Providing independent evaluation studies in the areas of finance, organizational structures, special education programs and services, governance, student information systems and personnel.
Lou and Vicki Barber have been doing independent evaluation studies for over 40 years. The predominant analyses have been completed in the area of special education programs and services, with an emphasis on cost containment and compliance. The vast majority of the studies have been completed in California, although the company has also provided services in Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Hawaii. Dr. Vicki Barber assisted in the development and writing of over 35 of the Local Plans for Special Education throughout California. Her background in this area allowed her to become familiar with a wide range of program operations and to contribute this knowledge in the evaluation process of the consulting services provided. She also served as the Co-Executive Director of the Statewide Special Education Task Force in California which produced a blueprint for special education programs and services for the future. Dr. Louis Barber, as the Assistant Superintendent for Special Education for the State of California, was uniquely positioned to identify best practices being implemented throughout California, and brought that experience and perspective to the review process in examining district and county office programs.
Serving as a consent decree administrator, appointed by the federal court, over school districts involved in civil rights litigation.
Dr. Louis Barber served as a Consent Decree Administrator on the Chanda Smith case in Los Angeles Unified for almost10 years. He was also appointed as the federal monitor on the consent decree enacted in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District in Concord, California for over 10 years. Both Lou and Vicki have consulted on consent decrees in New York on the Jose P. case and in Hawaii on the Felix consent decrees. In addition, Dr. Vicki Barber served as a compliance officer for both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, representing local education agencies in due process hearings and compliance proceedings.
Serving as a mentor for top administrative staff
Both Dr. Barbers have extensive experience in mentoring administrators. They have provided this service, both in their capacity as public education administrators, assisting in the development and building the capacity of newly appointed administrators, and through consulting services to school districts and county offices. Dr. Vicki Barber has served as County Superintendent for El Dorado County for approximately 19 years. During that time, she was heralded for her collaborative efforts and building a team that was recognized not only as being outstanding service providers, and also as exemplary in their responsiveness and resourcefulness for the school districts within the county. She personally worked to develop the administrative expertise and capacity by mentoring the leadership team within the County Office and working with newly appointed Superintendents in the county. She was also requested to provide mentoring support to newly elected County Superintendents throughout the region. Dr. Louis Barber has often been called upon to assist administrators at all levels, from principals, coordinators, directors, assistant superintendents, to superintendents by working with them on specific skill development, strategic interventions, and helping them to acquire the necessary capabilities to be successful in their positions.
Conducting recruitment efforts for top administrative staff positions, working with Governing Boards to identify outstanding candidates
Dr. Vicki Barber has assisted a number of school districts in the process of employing a Superintendent, working with the governing boards through recruitment, interviewing, and selection procedures. Dr. Louis Barber was President of the California Educational Personnel Services, a company that recruited teachers for California and involved sophisticated technological tools to match teachers with the needs of school districts and county offices in California. Both Dr. Barbers have also been responsible for assisting public education agencies in recruiting and selecting numerous special education and business administrators.
Support for school districts, county offices of education, and charter school in their pursuit of Medi-Cal LEA billing and MAA billing funds
Dr. Louis Barber developed in partnership with the California School Boards Association (CSBA) a technologically based management information system designed to meet the requirements of both Health and Education state agencies in qualifying and receiving Medicare, Medi-Cal, and MAA funding. Funding for California school districts, county offices, and charter schools increased dramatically, as a result of these efforts. Today over 120 public education agencies are served directly through the partnership that was built to maximize resources through both the LEA billing and the MAA billing programs.
Providing strategic interventions and helping to develop and implement proactive, collaborative efforts that are responsive to reform initiatives and/or conflicts within the public education system.
Both Dr. Barbers have extensive experience in facilitating strategic planning efforts for educational entities and non-profit organizations. This has included providing assistance during crisis situations and framing communication strategies, thereby avoiding costly litigation. Dr. Louis Barber has intervened with a number of districts and counties throughout California to ensure that they meet compliance requirements and as such assisted them in preventing legal challenges. In working with both charter schools and school districts/county offices, both Dr. Barbers have served as catalysts to change the structure and relationship between charter schools and other public education agencies by fostering positive interactions and enhancing communications. Dr. Vicki Barber served on the Advisory Commission for Charter Schools, appointed by the State Board of Education, and developed a reputation for being a pragmatic and innovative problem solver that assisted both charter schools and districts/county offices in resolving issues. In addition, Vicki served on the Public Schools Accountability Advisory Committee since its inception, and chaired the Alternative Schools Accountability Model sub-committee statewide. She is known for her efforts in advocating for accountability indicators that are valid, fair, equitable, add value and are not overly burdensome to the system. She has also been involved in facilitating the development of a Leadership Planning Guide for implementation of the common core and developing readiness tools for the Smarter Balance assessment requirements.
Assisting charter schools in developing special education programmatic options, as well as assisting authorizers in evaluating charter school petitions and providing oversight for charter school operations.
In 2006, under Dr. Vicki Barber’s leadership, 10 charter schools were admitted to the El Dorado County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) cooperative. The State Board, with a recommendation from the California Department of Education, authorized a pilot for charter schools to be admitted to SELPAs outside of their geographic area. In 2007, El Dorado County formed the first charter only SELPA within California. In 2009, the State Board moved the El Dorado County Charter SELPA out of pilot status, and recognized it as a fully operational SELPA serving charter schools throughout California. Growth has continued within the EDCOE Charter SELPA, with over 350 charter schools currently being served, representing over 150,000 students in California. Dr. Vicki Barber continues to provide the vision and leadership to the EDCOE Charter SELPA and is recognized statewide for her efforts in the creation and shepherding of this effort. Other states have expressed interest in the model that has been built within California.
Both Dr. Barbers have worked with charter schools throughout California to assist them in building compliant and quality special education programs. Both Dr. Barbers have consulted with a number of charter schools in negotiating local memorandums of understanding with authorizers and assisting them in structuring their programs to meet state and federal requirements, while being fiscally responsible.
Dr. Vicki Barber has also been instrumental in developing a matrix for the review of charter petitions and providing extensive training on implementing a rubric for the reviewing of charter schools, both during the petition process and during implementation in order to meet oversight responsibilities.