March 8, 2016
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Issues "Tech Challenge"
to Improve Local Control Accountability Plans
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced a "Tech Challenge" to California's technology industry to help improve access to Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs).
Torlakson made the announcement during a presentation to the prestigious South by Southwest® Education conference in Austin, Texas.
"Today, I challenge the tech community – by fall 2016 – to assemble a dream team with one goal. Develop a user-friendly portal and application for the Local Control Accountability Plans."
The LCAPS are a critical part of California's new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) for schools. Each school district must engage parents, educators, employees, and the community to establish these plans, which describe the school district's overall vision for students, annual goals, and specific actions.
The plans demonstrate how the district's budget will help achieve specific goals and assess each year how well the plan's strategies improved outcomes.
Some parents, educators, and other concerned parties have said the current LCAP is overly complex. The California Department of Education will conduct an online survey to develop a simpler, streamlined LCAP template by fall 2016.
Torlakson said he is challenging the technology industry by the same deadline to help develop a computer interface that will let any interested person navigate and understand their school district's LCAP.
"The vibrant technology community of the 21st century has shown that it is very possible to create simple-to-use interfaces for complex endeavors," Torlakson said.
"We need the tools to let anyone – student, parent, teacher, community members – understand and participate in the development, implementation, and monitoring of their LCAPs – to participate as active, engaged partners.
"Imagine every parent, teacher, business partner, principal, school board member, and administrator being able to view the data, plans, and results being achieved in their local schools and districts in an easy to use, online, format."
Torlakson said he will soon announce a "Request for Partnership" for potential volunteers who want to develop the LCAP interface.Information about the LCFF and LCAPs can be found on the CDE Web site.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100