Welcome to the California Institute for School Improvement

CISI is organized around the belief that curriculum and instruction matters – it is the central business of schools. CISI is designed to support district and county instructional leaders. Over 140 school districts and county offices of education are currently CISI members.

What’s New?


Local Control Funding Formula in California: How to Monitor Progress and Learn from this Grand Experiment

The newly released report from the Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley entitled “Local Control Funding Formula in California: How to Monitor Progress and Learn from this Grand Experiment, written by Bruce Fuller & Laura Tobben, was funded by the Stuart Foundation. The report suggests the following four core questions:

1. What is the impact of results-based budgeting?
Has the LCAP template moved districts to define measurable goals that aim to reduce disparities in student
achievement? What prevalent staffing strategies, program models, or civic partnerships have surfaced among
districts during Year 1? What are the school-level problems these program models hope to alleviate?

2. What changes are the result of a new participatory process?
Are local school boards building their budgets differently, reshaping who’s involved within the district office
and among community stakeholders?2

3. Are school and classroom mechanisms changing?
What school or classroom-level changes – spurred by the Common Core, richer pedagogies, additional
support staff, or a more engaging school climate – will be supported by LCFF supplemental and concentration
grants? That is, as dollars or staff positions move to targeted pupils, what kinds of organizational changes are

4. Do districts have the capacity to learn and adjust?
How will districts track implementation and try to associate LCAP activities to school-level change and, in
turn, achievement gains? Even large urban districts with research analysts rely heavily on surface-level
administrative data. How will districts learn about what’s changing at the school level – what’s working,
what’s not, and why?

Click here to access the full report: HERE


Collaborative Educational Networks — In recent months, scholars at Center for Applied Policy in Education have conducted a broad survey of collaborative educational networks in California, producing a report for the Stuart Foundation.  This initial survey identified 61 examples of collaborative networks in California, effectively outlining a database that maps the net of collaborations currently functioning in California. This catalogue of collaborative networks organizes networks into five categories, including: county, higher education and K-12, regional, inter-county, and inter-district networks. Further, while network individual characteristics are discussed this report, it also provides a picture of the gaps in our understanding regarding the complex interconnections of networks in California. Future research directions may evaluate how California’s educational collaborative may form a more connected system that augments individual efficacy. Report here: California K12 Collaborative Network Inventory


CA K-12 EVALUATION RUBRICS — The California State Board of Education must adopt evaluation rubrics for K-12 school districts under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) by the statutory deadline of October 1, 2015 (EC Section 52064.5). According to California statute, the evaluation rubrics will do the following: 1) Assist a school district, county office of education or charter school in evaluating strengths, weaknesses, and areas that require improvement. 2) Assist a county superintedent of schools in identifying school disticts and charter schools in need of technical assistance pursuant to Section 52071 or 47607.3, as applicable, and the specific priorities upon which the technical assistance should be focused. 3) Assist the Superintendent in identifying school districts for which intervention pursuant to section 52072 is warranted. For more information on the development of the CA K-12 Evaluation Rubrics click HERE.   The US Department of Education has compiled an extensive collection on FREE online resources for educators to access and use – Federal Resources for Educational Excellence – Teaching and Learning Resources from Federal Agencies – HERE CCSS Online Resources – Clearinghouse  – HERE LCAP Approval Manual for County Superintendents (CCSESA) – HERE LCFF FCMAT Calculator – HERE % FRMP Eligibility Data – by School – California 2012-2013 Statewide % Free and Reduced lunch eligibility by school site (CDE) – Excel File     CISI hosted links to Common Core State Standards Web Resources for school districts, principals and teachers – Click Here   March 2014US News & World Report ranks UC Davis School of Education nationally in the top 50 schools of education. The ranking methodology is based on quality assessment from education school deans and deans of graduate studies, school superintendents nationwide, mean GRE scores, acceptance rate, faculty resources, student-faculty ratio and percent faculty with awards, among others. Says UC Davis School of Education Dean Harold Levine, “This is a 15 point jump from our last ranking. It is a remarkable achievement for all of us, and one for which I am singularly proud.”   Roominate Building Kits and Activity Guides –  building kits with themed activity guides aligned to the Common Core State Standards – Roominate Educator Packs The Center for Innovation in Education at the UC Davis School of Education and Roominate are partnering on a series of themed activity guides to accompany the kits designed for kids to have fun with STEM.   January 17, 2014 – The CA State Board of Education adopts emergency Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Regulations. Click here to access the adopted emergency regulations and LCAP template. SBE Adopted LCFF & LCAP Emergency Regs Jan 2014 The 31st Annual Edition of the CISI Fall School Program Update (Resource Book) provided at the Fall 2013 Workshops is now available in pdf. Click here to access: CISI Resource Book FINAL_Fall 2013 The CISI Common Core State Standards Spending Plan Template (CCSS District Plan template, CCSS District Spending Plan) has been developed to assist school districts this fall as they receive one time CCSS implementation funding from the $1.25 billion allocated in the state budget. We hope you will find it useful and feel free to use it as you see fit. Please let us know if you have any questions.   Can Michael Fullan Save California From NCLB?, Education Week   CISI joined The Center for Applied Policy in Education (CAP-Ed) and the UC Davis School of Education on July 1, 2012. CISI’s goal of providing education leaders with unbiased, accurate, up to date, and useful information on education policy that is presented in a thoughtful and accessible way fits well with CAP-Ed’s mission. We are excited about this new relationship and pledge to continue to provide the high quality of service that has been the hallmark of CISI as well as to explore ways to provide additional assistance to CISI members. Please click on the link for information on upcoming workshops in April 2014.

Become a Member
Upcoming Workshops
Critical Issues