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Request for Waiver of Provisions Support Letter 3

Support letter from Dean Vogel requesting a waiver of provisions of sections of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Accessible Alternative Version of the letter from Dean Vogel, page 14-15 of the Waiver Support Letters (PDF; 4MB).
This document provides text translation of the letter of support from Dean Vogel regarding the Request for Waiver of Provisions letter.


{Letterhead of the California Teachers Association}

1705 Murchison Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010
PO Box 921, Burlingame, CA 94011-0921
phone: 650-697-1400 // Fax 650-552-5007

President

Dean E. Vogel

Vice President

Eric C. Heins

Secretary-Treasurer

Mikki Cichocki

Board of Directors

Jose J. Alcala

Larry Allen

E. Toby Boyd

Donald L. Bridge

Tyrone V. Cabell

Elana Davidson

Don Dawson

Dana Dillon

David B. Goldberg

Jim Groth

Terri Jackson

Marly G. Meeden

George D. Melendez

Theresa Montano

Mary Rose Ortego

Cynthia Pana

Bonnie Shatun

Michael Stone

Kendall Vaught

KC Walsh

Curtis L Washington


Executive DIrector

Corolyn Doggell

{NEA logo}

http://www.cta.org

June 5, 2012

Michael Yudin
Acting Assistant Secretary
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Dear Acting Assistant Secretary Michael Yudin;

Re: California's "state defined" waiver request

The California Teachers Association urges your support of California's application seeking a waiver of selected provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) pursuant to Section 9401. The state has focused on its unique opportunities and challenges in creating a waiver to meet the needs of California schools.

An approved waiver would support the State's transition to a growth model. As part of the waiver request, California ensures that local educational agencies and schools will continue to be held accountable for student outcomes as the state transitions to a growth model that uses performance targets from California's Academic Performance Index system as the Annual Measureable Objectives required by ESEA. The Academic Performance Index (API) summarizes a school's or LEA's academic performance and progress on statewide assessments. This waiver will allow California to recognize the growth that California schools and students have made over the last dozen years and will position California to transition more effectively to new accountability reporting priorities as part of the state's plan to replace current state assessments with the next generation SBAC assessments. Significant changes in state statutes have created the policy foundation to support the state's plans and timeline for revising the target structure of the Academic Performance Index to encourage continued focus on students who are not proficient.

If a waiver request is authorized by the SBE, the proposed components of the revised accountability system will be reviewed by appropriate advisory bodies and stakeholder groups and then recommended for approval to the SBE. The system will be more sensitive - having the ability to highlight growth specifically for students that are English learners and students with disabilities as well as ensuring that high performing schools are accountable for subgroups growth for their subgroup as well. Such a system will support the transition from our Current accountability design to a new system which will be modified as needed when Common Core State Standards and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium systems are fully in place

An approved waiver would support the arc of support and intervention for the State's lowest performing schools. Local school districts are the entry point for intervention. Ideally, the state's monitoring will include reasonable criteria for identifying low performing schools and districts, resulting in more meaningful, stable identifications. The criteria should differentiate between schools and districts that are not improving and those that are slowly, but steadily improving, and offer those that are improving a way to exit underperforming schools status.

This waiver will allow California to use federal funds for appropriate interventions to meet local needs. The waiver holds the state accountable to identify a targeted subset of schools and districts that have not shown improvement and have low absolute performance, for intervention and/or sanction by the state. The state waiver identifies what interventions or sanctions will be applied to this targeted subset of schools and districts, using the wide range of options already authorized in California state law. Schools with the most challenges will get the support they need from school partnerships as well as outside providers. In the context of overstretched resources, California can prioritize and focus interventions for those schools truly in need.

CTA believes that the State is on the right track. California students deserve a well-rounded education with a full curriculum (including science, social science). This waiver is a coherent proposal to revise the system of accountability, recognize initiatives underway that align with federal and recognize that current law and pending legislation will create systemic school intervention grounded in the state context and acceptable to all stakeholders.

Sincerely,

{Signature of Dean Vogel}

Dean E. Vogel
President

DEV:JR:cl

cc: Eric C. Heins
Mikki Cichocki
CT A Board of Directors
Carolyn Doggett
Karen Kyhn
Emma Leheny
Carlos Moreno
Joe Nunez
Becky Zoglman

Questions:   State Board of Education | 916-319-0827
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