CCEE Connection (January 2024)

News & Announcements
Open Door Sessions

CCEE, in collaboration with LEAs and partner organizations, is hosting “Open Door” sessions to share best practices, tools/resources, and strategies to support student learning. These sessions provide opportunities for county office and/or district staff to listen and learn from other LEAs across the state.

Below are archived materials from past Open Door Sessions:

Please check our Events Calendar or follow CCEE on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on upcoming Open Door sessions.

LEA Spotlights

The Spotlights Project aims to celebrate some of the innovative, inclusive, and shareable practices that LEA teams have implemented to improve outcomes for students across our state. Each Spotlight organizes the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in a way that calls attention to emerging practices, reproducible strategies, and applicable resources, in hopes of introducing accessible points of conversation for other LEAs looking to resolve similar issues.

Below are three recently published Spotlights. Click on the links below to learn more about the innovative practices taking place in these LEAs.

Scaling Student Success, A California Partnership

Districts across California are partnering with Scaling Student Success to develop graduate profiles that more equitably and holistically redefine student success, transforming how they support students in developing the skills, competencies, and mindsets needed to thrive in college, career, and life.

Hope ESD‘s commitment to transparency and data-driven decision-making is empowering students to own their educational journey, nurturing a community of lifelong learners.

Federal Terrace Elementary School participated in CCEE’s Intensive Assistance Model Project, receiving intensive onsite support from Solution Tree to redefine collaboration and transform their Professional Learning Community.


About the I3 Center

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center implements a statewide approach to improving LEA capacity by collaboratively developing, delivering, sharing, and spotlighting practices that have demonstrated the power to improve outcomes for students.

About the CCEE

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is a statewide leader delivering on California’s promise of a quality, equitable education for every student.

Executive Director’s Corner

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director

Headshot of Matt Navo

Having a statewide view helps our organization better understand what’s working and what’s not working. This is particularly important when it comes to how educational professionals engage best for professional learning. Time and time again, we hear two desires: 1) we want to learn from our peers and 2) we want to see how others are doing “it” – “it” being whatever it is we are trying to learn. This newsletter explores the various learning networks and peer-to-peer learning opportunities being used to support educators’ desires to learn.


Learning Networks: Fostering Collaboration, Including the New I3 Learning Network Resource Hub

By Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning

On November 15th, the Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) team hosted our first Cross-Network Convening, bringing together 19 districts and counties from across the state who are engaged in our African American Student Success Network, Data Research Learning Network (DRLN), and our newly added Universal Design for Learning Network. The theme for the convening was Street Data: Making Data Meaningful to the Lives of Students, Teachers, & Families.

At the start of the Convening, participants listened to district and county experiences with street data from Dr. Kimberly Hendricks-Brown (Fresno USD) and Fawn Nielsen (Imperial COE). Attendees then had network-specific time to learn more about Street Data in the context of their network learning. For example, in the DRLN, districts and counties conducted a data inventory at the satellite, map, and street data levels for their Innovation Projects. The event culminated in a showcase where each district and county shared their Problems of Practice, highlighting ideas and insights on how street data might enhance progress monitoring and measuring impact.

To foster continued cross-network connections, I3 is excited to launch the I3 Learning Networks Resource Hub. The Hub provides a one-stop shop for resources emerging out of learning network projects from districts and counties representative of the state of California. For example, the Hub includes teacher and student surveys created by the Center for Assessment focused on formative assessment practices that foster student agency from the DRLN’s Rincon Valley Union School District. As one learning network member shared at the convening, “Cross networks are the safety nets we all need when we work to lead,” capturing the supportive spirit of collaboration.


Focusing on African American Student Achievement: Addressing the Growing Gap

By Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director &
Italo Ciccarelli, Program Specialist

Amidst the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, district leaders are grappling with its disproportionate impact on minority and at-risk student groups, notably exacerbating the pre-existing achievement gap for African American students.

Examining these challenges is the focus of the African American Student Success Network (AASSN), who, in collaboration with the California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) is engaging in shared cycles of inquiry to better understand the gaps in access, opportunity, and outcome for African American Students. The participating district and county office teams have come together around a common area of focus, collectively addressing implementation challenges, and distilling and disseminating lessons learned and best practices.

LEA Learning Networks: Recognizing and Amplifying Success

The seven Local Educational Agency (LEA) teams have been testing systems change processes over the past two years to improve learning, achievement, and educational attainment outcomes for Black students. 

By establishing deep trusting relationships with partnering school district, and county office leaders to participate in shared cycles of inquiry, the networks create a platform for collaborative problem-solving centered on a common area of focus. This collaborative approach aims to address specific problems of practices (PoP) in our African American Student achievement and related strategies to improve student outcomes and reduce the achievement gap. For instance, the AASSN participants are actively working on strategies such as improving career and college readiness for Black students in the Central Valley, decreasing the overidentification of African American students in Special Education, enhancing Math CAASPP standards for African American students in the 6th grade, and mitigating the overrepresentation of African American male students receiving non-passing grades in core classes

During this second-year cycle, participants have focused on delving deeper into implementation and data monitoring to study the effects of the proposed strategies and learning from it. Some LEAs already show promising signs of their implemented strategies coming to fruition. For example, Lynwood USD is showing a 17% reduction in Ds and Fs in core classes for male African American students in grades 9 to 12 (2023-24 AASSN Handout) from their baseline in SY 2021-22. The San Diego County Office of Education has seen a promising 19.8% reduction in chronic absenteeism rates among African American/Black students across the four Community Schools Program sites tested (CCEE & San Diego COE, CERA 2023) in the same period. We are excited to continue partnering with our network leaders as they actively contribute to dismantling systemic barriers and fostering a more inclusive, accessible, and equitable educational landscape for African American students.


Inspiring & Realizing a Whole Child Vision Through Graduate Profiles

By Dorcas Kong, Senior Specialist of Executive Projects

California’s LCFF Priorities/Whole Child Resource Map illustrates how the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) priorities align with whole child resources and supports to “ensure that ALL students are healthy, safe, engaged, challenged, and supported.” However, to create comprehensive, integrated systems of support that effectively serve the needs of the whole child, local educational agencies (LEAs) require the partnership and support of the broader educational community. It’s through their collective purpose and responsibility to support students’ learning, development, and well-being that drive the transformative changes needed to better serve its students, families, and communities.

Check out the Community Engagement Initiative (CEI)’s learning module on
Community Partnerships for Systems Change!

LEAs across California are modeling how to meaningfully engage their communities in developing and implementing a graduate profile, also known as a learner portrait, to serve as a locally-defined whole child vision that:

  • redefines student success in a way that promotes equitable student outcomes,
  • cultivates student agency, and
  • prioritizes the skills and competencies to thrive in a rapidly evolving world.

By centering the voices of students, families, educators, and community members in the design of what will eventually become the LEA’s guiding compass, the graduate profile becomes a community-driven promise to its students. It begins to serve as the “why” behind decisions to determine what they’re doing and how they’re helping students foster the skills, competencies, and mindsets articulated in the graduate profile — placing students at the center of all their efforts. 

Scaling Student Success has partnered with several California school districts through its Reimagining California Schools Innovation Pilot to develop and operationalize a “unique, locally-developed graduate profile,” guiding them through the journey of moving from “poster to practice”. As these districts embark on their graduate profile journeys to transform student learning, CCEE will be capturing their stories through our LEA Spotlights series, capturing their experiences, challenges, and lessons learned, in hopes of inspiring other LEAs to join the movement in redefining what it means to be a college- or career-ready student in California.

If you are interested in learning more about this work, or would like to share your LEA’s story, please contact Dorcas Kong at [email protected].

Balanced Assessment Systems Pilot

In January 2024, CCEE will be launching a Balanced Assessment System Pilot consisting of a micro-course with a toolkit designed to support local educational agencies (LEAs) in creating balanced assessment systems.

In partnership with the Center for Assessment, CCEE is excited to invite interested district-school leadership teams to join this six-month learning network. From January through June 2024, selected LEAs will pilot the micro-course and associated tools for self-paced implementation within their local contexts. The Center for Assessment will provide guidance on how best to utilize these resources and LEAs will have an opportunity to provide feedback that will inform future versions of these state resources.

