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For months, California education officials have emphasized one message regarding the role that standardized tests will play in the future: Results from the Smarter Balanced tests, which were released last week, should be viewed as but one star, though a bright one, in a universe of metrics measuring student and school progress.

The state is in the middle of building a new accountability system to replace the Academic Performance Index, a three-digit number that has been the main measure used to evaluate how well a school or district is doing. But that effort is still evolving, and with many key decisions by the State Board of Education and the Legislature still to come, officials are clearer about the role that student scores on Smarter Balanced tests won’t play in the new accountability system than on how significant a factor they will play.

Until just two years ago, tests scores on English language arts and math in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11, like the new Smarter Balanced tests aligned to the Common Core standards, were the mainstay of the API. With a composite number between 200 and 1,000, the API ranked a school’s and a district’s performance. Student subgroups within schools and districts also received API numbers.

But last year, as a result of adopting new Common Core standards in English language arts and math, the state stopped giving tests aligned to the previous California academic standards. The state board then suspended the API, with plenty of support from school organizations like the California School Boards Association and the state’s teachers unions. Board members, all of whom are appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, have indicated they don’t intend to recreate the API using the results from Smarter Balanced tests.

Instead, the board wants to create a broad measure of student and school success that takes into account many measures of progress, such as high school graduation rates and student suspension rates, as indicators of progress in middle and elementary school. There may be early education metrics as well. 

“The old notion of a single number doesn’t make sense anymore,” school board member Sue Burr said at the state board meeting earlier this month. “We need to be crystal clear about what the new accountability system encompasses: More multiple measures and a system based on continuous improvement.”

“Standardized tests scores’ role will be smaller – no longer the only thing” to judge student progress or to be the sole grounds for state intervention in low-performing schools, Michael Kirst, president of the state board, said in an interview. He then added quickly, “but they still will be very prominent.”

Even with a diminished role in a state accountability system, test scores on the new standardized tests will have more credence, Kirst said,  because Smarter Balanced tests are tied explicitly to measuring readiness for college and careers – linkages that the API lacked with an arbitrary goal of an 800 score and vague definitions of proficiency, he said.

The scores released last week  in 3rd- through 8th-grade and grade 11 English language arts and math will be base scores, the first indicators of how students preformed on online tests and the extent to which districts have succeeded in introducing the Common Core standards on which Smarter Balanced tests are based. The public should suspend judgment about how well or badly schools are doing, Kirst said, and rather judge schools by the growth in test scores over time.

“We need to be crystal clear about what the new accountability system encompasses: More multiple measures and a system based on continuous improvement,” said State Board of Education member Sue Burr.

Replacing the API, Kirst and other education leaders say, will be a set of indicators similar to a dashboard in a car, with test scores being just one gauge of school success. This would be consistent with the Local Control Funding Formula, the sweeping law passed in 2013 that, among its provisions, ordered the state board to create a new accountability system based on eight priorities. Those priorities fall into three groups, as described in the template for the Local Control and Accountability Plans that districts complete annually. They are:

  • Parent and student engagement, as measured by chronic absenteeism, suspension rates, graduation rates and other measures;
  • Conditions of learning, including an equitable distribution of qualified teachers and the implementation of the Common Core, and;
  • Student outcomes, including success on Advanced Placement courses, rates of reclassifying English language learners as proficient in English, and scores on end-of-year standardized tests.

In the 2013 law, the Legislature charged the state board with refining these and other measurements into a smaller set, called evaluation rubrics, that will set statewide performance goals for key metrics like graduation rates and college and career readiness. Those rubrics would be one element of a new accountability system, informing districts of their progress while determining when and whether county offices of education, the superintendent of public instruction or a new state agency, the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, should intervene in schools and districts that are chronically underperforming.

It’s early yet to say which if any Smarter Balanced test scores, such as 3rd-grade English language arts or 8th-grade math scores – identified as key markers of academic progress – might be included. The research agency WestEd, through a contract with the state board, has created several early versions of brightly colored graphics for potential rubrics (see pages 19-22). These could be a prototype for multiple dashboards, prepared for different audiences, such as parents.

John Affeldt, managing partner for Public Advocates, a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization, said that the new Smarter Balanced results shined a light on a large achievement gap. He and the heads of two dozen organizations wrote the state board urging it to adopt explicit targets for improvement on key indicators, including standardized tests.

