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Great book on using data to drive solutions . . .

Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier’s Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think unveils the future possibilities of building on the analysis of vast amounts of data. Hypothetical correlation goes out the window, and the new methodology behind datafication opens new possibilities for companies and governments (and schools) in the 21st century. The authors explain the importance of this data-driven approach, how messiness trumps exactitude, and the unlimited potential for many of data completeness. They also illustrate how searches on Google open new possibilities, but caution of the dark future of shattered privacy that could prevail as depicted in movies like Minority Report.

Each of the 10 chapters makes a main point about “Big Data” and its implications. The authors discuss the significance of sampling vast amounts of data, the prominence of datafication, the value of data, the risks of data, and the tools needed to control a data-driven society that is able to intrude on everyone’s privacy. They suggest that Farecast, a company that tells online buyers if prices are more likely to rise or fall before their scheduled trips “is the epitome of a big-data company and an example of where the world is headed” (p. 5). If all goes well, data companies will generate greater growth and affluence globally.

Very much worth a read . . .

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California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative (OEI) Selects SmarterMeasure™ for Online Learning Diagnostic Assessment

All California Community Colleges can now utilize an online assessment tool designed to improve learning outcomes in online courses. The assessment tool, called SmarterMeasure™ Learning Readiness Indicator, was created by eLearning applications provider SmarterServices™. This agreement came about through a partnership between the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative (OEI) and the Foundation for California Community Colleges (Foundation). 

SmarterMeasure™ Learning Readiness Indicator™ is a web-based, diagnostic assessment that evaluates multiple factors related to education and student success, including learning styles, life factors, individual attributes, technical competency and knowledge, on-screen reading rate and recall, and typing speed and accuracy. "Since 2002, 3.7 million students have taken the SmarterMeasure™ assessment and have received guidance and resources mapped to their scores to help them succeed," said Dr. Mac Adkins, CEO & founder of SmarterServices. 

SmarterServices and the SmarterMeasure™ Learning Readiness Indicator were originally only available to select Online Education Initiative pilot colleges, but are now available to the entire California Community College system through the Foundation's systemwide purchasing program, CollegeBuys, which offers significant discounts on a wide range of educational products for colleges. "Online student readiness is one of the most important factors that will impact whether or not a student will succeed in a course," said Pat James, OEI's executive director. "Making SmarterMeasure™ available to all California Community Colleges allows these students to be fully informed about their individual challenges with online learning." 

Students can use the results of these assessments to understand their own strengths and weaknesses and seek help. Administrators are empowered to better identify at-risk students, provide remedial help to meet specific student needs, and ultimately improve retention.

The SmarterMeasure™ assessment is part of Quest for Online Success, a learning program developed by the OEI to prepare students to succeed in online education. Online student success and retention rates have been consistently lower in online learning environments than in traditional academic settings, and the Quest for Online Success program aims to address these discrepancies. SmarterMeasure™ joins a burgeoning suite of tools designed to serve online counseling, online course preparation, online tutoring, and proctoring needs. These tools have been identified in partnership with the OEI and community college practitioners.

For more information about SmarterMeasure™, visit smartermeasure.com.

For more information about the Online Education Initiative, a project of the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, visit ccconlineed.org.

For information about CollegeBuys products offerings, please visit foundationccc.org/CollegeBuys

About SmarterServices, LLC 
SmarterServices™ offers a suite of eLearning applications that empower nearly 600 educational institutions—K-12 schools, colleges, universities—to organize and analyze relevant data about students, teachers, employees, and curriculum. Our data-driven solutions include assessments that measure learner readiness, non-cognitive skills, and CBE readiness and an exam proctoring management tool. As a result, clients can more intelligently form strategic plans, maximize efficiency, and foster formative learning. Since 2002, over 3.7 million students have benefited from SmarterServices.

About the Online Education Initiative 
The Online Education Initiative is a collaborative effort among California Community Colleges (CCCs) to ensure that significantly more students are able to complete their educational goals by increasing both access to and success in high-quality online courses. OEI is a project of the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, administered by the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, in partnership with the Butte-Glenn Community College District and the CCC Technology Center at Butte College.

