State ACSA

November 2014 Update

posted Feb 8, 2015, 9:40 AM by ACSA Region 7   [ updated Feb 8, 2015, 9:42 AM ]

Federal Election Update

The November election brought a number of surprises and shifted the power away from the Democrats and now to the Republicans.  This change is expected to move education bills forward including the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind.  The new Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.  While it is not official yet, it is rumored that Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash. will be the leading Democrat on this Committee.

Senator Alexander was the U.S. Secretary of Education under President George H. W. Bush and has already stated that his education priorities include an overhaul of NCLB.  The Senator introduced legislation last year to change NCLB but it did not get the support from any Democrats so did not move forward.  It is likely that legislation will set the stage for what we can expect next year.  The legislation reduces the role of the U.S. Department of Education in K-12 policy and allows states to create their own accountability plans.  The most controversial proposals expected out of the Republican leadership will be funding and school choice.  Expanding funding for charter schools is a likely legislative priority.  But a push for vouchers is also rumored to be included.  Of course, education funding will be a significant issue as well.

Senator Murray has extensive education experience and has successfully worked with members of both parties to reach consensus on a variety of legislation.  Bipartisan legislative efforts that will be considered will include early learning and charter school legislation.  If Senators Alexander and Murray are able to put together a bipartisan ESEA reauthorization bill, the House will be forced to deal with the issue hopefully with a more moderate approach.

Of course, the White House is still controlled by President Obama, so no matter what Congress does, the President will have the final say.  While it is unlikely the changes in Congress will impact the core education reform of the Administration, they may be forced to make adjustments to achieve their goals.

Another note of interest is that in the seven states that had Chief State School Officer Races (Superintendent of Public Instruction), only CA is a Democrat.  The remaining six elected are Republicans.

ACSA is committed to keeping you apprised as new issues are brought forward in the new Congress.

The Election is over or is it?

Election Day, or the Super Bowl for political junkies, created some drama and some surprises last week.  Governor Jerry Brown won in a landslide for his historic 4th term of Governor.  His victory was even more decisive with his two priority measures, Propositions 1 (Water Bond) and 2 (Rainy Day Reserve) passing by large margins.  This signals a clear message that Governor Brown's popularity and political clout is at an all-time high.

However, there are several assembly races that are too close to call.  Assembly District 39, 44, 57 and 66 are all races where the vote count was too close to confirm a winner on election night.  In Assembly District 39 (San Fernando), Patty Lopez (D) leads incumbent Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra by seven votes.  In Assembly District 44 (Oxnard) Jacqui Irwin (D) leads Rob McCoy (R) by about 2,200 votes.  In Assembly District 57 (Whittier), incumbent Assemblyman Ian Calderon leads his challenger Rita Topalian (R) by about 1,400 votes.  In Assembly District 66 (Torrance) David Hadley (R) leads incumbent Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D) by approximately 2000 votes.

Depending on which side of the aisle you prefer, this election was either a resounding return of the California Republican Party and/or a collapse of the California Democratic Party.  Or it was an indication that voters are tired of many incumbents.  With the exception of the State Constitutional offices (where Democrats won every office), the Republican Party made strong inroads by winning enough Assembly races to eliminate the Democrats supermajority.   The Republicans took seats in Assembly District 65 (Fullerton) where incumbent Assembly woman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D) lost to Kim Young (R); Assembly District 36 (Palmdale) where incumbent Assemblyman Steve Fox (D) lost to Tom Lackey (R) and a surprise win in Assembly District 16 (Alamo) where the Republican party never wins, but Catherine Baker (R) won a close contest with Tim Sbranti.  While the Democrats still hold a majority of the seats in both houses there were still some surprising wins for the Republican Party in this election cycle.

ACSA-endorsed candidates also fared well in their races.  Sixty-four percent of the candidates that ACSA endorsed won their race.  You can view all ACSA's endorsements for candidates and ballot initiatives here, as well as the results of the candidate<>.