At the state board meeting earlier this month, new board member Feliza Ortiz-Licon, senior director of K-16 education at the National Council of La Raza, cautioned that test results provide hard data that the public has come to rely on to compare schools and measure the achievement gap. There was value in the simplicity of the API, she said. “How can a parent digest a dashboard in a really clear way?” she asked.

In a letter to the state board, Bill Lucia, CEO of EdVoice, a Sacramento-based nonprofit that advocates for low-income children, criticized the de-emphasis on test scores in WestEd’s partial draft of the evaluation rubrics. “The ability to master academic English and core content in every grade is what parents, higher education segments, and employers all expect from K-12 public schools. The recommended accountability system ignores nearly all the objective summative data on basic educational outcomes.”

Kirst said in an interview it is premature to draw that conclusion.

 Tension over how tests are used

Standardized tests can serve several purposes. One is accountability: They provide valid data for comparing schools on common academic standards, shining a light on disparities, giving parents and the public one indicator of whether kids are learning and schools are meeting expectations. Another is to provide vital information to teachers and parents on how to improve instruction.

During the past decade under the federal No Child Left Behind law and the state API, the attention was clearly on holding schools accountable for getting results. For the U.S. Department of Education, scores were the primary measure of achievement and the basis for sanctioning low-performing schools. Schools were under pressure to reach NCLB’s escalating proficiency targets and attain an API score of 800 that the state had set as a target for all schools.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Kirst, Burr and other state board members view the detailed information from Smarter Balanced tests of how students performed as an opportunity to shift the emphasis to improving classroom instruction. And improvement, not punishment, should be the goal of an accountability system, they say.

The state’s previous test program, known as Standardized Testing and Reporting, or STAR, reported student and school scores within five bands of achievement, ranging from “far below basic” through “advanced.” Too much attention was focused on reaching a single score designating proficiency, Burr said.

By contrast, school and individual student results on Smarter Balanced tests in English language arts and math will be reported as single points on a 1,000-point scale divided into four newly named achievement bands, ranging from “standard not met” to “standard exceeded.” The focus, Burr and others said, should be on students and schools showing growth in scores over time, not only from one level to the next but within levels.

Additional Smarter Balanced tests

Along with end-of-year tests, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the organization of 18 states that developed the tests, also provides interim tests that districts and teachers can give and score themselves over the course of the school year to learn how well students are learning material aligned with the Common Core. The interim tests are similar in structure to the end-of-year tests.

Smarter Balanced was late in introducing the interim tests last year, so that many schools did not have an opportunity to use them. But the consortium now has three interim tests ready, along with shorter modules that will measure how students are doing within specific subject areas. State Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley said that already this school year, districts have administered 25,000 to 30,000 interim tests.

Teachers can further refine their teaching with “formative assessments,” which are shorter classroom exercises or projects that give teachers an indication of how well students are doing with specific Common Core standards or broader problem-solving skills. Most teachers have access to them through Smarter Balanced’s Digital Library, which went online last year.

As a governing member of the Smarter Balanced consortium, California has pushed hard for the interim and formative assessments. Tony Alpert, the executive director of Smarter Balanced, told the state board that detailed information from the interim and formative assessments will be more useful to teachers in diagnosing student progress than the end-of-year or “summative” Smarter Balanced tests. “Summative tests are great for helping to identify questions like, ‘How big is the achievement gap? Have I closed it? If not, why?’ It’s not great for providing the answers,” he said.

But board member Patricia Rucker, a former teacher who’s now a lobbyist for the California Teachers Association, cautioned that the board will have its work cut out to change parents’ and the public’s perceptions. They’re used to seeing one number summarizing how well their school and district did compared with others. Until the board changes the conversation with growth comparisons and multiple measures, parents will focus on one score, and “it will remain the weight in the room,” Rucker said. “It is magical. It is power.”


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  1. Lisa Vanderbeek 1 year ago1 year ago

    Your explanation of the new testing & accountability format is appreciated.
    Hopefully more parents will soon understand this new approach, and more meaningful programs will help students achieve their own personal goals.

    We still have a long way to go to achieve parity in our State public schools. A poor zip code usually translates to poor education ~ wouldn’t it be wonderful if this changes in the near future?

