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Focus on Learning Joint WASC/CDE Process

An evaluation process designed to be used by public high schools in California that choose to pursue accreditation requirements.

Purpose

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is a non-profit organization that fosters excellence in education through a voluntary non-governmental regional accreditation process. This accreditation process helps California schools identify and implement school improvement measures, support accountability, and facilitate student achievement.  The California Department of Education (CDE) and WASC share a common purpose and commitment to facilitate student achievement and school improvement in the California public schools. While WASC accreditation is not required by law, it does provide a means for conducting peer evaluations of educational institutions and programs.  While WASC accreditation is not required by law, it does provide a means for conducting peer evaluations of educational institutions and programs. The CDE has collaborated with WASC in order to align the WASC accreditation process with the planning process for California schools required by state and federal statutes in the “Single Plan for Student Achievement. The result of this collaboration is named the “FOCUS On LEARNING”, and is accessible on the WASC Accrediting Commission for Schools External link opens in new window or tab..

Program/Services

The WASC short-term consultants provide training throughout the state on the FOL – Joint WASC/CDE Process.

Outcomes

In 2012–13, the WASC agency completed 705 accreditation visits, including public and charter schools.  Also, 700 visits are completed/projected for 2013-14.  For 2014-2015, a total of 780 visits are projected.  In addition, twenty-three CDE consultants and administrators participated in accreditation visits in 2013-14.

Students Served

The FOL self-study process is organized to support ongoing school improvement efforts in all areas. Administrators and teachers use the FOL results to improve the education programs within their districts. The process is designed to be used by all public high schools in California that are subject to accreditation requirements and choose to pursue FOL – Joint WASC/CDE Process.

Results

The FOL – Joint WASC/CDE Process assists schools by allowing them to participate in an in-depth evaluation of their programs. Through the process, they can identify their strengths and the areas where improvement is needed. The WASC Commission approves high school districts and charter high schools for a one, three, or six-year term. WASC administrators and CDE staff update the training documents to ensure alignment with processes and changes based on CDE corrective actions. Participating high schools that have CDE governance issues are considered for a review based on the approval of the CDE and WASC Commission.

Additional Information

To view the 2013 edition of the WASC/CDE Focus on Learning Joint Process for all California Public Schools, including California Charter Schools, please visit the Accrediting Commission for Schools – WASC Accreditation – Process California Comprehensive Web page External link opens in new window or tab. and select the link under the heading Full Self-Study.

For additional information, please visit the WASC Accrediting Commission for Schools External link opens in new window or tab..

Questions:   Carolyn Hamilton | chamilton@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-5765
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