By Michael Kirst and Tom Torlakson
This week the state is launching an online report card that identifies district and school performance in an effort to better help all young Californians succeed.
While user-friendly design improvements are in the works, the fall 2017 California School Dashboard upgrades the state’s antiquated Academic Performance Index, which was based exclusively on standardized tests. To better identify students who are succeeding and those who need help, the Dashboard includes five additional measures: graduation and suspension rates, college and career readiness, English learner progress and chronic absenteeism. In turn, schools and districts can use this information to better refine their strategies to support and accelerate learning.
Source: California School Dashboard provides opportunity for schools “to turn data into action” | EdSource
The State Board of Education (SBE) and the California Department of Education (CDE) today unveiled the California School Dashboard, a new Web site that provides parents, educators, and the public with important information they can use to evaluate schools and school districts in an easy-to-understand report card format.
The California School Dashboard is a critical piece of California’s new school accountability and continuous improvement system. The state’s former accountability system—the Academic Performance Index (API)—relied exclusively on standardized tests and gave schools a single score. That system was suspended three years ago.
“The California School Dashboard provides local communities with meaningful and relevant information on how well schools and districts are doing,” said State Board of Education President Michael W. Kirst. “It will help in local decision-making by highlighting both the progress of schools and student groups, shining a light on disparities and helping stakeholders pinpoint where resources should be directed.
Source: CA School Dashboard Debuts – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)
By Sharon Noguchi
Four years after dumping its single-number rating of every public school, California on Wednesday rolled out a new education report card with bold color charts and minute detail on select metrics for each school district.
The California School Dashboard — which went live Wednesday after a nearly two-hour hiccup — offers a more rounded view of public schools, including charter schools, with reports on suspension and graduation rates, English-learner progress, and English and math test scores for grades 3 through 8.
The colorful matrix replaces the instantly understandable Academic Performance Index, the three-digit figure that represented the official grade of each school and made school-to-school comparisons simple. The API, whose annual release was much anticipated, was loved by high-scoring schools in affluent areas and reviled by educators serving poor kids as unfair and incomplete.
By Richard Bammer
After some field testing, the state’s new school “report card” system, giving parents another way to evaluate their child’s learning environment, will finally debut Wednesday, state officials have announced.
The California School Dashboard, as it’s called, will go live to the general public at www.cde.ca.gov/dashboard.
The public rollout will come nearly nine weeks after the State Board of Education formally approved it, with several changes to be made to strengthen and improve it for the 2017-18 academic year, when it will go into full effect.
Source: State’s new school “report card” system debuts Wednesday – The Reporter
By John Fensterwald
After months of drafting, revising and debating how best to measure and improve schools, the State Board of Education this week will adopt key elements of a new and distinct school accountability system.
The series of votes on Thursday will meet the Legislature’s Oct. 1 deadline and will mark 2½ years since the state board suspended its simpler predecessor, the Academic Performance Index. The board expects to change components of the system in coming years.
The new system shifts from a one-dimensional school rating under the API and the federal No Child Left Behind Act, based on test scores, toward a broader picture of what constitutes a quality education. It combines measures of underlying conditions, such as teacher qualifications and student suspension rates, and academic outcomes, including gauges of college and career readiness and standardized test scores.
Source: State board poised to take new direction in school accountability | EdSource
By Michael Kirst
The State Board of Education has been working for several years to develop a new accountability system based on the Local Control Funding Formula, which the Legislature and governor passed in 2013. In September, the state board will take an important step forward by establishing a new way to measure progress and identify problems in our schools and districts, giving parents, teachers and community members a better idea of what is happening at their schools.
Accountability systems serve multiple functions, including providing guidance to parents, highlighting schools’ strengths and diagnosing their weaknesses, and helping educators design and implement strategies to assist schools.
For 15 years, California evaluated schools and districts largely by looking at a single number that relied exclusively on test scores – the Academic Performance Index (API). This gave us a narrow view. A single number is not sufficient to evaluate an employee or buy a house. Similarly, we shouldn’t depend on just one indicator to understand school performance. Furthermore, the API said nothing about other essential components of a successful school such as high school graduation rates, attendance, suspension rates, career and college readiness, and English learner progress.