About the Foundation for California Community Colleges 
The Foundation for California Community Colleges is the official nonprofit foundation to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and Chancellor's Office. The Foundation's mission is to benefit, support, and enhance the missions of the California Community Colleges system, the largest higher education system in the nation. Incorporated in 1998, the Foundation works with community colleges and partner organizations to manage donations, grants, programs, and services that drive excellence in education. Since inception, the Foundation has provided over $250 million in direct grants, support, and cost savings to California Community Colleges. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit corporation and receives no direct state support.

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ELPAC website goes live!

The new Web site for the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is now available at www.elpac.org. This Web site provides support to local educational agencies for the administration and training of the ELPAC. The Web site serves as a portal for general information, manuals, instructions, training videos, announcements, event opportunities information, and calendar.

If you have any questions regarding the Opportunities Web page, please contact Jackie Adams, Project Specialist, Sacramento County Office of Education, by phone 916-228-2207 or by e-mail at .

The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) will be the successor to the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). The CELDT is the current required state test for English language proficiency (ELP) that must be given to students whose primary language is a language other than English.

State and federal law require that local educational agencies administer a state test of ELP to eligible students in kindergarten (or year one of a two-year kindergarten program sometimes referred to as "transitional kindergarten") through grade twelve. The California Department of Education (CDE) is transitioning from the CELDT to the ELPAC as the state ELP assessment by 2018. The ELPAC will be aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards, and will be comprised of two separate ELP assessments:

 

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CALPADS Fall 1 Training News!

(Note: Original Source:  CALPADS Email from August 5, 2016 )

It’s time to begin preparations for the 2016 Fall 1 CALPADS data collection! This communication serves to announce the initial 2016–17 CALPADS training schedule and remind LEAs of the importance of training and the appropriate class sequence. 

The 2016–17 schedule starts off with offering the Essential 2 and Essential 3 courses, along with a new course regarding CALPADS documentation. The first Fall 1 training session will occur the week of September 12. Registration availability for the Fall 1 sessions will be posted in the beginning of September.

NEW COURSE 

The Guide to CALPADS Documentationtraining sessionwill familiarize users with CALPADS documentation and support tools. In this session, we will review the purpose of the CALPADS documents, how they are used, how they link together, and where you can find them. This is not a required course for the Training Recognition award, but this course is highly recommended if you want to better understand how to get the most out of the documentation. 

NEW STAFF 

If you are new to CALPADS, you are expected to take the CALPADS Essential classes (course numbers 2–4) to become familiar with the CALPADS functionality. These Essential classes provide the foundation necessary to prepare for the specific data collections (Fall 1, Fall 2, etc.) as well as to prepare for the steps in Statewide Student Identifier (SSID) requests and Anomaly resolution. Once the Essential 2–3 classes are completed, you should attend the Fall 1 Reporting & Certification class. After the Fall 1 submission is well under way, you should attend the Essential 4 and Fall 2 classes. Additionally, the Q&A sessions listed in the schedule complement your learning experience and allow an opportunity to talk with support staff. The Q&A sessions require registration and are available to anyone, regardless of your training level. 

EXPERIENCED STAFF 

CALPADS users who completed the Fall 1 data submission last year do not need to take the Essential classes unless they feel that a repeat will be beneficial. The Fall 1 Advanced class was created for staff who have a strong understanding of the data submission process and want to learn about changes in the current year. 

SELF-PACED TRAINING 

Self-Paced modules for all the training sessions are available for everyone. The Self-Paced modules are a good alternative to the presenter-led sessions when you want to learn on your own, need a refresher on a particular topic, or can’t find time to attend the live sessions. We request that users register for the Self-Paced modules, so that we can update our records to reflect who has attended training. Self-Paced Registration can be found here: http://csis.fcmat.org/Pages/Self-Paced-Training.aspx. The Self-Paced content for Fall 1 will be updated by the end of November. 

CLASS ENROLLMENT 

To obtain detailed information about class descriptions and the target audiences for each class offered, please visit the FCMAT/CSIS Class Descriptions Web page at: http://csis.fcmat.org/Pages/Course-Catalog.aspx. All of the sessions will be held via Microsoft Skype Internet conferencing. The training material, along with instructions regarding how to access the Web conference, will be sent one day prior to each training date. 

