Associated Administrators of Los Angeles Weekly Update - Week of January 27, 2014 | http://bit.ly/1eY254Y
COMMON CORE TECHNOLOGY PROJECT OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE IS DISBANDED!
Jan 23, 2014 :: Board of Education President Dr. Richard Vladovic announced last week that he was disbanding the Common Core Technology Project (CCTP) Committee as of April. The committee has the responsibility to provide oversight of the LAUSD $1 billion project to provide iPads or laptops to every student, teacher and administrator in the District and is intended as a vehicle to allow the public to receive in-depth information that cannot be fully provided at a regular meeting of the Board due to time constraints. Dr. Vladovic was quoted in the Los Angeles Times (January 20, 2014) as saying, “I think there needs to be a conclusion of some sort.”
While we understand that the establishment of LAUSD School Board Committees is under the purview of the president, one can only wonder why the oversight committee needs to come to a conclusion in the middle of the rollout. Why would it not conclude when every student has his or her iPad? What has necessitated this drastic move now? Even Board Member Mónica Ratliff, the chair of the committee, was surprised to learn that her committee was being eliminated as are we, at AALA, especially since some particularly pointed and relevant questions about the CCTP have been raised at recent meetings. Due to incomplete and often conflicting information being presented to the committee, the timeline of the CCTP has been appropriately slowed down. The committee’s work has also caused the inclusion of a more thorough evaluation of the project and a pilot of the use of laptop computers with older students.
While the CCTP committee has received criticism that it has provided roadblocks for what Superintendent John Deasy calls a superlative effort of what could be a national model, it has also been commended for slowing the pace of a too hastily implemented initiative. And even as there are lingering unanswered questions about whether the use of construction bond money for iPads is a legitimate expense, the Bond Oversight Committee (BOC) will have some limited jurisdiction of the CCTP as part of its many responsibilities. However, we question its effectiveness or influence since the BOC recently made some well-documented recommendations to the Board for the appropriate use of the bond money that were summarily ignored. We doubt that the same level of inquiry and oversight that was yielded by the CCTP Committee, under the leadership of Ms. Ratliff, can continue with this change by Dr. Vladovic.
Ms. Ratliff will become chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Committee that was formerly led by the late Ms. Marguerite LaMotte.¹ While we are certain that Ms. Ratliff will do a commendable job in this role and know that her leadership is needed on this critical committee, we cannot help but wonder who will be overseeing the CCTP or is that something that Dr. Vladovic and Dr. Deasy no longer think is necessary? We are currently in the process of securing an opportunity to speak with Dr. Vladovic to better understand his vision for Board Committees and oversight of the CCTP.
¹ The scheduled January 28th meeting of of the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Committee has been CANCELED.
LOCAL CONTROL FUNDING FORMULA (LCFF)
As Governor Brown delivered his State-of-the-State speech on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, he expressed his vision for the Local Control Funding Formula. His comments included the following:
…This was a major breakthrough in the way funds are allocated to California’s schools so that our laws explicitly recognize the difficult problems faced by low-income families and those whose first language is other than English. As a result, those with less are going to receive more and that is good for all of us. But something else is at work in this Local Control Funding Formula. Instead of prescriptive commands issued from headquarters here in Sacramento, more general goals have been established for each local school to attain, each in its own way. This puts the responsibility where it has to be: In the classroom and at the local district…Each local district now has to put into practice what the Local Control Funding Formula has made possible. That, together with new Common Core standards for math and English, will be a major challenge for teachers and local administrators. But they are the ones who can make it work and I have every confidence they will.
There are multiple guidelines and regulations that come with the LCFF, many of which are still being developed and will definitely impact administrators throughout the District. The article below, from the Chief Operating Officer, is just an example of some of the additional work that must be done. We know that each school must develop an Accountability Plan that is due in June and are eagerly awaiting guidance for administrators from the central office and the ESCs.
REQUIRED DATA COLLECTION FOR LCFF
AALA thanks Enrique “Rick” Boull’t, Chief Operating Officer, for providing this information.
As noted above, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) provides school districts with funds based on the needs of students, including English learners, foster youth and those who qualify for free or reduced-price meals. More money is sent to school districts that have higher percentages of these students.
In order to access these resources, LAUSD is required to submit each student’s eligibility status for the USDA Free and Reduced Price Meal Program (FRPM). Although this information is already collected from many students throughout the District via the annual FRPM meal applications, there are approximately 138,000 students from 380 campuses for whom the District has no information.
Last November, the District launched an initial collection process to collect this vital information from these students. Thanks to the leadership of our principals and school communities, the District now has 80% of the needed information. There remain, however, approximately 27,900 (20%) students from more than 350 school sites, representing millions of dollars, from whom the District still needs information.
To capture the remaining information and maximize the District’s allocation of state funding, LAUSD has launched a second and final collection period, which will last for 6 weeks beginning January 17, 2014, and ending on February 28, 2014. Participating schools should have received materials by Friday, January 17, 2014. To support collection efforts, the District has developed a LCFF Resource Site that includes a Principal Toolkit with sample parent flyers, message points, FAQs, best practices and parent letter templates. The District has also established a LCFF Support Call Center to address any questions or concerns regarding the collection process, 213.241.4133. EVERY FORM COUNTS! Every missing form means fewer resources for our classrooms!