ALSD Set For California's New Accountability System
California will soon launch a groundbreaking accountability and continuous improvement system designed to help teachers, administrators and families evaluate student progress in schools and districts, including the Alta Loma School District.
The new accountability system is intended to provide a more complete picture of how schools are meeting the needs of their students, with an increased focus on addressing disparities among student groups across the system’s multiple measurement gauges.
“The new accountability system is not something that lends itself to comparing schools or districts against each other, but is instead paints a picture that will help schools better serve the needs of their students,” said Alta Loma School District Superintendent James Moore. “The scores are not a status measurement tool, but a measurement of progress and improvement.”
Families, educators and administrators will be able to track school and district progress based on concise statewide and local measures outlined in the new accountability tool. The new online system, the California School Dashboard, will provide statewide indicators for college and career readiness, graduation rates, test scores, English learner progress, suspension rates and chronic absenteeism.
“The new system is designed so that schools are able to provide a more equitable education to students,” said Moore. “The students with the greatest needs will receive more attention – as appropriate – to help them improve and succeed.”
The dashboard also will produce reports to help parents, educators and the public easily identify a district or school’s strengths and weaknesses. Local indicators include measurement of local school conditions, school climate, parent engagement and progress in implementing academic standards.
Updates to the way K-12 educational institutions evaluate student progress are a result of the Local Control Funding Formula that was enacted in 2013. The LCFF significantly changed how the State of California provides resources to public schools an how it holds local educational agencies accountable for improving the performance of their students. The LCFF includes eight priority areas that define quality education more broadly than the previous measurement of a single test score.
Under the LCFF, an evaluation rubric is used to evaluate district and school performance over each of California’s eight priority areas: basic services, implementation of state standards, parental involvement, pupil achievement, pupil engagement, school climate, access to a broad course of study and pupil outcomes.
The more all-inclusive evaluation rubric replaces the previous API measurement, which relied solely on test scores to produce a single number for evaluating each school and district.
The initial phase of the new accountability tool will be used this year and the complete system will be fully operational in 2017-2018. The updated performance standards take into account past and present statewide performance indicators and incorporate improvement as part of a realistic formula for measuring district and school performance.