Source: California must move ahead on new approach to school accountability
By John Fensterwald
The State Board of Education on Wednesday is planning to choose a handful of statewide metrics to measure student performance as part of its creation of a new school accountability system.
The board will approve the new system in September and begin using it in the fall of 2017. It will replace the Academic Performance Index, the single-number score, based solely on standardized test scores, that the board suspended two years ago. The board is also designing the new system to satisfy federal accountability requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
State board staff are recommending that the board initially choose five metrics to identify which schools and districts need assistance and which demand more intensive intervention.
Source: State board to choose school improvement metrics | EdSource
By John Fensterwald
Members of the State Board of Education who favor replacing the three-digit Academic Performance Index with a “dashboard” of measurements highlighting school performance can count on the backing of Gov. Jerry Brown.
The K-12 summary (pages 22-23) of Brown’s proposed 2016-17 state budget, released last week, stated, “The state system should include a concise set of performance measures, rather than a single index.” Brown said the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act creates the opportunity to design a “more accurate picture of school performance and progress” than in the past.
But whether the state should or even can switch, under the new federal law, from a single index like the API to a more complex school improvement system will be a potentially contentious issue this year. Both approaches to accountability, the dashboard with multiple measures – such as test scores, high school graduation rates and an indicator of student readiness for college and jobs – and a single index compiled from a mix of factors, have strong advocates.
via Brown says it’s time to abandon API to judge schools’ performance | EdSource.
By Richard Bammer
The recent reissuing of a list of California’s lowest-achieving schools, including 10 in Solano County, has left Vacaville-area educators scratching their heads because the list uses 2013 data that is based on a test no longer in use.
The list — re-released Monday by the state Department of Education after a prominent Republican state senator threatened a lawsuit late last year — identifies 1,000 “open enrollment schools,” named after a state law passed in 2010, and makes it easier for students to transfer from their neighborhood school to another with a higher academic ratings. The best-known provision of the Open Enrollment Act is the so-called “parent trigger,” which allows parents of children in low-performing schools to intervene.
State education officials reluctantly reissued the list under pressure from state Sen. Bob Huff of San Dimas, most recently the Republican Senate leader, and school improvement groups.
via Reissued state list of subpar schools confounds local educators.
By Sarah Tully
The state’s superintendent announced today the formation of a new task force to help overhaul California’s accountability system, along with a new plan to guide public schools.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled the Blueprint for Great Schools 2.0, a 20-page document that outlines plans for everything from early education and English learners to funding and teacher preparation.
This is the second blueprint for second-term Torlakson, who released his original plan in 2011 shortly after his first election.The task force comes at a time when the state’s accountability system is changing.
via State superintendent to form task force for new accountability plan | EdSource.
By Kevin W. Green
Parents of students in Solano County schools will soon see the results of the new testing format, known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress.
The new format was given to students from March to June of the 2014-15 school year in third through eighth grade and 11th grade, according to a Solano County Office of Education press release Friday.
This was the first administration of the new tests – replacing the paper-based, multiple-choice Standardized Testing and Reporting program, the release said.
via Parents to see results of new testing format for students.
Google Classroom is adding new tools for developers, administrators, and teachers, with a developer preview of its new API offered until the end of July that will allow administrators to:
… provision and populate classes on behalf of their teachers, set up tools to sync their Student Information Systems with Classroom, and get basic visibility into which classes are being taught in their domain.
Developers will be able to integrate their applications, following in the footsteps of New Visions CloudLab, Alma, and Pear Deck.
In August, all Apps for Education domains will be able to use the API unless the administrator has restricted access, writes Leila Meyer of Campus Technology.
via Google Classroom Expands Tools, Offers Preview of API.
By Richard Bammer
Vacaville-area educators on Thursday hailed state education leaders’ decision to suspend for one year the Academic Performance Index (API), the so-called “report card on schools,” as Sacramento officials develop a broader measurement system rather than a single, test-based metric.
The decision, which the state Board of Education unanimously made Wednesday, came as California school district academic officers, tech-support employees and teachers are still struggling, in some cases, to get used to new technology and the all-computerized tests ushered in with the Common Core State Standards within the last year.
“There’s been a major learning curve with all the new technology, and it’s radically different from what we’ve done before,” said Moira McSweeney, president of the 680-member Vacaville Teachers Association, “It’s something the California Teachers Association has been working on. We are in support of it.”
via Local educators hail state ed board’s decision to suspend API for one year.
