Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861
Education in California has undergone some fairly major changes in the last few years, so much so that it can be hard to keep up. Here’s a run-down of some of the changes:
No More NCLB – Now it’s ESSA
Most people have heard about the “No Child Left Behind Act” (NCLB). Did you know that it no longer exists? A new federal law took its place which eliminates many of the NCLB requirements. The new law is the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA). States can noe pick their own goals, although the goals must address specific areas including such things as graduation rate and test scores. For instance, states are required to test in reading and math in grades 3 – 8 and once in high school. States can choose to do more, but can’t do less. California has added testing in the area of science and may include a test for history/social studies. The new tests are now referred to as the “California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress” (CAASPP). The old California Standards tests which included the former “Standardized Test for the Assessment of Reading” (STAR) test, no longer exist.
LCFF – Emphasis on “Local Control”
In the 2013-14 school year, the “Local Control Funding Formula” (LCFF) was introduced in the State of California. It replaced the old funding system that had been in place for roughly 40 years. LCFF gives school districts the ability to decide how to use the funds with input from staff, students, and parents. LFCC also provides extra funding for students with greater challenges such as foster youth and students who are eligible for free or reduced priced meals. The key point is that there is local control – each district sets their own goals and decides how to spend the money.
LCAP – the New District Plan
LCFF requires districts to write a “Local Control Accountability Plan” (LCAP) to explain how they plan to spend their funding. Testing is only one area to consider when determining student success, so now the LCAP must include a focus on eight different priority areas set by the State. Attendance, including chronic absenteeism, is one such important priority. Other state priorities that are indicators of student success are: Dropout rates, graduation rates, school climate, college and career readiness, and parent engagement. Districts are to keep and review data on all of these priority areas, write goals to improve in all areas that need it, and to review their progress each year in meeting those goals.
Why is Parent Engagement So Important?
Research shows that parent engagement in schools improves student achievement and reduces absenteeism. Students with involved parents or other caregivers earn higher grades, have better social skills, and show improved behavior. Parents can get involved in their children’s school or district in many ways: joining the school’s Site Council or Advisory Committee; joining a PTA or booster club; attending or volunteering at student events; attending Back-to-School Night; and reading school newsletters for other ways to get involved.