On January 17, administrators representing local school districts in the Sacramento County region received updates on new programs that are reshaping how California's students will be evaluated and how funding will be allocated.
The quarterly professional development gathering, hosted by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), featured Deb Sigman as keynote speaker. She is Deputy Superintendent of the California Department of Education's (CDE) District, School & Innovation Branch.
Sigman provided an update on the state's new student assessment system known as California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). The new testing program will be comprised of assessments designed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a multi-state consortium that includes California. The consortium is working to create a common assessment system for math and English language arts/literacy, aligned with the Common Core State Standards, with the ultimate goal of better preparing students for college and careers.
Workshop attendees also received an update on the state's new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) which shifts California's traditional way of funding schools to a need-based funding formula. As part of LCFF, all local education agencies are required to prepare a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Plans must describe how districts intend to meet annual goals for all pupils. The governing board of each local education agency is required to approve an accountability plan on or before July 1, 2014 and submit that plan, along with its budget, to its local county office of education. The State Board of Education will provide education agencies with an LCAP template they will be required to follow.
From February through April, SCOE will host workshops to assist Sacramento County districts in developing their Local Control Accountability Plans.