By Christine Armario, Associated Press
One set of California school standards has temporarily fallen victim to another.
California’s school accountability system and its new Common Core academic standards were put head-to-head on Wednesday, and Common Core won.
At a meeting in Sacramento, the states Board of Education suspended its Academic Performance Index for the 2014-2015 school year. The move is intended to give teachers and students time to adjust to new standardized tests aligned with the Common Core standards.
The suspended index used student results on statewide tests to rank schools and to identify those that need improvement.
via California suspends other standards for Common Core, for now.
By Theresa Harrington
The State Board of Education has agreed to suspend the Academic Performance Index, or API, this school year to allow for the development of a more comprehensive accountability system.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced the unanimous decision Wednesday, saying the new system will include several factors, rather than providing a single score based on standardized test results. Other performance criteria that may be included along with test scores are graduation rates and college and career readiness indicators.
The state expects to release scores for the new California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance, or CAASPP tests — computerized exams that replace STAR tests — by the end of August. However, the new school accountability scores are not expected to be available until fall of 2016 at the earliest, according to a news release.
via California Board of Education suspends school Academic Performance Index system.
By Michelle Maitre
A state advisory committee that spent more than two years trying to find a way to rejigger the Academic Performance Index is now recommending moving away from that single number in favor of a more comprehensive system allowing for a broader picture of school effectiveness.
In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Public Schools Accountability Act Advisory Committee approved a recommendation calling on the state to replace the API, the three-digit number that since 1999 has been the dominant means by which schools are measured.
Instead, California should adopt a system that relies on “multiple measures” to evaluate schools, the committee said. Such a system – which has yet to be determined – would be better aligned with the requirements of the new school funding law, the Local Control Funding Formula. The law sets out eight priority areas districts must focus on, including pupil achievement and engagement, implementation of academic standards and other factors. Standardized test scores, the sole component of the API, would be just one part of a new system.
via API should be replaced, state committee recommends | EdSource#.VNJvfmctHGg#.VNJvfmctHGg.
By John Fensterwald
The State Board of Education, as expected, voted Thursday to move ahead in the spring with the new Smarter Balanced tests on the Common Core State Standards while leaving open, for now, the decision on what to do with the test results.
At the meeting, the organizations representing the state’s school administrators and school boards said they support reporting test scores to parents and schools. But they would like to postpone using results to judge schools and districts. They argued that many districts aren’t far enough along in adopting the new standards to credibly appraise schools’ performance. The Association of California School Administrators said in a statement that each district “is at a different level of implementation.”
via School groups ask to delay API scores | EdSource.
By Susan Winlow
Out with Standardized Testing and Reporting and in with the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress.
Both assessment umbrellas come with acronyms, of course, STAR is the old and CAASPP is the new.
Vacaville School District trustees will hear an update on program improvement status Thursday and take a look at statewide assessment methods and scores.
The new assessment umbrella this year will include Smarter Balanced assessments for English-language arts and math that go along with the new Common Core standards of teaching. The California Standards Tests will continue to be administered for science assessments in fifth, eighth and 10th grades.
via Vacaville schools to discuss program improvement, assessments Daily Republic.
By Reporter Staff Posted:
Vacaville Unified will reorganize its governing board when it meets tonight but trustees also will deal with several financial and educational matters, including the findings of a Will C. Wood High School stadium feasibility and cost study.
As scheduled on the posted agenda, the report on the study will come toward the end of the meeting.
HMC Architects, a design firm with offices in Sacramento, prepared the study, a Measure V item that cost nearly $30,000, an amount approved by trustees at their July 18 meeting. Since then, two community gatherings, one of which drew 900 people to the high school’s Marshall Road campus, were held to give the public a chance to offer input and hear about the stadium design options, of which a stakeholder committee eventually settled on two.
via Vacaville school board to deal with several issues – The Reporter.
By Dan Walters
Susan Bonilla and Joan Buchanan are Democrats who represent adjacent Assembly districts in the affluent East Bay suburbs along the Interstate 680 corridor.
Bonilla, a former teacher, and Buchanan, a former school-board member, have both staked out public education as their big issue.
via Dan Walters: Two California school bills show teacher union power – Dan Walters – The Sacramento Bee.