Dear LAUSD family,
I am writing to share with you some remarkably positive news. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has approved the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Waiver for the California Office to Reform Education (CORE) districts, and as you know, Los Angeles is one of them. This provides an incredible opportunity to take a more holistic approach to school improvement, rooted in the commitment to prepare all students for college and career. The eight districts, Los Angeles, Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, Sanger, and Santa Ana Unified School Districts, will immediately implement the School Quality Improvement System, which is more robust, more thoughtful and far less dependent on a single test score as we have today.
As you know, the current system is 100% based on a single test measure. Our CORE system is based 60% on the Academic Domain (40% of which will be academic test scores), 20% on the Social/Emotional Domain and 20% on the School/District Culture & Climate Domain, with such measures as: student achievement over time, graduation rates, discipline and suspension rates, Special Education identification rates, English Learner reclassification rates, parent survey feedback rates, etc. Schools will no longer be categorized as being in Program Improvement. Schools that are not preparing all students for college and career will get intensive help from teachers and school leaders that have led successful efforts to improve achievement with similar student populations at other schools. In short, we will be able to measure our progress on how we educate and support our students with a focus on the practice of teaching and leading the whole child.
I could not be more proud of us, and the other districts. I am so grateful to our amazing teachers and school leaders in LAUSD that have served as a catalyst for this major change in how we support our students. Our teachers are leading the front lines of the Common Core State Standards instructional shift and this waiver will serve to support that work. We are moving away from a one size-fits-all approach to what works for individual students. I know that there are a number of organizations that have not been in support of this for various reasons. As a group, and as an individual district, we look forward to reaching out to each and every one of them to invite them to participate in overseeing our work, and holding us accountable to this new process. Successful implementation of the School Quality Improvement System will take the collaboration, talent and expertise of every person in LAUSD.
More information will be forthcoming. I encourage you click here to read the executive summary and visit http://coredistricts.org to learn more about this transformative change.
Dr. John E. Deasy