CISI EBulletins

Overview

Resources & E-Bulletins

CISI provides E-Bulletins as a service to members by email. Here you find archived E-Bulletins in addition to topically searchable resources on the following topics:

District Leadership: LCFF, LCAP, Budget, & API

Curriculum & Instruction: Common Core, Teaching, School Climate

Assessment: Smarter Balanced Assessment & Other Testing

Legislation & Policy: Politics, SBE, Legislation Analysis

Research in Brief: Curated research briefs and summaries

 

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RESOURCE — Program Implementation
Assessment

National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) - http://nirn.fpg.unc.edu

With schools faced with so many new initiatives, it can be helpful to have access to resources that frame analysis of the work. The National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) has resources that can be used to evaluate progress toward implementation. One such tool is the brief report (with implementation rubric) entitled Stages of Implementation Analysis: Where Are We? Access the pdf HERE

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Developing Social Capital and Organizational Mapping in the Vista Unified School District
Legislation & Policy

(Albert Shanker Institute, August 19, 2015) —Devin Vodicka, superintendent of Vista Unified, a California school district serving over 22,000 students, recently wrote an article describing the process of developing, and mapping, human capital in his school district. Vista Unified was recently accepted into the League of Innovative Schools.

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What Makes Teacher Collaboration Work?
Curriculum & Instruction

(Albert Shanker Institute, December 8, 2015) — In a recent article from the Albert Shanker Institute, authors Davis Sherer and Johanna Barmore explore effective collaboration, citing educational research looking into conditions that foster collaboration. Empirical research suggests that student achievement is positively impacted by teacher collaboration that leads to teacher learning.

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Bright Spots in Hispanic Education Database
Legislation & Policy

(U.S. Dept. of Education) — Marking the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, the U.S. Department of Education released the report Latinas in the U.S., 2015 and a national catalogue of promising practices supporting education of Hispanic students. Nationally, 1 in 4 students is Hispanic. In California, more than 1 in 2 students is Hispanic (53.25%; CDE 2014).

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Examining Race-based Bias in Schools
Legislation & Policy

(Education Week) — In her research, Jennifer L. Eberhardt, a Stanford University social psychologist and the winner of a 2014 MacArthur Genius grant for her research, found that black students are more likely than white students to be punished for “defiance” or “insubordination.”

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California Releases 2015 Smarter Balanced Test Results (CDE)
Assessment

Results are out from the inaugural year of the new computer-based assessments in English language arts/literacy and mathematics (CAASPP), based on Common Core standards provide a baseline for the implementation year. The CDE has provided a website to review results by county, district and school. Educators and policy makers are concerned about the pervasive achievement gap in educational outcomes statewide for students of color and low income students.
 

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Common Core Knowledge and Practice Survey — free online tool
Curriculum & Instruction

The Common Core Knowledge and Practice Survey, developed by the national organization Achieve the Core, is a free tool for educators to reflect on their instructional practice and understanding of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Designed for use in a professional learning community (PLC) within a school, the survey is meant to spark conversation, identify areas for growth, and offer concrete ways for teams of teachers to continue to align their practice to the Common Core shifts.

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Governor Brown Approves $490 Million for Teacher Training
District Leadership


Governor Brown signed legislation this week that authorizes $490 million for teacher training in California. School districts will receive funding, based on their number of full-time equivalent certificated staff, for teacher training services. 
 

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School Climate: Serving More Students
Research in Brief

School climate constitutes one of the eight priorities that school districts must address in their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs). Addressing school climate is not only required under the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), but essential to the diverse processes comprising K-12 schools and districts.

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Collaboration in Education
Research in Brief

What is Collaboration?

The term collaboration crops up extensively throughout educational articles in many forms: among teachersbetween administrators, and between students. Beyond individual interactions, the term collaboration is also employed to describe inter-agency relationships useful in promoting educational change.

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Common Core Aligned Science Resources
Curriculum & Instruction

The Sue Stickel at the Sacramento County Office of Education compiled this lists of resources for English Language Arts that are aligned with the Common Core.

