Policy brief

Making Students Visible

Comparing Different Student Subgroup Sizes for Accountability
Heather J. Hough
Policy Analysis for California Education, Stanford University
Joe Witte
Policy Analysis for California Education, Stanford University


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.

UPDATE: In response to new ESSA regulations, the authors produced a supplemental report comparing subgroup sizes of 20+ to 30+.

Suggested citationHough, H. J., & Witte, J. (2016, May). Making students visible: Comparing different student subgroup sizes for accountability [Policy brief]. Policy Analysis for California Education. https://edpolicyinca.org/publications/making-students-visible