In 2015, Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to improve education across the nation. ESSA took the bold step of turning educational control back over to states, requiring them to identify and improve low performing schools while providing flexibility in how this is accomplished. This change in federal policy led to the creation of The California Way. Systems such as the Academic Performance Index (API) were retired, and new priorities, standards, funding mechanisms, and accountability systems were adopted. SMCOE helps districts understand and implement the new system. The California Way is broken into three priority areas: conditions of learning, engagement, and pupil outcomes.

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Quality Counts

San Mateo County's Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) helps early care and education programs to improve by measuring current levels of quality against research-backed standards.

Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is California's school funding law that determines the minimum funding level a district requires based on student characteristics and needs.

Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)

Every local education agency (LEA) must prepare a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) that describes how it intends to meet annual goals for all students and address state and local priorities.

California School Dashboard

The California School Dashboard provides educators, parents, and the public with information about how local schools and districts are performing.

Statewide System of Support

California's system of support reduces redundancy across state and federal programs, integrates guidance and resources across state and federal programs, and supports LEAs to meet identified student needs through the LCAP process.