Tag Archives: California schools

Speak Up: Free Tool to Gather LCAP Stakeholder Input

In California, a local control funding formula (LCFF) establishes base, supplemental, and concentration grants for all school districts and charter schools in place of previously existing K–12 funding streams, including revenue limits, general purpose block grants, and most of the 50-plus state categorical programs that existed before 2013. As part of the LCFF, school districts, COEs, and charter schools are required to develop, adopt, and annually update a three-year Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

We learned that the Ramona Unified School District has been using Speak Up to help them create and maintain their LCAP. Theresa Grace, Assistant Superintendent, Ramona Unified School District, explained it this way:

“All districts in California are required to write a Local Control Accountability Plan that outlines the district’s goals, actions and services. This plan is the guiding document for how educational funds will be spent in a district. A vital piece in developing a LCAP is stakeholder input. In our district, we use the Speak Up Survey to gather information from our students, teachers, parents and community members that directly influences the goals and actions in our plan. For instance, we are making a concerted effort to engage our students through the use of technology, so we are tracking student Speak Up feedback to see how we are doing. Is the technology working? How are teachers using technology in their instructional practice? Is technology readily available, or is access limited? Speak up data allows us to evaluate how we’re doing over time on these issues and make corrections as needed. It’s a great tool to help our district make funding decisions based on student, teacher, and community needs.”

We hope even more districts across the state of California take advantage of our FREE Speak Up surveys to help inform their LCAPs! Surveys are currently open until January 27, 2017. The next Speak Up surveys will open in October 2017. Feel free to contact us to learn more.

Are you using Speak Up for your LCAP plans or something similar in your state? Let us know

Science Learning in California Middle Schools



Middle school science students across the state of California
seem to be overwhelmingly uninterested in the subject of science.
Proper science equipment, access to labs, teachers prepared for science instruction, and time set aside for science lessons would lead one to think that students learning in this environment would retain proper science comprehension…correct?
Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case with California students in middle and intermediate schools across the state, according to The Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning at West Ed.
This paradox is likely the result of ill-prepared students, not necessarily from the ill-preparation of their middle school science instructors, but rather ill-preparation stemming from lack of proper science instruction & funding in elementary schools. A domino effect seems to be at full-force in this situation, as lack of science instruction throughout elementary school years has stemmed an overwhelming lack of interest in the subject with middle schools students and beyond. This lack of interest from the students is having an impact upon the teachers’ ability to convey information effectively.
Moreover, although middle & intermediate school science teachers may have the knowledge-base needed to properly instruct students, almost 25% percent of them are not credentialed in science instruction. Opportunities for teachers to continue their education in the ever-changing field of science are urged, based on the results of the research.
Luckily, the YouthTeach2Learn program at Project Tomorrow is working to combat this trend. YouthTeach2Learn allows the opportunity for high school students interested in teaching careers to instruct elementary school students on subjects in math & science. Hands-on and experiential learning is urged, and, as a result, a spark in interest in math and science is ignited at a young age.
To learn more about the YouthTeach2Learn program & Project Tomorrow, please visit our website here.
To read more about The Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning at West Ed’s research on this topic, click here.
Feel free to share with us your comments below. Thank you for your support in Project Tomorrow.
– The Project Tomorrow Team