Credit: Alison Yin for EdSource Today

With districts working this fall to put into action their first locally created school accountability plans, the California Department of Education rolled out a new online resource center on Thursday designed to help schools change.

Known as the Quality Schooling Framework, the site is intended to guide administrators through the process of identifying priorities, gathering data, building support and implementing and assessing new programs. The framework includes videos on Developing Effective School and District PlansAnalyzing Data and Assessing Local Needs, Leading Change and Engaging Stakeholders.

The framework pays a lot of attention to school culture and climate, and notes that “the school environment, like family and community environments, has either a powerful positive or negative effect on whether students learn and thrive.”

The mood on campus, the framework said, affects how students and staff think, feel and act; “whether students are motivated to learn and stay in school; and whether teachers are satisfied with, and engaged in their work.”

The tips, links to research and definitions of concepts such as school climate are presented as “universal features of quality schooling” that can help administrators move forward on many initiatives, including meeting school program improvement goals set by the state, as well as fulfilling the budget and accountability plans – known as Local Control and Accountability Plans – that districts created for the first time in June.

The depth of information on topics varies widely; the site barely mentions the Common Core State Standards and the new standardized tests created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

But during this time of major changes in California education, new tools and resources are valuable, said Samantha Tran, senior director of education policy at Children Now, an Oakland-based nonprofit organization. “This is all new for educators,” she said.

Now that local plans have been approved, Tran said, the challenge for the district is to turn those plans into action steps and milestones, and to put people in charge of execution.

“You’ve linked programs to the goals you’re trying to achieve, but who owns that in the district? How does that manifest in the day-to-day work in the district?” Tran asked.

Earlier this week, Tran presented information on those topics at a “Leveraging LCAPs to Drive Effective Change” webinar co-hosted by Children Now and Pivot Learning Partners. The new local control process is cyclical, she said, and districts are already looking ahead to how they will reach out to community members, measure results and update their plans next spring.


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  1. Deborah Blair Porter 2 years ago2 years ago

    Substantive reference to "students with disabilities" and how progress of this lowest performing of all subgroups is to be measured is also missing from this new "Quality Schooling Framework." Not surprising given California's pattern of excluding SWD in its performance stats, including the recent measures of the CAHSEE. (See Torlakson's 09/19/14 press release claiming the CAHSEE rate for the class of 2014 was 95.5 % when that figure excludes SWD. That's fudging the numbers in … Read More

    Substantive reference to “students with disabilities” and how progress of this lowest performing of all subgroups is to be measured is also missing from this new “Quality Schooling Framework.” Not surprising given California’s pattern of excluding SWD in its performance stats, including the recent measures of the CAHSEE. (See Torlakson’s 09/19/14 press release claiming the CAHSEE rate for the class of 2014 was 95.5 % when that figure excludes SWD. That’s fudging the numbers in a big way. http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr14/yr14rel94.asp).

    If you don’t identify the problem, you can never take steps to fix it, which is why 99% of the LCAPs that will be created across the state will be invalid, because they do not factor in or account for the results of ALL students, including SWD. CA’s approach is “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to addressing its real problems in ensuring student progress. No wonder California “needs intervention.”

  2. Richard Moore 2 years ago2 years ago

    And not a word about school libraries — the CORE of any good school. At least those children pictured can look out windows and see what the real world looks like….

  3. David 2 years ago2 years ago

    The roots of Common Core stem from the United Nations initiative Agenda 21. It is a global effort to build a progressive environmental value system in today’s children and in future generations where individualism is frowned upon for the 'greater good' of society. It is an attempt to create a ‘global classroom’ where national citizenry is suppressed and global citizenry is promoted. It's a smoke screen folks. The rich and powerful know this. Did you know … Read More

    The roots of Common Core stem from the United Nations initiative Agenda 21. It is a global effort to build a progressive environmental value system in today’s children and in future generations where individualism is frowned upon for the ‘greater good’ of society. It is an attempt to create a ‘global classroom’ where national citizenry is suppressed and global citizenry is promoted.

    It’s a smoke screen folks. The rich and powerful know this. Did you know that Obama sent his kids to the private Sidwell Friends School in Bethesda, MD? Sidwell does not employ the Common Core method of indoctrination. Think about this carefully. The president and his wife promote Common Core for the masses, but it is not deemed satisfactory for their kids. It’s not good for yours either!

    The Common Core name has rightfully earned a bad connotation since its introduction therefore it has been given other names to mask its presence. Here in Maryland it is called ‘Maryland’s College and Career-Ready Standards’. What is it called in your state? Look it up here: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/local/state-names-for-common-core-standards/1228/

    You owe it to your kids to research this matter and do something about it folks. The info is available on the Web, but you will have to make the effort; if it matters to you. Learn more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coRNJluF2O4
    and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNeimlu9jxk
    and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1IacmUWVa4
    and here: http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/the-way-we-see-itour-blog/common-core-is-agenda-21
    and here: http://www.fightthecore.com/

    The philosophy in the school room in one generation will become the philosophy of government in the next. — Abraham Lincoln

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