Skip to Content


Stakeholder Survey of Core Message Area Updates

A focus of the State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG), a federally funded grant, is to communicate common messages to the field about selected topics. These common, or core messages, articulate critical research findings and essential components of effective application. All core messages have been identified by experts in the field and have been approved by the California Department of Education, Special Education Division.

There are currently nine Core Message Areas (CMAs), which can be found at Six were recently identified to update:

Collaboration: The revision was based on growing consensus among researchers, policy makers, and practitioners regarding best practices for encouraging and supporting collaboration among teachers and especially among general and special educators.

Transition: This revision is based on the latest research in evidence-based transition practices and predictors that have proven to effect positive change in post-school outcomes for students with disabilities as identified by the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC).

School-Family-Community Partnerships: Revisions are based on advances over the past ten years in research, policies, and practical programs of family and community involvement.

Least Restrictive Environment: The revision was based on federal technical assistance information provided by the Regional Resource and Federal Centers Network, which are funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

Reading/Literacy: The revision was based on significant advances in the national research community concerning best practices to improve reading and literacy (reading, writing, speaking, and listening across the curriculum areas).

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: The revision was based on research and practice information provided by the National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, which is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

Stakeholder Feedback

To solicit stakeholder feedback on recent updates to six Core Message Areas (CMAs), a survey was sent to 149 ISES meeting participants. Of these recipients, 11 responded:

7 Special Education Administrators

1 Assistant Superintendent (with responsibility for both GE and SE students)

1 with both Special Education Teacher and Other Certificated Professional roles

1 Other Certificated Professional

1 Training & Technical Assistance Provider

Participants were asked about their knowledge in and the amount of time they spent reviewing each CMA, and were then asked to rate each area. Those who lacked expertise in a CMA could mark "n/a" instead of providing a rating and generally did so.

Comments: Co-teaching and RtI based supplemental intervention using special educators is a touchy subject with CTC right now. You may wish to ask Fred Balcom about this. Your current guidance may put LEAs sideways in a curriculum audit. Too many links to items for purchase rather than specific evidence-based practices. Packaged training which would include homework for specialists and general ed teachers to complete together would be very supportive. It would be nice to mention early childhood as another area in need of collaboration and co-teaching.

Comments: A different format for the Transition to Adult Living Guide based on the current work of the national effort and the state COP I would say this is a topic that needs constant review and consideration by teams.

Comments: Research on the efficacy of described priorities and their effect specifically on student achievement for students with disabilities is not salient. Too many links to items for purchase rather than specific evidence-based practices. Not applicable to correctional education. Perhaps a section on early childhood would strengthen the completeness.

Comments: A lot of info for any site (or parent) to go through without clear links. Would like to see a better explanation that LRE is defined by the LRE that specifically meets the student's needs. A non-public school placement could be LRE. LRE does not necessarily equal inclusion Sometimes it is a challenge for us to reach all of our students because their behaviors outside of school (gang-related) make it near impossible to provide services to them in lock up facilities. For an area that is still such a struggle in CA, this didn't seem as rich as the other sections.

Comments: Maybe consider the state adopted textbook list, replacement curric, etc? California Common Core Standards and special education.

Comments: California has embraced and adapted the Teaching Pyramid from the Center on the Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning and is actively promoting this for the birth through Pre-K population. Mention of this early childhood effort should be included. Please see Having online training for staff would be appreciated.


IDEAS that Work!

Project READ is a California Department of Education, Special Education Division project funded through a federal competitively-awarded State Personnel Development Grant to California (#H323A120019) provided from the U.S. Department of Education Part D of the Individuals with Disabilities Education act (IDEA), Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.