COURSE TITLES 

The following table depicts available courses for CALPADS 2016 training sessions and the recommended target audience for each course: 

Guide to CALPADS Documentation 

Essential 1 – CALPADS Data Coordinator Orientation 

Essential 2 – Features, Code Mapping, and User Access 

Essential 3 – SSID Requests, Enrollment and Maintenance 

Essential 4 – SSID Anomalies 

Fall 1 – Reporting and Certification 

Fall 1 Advanced – Reporting and Certification 

 

TRAINING REGISTRATION / VIEWING AVAILABLE COURSES: 

You must have an account for the FCMAT/CSIS Web site in order to register for training. 

To register for the 2016 CALPADS training sessions, visit the FCMAT/CSIS CALPADS Training http://csis.fcmat.org/Pages/Trainings.aspx] Web page. 

If the list of available courses exceeds more than one Web page, you will see pagination links at the bottom of the Web page. If these pagination links are visible: Simply click on the links to view additional classes. See the screen shot below. 

To dis-enroll from a class, please log in to the Web site and click on the “Disenroll” button next to the class in which you had previously enrolled. 

CALPADS Training Preparation 

FCMAT/CSIS Microsoft Skype will host the online training sessions. Please pay attention to the Training Reminder e-mail which is sent two days prior to the course start date: This e-mail contains the session link to join the training. 

Thank you,

FCMAT/CSIS Training Team

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ESSA Update - August 3rd, 2016

Golden State vs. the Feds! - Or, How Best to Reconcile the LCFF/LCAP Stuff with the New Federal Regulations.

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) and the State Board of Education (SBE) President Michael Kirst jointly signed a letter in response to the proposed regulations for ESSA accountability, data reporting, and submission of state plans, detailing concerns about the proposed regulations and making recommendations to address those concerns. The letter was submitted through the Federal Register on August 1 and may be viewed on the CDE Response to ESSA Proposed Regulations Web page.

The new ESSA regulations are chalk full of new requirements for state data reporting, accountability, working with struggling students, and even report cards.  The new Federal requirements also encourage (require?) a single rolled-up school "score" (much like California's recently abandoned API scores).  California thinks it's adoption of new multiple measures are a step up/beyond a single measure (and I agree!)

I actually agree with all of the suggestions that Superintendent Torlekson and Board President Kirst are suggestion in the letter.  Don't really want to go back to a single number as a measure of a total school's achievements . . .

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CALPADS Update #119

In this update:  

1.  New CALPADS maintenance window

2.  Reporting Disciplinary Removals to an Interim Alternative Setting

3.  Students Missing from CTE Reports

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ESSA Update July 15, 2016

Using Federal Funds to Improve Student Outcomes in Humanities 

To help state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and their partners identify potential ways to use Federal formula grant funds to support humanities education during the 2016–17 school year, the U.S. Department of Education released a letter to provide examples of how funds from Titles I, II, III, IV, and V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins) can support efforts to improve Pre-K–12 and postsecondary instruction and student outcomes in the humanities. 

SEAs, LEAs, and their partners may find this guidance useful as they contemplate the transition from the ESEA as amended by NCLB to the ESEA as amended by the ESSA. We have added a link to the letter on the CDE ESSA Web page. Dear Colleague Letter regarding using federal funds to improve student outcomes in humanities (13-Jul-2016) 

If you find these updates and resources helpful, please consider forwarding this message to others who might benefit from receiving more information about ESSA in California. Anyone can join by simply sending a blank e-mail message to .

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CA school districts adopt visitor security systems

Scan ID cards, create instant visitor badges

Three school districts in Orange County, California have invested in a new visitor management system that scans visitor IDs before approving access into buildings. The Santa Ana Unified School District, the Anaheim Elementary School District and the Irvine Unified School District have all installed the technology at some or all of their schools, reports Campus Safety magazine.

Under the system, a person enters the school building and gives their driver's license or other government ID to the desk attendant. The attendant puts the ID into a hand-sized scanner that runs the ID through all 50 states' databases for registered sex offenders. After an ID has been approved, a printer automatically creates a name badge that includes the time the guest checked in and the guest's campus destination.

