School districts and charter schools serving 1.7 million students in California will compile, analyze and compare data on student performance beyond what the state collects under a new agreement announced last week.

The additional data will include information on school climate and students’ social emotional skills that the state will not initially measure under the new school accountability system that the State Board of Education adopted this month.

The CORE Data Collaborative marks an expansion of the work of eight large urban districts that make up the California Office to Reform Education, or CORE.

The CORE districts came together three years ago to design their own school performance index under a federal government waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act. That waiver, which gave the districts more flexibility to spend federal dollars for low-income students, has ended. But the districts and new partners say their work will mesh with the state’s new school accountability system.

The new state system will evaluate schools and districts using common metrics, such as student graduation and suspension rates, college and career readiness benchmarks and standardized tests scores. But it also will allow districts to set their own goals for school improvement using different metrics.

The CORE collaborative will branch into areas that the state board may consider including later, such as a measure of middle school students’ readiness for high school and surveys and self-evaluations to measure school climate and students’ sense of their social emotional skills and habits of mind, like perseverance. The CORE districts also have developed their own methodology to predict and compare schools’ academic growth on test scores.

“The network gives our districts better access to information and resources to improve school performance and student outcomes,” David Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools, said in a statement when the announcement was made last week.

The founding districts are Los Angeles, Long Beach, Fresno, Santa Ana, San Francisco, Oakland, Garden Grove and Sacramento City. Joining them will be districts in Sacramento and Riverside counties, San Bernardino City Unified, East Side Union High School District and feeder districts in San Jose, Sweetwater Union High School District, Aspire Public Schools, Green Dot Public Schools and the Oxnard school districts. Together their students make up about 30 percent of the state’s K-12 enrollment and will add suburban and rural districts to the mix.

The six founding CORE districts that got the federal waiver — Garden Grove and Sacramento City opted out — are asking the state board to grant them a pilot status, which would let them continue their own version of the state’s accountability measures. Other members of the data collaborative would receive CORE’s school index reports, with information not required under the state accountability system, which they could use as they choose.

The collaborative has established a research partnership with Policy Analysis in California Education (PACE), a Stanford University-based nonprofit, to analyze data for patterns contributing to student success. The partnership’s studies can guide statewide policy, said David Plank, executive director of PACE.

Plank said that the data collaborative is doing the kind of work that the state should be doing but isn’t.

“Under Governor Brown, California has refused to develop the comprehensive education data system that would be required to support continuous improvement in districts and schools that is foreseen under the Local Control Funding Formula,” he said in an email. “The data system that they’ve created and the expansion of the Data Collaborative are critically important steps toward realizing the promise of LCFF.”

Other districts and charter schools can join the collaborative. The costs range from $28,280 for a district with fewer than 1,000 students to $56,000 for a district with more than 100,000 students.

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  1. Momoffive 2 years ago2 years ago

    OPT OUT of this data mining. Eventually will be used to determine if your child can go to college, what the major will be, or what “career” is best suited based on years of data collecting.

  2. Jim Mordecai 2 years ago2 years ago

    CORE is the enemy of Governor Brown? Very interesting. LCFF was Governor Brown's major education policy initiative and now CORE is trying to capture reform of the State's data collection for its federally compliance testing. CORE's mission is to advance its private view of California school reform. California Office to Reform Education sounds like a branch of government; some government office maybe. But, what CORE really is is a private organization of … Read More

    CORE is the enemy of Governor Brown? Very interesting. LCFF was Governor Brown’s major education policy initiative and now CORE is trying to capture reform of the State’s data collection for its federally compliance testing. CORE’s mission is to advance its private view of California school reform.

    California Office to Reform Education sounds like a branch of government; some government office maybe. But, what CORE really is is a private organization of superintendents trying to direct the reform of California education or those reforms that advances this group of superintendents collective interest.

    And CORE wants to charge districts to pay for their superintendents joining CORE and CORE will make worthwhile to join by providing data that they want to be collected by state testing and surveying.

    Local school boards are placed in the position of paying for their superintendents to join a private group with an agenda for reforming California education that undermines a school board’s authority to make policy.

    These CORE superintendents are working in their own interest and not the interest of the school boards that hired them. The original goal of this group was to circumvent local school board’s authority that establishes policy in public. And, to circumvent the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s policies they disagree with.

    CORE is in opposition to the governor’s implementation of LCFF and trying to get the State Board of Education to put this unelected superintendent group in charge of constructing California’s federally compliant testing system.

    And, CORE is trying to get local school board’s to fund CORE, an organization of superintendents whose mission to reform public education in California is self-defined in private, undermining local school boards’ authority.

    If CORE wants district money, then districts that want to pay should demand their superintendents report in public as to the CORE policy decisions the majority of superintendents support, and school boards in public should make clear where they stand on each CORE policy decision. To do less keeps CORE an office of stealth influence on California education policies.

  3. Zeev Wurman 2 years ago2 years ago

    This is a terrible idea. Did the districts get parents’ permission to share the children’s social and emotional characteristics?

    Big Brother is here. Yes, we know … It’s For The Kids. Right.

    Replies

    • nena 2 years ago2 years ago

      Yes, it is totally about control. but the people especially teachers, are already so brainwashed and naive, they won’t see it that way. and a lot of the parents in the low performing school are passive and absent, so they won’t care about what the schools do to their kids. it’s a lose lose situation.

      • Bruce William Smith 2 years ago2 years ago

        You're both right. California's public -- in particular families with children in state schools -- should follow the example set by the victims of Secretary King's policies when he was New York's education commissioner, as well as the examples set by families in other states, and opt out of state schooling until the zombie-like successor of No Child Left Behind, the "Every Student Succeeds" act, is repealed permanently, and genuinely subsidiary decentralization is enacted in … Read More

        You’re both right. California’s public — in particular families with children in state schools — should follow the example set by the victims of Secretary King’s policies when he was New York’s education commissioner, as well as the examples set by families in other states, and opt out of state schooling until the zombie-like successor of No Child Left Behind, the “Every Student Succeeds” act, is repealed permanently, and genuinely subsidiary decentralization is enacted in California’s education system.

  4. Roger L Grotewold 2 years ago2 years ago

    This sounds like a great idea. One that will show the many positive indications of student growth, other than just academics progress. I am fairly positive that our California public school teachers will welcome this new California Office to Reform Education. I really like this new positive use of the acronym CORE.

  5. Jonathan Raymond 2 years ago2 years ago

    In an era of increasingly sharp rhetoric from both sides, this a great example for California and other states on how school districts and charters schools and organizations can work and learn together.