This opportunity is a right fit for LEAs wanting to conduct a review of their current systems of assessment, especially if deciding to make further investments in interim and/or curriculum-embedded assessments.

PRESENTERS

Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning, CCEE

Scott Marion, Executive Director, Center for Assessment

Carla Evans, Senior Associate, Center for Assessment

Caroline Wylie, Senior Associate, Center for Assessment

Laura Pinsonneault, Center for Assessment

VIDEO

SLIDES

RESOURCES

Balanced Assessment System (BAS) Pilot Recruitment Flyer

BAS Pilot Interest and Readiness Survey

CCEE Connection (October 2023)

News & Announcements
Request for Proposals

Development and Delivery of Resources and Services to Support Professional Learning Activities for Local Educational Agencies

  • Proposals Accepted Through: October 30, 2023 at 4:00pm PST
Balanced Assessment System pilot

In January 2024, CCEE will be launching a Balanced Assessment System Pilot, where selected LEAs will pilot a micro-course and toolkit, designed to support them in creating balanced assessment systems. This opportunity is a right fit for LEAs wanting to conduct a review of their current assessment systems, especially if deciding whether to make further investments in interim and/or curriculum-embedded assessments.

Interested in learning more? Register for a virtual informational session on Monday, October 16 from 1-2pm PST. If you’re not able to make the informational session, the archived recording will be posted on CCEE’s website following the session.

Open Door Sessions

CCEE, in collaboration with LEAs and partner organizations, is hosting “Open Door” sessions to share best practices, tools/resources, and strategies to support student learning. These sessions provide opportunities for county office and/or district staff to listen and learn from other LEAs across the state.

Below are archived materials from past Open Door Sessions:

Please check our Events Calendar or follow CCEE on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on upcoming Open Door sessions.

LEA Spotlights

The Spotlights Project aims to celebrate some of the innovative, inclusive, and shareable practices that LEA teams have implemented to improve outcomes for students across our state. Each Spotlight organizes the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in a way that calls attention to emerging practices, reproducible strategies, and applicable resources, in hopes of introducing accessible points of conversation for other LEAs looking to resolve similar issues.

Below are two recently published Spotlights. Click on the links below to learn more about the innovative practices taking place in these LEAs.

To recruit and retain a teacher workforce that better reflects their student population, Pittsburg USD employed a multi-pronged set of strategies anchored around collecting input and feedback from the broader school community, grounded in data, and focused on creating an inviting culture that celebrates the community and the students they serve.

Fresno CSS sought to alleviate the burden on their LEAs that resulted from the influx of plans and deadlines in response to the pandemic and its relief efforts by rooting their work in improvement science to address a specific problem through smaller, measurable changes to make a meaningful impact.


About the I3 Center

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center implements a statewide approach to improving LEA capacity by collaboratively developing, delivering, sharing, and spotlighting practices that have demonstrated the power to improve outcomes for students.

About the CCEE

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is a statewide leader delivering on California’s promise of a quality, equitable education for every student.

Executive Director’s Corner
Return on Investment (ROI) in Education

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director

Headshot of Matt Navo

In 2021, in response to the needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Legislature funded Assembly Bill (AB) 86. The purpose of AB 86 was to provide support to local educational agencies (LEAs) in maximizing positive pupil outcomes and most effectively using funds. Basically, maximize the most effective use of funds to support students and see a return on investment (ROI).

CCEE is responsible for providing support to LEAs in maximizing positive pupil outcomes with the most effective use of funds to implement learning recovery programs. We do this by designing and implementing initiatives that explore problems of practice and emerging/best practices in the field to develop and share high quality, relevant, and usable lessons learned to support sustained improvement for students by June 30, 2024.

Under the direction of Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director, and Dr. Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning, CCEE has elevated the work of LEA best practices to identify and share the best investments for the return on the investment of student outcomes.

This newsletter highlights some of this work and how to get involved.


Navigating Continuous Improvement Through Street Data

By Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director

Headshot of Sujie Shin

In education, we talk a lot about “data.” We espouse “data-driven” decision-making, have an abundance of data walk protocols; we spend much of our collective time and effort in collecting and reviewing data – test results, attendance files, disciplinary records, survey responses…it goes on. But what we don’t often ask ourselves is, “Is this the right data?”

When I was a classroom teacher, I started the year with my student roster, which was always accompanied by the final grades and their standardized test scores from the prior year. We sat in grade-level teams, sorting our students in reading/math groups according to their annual test results, and started developing our instructional plans around this data.

What I soon realized was that those standardized test results often had little relationship to what kind of support my students needed, what literacy or numeracy concepts they understood or were struggling with, and definitely showed me nothing about who they were as people. I got that through my classroom tests, formative assessment practices, getting-to-know-you interviews, and watching them interact with each other and their work.

This is not to say that standardized assessments aren’t meaningful. They tell us a lot about patterns of achievement across our students, illuminating next steps for further inquiry we might need to take to understand what our students are struggling with and where there may be larger gaps in instruction and support. But as Shane Safir and Jamila Dugan exhort us to do in Street Data, we need to get beyond only ever looking at satellite data in a systematic way, but push ourselves to examining map- and street-level data in order to both understand and act upon the needs of students.

We are so privileged to be working with a cohort of school district and county office teams who are tackling these questions of “what data?” and “for what purpose?” as they look at their internal systems for reducing chronic absenteeism, improving access and outcomes for Black students, developing internal progress monitoring dashboards, and implementing the principles of Universal Design for Learning across their classrooms.

Join us as we continue to learn with them!


Data Dashboards: The Promise of Enhanced Data, Discussions, and Decisions

By Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning

Data dashboards represent a significant investment in educational technology by districts and schools. Data dashboards promise enhanced data for real-time discussions and decisions by end-users, that is, educators. CCEE’s Data Research Learning Network (DRLN) includes three districts engaged in innovation journeys with the adoption and implementation of data dashboards.

The DRLN promotes the progress monitoring of data dashboards through user statistics, that is, map data that provides a more focused direction for inquiry and action. In August, Dr. Allan Taing and Dr. Nhi Hang conducted a User Statistics Workshop for DRLN districts, covering such topics as active vs. passive use measures, as well as web traffic measures (e.g. page views, total visits, length of stay, file downloads, traffic sources, etc.). The Measuring User Statistics: Tracking Engagement of Data Dashboards resource is a good example of tools shared with districts. All three districts are now progress monitoring data dashboard use on a monthly basis.

One example is Sanger Unified School District (SUSD). Assessment leaders are collecting and analyzing user statistics such as login counts, average logins, and percent of users logging in as a measure of uptake over the last three years. SUSD is complimenting this map data with street data by conducting empathy interviews with end users to better understand their experiences with data dashboards. Through a combination of map and street data, SUSD is customizing additional supports based on trends across the district, school, and grade-levels. Given the incredible amount of investment in Data Dashboards, DRLN districts, such as Sanger Unified, will be sharing lessons learned at upcoming conferences in November and December (see below for conference list).


The UDL Network

By James McKenna, Assistant Director of Professional Learning & Leadership Development

Headshot of James McKenna

It’s no secret that the work of advancing equitable education opportunities for students is hard, lengthy, and often messy work. The opportunity to collaborate, share ideas, get feedback, and draw strength from a like-minded community can be a powerful force — for students, for teachers, and for school and district leaders. That’s why CCEE has expanded its support of learning networks to the work of implementing, and measuring the student impact of, Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Working with partners in three state grant initiatives — the California Coalition for Inclusive Learning (CCIL), Open Access (OA), and Supporting Inclusive Practices (SIP), we have gathered three districts, diverse in demographics and geography but united in the pursuit of inclusive education for all. These districts are:

  • Davis Joint Unified School District
  • Nevada Joint Union High School District
  • Poway Unified School District

Over the course of the 2023-2024 school year, these districts will examine problems of practice related to the implementation of Universal Design for Learning. Engaging in data-driven collaborative inquiry, they will implement initiatives to address these problems and take formative and summative data to monitor and evaluate impact. These indicators include benchmark assessments, student engagement, teacher efficacy, teacher practice, and more. We look forward to sharing their journey with you in our June summary report.