    Thank you for your time.
    Lisa Vanderbeek, Parent & Volunteer

  2. Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

    A few comments: "'The old notion of a single number doesn’t make sense anymore,” school board member Sue Burr...'" This appears to be a substantial understatement as the single number API never made any sense in the first place. Unless, of course, you are an adherent of the "reform" strategy of vigorous finger-wagging. "John Affeldt, managing partner for Public Advocates, a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization, said that the new Smarter Balanced results shined a light on … Read More

    A few comments:

    “‘The old notion of a single number doesn’t make sense anymore,” school board member Sue Burr…'”

    This appears to be a substantial understatement as the single number API never made any sense in the first place. Unless, of course, you are an adherent of the “reform” strategy of vigorous finger-wagging.

    “John Affeldt, managing partner for Public Advocates, a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization, said that the new Smarter Balanced results shined a light on a large achievement gap. He and the heads of two dozen organizations wrote the state board urging it to adopt explicit targets for improvement on key indicators, including standardized tests.”

    My old friend John would be well advised to have his and other “organizations” bullyrag the legislature to upgrade the social service supports for minority and other disadvantaged students in CA at least half as much as they do the SBE and the schools. If, indeed, “closing achievement gaps” is really the prime objective. It’s the “gap” kids are demonstrated to show the day they arrive in Kindergarten that has proven, under the current regime of neoliberalism, impossible to close.

    And what EdVoice says. Really?

  3. Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

    SDP: There is plenty of information available, if you look for it, indicating that contemporary business leaders are asking the schools to provide students, as the incoming workforce, with better soft skills. There's also solid research that the benefits of quality preschool gives kids the soft skills that help them persevere over time to find academic success. This is much more important, to their long term success at school and in life, than measured academic achievement. … Read More

    SDP:

    There is plenty of information available, if you look for it, indicating that contemporary business leaders are asking the schools to provide students, as the incoming workforce, with better soft skills. There’s also solid research that the benefits of quality preschool gives kids the soft skills that help them persevere over time to find academic success. This is much more important, to their long term success at school and in life, than measured academic achievement.

    Conclusion: Don’t frown on those “soft factors” nor the soft skills.

  4. joan 1 year ago1 year ago

    On 4/24/1/5 Mike Kirst, CA Bd of Ed President stated: “We’re not communicating proficiency,” “That’s a federal word that they use and we’re not. It’s just not part of the thinking here.” If schools are not about proficiency and teaching students to perform at their highest level, then why have schools at all? Just stick children in front of the Billions spent on Computers and have 1 teacher broadcasting to each grade level to all 6 … Read More

    On 4/24/1/5 Mike Kirst, CA Bd of Ed President stated: “We’re not communicating proficiency,” “That’s a federal word that they use and we’re not. It’s just not part of the thinking here.”

    If schools are not about proficiency and teaching students to perform at their highest level, then why have schools at all?

    Just stick children in front of the Billions spent on Computers and have 1 teacher broadcasting to each grade level to all
    6 Million CA students.

    STAR was a paper bubble test to compare child to child or school to school to assess success and proficiency.
    Now we are using SBAC a computer adaptive test, that is torturing children and teachers.

    And to top it off, CA legislature just voted to eliminate the CAHSEE test. Let’s just hand every 5 yr. old at H.S. diploma and be done with it.

  5. SD Parent 1 year ago1 year ago

    Andrew's comment is hysterical and could even be true if the SBE succeeds in diluting what really matters. In fact, if this year's scores are all about establishing a baseline and measuring improvement, then the worse a school is now, the "better" it will look because it has more room to improve. Let's face it; no parent sends their kid to a school for its low absenteeism rate or the implementation of Common Core … Read More

    Andrew’s comment is hysterical and could even be true if the SBE succeeds in diluting what really matters. In fact, if this year’s scores are all about establishing a baseline and measuring improvement, then the worse a school is now, the “better” it will look because it has more room to improve.

    Let’s face it; no parent sends their kid to a school for its low absenteeism rate or the implementation of Common Core (how, exactly, is that measured, anyway?). All of these “soft” factors being considered for the school’s rating dashboard are merely contributors in the end result for the only category that matters: student outcome. Those results–including test scores (I agree with Todd, this includes SAT and ACT results because admission to college is not just about taking a-g classes), graduation rates, EL reclassification rates, college admission rates (what a novel idea), college remediation rates (another novel idea), employment rates for those not going to college, etc.–are ALL that matter. And improvement in various categories (soft or otherwise) is of interest only in how improves student outcome.