This resource provides links and brief summaries of the materials and uses spanning History and Social Studies topics.

Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) Curriculum

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Common Core Aligned History and Social Studies Resources
Curriculum & Instruction

The Sue Stickel at the Sacramento County Office of Education compiled this lists of resources for English Language Arts that are aligned with the Common Core.

This resource provides links and brief summaries of the materials and uses spanning History and Social Studies topics.

Historical Thinking Matters

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EL Students with Disabilities Report
Curriculum & Instruction

Key elements of processes to help identify and support English learner students with learning disabilities can inform education leaders determining which English learner students may need placement in special education programs as opposed to other assistance.

This report identifies guiding principles that suggest ways to identify and recommend assistance for English learner students with possible learning disabilities:

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English Learners in California
Curriculum & Instruction

According to CDE, the 1.4 million English learners in our state constitute 22.7% of the total enrollment in CA public schools. A total of 2.7 million CA students speak a language other than English in their homes. This number represents 43.1 percent of the state’s public school enrollment. Most EL students are born in the US. The CDE website provides current resources on EL students in CA.

Suggestions include:

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Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Back to School Message
Legislation & Policy

In Tom Torlakson’s August 18, 2015 message to California Educators, several key areas in support of California schools are addressed:

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Teaching Profession Resources
Curriculum & Instruction

This US Department of Education blog focuses on how one Senior High School is approaching supporting continual learning for teachers. Following are key areas identified for school site leaders:

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State Board of Education Update
Legislation & Policy

Cabinet Report — July, 9, 2015

In a recent article, Sue Burr, member of the state board of education addressed the question of accountability. She writes: “Our job as a policy making body is to say what are the power indicators that are meaningful at the state level that are reasonable to use to compare across LEAs and charters and will set the expectations and targets that will accomplish all of the guiding principles we want around equity, student performance, graduation, etc. [...] We certainly want to keep faith with what the intent [of the LCFF] was but, again, in my freak-out moment when I saw all of those indicators I had an NCLB nightmare and I just don’t think any of us want to end up there.”

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Federal Student Meal Program Expansion
Legislation & Policy

Cabinet Report — August 25, 2014

The CEP program streamlines the paperwork and reporting process for parents, schools and districts, and virtually eliminates backups in school lunch lines because no money has to be collected. Families do not need to turn in free and reduced-price meal applications, and schools do not need to process applications or conduct verification. More information from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service.

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Common Core Aligned ELA Resources
Curriculum & Instruction

The Sue Stickel at the Sacramento County Office of Education compiled this lists of resources for English Language Arts that are aligned with the Common Core.

This resource provides links and brief summaries of the materials and uses for English.

English Language Arts

Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC)

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K-12 Learning Resources
Curriculum & Instruction

General Sources

Discovery Education K-5 Teaching Resources

This website provides worksheets, lesson plans, “brain-boosters,” a calendar of workshops for educators, and more for K-5 classrooms. All materials are free, engaging, and interactive.

Scholastic Teaching Resources

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Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Resources
Curriculum & Instruction

Georgia Department of Education

Kindergarten to 5 (by grade level)

  • Each grade includes a year-long curriculum map outlining units of study and approximate pacing
  • Each unit contains: instructional strategies, common misconceptions, essential questions, evidence of learning and a wide array of tasks including those to introduce, practice and scaffold a standard.  Units also include one or more performance tasks.

Grades 6

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AB 2706: Healthcare Information Requirements
Legislation & Policy

(Cabinet Report — July 7, 2015)

Flyer resource available from All in for Health. Legislation signed last fall by Governor Jerry Brown requires school districts and charter schools to add an informational item to their enrollment forms aimed at educating parents and legal guardians about available healthcare options and where they can get help signing up. The new mandate includes 2015-2016 school year as well as those beginning in 2016 and 2017.

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Legislative Analyst’s Office Review of School Districts’ LCAPs
District Leadership

This report from January 20, 2015 reviews the first year of LCAP development, assesses the usefulness of the new plans. This report examines 50 LCAPs to evaluate their compliance with statutory requirements and determine whether overall the LCAPs reflect thoughtful strategic planning by districts. Below is a summary of the report’s recommendations.