ACSA Board Members Testify at State Board of Education Meeting on the API

ACSA Board members Holly Edds and Linda Kaminski provided eloquent testimony before the State Board of Education last week in support of deferring the inclusion of the SBAC testing results into the API until the spring of 2016 to ensure the data is valid and reliable. They further testified that a new baseline should not be developed until all other indicators are ready to add to a new API.

They also testified that all SBAC data should be provided locally this spring to inform instruction and keep teachers, parents, students and communities apprised of the first year results. In addition, ACSA Governmental Relations staff met with other stakeholder groups prior to the SBE meeting and garnered the support of CSBA and ED Trust West in calling for a sensible and thoughtful development period for a new state accountability system.

Member Promotion and Crisis Response

The ACSA Communications Department has been focusing on member promotion through media relations activities and internal video products.

As part of our goal to humanize our members, ACSA Communicators have begun an outreach program that enables administrators to tell their story on video. These stories are being assembled into smaller segments, between 30 and 90 seconds each. They will be featured as part of introductions and program breaks when ACSA begins weekly newscasts in 2015.

Member outreach has continued to be a valuable benefit, with our communications program getting involved twice in crisis communications matters.

ACSA Communicators assembled a strategic crisis response plan for the Merced Union High School District when school administrators and students participated in a "rivalry-week" video featuring a comedic depiction of campus violence and a school shooting. The strategic plan involved creating anti-violence training and a task force on "rivalry-week" activities. Communicators also created messaging to be issued to the media after aspects of the strategic plan were put in place.

Our member outreach is also getting involved with a pending lawsuit in the Pleasanton Unified School District where the superintendent is experiencing acts of hate messaging on community message boards. A full report on ACSA's involvement will be reported in the next board report.

Our "Leadership Extra" section has been launched as an online extension of Leadership Magazine. The section is designed to include topic-related content that didn't fit within the paper version of the magazine due to space limitations.

The ACSA blog is also underway with content being provided by members. ACSA President Randy Delling was one of the first contributors.

LCAP Implementation Workshops

So far more than 15 districts (Over 60 attendees) have attended the LCAP Implementation Workshops.  The workshops begin with an update on the regulations and then participants get right into the work of creating sound implementation plans for their LCAPs.  The feedback has been nothing but positive.  One participant stated: "I am looking at our plan through a completely different lens, and I now know what we need to do to make our LCAP meaningful for students." Workshops continue after Thanksgiving:

Dec. 1, 2014. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . San Gabriel Valley

Dec. 2, 2014. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fresno

Dec. 4, 2014.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Victor Valley

Dec 10, 2014. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Redding

In addition to the amazing workshops, LCAPca updates are underway. The update of our free version (LCAPca 1.0) is scheduled for completion in mid-January.  While the new LCAPca 2.0 will is due to be complete by the beginning of March. Pricing will be done after Thanksgiving and the new LCAPca 2.0 will include:

  • Video Messages from renowned educators like Michael Fullan and Andy Hargreaves
  • Links to Resources
  • Planning Tools
  • Engagement Tools
  • Systemic Process for Implementation of LCAP Actions
  • Membership into a Statewide Consortium
  • Data Links with other programs such as Illuminate
  • SPSA Completion for School Sites
Member Assistance and Legal Support Team Serve Up Support!

Between July 1, 2014 and October 31, 2014, our Member Assistance and Legal Support Team, made up of six part time staffers, have been very busy providing confidential service to 225 members.  While the type of assistance requested were all over the map, the top three issues that members reached out for revolved around assistance with superintendent contracts, STRS/PERS, and issues of reassignments and demotions.  Site administrators were tracked as being the job-alike most served during this period, with superintendents following.  The amount paid out by ACSA for member assistance total $70,492 to date.

Membership Recruitment Continues to Grow Strong!

We are pleased to report that the Membership Recruitment Team continues to make great strides in growing ACSA.  Just in the month of October, the team brought in 169 new members which helped put our totals at nearly 1,300 more members than this time last year.  While consolidated membership is strong for those that are district paid, membership is struggling for those large urban districts where dues are paid by individuals.  Below is a grid outlining membership totals for our five Consolidated Charters:

Oakland USD = 300 (district paid)

San Francisco USD = 299 (district paid)

Fresno USD = 160

LAUSD = 429

San Diego USD = 574 (district paid)

Member Services staff are working closely with region and charter leaders to develop strategies to grow Fresno and LAUSD.  At the same time, staff are also collaborating on recruitment strategies to grow membership in general across all the regions.  A reminder for all leaders to please continue pushing the $2 a day introductory offer for new members.

