An IRT Mixture Model for Rating Scale Confusion Associated with Negatively Worded Items in Measures of Social-Emotional Learning
This report examines the stability of school effects on social-emotional learning (SEL) over two years in California's CORE districts. The correlations among school effects in the same grades across different years are positive but lower than those for math and ELA. While these effects measure real contributions to SEL, their low stability draws into question whether including them in school performance frameworks and systems would be beneficial.
In "Absent from School," PACE Executive Director Heather J. Hough analyzes student absenteeism using data from California's CORE districts. She explores the differences in absenteeism rates among students and schools, comparing them to other performance indicators. Dr. Hough also examines how schools' performance on chronic absence metrics corresponds to other accountability measures, highlighting the implications for reporting school-level measures of chronic absenteeism.
California's 1.3 million English learner (EL) students have diverse needs, and many lack access to grade-level content instruction, with English language development falling short. Bilingual and dual immersion programs benefit ELs' academic, linguistic, social, and life outcomes, but reclassification policies are currently in flux. Early-career teachers may not be adequately prepared to teach ELs, and funding mechanisms are weak. EL outcomes are complex to interpret as students move in and out of the subgroup, and education sectors are not aligned to address ELs' needs.
California and the US are undergoing a cultural shift in school accountability policies towards locally-determined measures of school performance. Lessons can be learned from the CORE districts, which developed an innovative accountability system, emphasizing support over sanctions, and utilizing multiple measures of school quality. The CORE districts' measurement system and collaboration hold promise for improving local systems, but efforts to build capacity remain a work in progress.
The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) replaced categorical funding for schools in California in 2013, providing flexibility, targeted student funding, and local accountability. Two years in, research shows optimism and concern. The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) faces challenges, stakeholders need more engagement, and implementation requires capacity and overcoming the emerging teacher shortage. Public awareness of LCFF lags at 65%.