A Message from the Superintendent – December 2014

The first wave of educational reform known as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) rolled in remarkably smooth considering the magnitude of the changes; however, we still have a long way to go before full implementation, with many more changes still to be considered. Foremost is the development of a new accountability system that is aligned with the 8 state Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) priorities and is inclusive of graduation data and student preparedness for college and career. We now know that a single measurement from a standardized test is of little value in predicting student success later in life. As we move down a path of new assessments using multiple measures, I cannot help but reflect on many of the stories in this issue of “Focus on Success.” Not only are they replete with student and teacher passion but they are also indicators of what students should be learning and doing in the 21st Century: learning about the environment, creating opportunities for the less fortunate, learning service through volunteer work at a Food Bank, creating through Arts and film, linking students with their community through mentorship, and teachers engaging in best practices (Trauma Informed Care). These activities and activities like these should be part of every student’s school experience, because if we are to truly succeed, we will need to unlock their passion.

Have a wonderful 2015!

Michael C. Watkins
County Superintendent of Schools
Santa Cruz County Office of Education