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CAASPP Update # 161 - July 6, 2016

CAASPP Update # 161 - July 6, 2016

Focusing on the CAASPP System, including the Smarter Balanced assessments—a major component of CAASPP—and the California Alternate Assessments and science assessments.

Updated Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines

The Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines document has been updated for the 2016–17 CAASPP administration. Among the changes are two new resources:

- Simplified Test Directions (non-embedded designated support)

- 100s Number Table (non-embedded accommodation)

In addition, the recommendations on the use of scratch paper (non-embedded universal tool) now include the use of a whiteboard and marker as well as low-tech assistive devices for taking notes. Internet access must be disabled on assistive technology devices and, where appropriate, separate setting may be used to maintain a secure testing environment.

Mailing of Student Score Reports to Parents

California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 863 requires that local educational agencies (LEAs) mail the Student Score Reports to parents or guardians within 20 working days after they receive the printed reports from Educational Testing Service. The exception to this requirement applies when an LEA receives the printed reports after the last day of instruction, in which case it must mail the reports within the first 20 working days of the next school year.

Schools must maintain each student's results (print and/or electronic) in the student's permanent records.

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CALPADS Update FLASH #117

CALPADS Update FLASH #117 provides information about the following topics:

System maintenance on June 30

End-of-Year submission window reminder and tips

Special Education Discipline Data Used for Federal Reporting

Tips for submitting EOY 3 discipline data to ensure that CASEMIS and CALPADS data are aligned

Ensuring Correct Submission of Homeless Data in CALPADS

Title I Part A school-wide status

April 2016 CALPADS Information Meeting (CIM) posted on the Web

“View only” feature — update

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CAASPP Update #159

A Weekly E-Mail from the California Department of Education

CAASPP Update

Focusing on the CAASPP System, including the Smarter Balanced assessments—a major component of CAASPP—and the California Alternate Assessments and science assessments.

Summer Hand Scoring Workshops Online Registration Coming Soon!

Educational Testing Service (ETS) will conduct one-day CAASPP Summer Hand Scoring Workshops in July and August. These workshops will train educators to score constructed-response items and performance tasks for English language arts/literacy and mathematics and to prepare students for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments.

The workshops, which will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., are scheduled as follows:

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CAASPP Update #158

Issue 158

June 15, 2016

A Weekly E-Mail from the California Department of Education

CAASPP Update

Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System, including the Smarter Balanced assessments—a major component of CAASPP—and the California Alternate Assessments and science assessments.

Revised CAASPP Regulations Now Available

On May 18, 2016, the Office of Administrative Law approved California Code of Regulations for CAASPP. The CAASPP regulations are located on the California Department of Education (CDE) CAASPP System Web page under the “CAASPP Info” tab. Highlights of the revisions made to the CAASPP regulations include the following:

Section 851.5(c) clarifies eligibility for the Standards-based Tests in Spanish as a student in one of grades three through eight and grade eleven (1) whose primary language is Spanish and who is receiving instruction in Spanish; or (2) who is enrolled in a dual language immersion program that includes Spanish; or (3) who is a recently arrived English learner and whose primary language is Spanish.

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Resources from June 8th LACOE DAAN meeting

Shasta COE data dashboard   reachhighershasta.com

Butte COE LCAP resources    bcoe.org

Math Performance Tasks   map.mathshell.org

Science Performance Tasks   nextgenscience.org

Literacy Design Collaborative   ldc.org

Better Lessons    betterlesson.com/master_teacher_projects

Curriculum Review Reports      edreports.org

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Why our children are so bored at school, cannot wait, get easily frustrated and have no real friends?

Written by Vicky Prooday

I am an occupational therapist with 10 years of experience working with children, parents, and teachers. I completely agree with this teacher’s message that our children getting worse and worse in many aspects. I hear the same consistent message from every teacher I meet. Clearly, throughout my ten years as an Occupational Therapist, I have seen and continue to see a decline in kids’ social, emotional, academic functioning, as well as a sharp increase in learning disabilities and other diagnoses.

