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  • Erica Peterson

If it ain’t broke, break it.

With the rollercoaster that has been the last twelve months, restoration of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and its accompanying Local Control And Accountability Plan (LCAP) in the Governor’s January budget proposal felt like a return to normalcy. But is normal really what we should want? Reinstatement of the LCAP comes as a never before opportunity to reframe district operations.

Ask the people doing the “boots on the ground” work what they think.

Every year at SI&A, we have “Break It” meetings. Our intention is to fly in the face of the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The "Break It" meetings specifically gather all team members in a same department to reevaluate their product and/or service delivery model. We challenge each team to imagine a world vastly different from the present. We challenge the old way of doing things, asking why we do them that way, and is there a better way of doing business. Something working adequately is not a sign of success. Our mission is to innovate and determine if something that is working could work even better.

So how do you break a LCAP? Well, at SI&A, you would start from scratch. Simply updating the goals and rubrics from two years ago with current numbers from today is a complete disservice to the “Break It” process. Instead, let’s reframe the discussion. Ask the people doing the “boots on the ground” work what they think. Ask them what they would do differently if they were in charge.

As education leaders, our only focus is to change trend lines by seeking continuous improvement through innovation. The pandemic has turned the world upside down, creating an environment ripe with opportunity to try new programs and processes never done before.

We are challenging districts to take a fresh look at their LCAP priorities. Approach this year as an opportunity to build new goals, use current—different from anything we’ve seen—data points, and make this a starting point for post-COVID improvements.

Let me know if you’re interested in getting data like we shared with The Wall Street Journal last week at

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