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Assessment in California: An End to NCLB?
Assessment

Again this year California SBE requested and received a waiver from the federal government regarding the NCLB requirement to use new test scores for Annual Yearly Progress accountability. (EdSource provides an excellent summary on this topic, here.) The state received the exemption letter from Assistant U.S.

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Social and Emotional Learning
Research in Brief

Social and emotional learning (SEL) encompasses a skillset comprising emotional processes, social and interpersonal skills, and cognitive regulation. Numerous studies suggest that high-quality SEL programs and instruction in schools do matter, but many approaches currently lack support and validation. In this Research in Brief, we provide an overview of research, policy, and standards relating to social and emotional learning. Additionally, we cover promising approaches for integrating SEL into instruction and schooling.

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California K12 Collaborative Network Inventory
Research in Brief

Identifying the collaborative educational networks in California is both an art and science. Collaborative networks are diverse, and consequently resist classification. Further, while collaboration may occur in informal settings, only formalized partnerships with a critical mass of coordination or funding establish an online presence. It is this ineffability of educational networks that makes them difficult to identify and leads to duplication of effort as individual institutions work unaware of what other parties strive to accomplish

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California State Budget Update — May Revision News
Legislation & Policy

The California May Budget revision released on May 14, 2015 estimates an additional $6.7 billion in revenues above January proposal estimates. In total, $5.5 billion will go to K-12 and community colleges.
 

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PPIC Statewide Poll on Californians and Education
Legislation & Policy

The recent survey of California voters showed 66% support for a school facility bond on the November 2016 ballot. Meanwhile Governor Jerry Brown continues to oppose a bond that would compete with the water bond. “Our polling consistently shows that local school funding is the top priority,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC’s president and pollster.

SOURCE: Hill and Ugo (2014). "Implementing California’s School Funding Formula: Will High-Need Students Benefit?"
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Leveraging LCFF: How Can School Funding Benefit High-Needs Students?
Research in Brief

New research from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) raises concerns that high-need schools in districts with comparatively low levels of high-need students may not receive adequate funding. This PPIC report highlights counties in Southern California, the Bay Area, and Sacramento that may require special attention and support to provide adequately for high-needs students due to distribution patterns. A useful resource in this report is the visual ranking of all California counties by unevenness of high-need student distribution between school and district averages.

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Teaching Academic Vocabulary to English Learners
Research in Brief

From the Center for Reform and Research in Education

A new study published in the American Educational Research Journal, December 2014, has shown the benefit of teaching academic vocabulary to children whose first language is not English to support learning English and academic content in English, at the same time.

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How a Massachusetts School Narrowed the Achievement Gap: More and Better Learning Time
Curriculum & Instruction

Summary from The Hechinger Report

A new report on lengthened school days describes the process of principal Lori Butterfield as part of a district-wide improvement effort. At her school, Guilmette Elementary, they took a year to plan an expansion learning time. At Guilmette, 300 hours per year were added. The school day now goes from 7:30 a.m. to 3:35 pm. Results in the first year have been promising.

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CA State Board of Education Approves LCFF Regulations and LCAP Template
District Leadership

The California State Board of Education approved the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) regulations and Local Control and Accountability Plan  (LCAP) template at the November 14, 2014 meeting.

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Accountability for College and Career Readiness
Research in Brief

Developing a New Paradigm

The recently released Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education report entitled Accountability for college and career readiness: Developing a new paradigm provides suggestions for enhancing students’ college and career readiness. The report focuses on areas of accountability for meaningful learning, accountability for adequate and intelligently used resources, and professional capacity.

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Common Core Video Resources
Curriculum & Instruction

Teaching Channel Video Resources

The following video, entitled Peer Review in Action: the ELA EQUIP Rubric (5:11 minutes), provides an approach for teacher peer review of instructional materials and lessons for all grade levels in alignment with CCSS.