Today’s children come to school emotionally unavailable for learning and there are many factors in our modern lifestyle that contribute to this. As we know, the brain is malleable. Through environment we can make the brain “stronger” or make it “weaker”. I truly believe that with all our greatest intentions, we unfortunately remold our children’s brains in the wrong direction. Here is why…

1. Technology

“Free babysitting service… the payment is waiting for you just around the corner”. We pay with our kids’ nervous system, with their attention, and ability for delayed gratification. Compared to virtual reality, everyday life is boring. When kids come to the classroom, they are exposed to human voices and adequate visual stimulation as opposed to being bombarded with graphic explosions and special effects that they are used to seeing on the screens. After hours of virtual reality, processing information in a classroom becomes increasingly challenging for our kids because their brains are getting used to the high levels of stimulation that video games provide. The inability to process lower levels of stimulation leaves kids vulnerable to academic challenges. Technology also disconnects us emotionally from our children and our families. Parental emotional availability is the main nutrient for child’s brain. Unfortunately, we are gradually depriving our children from that nutrient.

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PowerSchool acquires Haiku Learning

Haiku Learning is the fourth major acquisition for PowerSchool this year.

From today's press release:

We are excited to announce that we have acquired Haiku Learning, leading provider of an innovative cloud-based learning management system (LMS) and classroom collaboration solution designed to meet the needs of K-12 educators. With this acquisition, PowerSchool has invested over $100 million within the past six months to implement the K-12 education industry's first Unified Classroom platform.

The addition of a learning management system to PowerSchool's suite of solutions—student information system, special education, assessment, and analytics—brings the industry's first solution that provides all of the information and tools teachers and students need to manage instruction and collaboration in one unified platform. PowerSchool Unified Classroom is designed to facilitate instructional processes so that teachers can digitally deliver rich content with embedded lessons and interact in real-time with students in the classroom. The system simplifies the task of running both classrooms and schools to let educators spend more time teaching and less time managing assignments, tracking down homework, and grading papers.

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Support Dr. Mary Funaoka!

Editor's Note - Mary is a dear friend and colleague of mine when we both worked at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy.  She is the nicest, smartest, hardest-working person I've ever met in my life and one of the first contributors to this website.  Please read her story and support her and her family during this difficult time.

From her website:

I am a 36-year old married mother of three young children (4, 2, 7 months) who fulfills my passion of educating college students every day. This spring I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer - an unclassic case that has cut my timeline to a fraction of what I had imagined.  

While some might call it a bucket list, for me, it would be more appropriate to call it my seed list. My hope is to achieve what is listed below as a way to plant lasting memories for both my family and me.

To learn more about my story, visit my blog at https://emazingjourneyblog.wordpress.com

Support her family through her gofundme page here: https://www.gofundme.com/25uzbpsc

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Don't Forget!

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Did you know you can now login to the site via your LinkedIn account?

​Give it a try!  Send me an email if it doesn't work!  


-   

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CA Superintendents Tech for Schools Summit

 

June 2, 2016
Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

CALIFORNIA SUPERINTENDENTS TECH FOR SCHOOLS SUMMIT

I want to extend a special invitation for you to attend the Second Annual California Superintendents Tech for Schools Summit.

The Summit brings together the leading superintendents and district teams from across California to interact with the most creative education technology entrepreneurs.

Conference topics include digital equity, the Williams Act and how you can stay on top of it, and student data privacy. In addition, you will have an opportunity to meet with more than 30 companies selected by a panel of education advisors. Plus, there will be a fascinating tour of the Google campus the night before to network and mingle with education and technology leaders.

This event takes place on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, in Mountain View, California. Registration and information are available on the Ed Surge Web page at https://go.edsurge.com/TS- 1606CAa_07-LP-Partner-CDE.html.

You are encouraged to bring your central office teams comprised of the Superintendent, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Chief Technology Officer, and any other member of your team who plays a pivotal role in selecting and implementing instructional technology. Optional attendance is also available for one school board member.

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Faster results for California student tests aligned with Common Core

As millions of California students take tests aligned with the Common Core standards for the second year, results are coming in more quickly than they did the first time around, a change that could help educators make better use of the tests to help guide classroom instruction.

One of the major selling points of the Smarter Balanced tests was that schools would get the results much more quickly than they did under the old California Standards Tests, and that the scores would be more useful in informing how students were taught.   

Read the entire article here:  http://www.mercurynews.com/education/ci_29949767/faster-results-student-tests-aligned-common-core

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