendent Michael Lin, Bakersfield City School District trustee Lillian Tafoya and Robla School District trustee Craig DeLuz presented findings on behalf of the group and invited attendees to participate by contributing their districts’ promising practices.
The year culminated with a presentation to the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (begins at the 1 hour, 29 minute mark) by CA Fwd’s Jim Mayer and Susan Lovenburg, David DeLuz of CSBA and Superintendent Michael Lin, which highlighted the opportunities for greater collaboration and alignment of efforts in 2016.
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, in his comments to the second general session of the San Diego conference, expressed his gratitude to CSBA and CA Fwd for their innovative partnership in support of public education.