Lawmakers ready next step in LCFF – rubric training

Lawmakers ready next step in LCFF – rubric training

(Calif.) With the state board of education still months away from adopting an evaluation tool to assess district plans for student achievement, legislators are laying groundwork for the next step in the process: Teaching evaluators how to use it.

Senators Carol Liu, D-Pasadena, and Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, have introduced SB 871, which would require the recently established California Collaborative for Educational Excellence to create a pilot program aimed at training district and county office of education personnel how to use the rubric.

“This bill will just further ensure that we are on track; that the system is set up and that the infrastructure is okay,” Liu, who also chairs the Senate Education Committee, said in an interview. “And it will make sure that we are tracking our student outcomes so that there is continual growth and support.”

In 2013, California changed the way it funded schools by adopting what it calls the Local Control Funding Formula, which allocates additional resources to schools with more disadvantaged students, including English learners, foster youth and those from low-income families.

As part of the LCFF, school districts, charter schools and county offices of education must create Local Control Accountability Plans that detail how they plan to increase student achievement for all students, and how the additional funds are benefitting their disadvantaged students.

Once adopted, the evaluation rubrics will allow districts to assess the progress made toward the goals outlined in their LCAPs.

Under the LCFF, county offices of education are charged with reviewing district LCAPs, and the state schools superintendent with reviewing county plans as well as any district plans deemed lacking. The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is the oversight committee charged with assisting districts that require further assistance.

The California State Board of Education is required to develop and adopt an evaluation rubric by Oct. 2016.

“Three years have gone by and we still need to have evaluation rubrics in place, and we know the board of education is coming closer to giving us that,” Liu said. “We are just concerned with jumpstarting this whole thing.”

Under SB 871, the Collaborative for Educational Excellence would be required to establish a pilot program to provide professional development for how districts, county offices and charter schools should implement the evaluation rubric and create a continuous system that improves student outcomes. The pilot would run between fiscal years 2016-17 and 2017-18.

What could conceivably be involved in the program is still up for discussion, according to Collaborative spokesman Joshua Daniels, who said that the oversight group is still in its infancy and will continue to hire and train staff members in the coming weeks.

“I think it’s probably too soon for any details, but we are excited to work with the districts that volunteer to be part of the pilot program,” Daniels said in an interview. “We feel confident that we can implement this bill. It begins to flesh out what the CCEE can do, and we’re looking forward to getting going.”

SB 871 was introduced last month and is currently in the Senate Education Committee. The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is scheduled to discuss the bill at its board meeting Feb. 4.

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