Two developments have seismically shifted K-12 education in California – the adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Local Control Accountability Plan.   These developments are important to our membership because they both have significant college and career readiness components.

While most of the chatter about Common Core has revolved around the changes in English Language Arts and Math, the fact that college and career readiness is anchored in the standards compels our members to take the lead in districts and schools regarding implementation.

In addition to Common Core, the  LCAP mandates that schools focus on 8 priorities:  student achievement, engagement, school climate, course access, basic services, state standards, parental involvement, and “other.”  Additional funding is provided for foster youth, English learners, and low-income students.

This presents a prime opportunity for school counselors to serve as leaders and managers of programs and interventions to move the needle on the 8 priorities.

While schools submitted LCAP proposals to their Board of Education in July, Principals and District leaders will need the expertise and experience of school counselors.

This is our domain – we know how to create college aspiration, analyze curriculum, design interventions for tests, and help students with college and career readiness.  Counselors can analyze gaps in achievement and provide services to prepare more students for college and career.  I am  happy to share a PPT presentation I developed, “Counselors:  Cure for the Common Core”, which will be available on the WACAC website shortly.

We would love to hear from members who have been involved in development of their LCAP to share their successful strategies.  We encourage you to share what’s happening with your school or district in our comments section.

By Esther Hugo