    Replies

    • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

      As a cautionary tale I would include in this discussion of school progress and college and career readiness the experience we are having here in SFUSD. If the SAT and ACT are good barometers of readiness (obviously far better than grades considering the number of students whose grades suffice for college but require remedial courses upon entry), the one-size-fits-all math sequence and removal of advanced math courses until 11th grade here in SFUSD, will not … Read More

      As a cautionary tale I would include in this discussion of school progress and college and career readiness the experience we are having here in SFUSD. If the SAT and ACT are good barometers of readiness (obviously far better than grades considering the number of students whose grades suffice for college but require remedial courses upon entry), the one-size-fits-all math sequence and removal of advanced math courses until 11th grade here in SFUSD, will not bode well for those students who typically take the SAT/ACT in junior year. The district beats the drum of college and career readiness then institutes a policy that puts that readiness in jeopardy. That is by design. Grades are not standardized from school to school, but test scores are. Bringing down the college entrance exams scores levels the playing field for high and low achievers in an unjust way – removing the opportunity to excel. This is a take-no-prisoners tactic by hardline policymakers who have a warped idea of social justice. What is “just” about arriving at college unprepared? You can play with the achievement gap as a statistical phenomenon or you can actually change the performance of students. Given the difficulties of the later, it would seem the powers that be have thrown in the towel and decided to make the achievement gap appear as if were better for political purposes.

  6. Andrew 1 year ago1 year ago

    Sounds like schools in juvenile detention facilities will get most of the top ratings with accountability under the new criteria.

    Zero absenteeism, because the students are incarcerated.
    Zero suspensions, because the students cannot leave.
    100% graduation, if the incarcerated students are all declared graduated at the end of 12th grade without exit exams.

  7. Roger G 1 year ago1 year ago

    It amazes me that Ann McCrummen's negative and unfair comment would pass your board's approval to be published. It seems to me that your policy indicates that a negative attack on someone would not be published. Her generalization, regarding teachers certainly seems to qualify for this exception. I imagine that you have a large group of teachers subscribing to EdSource and I cannot imagine any teacher that would agree with her about … Read More

    It amazes me that Ann McCrummen’s negative and unfair comment would pass your board’s approval to be published. It seems to me that your policy indicates that a negative attack on someone would not be published. Her generalization, regarding teachers certainly seems to qualify for this exception. I imagine that you have a large group of teachers subscribing to EdSource and I cannot imagine any teacher that would agree with her about not ever being evaluated on our educational skill set. In my judgment, Ann McCrummen’s unfair comment shouldn’t have been published on your site.

    Replies

    • Parent 1 year ago1 year ago

      Why don’t you hop over to Diane Ravitch’s blog, where you will hear what you want to hear, and make yourself feel better?

      • Roger Ginta 1 year ago1 year ago

        Actually your comment about hopping over to Diane Ravitch’s blog is not the point I was trying to make with my statement. I am feeling just fine, my feelings are intact and your comment is about as valid as the other one that had a question about. If what you are suggesting is your answer, then why don’t you hop over to Facebook where your demeaning comment would be more appreciated and welcomed.

  8. Ann McCrummen 1 year ago1 year ago

    If you want kids to learn then start testing the teachers. Most of the teachers I know don’t possess the Math, technology or English skills to help a child succeed. Think about it. We trust these people with our children, yet because of their union ties, once they become a teacher, they are never evaluated on their skill set again.

    Replies

    • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

      Roger, Ann McCrummen is entitled to her belief that most of the teachers she knows are not properly skilled. The implication that most teachers in general are not properly skilled may rub you the wrong way and I can understand why. But that isn't a reason to censor her comment. She's done nothing to violate the comment guidelines. What you are asking is to have comments you personally find to be mistaken removed. To me … Read More

      Roger, Ann McCrummen is entitled to her belief that most of the teachers she knows are not properly skilled. The implication that most teachers in general are not properly skilled may rub you the wrong way and I can understand why. But that isn’t a reason to censor her comment. She’s done nothing to violate the comment guidelines. What you are asking is to have comments you personally find to be mistaken removed. To me your request for censorship is far more immoderate than her comment.