Using Street Data to Measure ROI of Statewide Professional Learning Initiatives

By Allan Taing, Senior Manager of Research & Impact Analysis

Program evaluations employ social science research methods to assess the design, implementation, and effectiveness of social programs (Rossi et al., 2019). In 2021, the state invested $75 million to establish three grant programs led by county offices of education to enhance the educator professional learning infrastructure within the Statewide System of Support. External program evaluations are embedded in these professional learning initiatives for learning acceleration, literacy, and open educational resources to support an innovative, rigorous, and analytical examination of these projects to determine the impact and effectiveness of these investments on educator practice and student outcomes. In other words, these program evaluations are trying to measure the return on investment (ROI) for these three projects.

The three program evaluation teams are moving into the second year of their evaluations, concluding their initial planning evaluations and moving onto formative evaluations for these projects. Investigating and determining the impact of these projects on educator practice and student outcomes requires a “Street Data” research approach. Measures of student impact — including results on the California School Dashboard — are satellite data answering the “what”. In addition, program evaluators leverage map data and street data through surveys, focus groups, document reviews, and observations, to answer the “why” and “how”. CCEE has created a Statewide Evaluation webpage to serve as a repository as program evaluation teams release their findings and recommendations.

To support program evaluation teams in this work, CCEE hosts bi-annual evaluation convenings to bring program evaluation teams, state agency partners, and other evaluation, program, and policy stakeholders and experts together to share findings, best practices, and lessons learned for ongoing development. The most recent evaluation convening on September 27 focused on developing a shared vision and common language across teams for evaluation approaches and methods for measuring student impact. Materials from this convening and prior convenings are available on the Statewide Program Evaluation Convening website.


Let’s Connect Beyond the Virtual Realm!

This fall, CCEE staff will be presenting at various conferences. If you will be attending any of the conferences below, we would love to see you there! Please let us know if you would like more information about any of these sessions.

Conference/
Presentation
Session & Presenter(s)
California Teachers Association (CTA)’s 2023 Special Education Conference
(October 6-8)
Foundations of Universal Design for LearningJames McKenna, Assistant Director of Professional Learning & Leadership Development
California Assessment Conference (CAC)
(October 9-10)
Balanced Assessment Systems: A Case Study of One District’s Journey to Rebalance their Assessment System for Improved Student Math Outcomes Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning and Dorcas Kong, Sr. Specialist of Executive Projects
California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing’s 2023 Fall Conference
(October 12-13)
The Practice of Educating Very Young Children: Curriculum Drives the Built Environment – Julie Boesch, Assistant Director of the System of Support
Ventura County Superintendent of Schools
(October 19)
Transforming Schools – Matt Navo, Executive Director
What’s Right in Education
(October 24-26)
State and National Leaders Panel: Current and Future Trends in Education – Chris Hartley, Deputy Executive Director
2023 Charter School Development Center (CSDC) Conference
(November 8-10)
Shifting Mindsets, Changing Culture: Systems that Support All StudentsDavid Toston, Sr. Advisor of Strategic Initiatives
2023 California Educational Research Association (CERA) Conference
(November 13-15)
Supporting Black Student Achievement: Lessons Learned from Year 1 of the African American Student Success NetworkSujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director and Italo Ciccarelli, Program Specialist

Balanced Assessment Systems: A Case Study of One District’s Journey to Rebalance their Assessment System for Improved Student OutcomesIngrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning and Dorcas Kong, Sr. Specialist of Executive Projects

Guiding Our Schools Forward: Best Practices For Districts Utilizing Assessment Dashboards to Improve Data Literacy and Target Student SupportsAllan Taing, Sr. Manager of Research & Impact Analysis and Nhi Hang, Program Specialist

Amplifying Community Engagement for Continuous ImprovementDavid Toston, Sr. Advisor of Strategic Initiatives
Breaking Barriers Integrated Care Symposium
(November 14-16)
Stories from the Field: Applying the Ecosystem Recommendations to Regional & Local Implementation – Chris Hartley, Deputy Executive Director and Mindy Fattig, Sr. Advisor of the System of Support
California School Boards Association (CSBA)’s Annual Education Conference
(November 30 – December 2)
Data Dashboards: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning and Allan Taing, Sr. Manager of Research & Impact Analysis
System Improvement Leads (SIL) Summit
(December 12-13)
CA Statewide System of Support: It is Us (Opening/Keynote) – Mindy Fattig, Sr. Advisor of the System of Support

Open Position: Administrative Assistant II

DESCRIPTION

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center at CCEE is looking for a detail-oriented, self-directed, and proactive individual to join our dynamic and collaborative team in the position of Administrative Assistant II. This position is responsible for providing accounts payable, scheduling, travel, and project tracking support for individuals and projects across the State. An ideal candidate would be one who has experience providing high-level administrative support in a virtual/hybrid environment.

Please see the EDJOIN posting for additional information.

APPLY

LAUNCH EDJOIN 

CCEE Connection (July 2023)

News & Announcements
Request for Proposals

Development and Delivery of Resources and Services to Support Professional Learning Activities for Local Educational Agencies

  • Proposals Accepted Through: October 30, 2023 at 4:00pm PST
Open Door Sessions

CCEE, in collaboration with LEAs and partner organizations, is hosting “open door” sessions to share best practices, tools/resources, and strategies to support student learning. These sessions will provide opportunities for county office and/or district staff to listen and learn from other LEAs across the state, and connect further, if interested. Those who express interest in connecting further will be invited to join a smaller, more intimate “Special Interest Group” session, in which the presenting LEA will be available to listen, share, and help participants with more specific questions.

Register for upcoming Open Door sessions by clicking on the links below:

To view archived materials from past Open Door sessions, please visit our Open Door Sessions Google Site. You can also check our Events Calendar or follow CCEE on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on upcoming Open Door sessions.

LEA Spotlights

The Spotlights Project aims to celebrate some of the innovative, inclusive, and shareable practices that LEA teams have implemented to improve outcomes for students across our state. Each Spotlight organizes the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in a way that calls attention to emerging practices, reproducible strategies, and applicable resources, in hopes of introducing accessible points of conversation for other LEAs looking to resolve similar issues.

Below are three recently published Spotlights. Click on the links below to learn more about the innovative practices taking place in these LEAs.

Cajon Valley USD embraced its multicultural and multiethnic district composition, leveraging its diversity to serve all community members and improve its community outreach and engagement with “families in need.”

Salinas City ESD uses data to drive collaboration, critical reflection, and action to improve attendance practices at all of their school sites.

Da Vinci Schools cultivates an inclusive learning environment that promotes real-world learning to prepare students for college, career, and life. However, it is their ability to gather and effectively use data that maximizes their impact on teaching and learning — ensuring students thrive as lifelong learners.

Project clear

Project CLEAR (California Literacy Elevation by Accelerating Reading) builds capacity in implementing and accelerating literacy development in districts across the state. Educators can participate in one of two levels of professional learning offered through Project CLEAR – Teacher Leaders and Teachers. Participation is fully funded through Project CLEAR! For more information, please visit Project CLEAR’s webpage on the Learning Acceleration System Grant website.

July Resources

Supporting Better Attendance Practices: The Evolving Role of COEs (5/31/23)

System of Support Updates (June/July 2023)

Microlearning Modules – CCEE has partnered with content experts and experienced educators to develop short videos sharing and explaining concepts, tools, and resources for a wide range of topics to support substitute teachers, paraeducators, and other instructional staff in the classroom. All microlearning modules are accompanied by easy-to-follow instructions, downloadable handouts, and additional resources to support immediate implementation. New videos are added periodically, covering various topics, tips, and strategies.


About the I3 Center

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center implements a statewide approach to improving LEA capacity by collaboratively developing, delivering, sharing, and spotlighting practices that have demonstrated the power to improve outcomes for students.

