In my role as Director of Data & Assessment for Westchester Secondary Charter school I had the pleasure of supporting a research evaluation of the CAASPP/SBAC efforts underway in California. The Independent Evaluation Report was posted to CDE’s website today. You can find it at:
As an advocate for effective software systems and a participant in the study, I added my voice to the notion that the CDE should be looking much closer at existing 3rd party assessment systems. More than half of California's school districts have a 3rd party assessment system in place already, in ADDITION to the formative/summative resources available through CAASPP. The report explains in very understandable language the need to understand these 3rd party systems and the need to provide more integration resources to get data moving back and forth between systems.
I also provided the investigative team with a list of known California assessment system providers. They incorporated that information into a survey (pictured above) which was distributed to school-site CAASPP coordinators (orange) and District CAASPP coordinators (blue). Though not a representative sample for state-wide assessment system adoption, it was interesting to see the results. Is the somewhat large discrepancies between what the schools are doing and what the districts are doing have any significance?
Table source: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caaspprptstudies.asp (Pages 45/46).
A Note from Sunny Becker, one of the authors:
This report includes results of our two 2016 studies: the CAASPP Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Administration Study and the Access to Designated Supports and Accommodations Study. Many thanks to the representatives of Corona-Norco Unified, Fresno County Office of Education, Greenfield Union, Learning for Life Charter, Los Angeles Unified, Oakland Unified, Poway Unified, Salinas Union High, San Diego Unified, Tulare City, Victor Valley Union High, and Westchester Secondary Charter, who participated in one or both of these studies!
Hooray Westchester Charter for helping to advance the assessment system conversation. Woot-woot!
Announcement today from CDE Assessment Development and Administration Division:
Dear High School and Unified School District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:
PROCEDURES FOR AWARDING THE GOLDEN STATE SEAL MERIT DIPLOMA
The requirement to award the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma (GSSMD) remains in state law. Each local educational agency (LEA) that confers high school diplomas is required per California Education Code sections 51450–55 to maintain appropriate records in order to annually identify students who have earned a GSSMD and to affix the GSSMD insignia to the diploma and transcript of each qualifying student.
The GSSMD, established in 1997, provides recognition to public school graduates who have demonstrated mastery of the high school curriculum in designated areas. The GSSMD is awarded jointly by the State Board of Education (SBE) and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The GSSMD eligibility requirements currently include a combination of course grades, results from assessments produced by private providers or LEAs, and/or qualifying Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment scores for use by LEAs to award the GSSMD to graduating students.
CAPIT Reading was designed by two teachers (an actual wife/husband team) with the original goal of teaching Hebrew to youngsters. It has been updated to focus on the English alphabet, with a focus on the early language skills of phonetic sounds, blends, words, and sentences. This is actually a remarkable iPad program. Why do I say so? I recently had the opportunity to sit down with the two developers and examine the product myself. I found a remarkably well-designed application that should find a welcome home in any U.S. K-2 classroom.
One of the features of the software is the fact that there are no verbal or written instructions anywhere in the program. How will kids know what to do, you might ask? They'll know. Or they will figure it out very quickly. Want to start the first lesson? Drag the letter "A" on top of the Apple. There is no "start" or "go" button. So from the first moment students are actively learning on the program.
Bells and whistles? Nope. Cute pictures with sensible pneumonic associatiions? Yes As an example, most alphabet teaching materials I've seen associate a snake to the letter S. But this can be confusing to some students, as snakes can be straight, coiled, etc. So what's an object that has the "S" sound and is always in the "S" shape? Why the Saxaphone, of course! Little touches like this mean that EVERY single element of this program was evaluated, criticial analyzed, and modified until the best possible interactions were constructed.
As students move throughout the program they are not rewarded with points, or badges, or triumphant music. Also, they are not timed or penalized for thinking a problem through. This isn't a video game aka Reader Rabbit or other similar products from an era when coders made these programs with little instructor input. This is a CORE instructional product designed AND REFINED by teachers. A simple Letter chart (think of those card carts that teachers use in their classrooms) indicates a student's progress. Here's another aspect of why this product shines - the progress chart actually shows students where the common language sounds are clustered. As they move through the levels, they begin to see the English phonemic patterns of commonly used words emerge 'organically' from their work. This is also an easy and fast way for teachers to check their work.
There is a teacher/admin interface as well, that you can use to set up your class. Teachers simply enter their student names and associate each with a pre-built icon. No login codes are necessary, but iPads can still be shared among students.
