Byron's Babbles

ESSA Opportunity #3: Selection of Accountability Indicators

Posted in Education, Education Reform, Educational Leadership, ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on May 25, 2016

IMG_0133Each state must have a statewide accountability system that is based on the challenging state academic standards for reading/language arts and math to improve student academic achievement and school success. States shall:

  • Establish ambitious state-designed long-term goals for all students and each subgroup of students in the state for improved:
  • Academic achievement as measured by proficiency on the annual assessments
  • High school graduation rates including the four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate
    and at the state’s discretion the extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate
  • Percent of English learners making progress in achieving English language proficiency

The indicators of the system, for all students and separately for each subgroup:

  • Academic achievement as measured by proficiency on annual assessments
  • Another indicator of academic achievement
  • For high schools, a measure of the graduation rate
  • Progress of English learners in achieving English language proficiency
  • An indicator of school quality and student success such as student engagement, educator engagement, student access to advanced coursework, postsecondary readiness, school climate and safety, or other measure.

I really like this last bullet. I believe it would be interesting to investigate the idea of a school culture grade. Even something like the evaluation that happens with an AdancED visit. As a school leader of schools needing turned around, the culture and operational soundness piece has been an important contributor. I would like to explore the possibility of getting a culture/operations grade. It would also be interesting to think about multiple grades for a school. Parents are used to seeing multiple grades on a grade report and I believe this might bring more meaning to school grades and accountability.

Additionally, states may integrate personalized learning indicators into their accountability system and assign them substantial weight. States may also emphasize growth to proficiency to incentivize success for every student, not just those likely to perform at grade level.

Examples of personalized academic indicators include:

  • Rate of growth to proficiency on state assessments for all core subjects
  • Mastery of deeper levels of academic competencies

Examples of personalized measures of school quality or student success include:

  • College credit earned in high school
  • Mastery of social and emotional competencies
  • Access to multiple, personalized pathways for mastery of competencies

States must also incorporate test participation in some way in their accountability system. States must count academic factors more heavily. A state must use this system to meaningfully differentiate all public schools in the state based on all indicators for all students and subgroups of students and puts substantial weight on each indicator. The system must differentiate any school in which any subgroup of students is consistently underperforming. Those subgroups are

  • Economically disadvantaged students
  • Students from major racial and ethnic groups
  • Children with disabilities
  • English learners

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