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LCFF Implementation: Building Capacity to Realize the Promises
District Leadership

Policy and practice brief from the California Collaborative on District Reform

This November 2014 policy brief highlights new areas of opportunity for school improvement. The report states that under LCFF, central office teams accustomed to implementing categorical programs must evaluate and design strategies that are based on evidence of effectiveness and alignment with district goals, not with state mandates.

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Towards a Grand Vision: Early Implementation of California’s LCFF
District Leadership

A report written by Daniel C. Humphrey and Julia E. Koppich and released by SRI International emphasizes key areas of growth in our state’s education system, as LCFF and CCSS are implemented. Following are excerpts from the report, summarized in a recent EdSource article: “The LCAP process really pushed the emphasis on collaboration. We recognized that people were working in silos. And we had to change.” 

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LCAP Electronic Template Field Test
District Leadership

County offices of education and school districts interested in participating in the field test of the 2015-16 LCAP electronic template are asked to contact Local Agency Systems Support Office (LASSO) staff by telephone at 916-319-0809 or by e-mail at lcff@cde.ca.gov and to provide a contact name, telephone number, and email. Participants will be notified not later than Friday, March 20, 2015, and additional information and documentation regarding the field test will be sent out shortly thereafter.
 

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Teacher Evaluation
Research in Brief

In January 2015 EdVoice released a report evaluating school districts’ policies surrounding evaluation of educators performance entitled “Student Progress Ignored: An Examination of California school districts’ compliance with the Stull Act.” The evaluation requirements of the Stull Act, originally passed in 1971, the report argues, are largely ignored in districts’ current evaluation plans.

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Research on Testing & Assessment
Assessment

On March 11, the State Board of Education (SBE) voted to suspend the Annual Performance Index (API) for the second year. This second year of suspension gives the board time to transform the current system, based on entirely on test score data, to a more inclusive performance index. 

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LCAP Analysis: School Climate in California
District Leadership

LCAPs Show Districts Focusing on School Climate in California Schools, But Still Much Work to Be Done

Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP) encourage school districts to reform school discipline practices and improve school climate in support of the eight state priorities. According to the national anti-crime organization Fight Crime, in an analysis of California’s LCAPs:

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Supporting Continuous Improvement in California’s Education System (LCFF)
District Leadership

PACE Report  |  January 2015  |  Authors: Linda Darling-Hammond & David Plank

This January 2015 report from Policy Analysis for California (PACE) provides a detailed outline of how California should establish a new accountability system under LCFF.

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California Governor’s K-12 Education Budget 2015-2016
District Leadership

The 2013 Budget Act provided $1.25 billion in one‑time Proposition 98 General Fund to support the implementation of the Common Core state standards. The 2015-16 Budget proposes more than $1.1 billion in discretionary one‑time Proposition 98 funding for school districts, charter schools and county offices of education to further their investments in the implementation of Common Core.

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California’s New Accountability System: PSAA Report to SBE
District Leadership

The December 2014 PSAA Report to the State Board of Education describes the main aims of the State’s developing accountability system. Below we summarize key aspects.

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School Climate and Student Success
Curriculum & Instruction

A recent report from the California Comprehensive Center, AIR, and WestEd entitled “A Climate for Academic Success: How School Climate Distinguishes Schools that are Beating the Achievement Odds” suggests a connection between positive school climate and schools that are “beating the odds.” Those “beating the odds” are schools that, based on student demographics, perform better than predicted.

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State Board of Education Draft LCAP Rubric (March 2015)
District Leadership

Summary — Unpacking the SBE Agenda

In March 2015, the State Board of Education (SBE) voted to suspend the API for 2014-15 as the state develops a new accountability system. The California Department of Education (CDE) recommends that the SBE approve the PSAA Advisory Committee report and provide recommendations on the following:

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2015-2016 LCAP Approval Manual from CCESSA
District Leadership

The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA), in collaboration with BASC, CISC and other state agencies, has released the 2015-16 edition of the LCAP Approval Manual. The manual provides a guide for county offices of education to use in their LCAP oversight approval process.

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