The U.S. Department of Education granted a waiver from six requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento City, San Francisco, Sanger, and Santa Ana Unified School Districts. These eight districts, along with Clovis and Garden Grove Unified School Districts, collectively educate over a million students and make up the California Office to Reform Education (CORE), a consortium of districts dedicated to collaborative innovation and knowledge sharing. The first of its kind to be granted to districts as opposed to states, the waiver will allow the eight districts to implement a new accountability model called the School Quality Improvement System which is based on a holistic vision of student success, a collective moral imperative to prepare all students for college and career, and an emphasis on eliminating disparities between subgroups of students. The districts will conduct self and peer evaluations which will be reviewed by an oversight panel comprised of diverse stakeholders. Across the eight districts, the waiver is expected to free up about $110 million in Title I funds, which can be used for school improvement.
Eight of the ten CORE districts are led by Collaborative members Michael Hanson, Chris Steinhauser, John Deasy, Gary Yee, Jonathan Raymond, Richard Carranza, Matthew Navo, and Gabriela Mafi. Collaborative member Rick Miller serves as CORE’s Executive Director. For an interview with Miller about the CORE waiver, please see The Hechinger Report.