About the CCEE

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is a statewide leader delivering on California’s promise of a quality, equitable education for every student.

Executive Director’s Corner

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director

Headshot of Matt Navo

“Every road will get you there if you don’t know where you are going” is a quote I heard from a school leader talking about the absence of data in their instructional teams. So often, school teams avoid the use of data to avoid the harsh realities around student, school, or district performance.

We (educators) sometimes find it easier to play “poker” with data. Meaning, I show you my two aces, hoping you think I have a three- or four-of-a-kind when in reality I have nothing more. Playing poker with data is a sure-fire way to avoid the tough conversations and reality of our efforts. IF we (educators) are going to move our networking, collaboration, convenings, and gatherings of expertise to the next level, we have to show all our cards—no poker, just raw data.

This newsletter by the Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center describes examples of networks using data to improve student outcomes and address ineffective practices.


What Do We Learn When We Learn Together?

By Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director

Headshot of Sujie Shin

For any of you who have had the privilege of attending workshops with Peter Senge, you know that a core tenet of his philosophy of learning is that “[S]haring knowledge is not about giving people something or getting something from them…Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes.”

We know that to be a learning organization, it’s not enough just to acquire knowledge, but to share in that space with others, and find the opportunities to learn from each others’ successes and challenges. This is the philosophy behind our learning networks—creating safe spaces for local educational agency (LEA) teams to come together around similar problems of practice and share lessons learned as they try approaches to improving school and district systems to support student achievement.

One of our networks has been focused on academic outcomes for African American students, a group that has been disproportionately negatively affected by the pandemic and related challenges. Black students have experienced higher increases in chronic absenteeism and other measures of disengagement, and greater drops in English Language Arts (ELA) and math scores. Over the past year, this network of five LEA teams have each identified a key area of improvement to focus on for improving student outcomes. One team is testing the impact of regular check-ins with a school counselor on student attendance and course completion. Another is focusing on improving their implementation of their multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) to reduce the overidentification of Black students in special education in particular categories. Still another looked at the impact of personal learning plans to reduce the overrepresentation of African American male students receiving non-passing grades in core classes. The problems of practice are as diverse as the student bodies these LEAs support.

What is not varied is our approach in collecting data to examine change over time and progress towards our goals on a regular basis. This gets to another key principle of our work, which is, to again quote Dr. Senge, that “Learning cannot be disassociated from action.” And how we learn is to measure the progress from our action, through interim metrics such as attendance, test results, check-in data as well as direct input and feedback from the students and families we serve.

This framework of action research means that we can investigate problems of practice that LEAs are facing while supporting them in immediately addressing the issues they are facing.

Learn more about the work of our partner LEAs by clicking on the buttons below.


Lessons Learned from the Planning Phase of the Data Research Learning Network

By Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning and Dorcas Kong, Senior Specialist of Executive Projects

In January 2023, the I3 Center launched the Data Research Learning Network (DRLN) as a three-phase initiative to support local educational agencies (LEAs) in transforming their data and assessment practices to accelerate student learning. As we close out the Planning Phase, CCEE is pleased to share the first DRLN Research Brief summarizing the lessons learned that came out of this learning community. The DRLN recently concluded the Planning Phase with the DRLN Showcase highlighting each LEA’s Action Plan for the 2023-24 school year. Over the past six months, DRLN participants conducted data dives to better define their problems of practice and develop their action plans, identifying goals and strategies that would move the needle on aligned progress measures. But what truly elevated their innovation ideas was the way they tapped into the wealth of collective knowledge and expertise within this learning network. LEAs were able to harness the power of collaboration in this shared learning space to exchange innovative ideas, explore different avenues of addressing their problems of practice, and ultimately, build their data capacity to support student outcomes.

In preparation for the Implementation Phase, CCEE will be hosting two summer workshops to guide DRLN participants in the progress monitoring and evaluating the impact of their Innovation Projects. The DRLN team decided to tailor these workshops to LEAs’ Action Plans, with a focus on designing effective surveys, collecting feedback/attendance data for trainings and professional development sessions, and measuring user statistics (e.g. website/dashboard analytics). By building the capacity of DRLN participants to develop and implement effective progress monitoring processes with tools, they will be prepared to embark on their Innovation journeys come August, with an understanding of how they will be engaging in continuous improvement cycles to enhance their data practices, programs, and systems.

Interested in learning more about each LEA’s innovation idea and action plan? Take a look at our DRLN Overview Handout or check out CCEE’s Learning Networks Google Site to explore the problems of practice identified by LEAs in not only the DRLN, but across all of I3’s learning networks. As our networks progress, the I3 Center will be updating the Google Site with measures of impact, as well as shareable resources that come out of our work. Aligned to I3’s goal of improving LEA capacity by collaboratively developing, delivering, sharing, and spotlighting research-based practices, we hope this Google Site can serve as a learning hub for California’s broader educational community.


Supporting Educators Through the Development of the California Educators Together Repository for High-Quality Online Instructional Materials

By Allan Taing, Senior Manager of Research & Impact Analysis

The CCEE, working with our partners at the California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education (SBE), are supporting Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) as they serve as the project lead for the High Quality Online Instructional Materials project (HQOIM), as defined in Section 144 of AB 130 (Chapter 44, Statutes of 2021) and revised in Section 41 of AB 167 (Chapter 252, Statutes of 2021). This three-year $15 million dollar project is designed to enhance the educator professional learning infrastructure within the Statewide System of Support. The goals of this initiative are to develop and curate easy-to-use resources for local educational agencies (LEAs) and educators, establish a transparent process for vetting materials to ensure quality and alignment with state academic standards, and provide guidance and resources regarding the implementation and use of open educational resources.

During this first year of the project, KCSOS developed the California Educators Together High-Quality Lesson Design Rubric (CaET Rubric) to evaluate high quality materials and hosted two virtual Lesson Design Institutes in February and March, and one in-person Lesson Design Institute in May to train more than 100 educators to design rubric-aligned lesson plans. To further develop and promote the California Educators Together repository (CaET), KCSOS presented at 12 conferences and implemented a vetting collaborative to train evaluators to vet resources on the CaET repository using the CaET Rubric, resulting in 307 new rubric-aligned lessons, 304 new standards-based lessons, 779 new resources, and 2,938 existing lessons vetted. As a result of KCSOS efforts, the California Educators Together portal now has more than 25,000 users, including 6,832 new users over the past year. During the second year of the project, KCSOS will continue to offer virtual and in-person Lesson Design Institutes, continue efforts to disseminate high-quality rubric-aligned lessons and resources, and vet existing materials. KCSOS will also focus on potential partnerships to increase visibility of the CaET repository and new users.

WestEd is leading the external program evaluation of the HQOIM project. Key findings from the formative evaluation of the first year indicate that Kern County has built a team that is focused on educators, learns and adapts, listens to feedback, and is focused on key issues of sustainability, partnerships, and scaling up. Feedback from teachers attending the Lesson Design Institutes are overwhelmingly positive; in focus groups and interviews, educators are excited for the CaET Rubric and praised the quality of the institutes. In addition, the California Educators Together repository contains a wide variety of high-quality resources and capabilities, and the program team and educators are excited about the potential of new and different capabilities for this platform to further support effective teaching and learning.

To learn more about this evaluation, as well as evaluations for other statewide professional learning initiatives launched in 2021, please visit the CCEE Statewide Program Evaluation website.

CCEE Connection (April 2023)

News & Announcements
Request for Proposals

Development and Delivery of Resources and Services to Support Professional Learning Activities for Local Educational Agencies

  • Review of Proposals Begins: May 1, 2023
  • Proposals Accepted Through: October 30, 2023 at 4:00pm PST

CCEE hosted a Respondent’s Conference on Thursday, April 6, 2023. Please click on this link to view the recording of the webinar.

Open Door Sessions

CCEE, in collaboration with LEAs and partner organizations, is hosting “open door” sessions to share best practices, tools/resources, and strategies to support student learning. These sessions will provide opportunities for county office and/or district staff to listen and learn from other LEAs across the state, and connect further, if interested. Those who express interest in connecting further will be invited to join a smaller, more intimate “Special Interest Group” session, in which the presenting LEA will be available to listen, share, and help participants with more specific questions.

