California is one of just two states, the other being Kansas, that does not measure school performance based on the growth of individual students’ scores on standardized tests. Instead, it measures a school’s yearly progress by comparing the change in the scores of this year’s students with those in the same grade the previous year.

The author, an associate professor of education policy at the USC Rossier School of Education, argues in the 13-page report that adopting a student growth model to rate performance on the California School Dashboard would be a “dramatic improvement” and would more validly identify schools succeeding and in need of support. He dispels common misconceptions about the growth model and recommends which version of it the State Board of Education should choose.