Dear Ms. Kessel,
Thank you for your prompt response to our letter regarding ESSA implementation. If we may ask, why will the State Board of Education not consider adding any parent stakeholders to the California Practitioners Advisory Group at this time? I understand that the current committee members were appointed in March 2016, but is there any reason why more members couldn’t be added, particularly since the committee currently does not include any parents from the special needs community, who are undoubtedly a vital part of this conversation, given the scope of the disability community in California?
We have indeed encouraged our members and partners to join the CDE ESSA Update listserv, and I appreciate you letting us know that CPAG meetings are open to the public. We will encourage our members to make every effort to attend and to submit comments. However, we still think that the CPAG and the disability community in California would be better served if someone representing the disability community was an active part of the CPAG.
In regards to specific requests for website improvements and email addresses for outreach and the listserv, we will solicit feedback for these, and share them with you after our next meeting.
From: ESSA <ESSA@cde.ca.gov>
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2016 10:07:12 AM
To: Cathleen Small
Subject: RE: California ESSA implementation and the ESSA/CPAG planning committee
Dear Ms. Small and Ms. Kulzer-Reyes,
Thank you for contacting the California Department of Education (CDE) and for your interest in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We value your feedback and wanted to take the time to respond to your requests.
Regarding adding members to the California Practitioners Advisory Group (CPAG), unfortunately we are unable to add members to the group at this time. Current CPAG members were appointed in March 2016 for two and three year terms. The State Board of Education, who appoints members to the CPAG, will not request applications for new members until these terms are completed. However, CPAG meetings are open to the public and public comment and participation from advocacy organizations is highly encouraged.
The best way for interested members of the public to stay informed about the development of California’s ESSA State Plan and transition activities is to join the CDE ESSA Update Listserv. Please encourage members of the Family Empowerment Centers and Parent Training and Information Centers to join the listserv by sending a blank e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can provide me with a list of e-mail addresses, I would be happy to add these contacts to the list manually.
Regarding transparency, while we strive to go above and beyond the statutory requirements around public notices and communication, we can always improve. We are working on making our CPAG and ESSA Web pages more user-friendly and we would be open to any specific suggestions you and your colleagues may have about how to do this.
I look forward to a continued dialog with you about how we can support your engagement in California’s transition to the ESSA. If you have any questions, please let us know.
Joy Kessel, Education Programs Consultant
Every Student Succeeds Act Office
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 6308
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901