Check out the “In Case You Missed It” section of our newsletter to view materials from past Open Door Sessions.

To stay up-to-date on upcoming Open Door sessions, make sure to check our Events Calendar or follow CCEE on Twitter and LinkedIn!

2023-24 Leadership institute

In collaboration with the Small School Districts Association (SSDA), CCEE is excited to bring to you the 2023-24 Leadership Institute, which will kick off in July 2023 during the SSDA Superintendent and High School Leaders Conference in Newport Beach. Please click on this link to register for the conference.

This year-long institute will provide high quality professional learning, partnerships with a community of other small district leaders, and seasoned leaders to help increase your network of professional and support. For more information about the institute, please click on this flyer.

In Case You Missed It

Open Door Sessions:

System of Support Updates (April 2023)

April Resources

Microlearning Modules – CCEE has partnered with content experts and experienced educators to develop short videos sharing and explaining concepts, tools, and resources for a wide range of topics to support substitute teachers, paraeducators, and other instructional staff in the classroom. All microlearning modules are accompanied by easy-to-follow instructions, downloadable handouts, and additional resources to support immediate implementation. New videos are added periodically, covering various topics, tips, and strategies.


About the I3 Center

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center implements a statewide approach to improving LEA capacity by collaboratively developing, delivering, sharing, and spotlighting practices that have demonstrated the power to improve outcomes for students.

About the CCEE

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is a statewide leader delivering on California’s promise of a quality, equitable education for every student.

Executive Director’s Corner

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Matt Navo

Research continues to show that when educational practitioners have time to share insights, ideas, practices, and research with one another, they learn more and improve more. The CCEE is focused on bringing educational practitioners and partners together to share and highlight evidence-based practices and research that will help them improve student outcomes. The bulk of how we do the work is by convening and gathering professional learning networks (PLNs) and Research-Practice Partnerships (RPPs). This newsletter highlights a number of opportunities for educational practitioners to engage in partnerships where they can learn from each other.


Data Research Learning Network: Data Literacy is Deep Need

By Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning, CCEE

Headshot of Ingrid Roberson

The Data Research Learning Network (DRLN) consists of seven select districts and counties engaged in innovating data and assessment practices to accelerate student learning. DRLN districts and counties have discovered a deep need for data and assessment literacy across all levels in the education system, including analyzing data, discussing data, and decision-making or as the network likes to say, “Data, Discussion, and Decisions.”

As a Research and Development (R&D) network, these seven districts and counties are designing innovations to be piloted in the 2023-2024 school year.  For example, Imperial County Office of Education (ICOE) is developing a data literacy learning series for their districts with special attention to the context of small districts (i.e. districts with enrollments less than 2,000 students). Already a leader in creating data tools for the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), ICOE’s data literacy learning series will focus on data for instructional and curricular decision-making.

Another example is Rincon Valley Union School District (RVUSD) who is exploring the role of formative assessment in accelerating student learning. Informed by research from the Center for Assessment on a Balanced Assessment System, Rincon Valley USD seeks to leverage the power of curriculum-embedded, unit-based assessments that are instructionally useful to classroom teachers. RVUSD will be piloting a Math Formative Assessment, enhancing teacher assessment literacy and promoting student agency in the assessment process.

As DRLN districts and counties represent small to mid-size local educational agencies (LEAs), this emerging trend is one that CCEE’s Center for Innovation, Instruction and Impact (I3) intends to address through statewide data literacy resources in partnership with recognized experts and practitioners in the field (see current Request for Proposals).


CAAASA-CCEE Partnership to
Re-envision Black Student Success

By Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Sujie Shin

The partnership between CCEE and the California Association of African-American Superintendents & Administrators (CAAASA) began in 2017 with a professional learning network (PLN) that focused on identifying the inequities experienced by African American students in California K-12 schools. The original network, made up of four districts and three county offices, examined these inequities and identified systems-change approaches to addressing them within their local educational agencies (LEAs).

With the launch of CCEE’s Research-Practice Partnership (RPP) initiative, five of our original PLN partners have rejoined the network to continue their work to support Black student achievement through their LEA-specific problem of practice, focusing on progress monitoring activities to support the measurement of student outcomes in the coming year.

Our five partnership teams and their areas of focus include:

Increasing the number of African American student leaders who are UC college bound

Addressing overrepresentation of African American male students among those receiving non-passing grades in core classes

Tackling overidentification of African American students in Special Education via “Other Health Impairment” and “Emotional Disturbance”

Increasing high school completion rate for students enrolled in the County Community Schools/Program (expelled and/or on probation)

Targeting student engagement and reduction of chronic absenteeism rates for Black students in four pilot schools part of the Community Schools Program


Empowering Educators with Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

By James McKenna, Assistant Director of Professional Learning and Leadership Development, CCEE

CCEE has partnered with educators in the field to create our newest learning path, UDL for Educator Empowerment. This learning path aims to empower California educators with the needed knowledge and skills to apply Universal Design for Learning (UDL) holistically to their practices as professionals. Designed in partnership with teachers, for teachers, this path contains six modules of multimedia content, opportunities for reflection and community, and links to resources to deepen participants’ learning and practice.

This learning path was authored by a team of subject matter experts and professional learning providers: Karen Taylor, MA.Ed., Zach Smith, Ed.L.D., and CCEE’s own James McKenna, Ed.D. Together, and with the support of an advisory panel of educators from across the state, they created this learning path to honor and empower teachers, showing how the UDL framework equips them for the work of teaching in today’s modern equity-focused classroom. Through each of our six course modules, educators are invited on a path of professional self-discovery that equips them with the skills for creating inclusive and equitable lessons and learning environments. Embedded within these learning experiences is the knowledge for diagnosing learning barriers in real time.

The UDL for Educator Empowerment learning path is open to all, on-demand, at no cost, and is the latest in a series of resources created by the CCEE, in collaboration with local and national partners, in order to support the implementation of UDL in schools and districts across the state. Other UDL resources include the UDL for School and District Leaders learning path, the Why UDL video series, and the UDL Journey Guide, a comprehensive resource for district leaders and teams seeking to implement Universal Design for Learning.


LEA Spotlights: Shining a Light on Promising Practices

By Dorcas Kong, Senior Specialist of Executive Projects, CCEE

Headshot of Dorcas Kong

Over the past couple of months, the Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center has been curating stories that “spotlight” innovative practices implemented by local educational agencies (LEAs) across the state to improve educational outcomes for students. After interviewing various district teams and learning about how they tackled challenges particular to their local contexts, we’re excited to announce that we have finally launched the Spotlights Project. Each Spotlight organizes the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in a way that calls attention to emerging practices, reproducible strategies, and applicable resources, in hopes of introducing accessible points of conversation for other LEAs looking to resolve similar issues. 

While these Spotlights may focus on different domains (i.e., student academic outcomes; student/family engagement and well-being; staff and community supports; and systems, policies, and governance), they all place an emphasis on improving practices, programs, and systems to provide each and every student in California public schools with the access, opportunities, and supports to thrive (CCEE Mission & Vision). We hope the Spotlights Project can serve as a hub of inspiration and innovation where LEAs can build off these successful models to amplify their impact in the classroom, school, district, and community. Click on the links below to learn about these LEAs’ success stories.

Anaheim UHSD took a systemic approach to support families’ needs by empowering parents, authentically engaging students, and strengthening community partnerships to address the root causes of disengagement.

Compton USD took a data-driven approach to improve college and career readiness among its African American students. By looking at key data metrics, CUSD identified strategies to provide students and families with increased access to information, resources, and supports to navigate the academic, social, and financial aspects of the college preparation process.

To tackle an intricate problem such as chronic absenteeism, Fresno USD took a multilayered and holistic approach that included strong and committed district leadership, a cross-functional team of diverse staff, strong data principles, and partnerships with community-based organizations.

