New advisory panel supports school accountability redesign

New advisory panel supports school accountability redesign

(Calif.) In the midst of creating a brand new school rating system that also aligns with accountability requirements under recently reauthorized federal law, state education officials are convening a new group of experts to advise them along the way.

The new California Practitioners Advisory Group would provide input to the state education board as it works to establish “a single coherent local, state and federal accountability system,” according to a memo from the department of education. Their charge would include recommendations on the “design of the Local Control Funding Formula evaluation rubrics and other decisions related to implementing the Local Control Funding Formula.”

Applications from superintendents, teachers, principals, trustees, parents and others who are qualified to serve are due Friday. The board of education is scheduled at its March meeting to name appointees to the 15-member committee, which will also serve as the state’s committee of practitioners, as required under Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The CPAG, as it has been dubbed, will replace the existing Committee of Practitioners, established under previous federal education law known as No Child Left Behind. The reauthorization of that law last December “altered the membership requirements for the state Title I committee of practitioners,” the CDE memo said. Also, new regulations under the statute will require analysis leading to directives for how the state can meet its responsibilities under Title I – the section of ESSA that governs how funding for local school districts must be used to improve the academic achievement of disadvantaged students.

Another group – the Public Schools Accountability Act Advisory Committee – had been making recommendations to the board on revising the state’s former school rating system, the API. But given all the major shifts in both state and federal education policy, the board did away with the Academic Performance Index in favor of moving to a more comprehensive system.

“Since the state is interested in coordinating the work of Title I and our new Local Control Funding Formula and Local Control Accountability Plans, the SBE wants the CPAG to provide advice on a wider range of issues,” Kenn Young, Riverside County Superintendent of Schools and chair of the PSAA Advisory Committee, said in an email to Cabinet Report. “Rather than trying to ‘retrofit’ either of the committees (PSAA and COP), the SBE thought it was best to start over with a new committee and a new purpose to advise the SBE on this wider set of issues.”

It has not been made clear yet whether the PSAA Advisory Committee will be disbanded. However, according to Young, some former members of that panel as well as the COP are said to be seeking appointment to the new group.

All applicants must meet one or more of the practitioner categories listed below:

  • Superintendents or other administrators
  • Teachers from traditional public schools and charter schools and career and technical educators
  • Principals and other school leaders
  • Parents of student(s) currently enrolled in the K-12 public education system
  • Members of local school boards
  • Representatives of private school children
  • Specialized instructional support personnel and paraprofessionals
  • Representatives of authorized public chartering agencies
  • Charter school leaders
  • Education researchers

Applicants should be able to provide evidence of “demonstrated experience” with California’s K-12 public education system, including familiarity with the Local Control Funding Formula, the CDE said. Applicants should also provide evidence of familiarity with federal program requirements, including Title I, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Members will serve for a term of up to three years with meetings being conducted “annually or as needed.” CPAG members will be reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses related to committee meetings only, at the same rate applicable for CDE staff.

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