Policy brief

Students with Disabilities and Differentiated Assistance

Differentiated Assistance - PACE Policy Brief
Kevin Gee
University of California, Davis


Under California’s System of Support, differentiated assistance (DA) provides supports to eligible districts to boost student group performance levels. This brief describes the districts that were eligible for DA in 2019 based on the performance levels of their students with disabilities (SWD). It also analyzes how SWD performance on State Priority Areas (SPAs) and indicators factored into districts’ eligibility for DA. Findings show that, among the 333 districts identified for DA, eligibility was driven, in part, by SWD performance for over half of those districts. These 187 districts were most frequently identified for DA based on SWD performance in SPAs 4 (Pupil Achievement) alongside 5 (Pupil Engagement). These results highlight intersectional challenges facing SWD—challenges that districts can address through their continuous improvement process.

Suggested citationGee, K. (2020, February). Students with disabilities and differentiated assistance [Policy brief]. Policy Analysis for California Education. https://edpolicyinca.org/publications/students-disabilities-and-differentiated-assistance