  9. Parent 1 year ago1 year ago

    Since the state seems intent on diminishing student outcomes as a measure of API it might be an opportunity for an independent group to use the scores to create and publish their own API measurements of schools. And how does "equitable distribution of qualified teachers" impact the states pseudo-API? If a charter school fires teachers found not to be qualified, and since union districts cannot, will the charters be dinged because they don't have an … Read More

    Since the state seems intent on diminishing student outcomes as a measure of API it might be an opportunity for an independent group to use the scores to create and publish their own API measurements of schools.

    And how does “equitable distribution of qualified teachers” impact the states pseudo-API? If a charter school fires teachers found not to be qualified, and since union districts cannot, will the charters be dinged because they don’t have an equitable fair share of unqualified teachers?

  10. Paul Muench 1 year ago1 year ago

    Just anecdotal, but I recently discissed the suspension of the API with parents from my school district. The loss of that number was not seen as significant. It was a simple task to substitute the percent of students meeting or exceeding standards.

  11. Doug McRae 1 year ago1 year ago

    Good description, John, of the current status for development of a revised CA statewide accountability system. If I can be permitted to forecast where CA will be (say) 3 to 5 years from now, we will have a replacement API-type measure to summarize grade 3-8 & 11 statewide assessment results. This index can be one of the multiple measures for a new system, but likely will be the largest weight -- perhaps upwards of 50 percent … Read More

    Good description, John, of the current status for development of a revised CA statewide accountability system.

    If I can be permitted to forecast where CA will be (say) 3 to 5 years from now, we will have a replacement API-type measure to summarize grade 3-8 & 11 statewide assessment results. This index can be one of the multiple measures for a new system, but likely will be the largest weight — perhaps upwards of 50 percent for the HS level, greater for the EL and MS levels since there are fewer alternate measures with stability and credibility at the EL and MS levels. This was the direction the PSAA Advisory Committee was headed before the SBE/CDE suspended their discussions six months ago.

    The aggregate statewide assessment achievement “index” likely won’t be labeled API, but most likely will play much the same role as the current API. The big unknown is how the replacement API will be used, by the CDE / SSPI / SBE / CCEE to identify schools and districts for either commendation or external “assistance,” and by the legislature for targeted accountability in response to hotspot needs over time. Again, this part of an overall new system may well be downplayed ala current CDE / SSPI / SBE rhetoric, but as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow this portion of the system is inevitable for any future statewide accountability system.

    One final note: The words “local control” and “accountability” form an oxymoron. Credible accountability has to include external oversight, cannot be primarily or exclusively local control.

    Replies

    • Paul Muench 1 year ago1 year ago

      Parents and other community members are supposed to be the external accountibility system. How effective that is district by district remains to be seen.

      • Todd Maddison 1 year ago1 year ago

        Hitting the nail on the head. Speaking as an involved parent, I can tell you that having the parents be the method of accountability is a plan to fail. Parents are not experts on education, and most of them are not financial wizards either. Expecting them to provide an informed and objective evaluation of how their school district is performing is ridiculous. Not only do they not have the time to review all … Read More

        Hitting the nail on the head. Speaking as an involved parent, I can tell you that having the parents be the method of accountability is a plan to fail.

        Parents are not experts on education, and most of them are not financial wizards either. Expecting them to provide an informed and objective evaluation of how their school district is performing is ridiculous. Not only do they not have the time to review all the data, but in most cases their opinion will be strongly colored by their own children’s experience.

        If I had a nickel for every party I’ve been at where a parent I met thought a school was “great” or “awful” depending on a specific experience their own child had with a specific teacher…. Or parents whose focus is on athletics who base their opinion on the won-loss percentage of the local HS football coach…

        Parents should certainly have input, but expecting them to be THE method of accountability will only work if your intent is to have no coherent performance-based accountability.

        “We the parents” hire our government to do this for us, so we can go to work and pay taxes. That government needs to provide objective, clear, easy to understand measures that give us visibility into what we’re getting for our money – and objective standardized testing should be a big part of that.

        Almost all the other measures in the LCFF can be manipulated in some way because they depend on subjective measures. Even “graduation rate” can easily be changed by lowering the bar for grades…

        Why aren’t SAT scores included in our measures? If “college and career readiness” is such a focus, it would seem the fact that SAT scores have been steadily dropping for decades would be an indication that we’re not succeeding at that.

