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Meeting Minute Summary March 2014

Advisory Commission on Special Education March 2014 Meeting Summary.
Item 1–Legislative Report

Monique Ramos, Legislative Representative, Legislative Affairs Office, Government Affairs Division, California Department of Education (CDE), reviewed current legislation related to the education of students with disabilities.

Item 2–Assessment Report

Deborah Baumgartner, Education Administrator I; and Sheila Self, Education Programs Consultant, Assessment Division, CDE; provided an update on the status of the Smarter Balanced and National Center and State Collaborative assessments for students with disabilities. Public comment was accepted on this topic.

Item 3–Statewide Special Education Task Force

Dr. Carl Cohn, Special Education Task Force Co-chair and Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE) Liaison to the State Board of Education, provided an update on the recent activities of the Statewide Special Education Task Force.

Item 4–Public Comment

The ACSE opened the floor to receive comments from the public and organizational representatives. There was no public comment offered.

Item 5–Strategic Plan Update

The three Content Committees defined in the ACSE strategic plan met, including interested members of the public, to continue work on established goals. Reports were provided to the ACSE from each Committee Chair. The Common Core committee made the following motion, which was moved, seconded, and passed:

That the ACSE submit a letter to the Instructional Quality Commission, with a copy to the State Board of Education and the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division, recommending changes to Chapter 9 such that the Chapter be reorganized to list “Planning and Supporting the Range of Learners” first, “California’s Diversity” second, and the “Instructional Practice for Supporting Students Experiencing Difficulty Reading” third. Within the “California Diversity” section, a statement regarding the fundamental principle of a research based inclusion model and equity of instructional support for all students to access the Common Core State Standards is a priority. Following that statement, a discussion of the unique needs of specific populations within a diverse state should be included as examples.

Item 6–Unfinished Business

Mary Grady, Writer/editor with CalSTAT, presented a possible outline of the process for the development of the 2014 ACSE Annual Report, including areas where Commissioners can assist in the development of articles.

Discussion was held regarding the assessment reports provided to the ACSE under Item 2. It was moved, seconded, and passed:

That the ACSE have an open conversation with the CDE Assessment Division about Phase II of the National Center and State Collaborative and accommodations on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium so that all students are prepared.

Item 7–Liaison Reports

Commissioners provided brief reports on activities conducted on behalf of their constituents and the ACSE.

Item 8–Common Core State Standards

An update on the CCSS and support for students with disabilities was presented by Nancy S. Brownell, Senior Fellow, Common Core Systems Implementation Team, SBE and CDE; and Kristen Brown, Ph.D., Education Programs Consultant, Policy and Program Services Unit, SED, CDE.

Item 9–Public Comment

The ACSE received comments from the public and organizational representatives.

Item 10–Legislative Members and Liaison Reports

Deana Glick provided a report on behalf of Assembly Member Joan Buchanan and thanked the ACSE for its ongoing advice on educational issues on behalf of students with disabilities. She encouraged feedback on the outcome of the new assessments being field tested this year so that they have the opportunity to introduce legislation, if needed, to improve the assessment process moving forward.

Dr. Carl Cohn, Special Education Task Force Co-chair and (ACSE) Liaison to the State Board of Education, provided an update on the Local Control Funding Formula which will be presented to the SBE for approval at its March meeting, noting it is a fundamental change in education that is defining California as a leader in educational funding.

Item 11–State Special Schools Director’s Report

Scott Kerby, State Special Schools Director, CDE, provided an update on the recent Positive Environment Network of Trainers Forum, the repeal of the Hughes bill, and Assembly Bill 86.

Item 12–Status Report Regarding the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)

Christine Swenson, Director, Local Agency Systems Support, CDE, provided an update on the LCAP which will be presented to the SBE for approval at its March meeting. She encourage the ACSE to contact her office or the LCFF Web site with suggestions regarding the program.

Item 13–Special Education Division Director’s Report

Fred Balcom, Director, SED, CDE, provided an update on the recent activities of the SED, including stakeholder meetings and partnership development, compliance, and Title 5 Regulation updates. He noted that ongoing work is being done related to Multi-Tiered System of Supports for all students, and Response to Intervention (RTI) based on the needs of individual students.

Item 14–Future Agenda Building

Commissioners were encouraged to contact the Chair to provide recommendations for the next meeting agenda.

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Questions: Venetia Davis | vdavis@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-9773 
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