With the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replacing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation, states have gained substantial new freedom to reshape their school accountability systems, including criteria for how to measure and communicate school performance to the public. One dominant model is the streamlined letter-grade system first adopted by Florida, which focuses on student achievement on annual statewide tests. By contrast, California is developing a dashboard-style system, which encompasses multiple measures, such as student attendance and school climate.
By Michael Kirst The State Board of Education has been working for several years to develop a new accountability system based on the Local Control Funding Formula, which the Legislature and governor passed in 2013. In September, the state board will take an important step forward by establishing a new way to measure progress and identify problems in our schools and districts, giving parents, teachers and community members a better idea of what is happening at their schools.
By David Plank
Imagine you are a judge on a cooking show. Every contestant prepares three different dishes, and you must choose the best cook. But different cooks are good at different things, so what measure can you use to judge them all?
That’s the question California lawmakers are grappling with in trying to rate schools. Historically, we’ve thrown all the things that schools do into a blender and judged the “soup” that comes out.
Policy Analysis for California Education
In 2013 the California Legislature created the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) to assist school districts, County Offices of Education, and charter schools in improving the performance of California schools and students. The CCEE is expected to provide “advice and assistance” to local actors in an education system with 58 counties, more than 1,000 school districts, and over 10,000 schools including 1,175 charter schools.
When we think of school we too often picture rows of students sitting quietly at their desks, listening to the teacher or reading a textbook. This familiar image of a quiet classroom and docile students is and should be increasingly outdated. The state’s new Common Core and Next Generation science standards require teachers to teach and students to learn in more dynamic ways. They raise the bar for subject-matter knowledge in English, math and science.
CORE-PACE Research Partnership
Heather Hough and Joe Witte, PACE
Noah Bookman, CORE Districts
With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, California state policymakers are tasked with determining the subgroup threshold for school-level reporting. To inform this decision, this policy brief explores the implications of utilizing various subgroup sizes using data from the CORE Districts. The authors find that the 20+ subgroup size presents clear advantages in terms of the number of students represented, particularly in making historically underserved student populations visible.
More funding is needed to achieve greater curriculum alignment between preschool and the early school years, so that what students learn in kindergarten through 3rd grade builds on what they learned in preschool, a new study says.
Strong leadership by district officials knowledgeable about quality preschool education is another key to making alignment work, said the study by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), a nonpartisan research group based at Stanford University, UC Davis and the University of Southern California.
California’s public education system is in the midst of systemwide transformation designed to narrow the achievement gap and elevate low-achieving students to be ready for college and career success. At the core of the change are higher academic standards for all students, regardless of their achievement level, socioeconomic status, ethnicity or family background. These higher standards, coupled with our new school funding and accountability systems, improved assessments and a system-wide focus on continuous improvement, contribute to the underlying goal of ensuring more students are college and career ready when they graduate.
Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis
In this video, Michael Kirst discusses the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the CA overhaul of accountability based on local control of education policy. The federal law requires multiple measures for accountability, including some with state choice. Data bases for English learners will change significantly. Federal requirements for Teacher evaluation will be deregulated significantly. State assessments are all over the place and will be hard to summarize.