It is hard to imagine that students with access to this program, over the course of a year, and spending 15-20 minutes a day on it, would not see demonstrative results in their reading ability. I would love to see the developers hand this over to some researchers at UCLA's CREST, for example, to do a true comparison of classrooms that used this for a year vs. ones that did not. Considering the amount of thought that went into this product I initially assumed that it had been developed by cognitive psychologists or experts in learning theory or game design. Again, this is where CAPIT reading continues to surprise me. This one is a winner.
Wow! We just celebrated our first birthday!
MILLBRAE, Calif. — Edupoint(R) Educational Systems, creator of the industry-leading Synergy(R) Education Platform for K-12 student information and learning management, has been selected by Millbrae School District (MSD) to implement the company’s Synergy Online Registration and Synergy Assessment solutions, and the Inspect(R) Item Bank from Key Data Systems that works seamlessly with Synergy Assessment. MSD is located in San Mateo County in the San Francisco Bay Area.
These modules will augment the district’s current implementation of Synergy Education Platform, which includes Synergy Student Information System, Master Schedule Builder, the ParentVUE(R) and StudentVUE(R) web portals and mobile apps, and the TeacherVUE(R) Portal with gradebook. All Synergy modules are fully integrated across the platform and provide real-time information to stakeholders.
by Michael Morrison, GoSignMeUp
1. Needs Assessment. There are several ways that you can gather an organization’s needs.
2. Design effective Courses According to nea Today, “In schools where professional learning is centered around job-embedded collaboration with a focus on student results, teachers feel less isolated and experience a greater sense of confidence and job satisfaction—basically, the antithesis of the type of professional development that occurs outside the school, away from actual instruction, and away from students.”
So the question is how do we design courses that are not “sit and get” but extend beyond the one shot staff development. The answer is to design courses that live on through a Learning Management System. The technique is simple. When you have a staff development day or session, create an online class for the session. This not only allows you to post the materials but lets you start discussions that can last beyond a “Spray and Prey” session.
There are several good LMS systems that allow you to do this well like Blackboard, Haiku LMS, and Canvas. A tool that connects the sign-up process, print name tags but also register people in the classes is called GoSignMeUp and can connected to all three of the above mentioned systems.
3. Make It Fun. A lot of people miss this fun playful side of staff development. Many Learning Management Systems offer badges for courses and GoSignMeUp can track if the courses were completed in a certain strand and send out a certificate. Creating a multi tier approach encourages growth. “Gamify” the process. People can be motivated to gather the next level by a sense of accomplishment and the want to build a resume or move up in the organization.
4. Create Learning Communities – Scrumify it. By pairing up staff with each other, you can create small learning communities that focus on continual improvement of the organization. These smaller groups can push forward short increments if they are given authority to do so. This process of a Scrum is similar to a rugby match in which you join in a Scrum to move the ball forward. Learn more about the Scrum process here.
5. Measure Results. If it is worth teaching it is worth measuring. Find reliable metrics that can assess your staff development goals. Is it a specific goal that you want students in a school to achieve or knowledge need to launch a new product for a company.
For more information on how GoSignMeUp can help you create a successful professional development plan, call 1-888-286-4826, or fill out our contact form.
Does your district use a Learning Management System such as Haiku, Canvas or Blackboard to facilitate professional development programs? Are you struggling with course scheduling, teacher sign-ups, course content, or evaluations? Ever considered expanding the reach of your PD programs by offering courses and workshops to teachers OUTSIDE of your own district? School districts throughout the U.S. are now using GoSignMeUp registration software to manage their PD catalog and create a built-in "return on investment" by monetizing some of the offerings.
School districts are adopting innovative and more business-minded ways at keeping their teachers and administrators up to speed on everything from the Google Suite to Internet Safety to Sexual Harrassment training. Using a web application to create and manage PD courses, schedule workshops, deliver online content, and even print attendee name badges and "Certificates of Completion" makes a lot of sense. Districts that have adopted the GoSignMeUp platform have even started monetizing their current PD efforts by making them available to staff from other districts - simply a smart way to increase revenue and expand the visibility of your training programs.
We are pleased to announce that beginning on February 10th, 2017 the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) submission system for the 2015–16 school year will open to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs). To ensure system performance is maintained, the 2015–16 CRDC will have staggered open and close dates based on region. The open and close dates, and states associated with each region, are listed below. Each region has the standard 75 calendar days from their assigned open date to submit data.
States included in this region: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, and WY
The submission system will open to a select number of State Educational Agencies (SEAs) that are assisting their LEAs with the 2015–16 school year data submission on January 17, 2017. Participating SEAs and LEAs have been notified.
On the day of your assigned submission open date, all identified Superintendents, Primary Points of Contact and Alternate Points of Contact will receive an email containing their username and web link to verify their account and create a password in the CRDC submission system.