        There is no more objective measure right now of “college readiness” than the scores on the test that is considered a key factor in getting in to college to begin with….

        • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

          SAT measures aptitude, not achievement.

        • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

          Well said, Todd.

      • el 1 year ago1 year ago

        I am curious about how other people feel about the WASC process. Professional educators visit the school for several days, they review test scores, observe classrooms, meet with parents, etc. They evaluate the school, make a report of strengths and weaknesses, and leave a to-do list for the next WASC visit (the timing of which is dependent upon the results). I know it is a hassle for the school in many ways, but in my … Read More

        I am curious about how other people feel about the WASC process. Professional educators visit the school for several days, they review test scores, observe classrooms, meet with parents, etc. They evaluate the school, make a report of strengths and weaknesses, and leave a to-do list for the next WASC visit (the timing of which is dependent upon the results).

        I know it is a hassle for the school in many ways, but in my mind it’s exactly the right kind of process. It’s run by professionals. They work with a rubric. They have real and significant power to strip the school of accreditation. They know what a school can and should be and they walk inside the school and get a chance to see it as well as any outsider. And they also can provide some mentoring back to the administration. This is a much more meaningful process, to me anyway, than someone in Sacramento who can’t find the school on a map looking at a three digit number.

        • Doug McRae 1 year ago1 year ago

          EL -- A school visitation process such as WASC for accountability has many advantages, but the negatives for a statewide accountability system are expense, timeliness, and (although standardized to some degree) it is ultimately subjective and prone to personal opinions compared to colder objective information. I would agree a school visitation process would be more meaningful than any 3-digit number (or other-digit number) regardless of whether whoever is implementing the process can find a school … Read More

          EL — A school visitation process such as WASC for accountability has many advantages, but the negatives for a statewide accountability system are expense, timeliness, and (although standardized to some degree) it is ultimately subjective and prone to personal opinions compared to colder objective information. I would agree a school visitation process would be more meaningful than any 3-digit number (or other-digit number) regardless of whether whoever is implementing the process can find a school on a map [indeed, finding a school on a map is one of the challenges for WASC evaluators (grin)], but for a statewide accountability system it at best might serve a role after a school or district is identified for a further look by a process that can more efficiently provide comparable data for all CA schools and districts on a regular basis in a more time and cost efficient manner.

    • Ann 1 year ago1 year ago

      Doug, do you know what percentage of the API was based on STAR and what other factors went into the score?

      • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

        For grades 2-5 it was based on CST, CMA and CAPA results for ELA, Math and Science (last only for 5th).
        For middle school it also included some history and social science results.
        For High School it also included Life Science (10th only) and CAHSEE.
        If you google for ‘api content area weights’ you can see some examples for how much each counted.

      • Doug McRae 1 year ago1 year ago

        Ann -- My recollection is the last APIs in 2013 used only STAR and CAHSEE scores. The PSAA Adv Comm approved use of HS graduation rates @ 2012, including credits for 5 and 6 yr graduates as well as 4-yr graduates [these kind of data take 4-5-6 yrs to mature since the rates compare grade 9 entry students to eventual actual graduations, tracking individual students over time), but the decision was made not to include … Read More

        Ann — My recollection is the last APIs in 2013 used only STAR and CAHSEE scores. The PSAA Adv Comm approved use of HS graduation rates @ 2012, including credits for 5 and 6 yr graduates as well as 4-yr graduates [these kind of data take 4-5-6 yrs to mature since the rates compare grade 9 entry students to eventual actual graduations, tracking individual students over time), but the decision was made not to include them in API calculation until bigger changes (i.e., Smarter Balanced results and other variables) were ready for use in a revised API so I don’t think the grad rate data ever came to the SBE for a decision. Of course, with the suspension of the API for 2014 and 2015 and the subsequent turn to “not have an API at all,” the current conversation has taken another turn away away from reliance on strong academic achievement data for a revised statewide accountability system. And, this turn is accompanied by gradual understanding that the new Smarter Balanced scores will take 3-4 more years before they are valid reliable fair for use in any sort of revised statewide accountability system. So, hold your breadth, no credible statewide accountability data until 2018 or 2019.

        • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

          Ann, the STAR and CAHSEE test data had some adjustments made for school demographics. So, for example, one of these adjustments included emphasizing progress at the lower end of proficiency – handicapping, if you will.

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