Napa COE concentrated their efforts on establishing meaningful partnerships and innovative approaches to learning, practicing continuous improvement strategies, and leveraging data and improvement science to guide decision-making.

Ontario-Montclair SD worked to engage parents as authentic partners in the school community by empowering them with tools and resources that allow them to advocate for their children’s learning.

Oxnard SD utilized the California Family Engagement Framework and recommendations from research in their efforts to systematize family engagement and empower parents in shared design-making processes to impact student learning.

Stay tuned! We will be launching the Pittsburg USD Spotlight in the coming weeks.

We are continuing to develop Spotlights that shine a light on innovative educational practices in California. If you would like to share emerging practices that have improved outcomes for students in your LEA, please share it with us by submitting this Spotlight suggestion form.


Shifting Mindsets on Chronic Absenteeism

By Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Sujie Shin

As we head into our final quarter of the 2022-23 school year, schools are continuing to rethink how we define and address chronic absenteeism. The 2022 Dashboard results saw a huge spike in chronic absenteeism rates across the State, with almost a third of our students in California missing 10% of more of their instructional days. And while the flattening of COVID rates has improved chronic absenteeism rates somewhat, the data show that schools are still struggling with student engagement and attendance. 

Shifting our collective mindsets about chronic absenteeism requires a reenvisioning of what an absence means and therefore changes how we deal with it and who gets to decide. To date, our processes for addressing chronic absenteeism are built around mental models about “truancy” that set schools and families up as adversaries–the definition of truancy is “the act of staying away from school without a good reason.” But who judges what reason is good enough? And who is responsible for providing the remedy?

There are no ready solutions, and in the meantime, children have missed millions of instructional hours. Over the next several months, join us as we navigate some of these questions with local educational agencies and partners and highlight challenges, emerging best practices, and opportunities to learn from each other.  

CCEE is hosting a series of Open Door sessions on chronic absenteeism. On Monday, April 3, 2023, Attendance Works started off the series by sharing the findings of a new PACE report, Examining Disparities in Unexcused Absences Across California Schools. If you weren’t able to attend this session, webinar materials are available on CCEE’s website. Please see below for upcoming sessions. Additional information (e.g., date/time, registration links) will be available in the coming weeks. You can always check our Events Calendar or follow CCEE on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay updated on upcoming sessions.

  • Shifting Mindsets on Chronic Absenteeism with Salinas City Elementary School District
  • Supporting Better Attendance Practices: The Evolving Role of COEs

Development and Delivery of Resources and Services to Support Professional Learning Activities for LEAs

DESCRIPTION

Pursuant to Statutes 2020, Chapter 10, Sec. 8 (Assembly Bill 86), effective March 5, 2021, the California Legislature has allocated funds to the CCEE for the purpose of providing support to LEAs to maximize positive pupil outcomes in accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 43521 of the Education Code. CCEE is, therefore, seeking submissions of professional learning resources and services related to the topics outlined in the RFP. The proposed professional learning opportunities should aim to build LEAs’ capacity to support student instruction and outcomes.

Respondents must describe their proposed method(s) of delivery when developing their Proposal for the development and implementation of professional learning supports. Methods of delivery may include:

  • Development of resources and tools to support professional learning, including but not limited to professional learning and training materials, documents, videos, and facilitation guides that will be utilized by CCEE and hosted on the CCEE website and can be accessed asynchronously. 
  • Development and delivery of professional learning sessions to a variety of audiences, depending on the topic and area of focus of the professional learning session.
  • Tailored consultation and coaching supports to support LEA teams in furthering their learning and support implementation within their local contexts.  
  • Expert-led “office hours” to support LEA teams and individuals and address specific discovery, development, implementation, and/or evaluation challenges that may fall outside of issues that can be addressed during professional learning sessions or consultation/coaching opportunities.
  • Other research-based, relevant methods of delivery grounded in effective instructional design.

Content areas to support instruction may include, but are not limited to:

  • Systems Leadership
  • Whole Child Design
  • Summer and Expanded Learning
  • Learning Acceleration
  • Effective Assessment
  • Formative Assessment Practices
  • Database Development and Support
  • Data Visualization

Review of Proposals Begin: Monday, May 1, 2023

Proposals Accepted Through: October 30, 2023 April 30, 2024 at 4:00pm PST

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP)

RESPONDENT’S CONFERENCE

QUESTIONS & CLARIFICATIONS

Point of Contact: Dorcas Kong ([email protected])

Last Updated: December 22, 2023

CCEE Connection (January 2023)

News & Announcements
January Resources
  • Microlearning Modules – Designed to support substitute teachers, paraeducators, and other instructional staff, these short 5-8 minute videos share immediately applicable tips, strategies, and tools. Microlearning modules are also supplemented with downloadable handouts, instructions, and other materials and resources.
  • UDL Journey Guide – This digital travel companion guides district leaders and teams through four stages of implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL), with connections to state and national supports along the way.
  • Dashboard Communications Toolkit – This toolkit provides materials to support LEAs with sharing the 2022 California School Dashboard data to parents, community members, and educators, along with additional resources for analyzing Dashboard data.

About the I3 Center

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center implements a statewide approach to improving LEA capacity by collaboratively developing, delivering, sharing, and spotlighting practices that have demonstrated the power to improve outcomes for students.

About the CCEE

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is a statewide leader delivering on California’s promise of a quality, equitable education for every student.

Executive Director’s Corner

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Matt Navo

CCEE uses data to improve and deliver its statutory and improvement obligations across the state. The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center is the backbone of data for CCEE. They support the agency in analyzing the organization’s effectiveness and in identifying “bright spots” in the state that other local educational agencies (LEAs) can learn from.

Under the leadership of Deputy Executive Director Sujie Shin, the goal of the I3 Center is to support the work of the CCEE, collaborate with state lead agencies, and use data to improve. This month’s newsletter highlights ways you can work with the I3 Center and other LEAs on various improvement initiatives related to improving outcomes for students through the use of data in your organization.


Measuring the Effectiveness of California’s Professional Learning Initiatives

By Allan Taing, Senior Manager of Research & Impact Analysis, CCEE

During the 2021-2022 budget cycle, the state invested $75 million across three grant programs to enhance the educator professional learning infrastructure within the Statewide System of Support. Through the Education Omnibus Trailer Bill of the 2021 State Budget Act, CCEE is working with our partners at the California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education (SBE) to support the county offices of education that have been selected as program leads for these grants to develop professional learning opportunities for learning acceleration, literacy, and open educational resources. The four-year $50 million Learning Acceleration System Grant Program will be led by Lake, San Diego, and Santa Clara County Offices of Education; the four-year $10 million Reading Instruction and Intervention Grant Program will be led by Contra Costa Office of Education; and the two-year $15 million High-Quality Online Instructional Materials Initiative will be led by Kern County Superintendent of Schools. 

In addition, evaluation leads have also been selected to lead rigorous program evaluations to determine the effectiveness of these professional learning initiatives. Education Northwest and Social Policy Research Associates will lead the evaluation of the Learning Acceleration System Grant, while the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will evaluate the Reading Instruction and Intervention Grant Program, and WestEd will evaluate the High-Quality Online Instructional Materials Initiative. 

An important component of these program evaluations is the connection of these professional learning initiatives to supporting system transformation, improving tiered supports, and measuring impact. To support larger statewide coherence, CCEE, CDE, and SBE are coordinating the work of these evaluation teams to develop a common set of data metrics across evaluations and to support alignment not only across these evaluations and other related programs, but also within the System of Support. These evaluation teams are convening on a recurring basis with the CCEE, CDE, SBE, representatives of the Statewide System of Support, designated county offices of education, and other selected partners in support of this coherence effort.

The first gathering was a “data boot camp” in July to support the evaluation teams with the data and resources available to them as they launched their evaluation projects. The second gathering in August brought in program evaluation teams conducting ongoing statewide system evaluations to share their lessons learned to the new evaluation teams. Moving forward, these convenings will occur on a bi-annual basis and the objective of these convenings will be to discuss data collection, analyses, interim results, and implications for ongoing development. The goal of this work on coherence and alignment is to uncover the evidence-based practices that promote educator professional development and ultimately support transforming education for all students in California. 