The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) systems are back online. The following features are now available in the test delivery system and the Test Operations Management System (TOMS):
Evergreen Associates, NPO Solutions, and Bolton & Company have joined forces to present the Spring 2017 LCAP Academy.
The Academy will provide guidance and training in the required update of your school's LCAP with an emphasis on an authentic, continuous improvement process aligned with charter renewal, rather than one driven by compliance alone. The Academy will cover new changes affecting how your school's LCAP is reviewed and monitored, as well as the latest changes in State accountability.
Who Should Participate in the LCAP Academy?
Charter school leaders who are responsible for school improvement and accountability. We encourage charter schools bring a team of 2-3 individuals, such as Principal, Teacher Leader, Board Member, etc.
The LCAP Academy is a three-day institute that meets in January, March, and May 2017. Ideally, participants attend all three sessions, however, school teams may elect to participate a-la-carte based on their individual needs.
January 31, 2017, 8:30 am to 4 pm
March 3, 2017, 8:30 am to 4 pm
May 18, 2017, 8:30 am to 4 pm
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
What does it cost?Click here for your promo code
* $2,250 for all three sessions (up to three participants per school)
* $800 for a-la-carte sessions (up to three participants per school)
What is LCAP and is there a deadline for having one in place?
The State of California has approved a new accountability system for charter schools that is informed by data, relevant to each school community, and aligned with the school's charter petition and improvement efforts. Created by charter school leaders and their teams, the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) replaces a single number or ranking with a multiple measures based on eight priority areas. It must be approved by the charter school governing board prior to submission to the school's County Office of Education (COE) and ultimately to the California Department of Education. LCAP is a three-year plan, due on July 1st and requires annual updates. Alternatively, a school can resubmit a LCAP in any year as long as it is approved by its governing board.
Is there a penalty for NOT adhering to the LCAP?
Failure to submit or update a LCAP invites scrutiny from a charter school's authorizer, the school's COE, and almost certainly invites the
(CCEE)to get involved. Under the State's new "color-coded" accountability system, schools could be subject to greater oversight for any of the following:
From an email sent on Monday, Dec 12, 2016, to CAASPP Coordinators from CAASPP.CDE.CA.GOV
Dear CAASPP Stakeholders:
The 2016 17 CAASPP Institutes are fast approaching, and the California Department of Education (CDE) would like your assistance in encouraging local educational agencies (LEAs) to take advantage of this engaging two-day professional development opportunity. There are still seats available at all six locations.
This years theme is digging deeper, and the combination of large-group plenary sessions and topic-driven breakout sessions are designed to engage educators in high-quality training on ways to best utilize all components of the CAASPP System to support classroom teaching and student learning. Sessions will focus on timely topics including:
Please encourage LEAs to select members and create teams of up to four to attend a regional session. It is recommended that teams include site administrators and assessment coordinators, as well as English language arts/literacy, English language development/English learners, mathematics, and special education teachers. Further information about the Institutes including location, agenda, and registration details are available at https://www.eventsforce.net/scoe/2/home. The registration fee is $75 per person.
Specific questions about the CAASPP Institutes should be directed to Kasia Faughn, Project Specialist, Sacramento County Office of Education, by phone at 916-228-2674 or by e-mail at .
If you have general questions about the content of this e-mail, please contact Kyle Petty, Education Programs Assistant, CDE Interim Assessment and Digital Library Office, by phone at 916-323-8351 or by e-mail at .
From the PowerSchool press release Dec 7th, 2016;
I am excited to announce that PowerSchool has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SunGard K-12, a leading provider of cloud-enabled ERP and back- office solutions designed to power school operations and improve efficiency.
SunGard’s ERP platform provides comprehensive finance, human resources, payroll, and compliance capabilities that are developed and fully adaptable to meet the needs of K-12 schools and districts. This acquisition will provide significant value to our education community by bringing together K-12 focused cloud ERP with PowerSchool’s best-in-class Unified Classroom and Student Information System.
Thank you for your continued support. In the meantime, for more information, please visit www.powerschool.com/sungardk12
There are four unique listservs that disseminate info about CALPADS. One is maintained by CSIS/FCMAT and serves as a Q & A forum for day-to-day users. The other three are "one-way" messaging systems and do not accept replies. A list of these and their intended audiences and access instructions is below:
|"CALPADS" listservs||Intended Audience||Access Instructions|
Lot's of back-and-forth messages from CALPADS Coordinators
|Individuals who work on a daily basis with all aspects of the system, including preparing data for upload, working with various SIS systems, resolving errors, and validating/verifying data. The group is open to all local school district CALPADS administrators and usually has around 200 active participants. This is a lively back-and-forth discussion forum with roughly 25 to 50 email messages going back and forth each day. It is advisable to use a secondary email account just for this listserv or to create some rules within your email filter to sort these messages into their own folder.||https://csis.fcmat.org/Pages/Listserv.aspx|
Only official information
|According to the CDE website, "The CALPADS-LEA listserv is a private listserv restricted to LEAs. All requests for membership will be reviewed before approval is granted." This is one of the official channels in which "Flash" updates from CDE regarding CALPADS is disseminated. Generally anyone who is the LEA CALPADS Coordinator should be on this list to receive deadline information, product improvement updates, known issues updates, and new data requirement updates.
