Developing a New Accountability and Continuous Improvement System

Mar 19th, 2016 | By | Category: Advocacy, News
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Jeff Frost

By JEFF FROST

—The State Board of Education (SBE) is in the process of developing a new school accountability system and will continue the debate at its March SBE meeting.

California’s new accountability system will build on the foundations of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), consisting of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), annual update, evaluation rubrics, and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) support structure.

The state board’s challenge is to decide which of the many metrics in the funding law should be used in a statewide accountability system and what will be the trigger that will determine the schools and districts that need targeted assistance and the chronically poorly performing schools that require intervention.

The big question is what will happen with the “suspended” Academic Performance Index (API) and will the API be replaced with a “dashboard” of multiple measurements highlighting school performance. This dashboard appears to be the direction that Governor Brown is leaning toward. Governor Brown, in his proposed 2016-2017 budget materials, states, “The state system should include a concise set of performance measures, rather than a single index.”

The Board is expecting to share the “latest version” of the evaluation rubrics in late March and seek input from stakeholder groups regarding the rubrics during the spring. At the May SBE meeting, the Board will include agenda items on the “proposed changes to the LCAP template” and the “LCFF evaluation rubrics prototype.” The ultimate goal is for the SBE to adopt both the revised LCAP template and the Local Control Funding Formula Evaluation Rubrics at the September State Board of Education meeting.

The other outstanding issue is how the state will integrate the required components for the new federal accountability system (Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA) with the state’s new accountability system. Passage of the ESSA represents a significant shift in education policy. After years of an enhanced federal role under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the current reauthorization gives state education agencies, school districts, and local education agencies (LEAs) much broader autonomy in shaping education policy, particularly on issues related to funding, access, data, and accountability.

Much of 2016 will be spent with educators and decision makers working to fully understand what implementation of ESSA will look like in California and how ESSA might provide opportunities to enhance local and state policies that are attentive to matters of equity.

We will continue to monitor the development of the new accountability system and keep you informed on its progress.

Jeff Frost is CATESOL’s legislative advocate.

 

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