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The following analysis sets forth the specific recommendations contained in the final report of the Emerging Modes of Delivery, Certification, and Planning Working Group, organized by the categories contained in the report. The staff comments and questions that follow each section are intended to illuminate those recommendations, the deliberations that led to those recommendations, and/or important information that should be considered in evaluating those recommendations:

Goals of the Working Group

The Emerging Modes of Delivery, Certification and Planning Working Group organized its deliberations around the five-fold charge given to it by the Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education. 

The Group further adopted a set of overarching principles it believed should be applied to efforts to transform California's education system: (1) equity and access, (2) flexibility to meet learner needs, (3) quality and accountability, and (4) coordination, cooperation, and planning for a seamless delivery system.

The Emerging Modes of Delivery, Certification and Planning Working Group proposes 28 major recommendations for California's educational system, grouped according to the specific charges assigned to it and the four principles it adopted. The group decided to separate assessment and certification, resulting in six major areas for which recommendations have been made. The first eight pertain to emerging modes of instructional delivery. Five recommendations address emerging organizational forms. Four recommendations focus on assessment and one is offered for certification. Three recommendations are offered in the area of forecasting and planning. Finally, seven recommendations are offered pertaining to adult education.

Emerging modes of Instructional Delivery

Equity and Access recommendations:

  1. The State should ensure that educational institutions provide multiple modes of delivery, including applying technologies, to ensure meaningful access for all populations and individuals throughout their lives.
  2. The State should ensure long-term, continuous support that will result in access to technology by all institutions regardless of how remote the location of the learner. 
  3. The State should encourage technology that aims for simplicity in design, supports flexibility, is financially feasible, is measured through outcomes and assessment, and allows users to enhance its applications. 
Flexibility to Meet Learner Needs recommendation:
  1. The State should provide funding for institutional development of distributed learning.

Quality and Accountability recommendation:

  1. The State should support the ongoing professional development of all staff in technology applications, to ensure they have the skills to help students develop the technology skills, knowledge, and aptitudes needed for lifelong success. 

Coordination, Cooperation and Planning recommendations:

  1. The State should take the lead in developing educational technology partnerships that include the public, private, non-profit, and for-profit sectors.
  2. The State should encourage local education agencies to establish partnerships with utilities, telecommunication companies, software and hardware providers, and others to facilitate functional universal access to technology.
  3. The State should encourage cross-segmental collaboration and dialogue among teachers at the same levels, to improve instructional delivery.
Staff Comments/Questions Emerging Organizational Forms

Flexibility to Meet Learner Needs recommendations:

  1. The State and local education agencies should offer incentives to teachers who put learning within the community or environmental context of their students.
  2. The State and local education agencies should encourage innovative emerging organizational forms, including charter schools that are standards-based and assessed against those standards on an ongoing basis.
  3. The State should set aside a pool of funds to encourage the creation of small schools in K-12 education.

Coordination, Cooperation, and Planning recommendations:

  1. The State and communities should establish incentives for joint development and use of school facilities with cities and counties, including libraries, classrooms, and recreational and community space. 
  2. The State should establish an Innovation Fund to support innovative projects and intersegmental collaboration in education.
Staff Comments/Questions Assessment

Quality and Accountability recommendations:

  1. Institutions should assess and document instructional innovations, outcomes, and achievement. 
  2. The State and local education agencies should assure that accountability expectations and measures for assessment and testing are made public and understandable for all participants in the system. Any assessment used for 'high-stakes' decisions and consequences should have measurement validity and reliability, and should reflect the level at which knowledge and skills are gained from appropriate instruction. 
  3. The State should encourage schools and postsecondary institutions to use test results from one set of instruments in multiple ways to avoid over-testing learners, although high stakes decisions about student placement and promotion should not be made on the basis of a single test.

Coordination, Cooperation and Planning recommendation:

  1. The State should encourage creation, by 2005, of a digital learning portfolio for each learner that would allow the student to move through a variety of coordinated delivery systems, regardless of the provider. 
Staff Comments/Questions Certification

Flexibility to Meet Learner Needs recommendation:

  1. The State should identify an entity to develop a common set of requirements for certificates to be developed by a consortium of partners, including education institutions, employers, and community-based organizations. 
Staff Comments/Questions Forecasting and Planning

Coordination, Cooperation, and Planning recommendations:

  1. The State should conduct an annual forecast, through a designated entity, of education trends and needs, including elements critical to state policy-making and resource allocation.
  2. The State should develop all-electronic data collection processes by the year 2005 that would make minimal demands on school districts while providing sufficient information for policy decisions.
  3. The State should develop unique identifiers for critical elements of the educational system when continuity and cross-correlation of information is important, particularly (1) students, (2) instructors, and (3) institutions.
Staff Comments/Questions Adult Continuing Education

Equity and Access recommendation:

  1. 1.  The State should establish a funding base adequate to the increasing challenges facing California's Adult Continuing Education System. 

Flexibility to Meet Learner Needs recommendation:

  1. The State should develop a broad set of program categories that allow for the substantial flexibility necessary to meet local needs of adult learners. 
Quality and Accountability recommendations:
  1. The State should expand adult continuing education course standards to include student performance measures such as those developed by the National Skill Standards Board, the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS), and Equipped for the Future.
  2. The State should support an accountability system for adult continuing education students, emphasizing student performance and rewards for institutions for achievement. 
  3. The State should support the ongoing professional development of all staff who work with adult learners to enable the students to develop the skills, knowledge, and aptitudes for life-long successes.
Coordination, Cooperation, and Planning recommendations:
  1. The State should review the governance structure for adult continuing education, including the role of the Joint Board Committee on Noncredit and Adult Education, with the goal of achieving a seamless delivery system among multiple providers that ensures a smooth transition for those adult learners continuing on to formal education, pursuing other goals, or entering the workforce.
  2. The State should develop a mechanism for the reciprocity of instructional credentials, based on minimum qualifications, between the adult education and noncredit systems to allow instructors to teach in either or both systems.
Staff Comments/Questions