Balancing Data and Assessment Systems to Accelerate Learning

By Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning, CCEE

Headshot of Ingrid Roberson

The Center for Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) is excited to announce the I3 Data Research Learning Network (DRLN). The I3 DRLN brings together select districts and counties to innovate around data and assessments, focusing on one of two areas: Balanced Assessment Systems or Balanced Data Systems. To promote deeper learning, districts conduct a Balanced Assessment System review, ensuring that supportive policies, programs and practices are in place for formative assessment practices that promote student agency in the classroom. For more Balanced Data Systems, districts assess their current data systems through an equity lens, identifying opportunities for innovation. Districts can also capitalize on the latest data visualization technology for continuous improvement and community engagement.   

The I3 DRLN is a timely opportunity, especially for small to mid-size districts and counties, to leverage their data and assessment systems (and investments) to accelerate learning. According to Hilary Kjaer, Director of Teaching and Learning at one of the selected districts, “Rincon Valley Union School District is excited to embark on this journey with the I3 DRLN team! As we strive to develop a strategic plan for accelerating student learning, we know this is the perfect collaborative partnership.” The DRLN is a three-phase initiative with the Planning Phase starting in January 2023 and running through June 2023. To learn more about this innovative initiative, please see the I3 DRLN website which will be updated throughout the year.


Why Universal Design for Learning?

By James McKenna, Assistant Director of Professional Learning and Leadership Development, CCEE

Headshot of James McKenna

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is the bedrock of best first instruction; it’s in every state curriculum framework and is the only framework required by the Every Student Succeeds Act. However, that’s not necessarily a compelling argument to engage educators to begin their implementation of UDL. They’re working hard as it is, and no one has time for “one more thing”. 

Except UDL isn’t one more thing. It’s a way to better achieve the things educators are already working hard to do — support language acquisition, engage students socially and emotionally, implement multi-tiered systems of support, and more. 

That’s why CCEE has partnered to develop the “Why UDL?” series of videos — to connect UDL to the work that people are already doing and to show how UDL can help them in those efforts. Working with our friends at TextHelp, we’ve recruited state and national experts to engage in conversations and presentations to better communicate how UDL connects to a variety of key initiatives. Housed on the Why UDL page of the UDL Journey Guide, these videos serve as learning opportunities for leaders and teams seeking to implement UDL who can then leverage them as part of their communications and stakeholder engagement efforts. 

CCEE is tremendously grateful for the collaboration provided by TextHelp and our speakers, all of whom volunteered their time and contributions to be able to offer these resources to educators across the state at no cost. 

UDL and…Speaker(s)
Blended LearningDr. Catlin Tucker, author, educator, and expert in blended learning
CA MTSSRhonda Marriot-Spencer, CA SUMS and Orange County Department of Education
Equity and AntiracismAndratesha Fritzgerald, author, educator, and expert in UDL, equity, and antiracism;
David Toston, Senior Advisor of Equity and Innovation, CCEE
Expert LearningDr. James McKenna, Assistant Director, CCEE and expert in Universal Design for Learning 
Language LearnersDr. Soomin Chao, Multilingual Academic Support;
Elise Yerkey, Inclusive Design, from the Los Angeles County Office of Education
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)Lisa Bosio, expert and consultant at Novak Education
Special EducationHeather Calomese, Director of Special Education, CA Dept of Education;
Kevin Schaefer, Director of Equity and Inclusive Practices, Supporting Inclusive Practices;
Mindy Fattig, Senior Advisor of System of Support, CCEE

Amplifying Innovative Practices Through District Spotlights

By Dorcas Kong, Senior Specialist of Executive Projects, CCEE

Headshot of Dorcas Kong

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center is excited to soon be launching what we’re calling the Spotlights Project. Aligned with the goal of the I3 Center, the Spotlights aim to curate stories that identify and amplify emerging practices from school and district teams to collaboratively provide students in California with what they need to thrive. 

In the coming weeks, the I3 Center will be publishing Spotlights on different local educational agencies (LEAs) that have implemented innovative and inclusive practices to improve 1) student academic outcomes; 2) student/family engagement and well-being; 3) staff and community supports; or 4) systems, policies, and governance. The Spotlights will shine a light on not only the successes, but also the challenges, pitfalls, and lessons learned to serve as blueprints for other LEAs facing similar issues. Although LEAs across California vary in size and demographics, we hope these documented success stories can pave a way for LEAs to become learning organizations — absorbing the lessons learned, leveraging those perspectives to create accessible points of conversation, and generating ideas around other innovative pathways to replicate some of these successes across the state.

CCEE Connection (October 2022)

News & Announcements
October Resources
  • Lifting Our Voices Field Guides – Developed in partnership with the California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA), the Lifting Our Voices Field Guides document the different perspectives, experiences, and reflections of our students, teachers, parents, and families of color, allowing us to harness the power of the “lessons learned” in 2020 and 2021 to reimagine a more successful educational experience for all students in California.
  • Microlearning Modules – Short 5-8-minute videos that share immediately applicable tips, strategies, and tools. Designed to support substitute teachers, paraeducators, and other instructional staff, these short 5-8 minute videos share immediately applicable tips, strategies, and tools. Microlearning modules are also supplemented with downloadable handouts, instructions, and other materials and resources.
  • UDL Journey Guide – This digital travel companion guides district leaders and teams through four stages of implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL), with connections to state and national supports along the way.

Meet the I3 Team
Headshot of Ingrid Robinson

Ingrid Robinson
Assistant Director of
Research Learning

Please join us in welcoming Ingrid Robinson, our newest member of the I3 Center! As the Assistant Director of Research Learning, Dr. Robinson will be leading CCEE’s Research Learning Network to provide data analysis support, coaching, and technical assistance for local educational agencies (LEAs). Prior to joining CCEE, she served as the Associate Superintendent of the Academic Services Division at the Alameda County Office of Education.

Fun Fact: Ingrid has been a certified scuba diver for nearly a decade, traveling the world with her teenage son and diving with dolphins, manta rays, and even sharks – at night.


About the I3 Center

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center implements a statewide approach to improving LEA capacity by collaboratively developing, delivering, sharing, and spotlighting practices that have demonstrated the power to improve outcomes for students.

About the CCEE

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is a statewide leader delivering on California’s promise of a quality, equitable education for every student.

Executive Director’s Corner

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Matt Navo

At the core of continuous improvement is the use of data – data that allows educators to evaluate, reframe thinking, and adjust accountability for improvement. 

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local educational agencies will again focus on continuous improvement within the state’s accountability framework. At the recent State Board of Education meeting on September 14, 2022, the State Board reaffirmed its commitment to continuous improvement by approving modified accountability determination criteria on the upcoming 2022 Dashboard to support local educational agencies (LEAs). 

CCEE works in partnership with the State Board of Education and the California Department of Education to use data to inform how to best support LEAs across the state in improving student outcomes. That means that our state is working to model continuous improvement to provide the tools to examine and measure student outcomes in a way that is helpful to local educators and communities. 

The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center is responsible on behalf of the CCEE to collect and provide data on projects that support the ability of the CCEE and other state lead agencies to support LEAs with their continuous improvement processes. This month’s newsletter will highlight some projects and initiatives led by the I3 Center.


Successes and Challenges in Reducing Chronic Absenteeism

By Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Sujie Shin

Chronic absenteeism has affected a significant percentage of California’s K-12 student population and is likely to continue to do so over the coming years due to the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

From January to July of 2022, CCEE convened the Chronic Absenteeism Research Learning Network (RLN) under the leadership of Aldo Ramirez, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for the Salinas City Elementary School District, to understand district successes and challenges in reducing chronic absenteeism and its implications for statewide support. This working group of educational partners identified 80 school districts that had made significant progress in addressing chronic absenteeism in California over the past five years and interviewed teams from nine districts across the state, varying in size and grade spans.

