News Briefs | FYI
May 30, 2022
LPI: California has equal access to principal PD
California principals enjoy more access to high-quality preparation than other states, according to a new Learning Policy Institute study on principal training and professional development.
“Developing Effective Principals: What Kind of Learning Matters?” looked at principals’ access to high-quality preservice and in-service principal development programs and the role state and federal policies have in shaping principal learning.
The study synthesizes two decades of research and reviews survey data from the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, in addition to two statewide surveys of principals in California and North Carolina.
According to the research, principals in high-poverty schools across the country were less likely to have access to important professional learning topics and job-embedded mentoring or coaching.
“These disparities, however, did not appear among principals in California, which had overhauled its principal licensure and program accreditation policies,” according to the authors. “In California, large majorities of principals in all kinds of schools had access to professional learning covering important content and using applied learning strategies, suggesting that policy can influence the availability and distribution of these opportunities.”
Read the report at
Data could help distribute teacher talent more equitably
Many states, including California, could collect better data to ensure the equitable distribution of teacher talent, according to a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality.
The 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act established a goal for every student to have “equal access to qualified and effective teachers.” Because states were given leeway to determine how they define metrics related to educator effectiveness, the report says it can be difficult to make comparisons with the data. For instance, the law does not define what it means to be teaching out-of-field or how many years a teacher must be working before they are considered “experienced.”
NCTQ’s report “Ensuring Students’ Equitable Access to Qualified and Effective Teachers” analyzes the various ways all 50 states collect and report data documenting the equitable distribution of teacher talent among their schools.
For instance, California does not disaggregate their reporting by Title I status or racial minority status, according to the report. The state also does not report on the proportion of ineffective teachers.
The report makes four recommendations to states:
  • Improve how data is reported so it is clearer how schools and districts fare in relation to the state average or other obvious points of comparison (such as schools and districts with comparable populations).
  • Add a summary calculation capturing all of the measures used to define an effective, qualified teacher.
  • Incorporate the best available teacher effectiveness data.
  • Commit to refreshing data at least every other year.
Read the full report at
ACSA, CSBA express concerns over CALPADs update
Administrators are reporting issues with a recent update to the state’s student achievement data system that was performed during a busy testing period for schools.
According to reporting from Ed Source, schools experienced error messages when uploading assessment results following the mid-April update to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS). The California Department of Education is working to address the issues.
ACSA and the California School Boards Association co-signed a letter to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on May 9 expressing “deep concerns” about the system update.
“Our members report experiencing significant challenges with CALPADS in recent weeks, to the extent that some consider the system as it currently stands unusable,” the letter reads. “The issues are impacting a wide variety of systems from student information, special education, and child nutrition to CAASPP and Smarter Balanced testing.”
One of the issues cited in the letter is that schools have been required to manually process data, such as student transfers, at a time with staff are stretched thin. Another issue mentioned is an inability to retrieve timely IEP information, which could prevent special education students from receiving appropriate accommodations when taking their assessments.
“The impacts on special education and testing provide particularly concerning examples of the far-reaching impacts these issues may cause,” the letter reads. “CALPADS is the intake system for CDE dashboard data and data that is released to the public. As the end of the year approaches, districts are increasingly concerned that they will be held accountable for inaccurate data.”
Read the story at
550 districts join SPI meeting on improving literacy
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond hosted a special meeting with hundreds of Local Educational Agency leaders May 20 for a conversation on statewide and schoolwide efforts to ensure all students learn to read by third grade.
More than 550 districts and charters were represented at the “Calling All Schools: The Plan to Ensure All Students Learn to Read by Third Grade” event. In conjunction with the meeting, representatives signed a pledge to commit towards helping reach the third-grade literacy and biliteracy goal by 2026.
Guest panelists joining the statewide meeting included Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President, California State Board of Education; Dr. Frances Gipson, Director of the Urban Leadership Program and Professor at Claremont Graduate University; Dr. Kathy Escamilla, Professor, University of Colorado Boulder and researcher of educational issues related to Spanish speaking language students in U.S. public schools; Dr. Eduardo Reyes, Superintendent, Chula Vista Elementary School District; Dr. Marilu Gorno Tempini, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco; and Dr. Tyrone Howard, Professor and the Inaugural Director, UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families.
Free mental health first aid trainings available to LEAs
The CDE is offering virtual YMHFA Trainings, at no cost to LEAs, schools and community organizations. The training teaches youth-serving adults how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders in youth, ages 6-18. For additional information, visit Project Cal-Well Youth Mental Health First Aid Training at To schedule an MHFA training, please send an email to
New ELPAC coordinators meeting in June for training
Calling all Local Educational Agency ELPAC coordinators who are new to their role or want a refresher. The 2022–23 New ELPAC Coordinator Training summer sessions will take place in June. This training will be hosted by multiple county offices of education located throughout the state and is the first of the ELPAC coordinator trainings. Locations, dates, and registration links are provided on the ELPAC Upcoming Training Opportunities web page, (, where the training is listed under June 2022.
Grants support LEA-mental health collaborations
The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission is seeking applications in response to the MHSSA to incentivize partnerships between behavioral health departments and education agencies for the purpose of increasing access to mental health services in locations that are easily accessible to students and their families. The final application due date is June 17, 2022, by 4 p.m. See details at
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