Sonoma County Office of Education

SCOE Director Joins "Pivotal" State Panel

03/29/2016 -

Katie Barr 90 As California education officials seek to align California’s accountability system with new federal guidelines laid out in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), they are creating a council of experts from the district, county, and community level to advise them in this important work.

Among the 17 selected from a pool of more than 130 candidates statewide for this prestigious panel by the State Board of Education (SBE) was Katie Barr, who directs the Career Pathways Trust Grant for the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE). Barr also serves as a trustee on the Rincon Valley Unified School Board.

The panel, called the California Practitioners Advisory Group, will advise the SBE as it seeks create a “single, coherent” accountability system from local, state, and federal requirements. That includes aligning the eight priorities laid out in California’s Local Control Accountability Plans with the goals and requirements of the ESSA. The idea is that members will share their expertise as educational practitioners —through their work as parents, school board members, teachers, or administrators—as the SBE considers how best to craft this important accountability system.

“What I’m really excited about is that we get to define, as a state, what college and career readiness means for us,” Barr said. “It will really drive how we implement and assess Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards.”

Barr said her current work supporting the development of Career Technical Education “pathways,” or a set of courses designed to prepare students for a specific career, at local high schools, will carry over to her work on this panel.

“It’s so exciting that California is now looking to define what College and Career Readiness means for all students” she said. “I’m glad to be a part of seeing how we can roll all that together to create a robust education system for our kids.”

“This is a pivotal group who will provide needed input to the SBE in the development of the state's accountability system, as well as how California will meet the requirements of the new federal system” said Mickey Porter, deputy superintendent of instruction at SCOE. “Katie will be a tremendous advocate for how to include College and Career Readiness in our accountability system. We're fortunate to have our county represented in this important work.”