Many thanks to the following board members for helping us grow September, October, and to this point in November.  Keep up the great work!

Tom Armelino
Randy Bangs
Heidi Lawler
Randy Delling
Lisa Gonzales
Cindy Petersen
Craig Wheaton
Rose Lock
Mauricio Arellano
Mary Grace

Ambassador Program Wins Over State Retirement Committee

The Ambassador Program is designed to improve onboarding of new members and reduce first-year new member dropout rates. "Onboarding" is an association term and refers to the mechanism through which new members acquire the necessary knowledge to become effective organization members and insiders.   At the state level, current new member onboarding includes one mailed welcome packet and one welcome email.   Though an overview of member benefits and contact information for the current region leaders are included in the email, the personal touch is clearly missing, along with some real answers to the "I've joined ACSA, now what?" question.  It is Member Services' hope to bring back the human element by providing new members with personal outreach and education via an ACSA Ambassador during the first year of membership.  It will help new members connect the dots and navigate through all the wonderful things ACSA has to offer.  We hope to have all the details finalized and the program fully launched by July 1, 2015.  Attached is the handout outlining the program's finer points.  We encourage you to share this information with your local leaders to help us spread the word.  It is very important to note that this program is very different from the mentoring program as ACSA Ambassadors will only focus on the membership journey and NOT the professional journey.  ACSA Ambassadors are unpaid volunteers, but will be provided with a small stipend to make personal visits and outreach possible.  Please review the attached handout for more information.

Our next steps are as follows:

1)         December - June:  Marketing Ambassador Program to ACSA leadership and all members.
2)         January - Outreach to all retired members for the purpose of identifying a cadre of potential "ambassadors".
3)         February - Identify "lead ambassador" for each region.  Lead ambassadors will be responsible for coordinating efforts of their region's ambassador program and will report to ACSA's Director of Member Services.  Those interested in becoming a "Lead Ambassador" should contact Margarita Cuizon, Director of Member Services and Support, at<> directly.  Lead ambassadors will be introduced to state and regions.
4)         May - Provide training to all lead ambassadors at State ACSA May Leadership Training.
5)         July 2015 - program launch.

For more information about the Ambassador Program, please contact Margarita Cuizon, Director of Member Services and Support,<>.

Diversity Outreach and Growing Our Underrepresented Populations

Four months ago, Member Services Director Margarita Cuizon hired Nicole Anderson, former Vallejo school principal and chair of the EADS Committee, to strategically address diversity and equity needs within the organization.  In addition, Sal Villasenor was added to the team part-time starting in October.  Together, with Nicole's strong vision, they have been reaching out and visiting regions and school sites across California to provide education on ACSA's current state on diversity and where we hope to go by developing tools, resources, support systems, and relevant opportunities for members of color to impact a positive change.  To date, the "Equity Membership Team", as we like to call them, have presented to the ACSA Board and state leadership, had a great hand in drafting and collecting relevant articles for the latest equity issue of the Leadership Magazine, provided information about school districts doing great equity work for students so they could be featured in EdCal, and coordinated a meet-and-greet for African American and Latino Summit attendees in San Diego.  The team continues to analyze data to identify districts where large populations of non-member minority administrators can be found and will work collaboratively with each region to develop an outreach and recruitment plan.  Team members will also focus on furthering our relationship with CALSA and CAAASA to grow membership.  Projects to look forward to include an equity focus group, an equity summit at Santa Clara COE, a regularly published "equity corner" in EdCal, and an equity toolkit which is expected to be introduced by May 2015.

For more information about these efforts, please contact Nicole Anderson, Diversity & Equal Access Executive,<>.

State ACSA Board Notes - 5-9-14

posted May 19, 2014, 9:12 PM by ACSA Region 7   [ updated Feb 8, 2015, 9:37 AM ]

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