Following a closed session performance evaluation of CCEE staff, Executive Director Dr. Carl Cohn gave a progress report in which he shared details of his site visits to various California districts and charters, meetings with advocacy groups, and a Gates Foundation Leadership retreat. The board held a short but lively discussion about the role of the CCEE board and CCEE staff with the general consensus that board members set policy and direction and the staff implement, but that the board desires a more active role or more frequent engagement. The board also discussed the potential impact of SB-871. Next, Josh Daniels, Director of Outreach and Communications for the CCEE, presented on his site visits to county offices across California. He shared that the board reached out to all fifty-eight counties and followed up with site visits to twenty-seven interested COEs. Site visits to another thirteen county offices have been scheduled. Sujie Shin, Director of Research and Assessment, gave a report — in which she referenced working with Pivot Learning as a partner and acknowledged the Rural Professional Learning Network. The Directors of Education also spoke. After a brief break, the board heard public comment on all presentations.
Following board approval of the proposed preliminary CCEE budget for fiscal year 2016-17, Casey Schutte, Director of FosterEd, gave a presentation on Foster Youth education. California is the first state to include foster youth as a subgroup in its educational accountability framework. Schutte stressed the key role that LEA LCAPs play in planning academic and socioemotional supports for foster youth. He also noted missteps in implementation, such as the use of supplemental and concentration funds for broad actions and goals not targeted for foster youth, and unique challenges that LEAs face with regard to foster youth (e.g. movement between foster homes corresponding with movement between schools and districts.)
Schutte’s presentation focused on the significant achievement gap for foster youth, as well as the importance of trauma-informed practice to address factors in foster youth outcomes, such as the trauma that brings youth into the system, abuse, homelessness, and poverty rates. At the close of his presentation, Schutte invited comment and shared resources, including the Alliance for Children’s Rights’ Foster Youth Toolkit and the Coalition for Educational Equity for Foster Youth’s Sample District LCAP for Foster Youth.
After Mr. Schutte’s report, the board heard general public comment and closed with announcement of board chair Sandy Thorstenson’s retirement from Whittier Unified School District and the CCEE board.