EdCal EdCal v49.13 1/14/19

January 14, 2019 EDCAL   1 Education California | The official newspaper of the Association of California School Administrators Volume 49 | Number 13 | January 14, 2019 Updated School Dashboard launched The California Department of Educa- tion and the State Board of Education have launched the second version of the Califor- nia School Dashboard, a website that gives parents, students and educators access to valuable school and district data. The 2018 Dashboard includes two new metrics for evaluating school and district performance and a new, user-friendly look that makes complex data easier to under- stand. The Dashboard is now fully acces- sible on smart phones and tablets, is easier to navigate and has improved graphics. The new Dashboard also has the most current data available, including 2018 test scores and graduation rates. “The Dashboard helps schools identify strengths and weaknesses in many different areas that measure success,” said outgoing Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “I urge educators, parents, and communities to turn this data into positive action by using it to target resources where improvement is needed and to share prac- tices where success is demonstrated.” The Dashboard is a key component of California’s five-year overhaul of the state’s school accountability system. It displays statewide data based on status (how each school or district performed) and change (how much they have improved or declined over time). School and district performance See DASHBOARD, page 2 Bill introduced on facilities bonds Tony Thurmond, left, poses with ACSA Executive Director Wes Smith when he visited the ACSA offices in Sacramento during his campaign. Thurmond takes office as new SPI Tony Thurmond took his oath of office as California’s 28th Superinten- dent of Public Instruction last Monday, saying that it is an honor to lead the state’s 6.2 million students and more than 10,000 schools. He said his own life story under- scored the vital need for all students, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or im- migration status, to have a first-class education. “I grew up in poverty and without my parents,” he said. “But I was raised by a cousin, an amazing woman, who made certain that I got a great edu- cation. That’s what got me where I am today, and that’s what I want for my two daughters and all students. I pledge to devote all my energy, talent, experience, and all the powers of my office to ensure all students get a great education. “But I need help. I’m asking every- one to join me. Help with your local schools. If you can, find a way to be a mentor, a volunteer or contribute to a fundraiser.” Thurmond, a former Assembly member, was a social worker who worked in nonprofits and served on the West Contra Costa County school board and as a member of the Rich- mond City Council. He said that schools face many difficult challenges. “As I traveled the state this past year, I saw many good things happening in schools, and I saw that many educators and students are working very hard. But we must do better,” Thurmond said. “We must reduce the achieve- ment gap and supply social services to children whose needs outside of the classroom are not being met. We can- not rest when so many of our students are falling short of meeting our high academic standards. We have to work harder and smarter for every student.” Thurmond’s plan for improving schools includes lifting California from the bottom end of per-student spending to the top end. “Providing more money to our schools helps our students, our communities and our economy. But most of all it helps create a bright future for our state,” he said. His plan also includes the following: • Keeping schools safe by reducing gun violence. See THURMOND, page 6 Periodicals Dated Material Assembly member Patrick O’Donnell, chair of the Assembly Education Com- mittee, has introduced Assembly Bill 48 to place a K-12 and community colleges school facilities bond on both the 2020 and 2022 ballots. “The state has a responsibility to ensure that students are housed in safe facilities that meet educational needs,” O’Donnell said. “AB 48 will continue the state’s part- nership with local school and community college districts by providing state match- ing funds for construction. As a teacher, I know firsthand that the conditions of our schools affect student health, performance and motivation.” The last school bond, Proposition 51, was passed by voters in November 2016. Funds for the construction of K-12 school projects from Prop. 51 have already been spoken for in unfunded approvals, but the state has only approved the sale of a small amount of those bonds. “California’s skills gap is widening,” said Assembly member Jordan Cunningham, a co-author of the bill. “While we have been successful in securing permanent funding to start new Career Technical Education programs, our schools still need dedicated funding to build state-of-the-art technical facilities.” Researchers estimate the need for school facilities construction and modernization at more than $100 billion over the next decade. Prop. 51 passed funding for $7 billion, and ACSA has been advocating for the state to sell the bonds ever since. In the post-recession era, facilities projects have languished badly. Even as the economy recovered, former Gov. Jerry Brown had been reluctant to commit the state to any new debt. Mid-state conference. The 4th Annual ACSA Mid-State Conference will take place March 8-10 in San Luis Obispo. The three-day conference will feature renowned general session speakers, such as Pedro Noguera, Edwin Javius and Steve Ventura, along with expert breakout session present- ers. The theme of this year’s confer- ence is Growing Leadership with an Equity Focus. Registration is available at http://bit.ly/2FeftJc. Janus resources. ACSA has a number of resources available on our website regarding the Janus Supreme Court decision, including a joint Q&A released with CTA. You can find the resources at www.acsa.org/advocacy. Youth summit. Deadlines are approaching for registering for the 2019 Youth Action Summit of California. The program will bring California students to the Ontario Gateway Hotel Feb. 15- 17. Experts from various field will share their knowledge and inform students about projects that they can undertake at their own school. Each delegate will leave with a detailed plan for their own project. The registration form can be found at www.casc.net. Please en- courage outstanding students to apply. Science input. The CDE is re- cruiting California science educators to help develop new items, define achievement level descriptors, perform standard setting, and evaluate the alignment of the CAST with the NGSS. Additional opportunities for participat- ing in the development of the science assessments include reviewing items and item data for both the CAST and the CAA for Science and scoring con- structed response items for the CAST. Applications are now open. Further information about these activities as well as other science as- sessment development opportunities can be found on the online CAASPP Content Reviewer Application at http:// bit.ly/2zqs1Js. Predicting the future for our kids The following article was written by Shel- don Smith, assistant superintendent, Business Services, San Luis Obispo COE Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of being a Chief Business Official is the balancing act of gazing into a crystal ball as one crafts educated assumptions about future revenues, while also remaining completely aware of current-year demands on existing dollars. Anyone who has gazed at his bank balance trying to figure out how to replace the car that was just wrecked can perhaps understand how CBOs feel when faced with a new collective bargaining agreement or large expenditure. Making these types of fiscal decisions is tough, and not all district CBOs and management teams get it right. During the 1980s, 27 California school districts found themselves with no cash for monthly pay- roll and other legal obligations requiring the Legislature to loan California treasury dollars to these bankrupt districts. Sub- sequently, in 1991, the Legislature passed Assembly Bill 1200 requiring numerous fiscal oversight actions. Every California school district and COE now is required to make budget revisions at least two times a year, and include multi-year projections two years into the future. Since AB 1200’s enactment, only nine loans have been afforded to school districts in the last 25 years. There is no question that school busi- ness is complex. From the days of the one room schoolhouse, the utilization of public moneys for educating our children brings layers of complexity and accountability that are particularly endemic to school business. The intricacies are not going away, but the See CBO, page 3