(Note to CDE - Since this is official information already posted on the CDE site, and not priviliged info in any way, it might make sense to open access of this list up a bit too! That way we can assign a unique email address to it (e.g. ) and then route this critically important info to all necessary parties at our schools.
Only official information
"The CALPADS-SIS-VENDORS listserv provides information relevant to the development and implementation of CALPADS to Student Information System (SIS) vendors and LEAs utilizing custom-designed SISs. This listserv is an open listserv with no membership restrictions." This listserv provides an opportunity to understand how changes in the CALPADS system may impact your student information system (e.g. Aeries, PowerSchool, Infinite Campus, Illuminate SIS, and others). There is usually a monthly vendor conference call as well, that is usually attended by representatives of those companies (when it hasn't been cancelled).
Only official information
|"The CASEMIS-TO-CALPADS listserv disseminates information to LEAs regarding the transition from the California Special Education Management Information System (CASEMIS) to CALPADS. This listserv is an open listserv with no membership restrictions. " Since the CASEMIS data is scheduled to "morph" into CALPADS at some point in the 2019-2020 time-frame, it would make sense for Special Education leaders and CALPADS Coordinators to participate in this listserv in order to anticipate these changes in how SPed data is captured, stored, and reported.||http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/listservs.asp|
Still don't have a revised date for the Fall 1 CALPADS cert. Hang in there everybody!
ONTARIO, Canada – Edsby®, a SaaS platform that gives K-12 school districts, regions and national governments better student, teacher and parent engagement, improved educational outcomes and new insight into educational effectiveness, is now running on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s hyperscale, enterprise-grade cloud platform, as part of a global relationship between the two companies.
K-12 education organizations usually have strict data sovereignty requirements that require them to store their academic data in the country/region they operate. Edsby is now leveraging Microsoft’s investment in Azure data centers worldwide to meet these requirements for customers around the globe. This is especially attractive for large school districts along with state, provincial and national educational organizations.
In addition, the move to Azure provides Edsby with unprecedented scalability and performance that can be flexibly and cost effectively tuned to meet demand as use of Edsby grows in regions around the world. From a management perspective, Azure makes it possible to manage all Edsby global deployments from a single console.
“We’ve benefited from a number of key Azure technologies in moving from our bare metal architecture to Azure, including Azure SQL Database for high availability data management, Azure Storage for durable tiered storage, Azure Portal and more,” said Steven Asbury, Edsby Co-Founder and Vice President of Engineering. “The software porting and customer data migration took just a few months, and we are now recognizing many benefits, such as improved performance, scalability-on-demand, more flexible storage, back-end monitoring/analytics, a better high availability and disaster recovery offering and other efficiencies.”
Edsby’s migration to Azure builds on earlier integration work by Edsby with Microsoft technologies, including support for Microsoft Azure Active Directory, which enables convenient one-click authentication, Microsoft OneDrive access for Edsby users using Office 365 and upcoming support for integrations between Edsby and OneNote Class Notebook. In addition, work is underway to embed Azure Power BI into the Edsby analytics offering.
“Edsby is enhancing how students, teachers and parents communicate and collaborate while leveraging the power of the Microsoft Cloud,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education, Microsoft. “We look forward to working with Edsby to bring this solution to schools around the world.”
Edsby is a modern platform purpose-built for K-12 education that improves student, teacher and parent engagement and helps school districts and governments improve K-12 educational outcomes. Edsby incorporates learning management, data management and analytics. Edsby is developed by CoreFour, a team that has been building scalable, reliable software systems for education organizations around the world for 30 years using latest technology and standards. Edsby is a registered trademark of CoreFour Inc. – http://edsby.com/
The results are in! The survey's have been tabulated! A huge thank you to the more than 150 districts who updated their enterprise systems this year in our 2nd annual EXPANDED survey. We've combined the results from the first and second surveys into a single searchable online index. We think this is currently the most accurate and complete list of systems in use by California K-12 public school districts.
And there's still time to update YOUR district's list of enterprise systems if you didn't get a chance to do so yet. The online survey will stay open until the end of the school year and we'll update the list continuously throughout the year.