The Chronic Absenteeism RLN published a brief that aims to better understand how the issue of chronic absenteeism has been addressed by districts and what improvements could yield better student outcomes. It highlights insights and best practices collected from districts that were able to decrease their chronic absenteeism rate in the past five years and offers recommendations on how local educational agencies (LEAs) could help increase student attendance.

Click on the headers below to learn more about this work. The full brief, which delves deeper into the data, best practices and strategies, and opportunities for statewide support, can be found on this webpage.

Cumulatively, the group of nine LEAs studied demonstrated a decrease of 1.4% in chronic absenteeism rates from 2017-2021, while all LEAs in California experienced an increase of 3.5% (for a total difference of 4.9 percentage points). More impressively, when we removed an outlier district from the group of nine that saw its absenteeism rates go past the 25% mark during the pandemic, the remaining eight LEAs in the study shared a collective gain of 3.0% over the 2017-21 time period — a difference of 6.5 percentage points from all California LEAs during the same time. Finally, the LEAs in this study still remained below the state average of 14.3% for SY20-21 — with or without the outlier district (see picture below).

Although the nine districts had slightly different approaches to improving attendance (based on community and context), they shared common characteristics and offered some replicable takeaways. These takeaways aligned with the CCEE’s theory of action framework of leveraging both mindsets and processes to create continuous improvement cycles that lead to change and improve student outcomes. Successful districts shared the following mindsets and practices:

  1. Shifting mindset and building understanding
  2. Leveraging strong data practices
  3. Integrating practices across the whole district
  4. Utilizing early intervention
  5. Providing consistent and focused wraparound communications
  6. Ensuring strong support and staffing
  7. Maximizing community partnerships 
  8. Developing flexible paths for students

Based on the information gleaned from district leadership teams in the course of six months, the workgroup highlighted six potential areas for implementing systemic practices that could help mitigate chronic absenteeism:

  1. Clear and consistent messaging and communication 
  2. Flexibilities around how and when learning takes place 
  3. Updates to the School Attendance Review Team (SART) and the School Attendance Review Board (SARB)
  4. Training and tools to support attendance
  5. Forging a path for a more “connected system” and inter-agency collaboration
  6. Effective data systems and practices

Leveraging Lessons Learned to Advance Educational Equity

By Dorcas Kong, Senior Specialist of Executive Projects, CCEE

The National Coalition on Education Equity (NCOEE), along with its partners, Indiana Council on Educating Students of Color, WestEd, National Council on Educating Black Children (NCEBC), and the California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) hosted a national conference from October 5-7, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The 2022 National Equity in Action Conference brought together educational stakeholders from across our nation to learn about and share transformational programs and practices to improve outcomes for students of colors, marginalized students, and students with disabilities. 

Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director, joined Dwight Bonds and Ken Wesson from CAAASA to present the Lifting Our Voices Field Guides, which leverage the experiences and reflections of students, teachers, and families of color during the COVID-19 pandemic to serve as guides for reimagining a more equitable educational experience for our students. Although this project came out of the pandemic to document “lessons learned” in 2020 and 2021, the Field Guides shed light on the greater equity challenges that continue to be faced by our students of color. CCEE collaborated with CAAASA to package those lessons learned into meaningful professional learning opportunities that can be assessed as a PDF or through an interactive, web-based learning path. Each Field Guide includes focused learning objectives; video clips of leading educational professionals; interviews with students, teachers, and parents; reflective questions and differentiated professional learning activities that can be used with a variety of audiences; and links to additional resources and tools.

CCEE had the opportunity to engage in a conversation with our partners at CAAASA about the Lifting Our Voices Field Guides. Click on the questions below to view their responses.

The Lifting Our Voices Field Guides lend themselves towards professional learning that provides essential information to any educator who regularly works with African American students at any grade level. It is not uncommon for educators to believe that treating all students in an identical manner meets the ethical goal of equality in education (“fairness”). However, all patients in a hospital emergency room should not be administered the same medical remedy for their Illness, since there is an almost unlimited range of medical needs. Effectiveness is a considerably more significant goal in education than sameness, acknowledging that each student comes to school with a wide array of academic needs. In any American classroom, students enter that room with unique academic histories, a wide continuum of background knowledge, various levels of competency in different subject areas, along with multiple ways of demonstrating their conceptual understanding. Most importantly, many African Americans share a long history, as well as numerous contemporary lived experiences that impact both how they view formal education and how they respond to daily educational procedures. Being cognizant of this background information is critical for anyone charged with teaching African American students from Pre-K through graduate school.

The entire collection of Field Guides offers a wealth of information, charts, graphs, statistics, questions and answers, first-person testimonies, resources, references, and videos that can also be used to support both online and in-person professional development for individuals or teams, as well as teacher training courses offered by any college of education. Focused on 12 different subject areas that impact education for today’s African American students, the Field Guides are available in a downloadable PDF format or as an online, interactive learning path, with built-in QR codes and icons with video instructions.

The most important equity challenge facing educators can be found in the question, “What do I need to know about the daily experiences of African American students for my own teaching effectiveness?” It is difficult to successfully teach students knowing little or nothing about their culture, backgrounds, needs, lived experiences, etc. — all vital information for successful educators.

Middle-class teachers are frequently unaware of the daily difficulties that students of color and poverty experience, which affect how those children both behave in school and learn in class. When students cannot relate to the values presented by the teacher, the content, and/or illustrations in the curriculum, student engagement will be minimal at best. The values of the dominant culture are often so foreign to students of poverty and of color that those values are rejected because there is no correlation with the lived experiences of black and brown students.

Educators are cognizant that student engagement comes by way of the relevance that students see in the curriculum or by the linkages that a teacher makes between students and the adopted curriculum. Among the most significant lessons that we have learned about formal education is that a clear distinction must be made between “equality” (treating the same) and “equity” (giving each student what he or she personally needs). The Lifting Our Voices Field Guides unashamedly focus on the equity needs of African American students and students from other communities of color. Meeting their specific needs is how education can truly be advanced.


Upcoming Resources for UDL Implementation

By James McKenna, Assistant Director of Professional Learning and Leadership Development, CCEE

Headshot of James McKenna

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) is committed to advancing the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in California and is actively partnering with county offices, System of Support leads, and national organizations in that effort. We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the new resources we will be releasing later this fall.  

The UDL Journey Guide is getting an upgrade! First released in February of this year, the Journey Guide supports district leaders and teams to plan their implementation of UDL and connects them with state and national partners that can support them in those efforts. CCEE is currently partnering with CAST, the Center for Applied Special Technology and the inventors of UDL, to refine the Journey Guide to provide implementation guidance in alignment with CAST’s UDL School Implementation Certification Criteria.  

CCEE has also partnered with TextHelp to produce the “Why UDL” video series, connecting UDL to key efforts such as advancing equity and antiracism, supporting students with disabilities and language learners, aligning to California’s Multi-tiered System of Supports (CA MTSS), and more. These videos can support your learning as well as become part of your communication and engagement efforts within your community. The full series will be released in November, but below is the first video – “What is UDL?”.  

Finally, we are hard at work on our first UDL learning path made specifically for teachers. Working with partners in the field and guided by an advisory group of classroom teachers, we will offer this asynchronous, interactive online learning option openly and freely to all who are interested in learning more about classroom implementation of UDL. We hope to launch this learning path by mid-November.  

For more information on CCEE’s work in UDL and to share your thoughts, needs, questions, and more, contact us at [email protected]


NEW: Learning Path for High-Impact Tutoring

By Nhi Hang, Program Specialist, CCEE

Headshot of Nhi Hang

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) North America and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) partnered to develop an interactive learning path on Implementing Evidence-Based Tutoring for High Impact. The learning path features seven modules to support district leaders looking to implement, improve, and reflect on the impact of their tutoring programs. 

With each module including videos and supporting resources, district and charter school leaders can deepen their understanding of the research behind tutoring before diving into the elements of highly impactful programs. Such elements include the importance of engaging stakeholders, finding effective tutors and training, as well as evidence-based components of program delivery. Furthermore, the interactive learning path describes how to conduct process and impact evaluations to assess the implementation as well as the results of a program.