Last Thursday, the California State Board of Education adopted a new system for evaluating schools and districts that will use a variety of measures of school conditions and student achievement.
In the past, standardized test scores were used as the sole basis for judging schools; but beginning with the 2016-17 school year, standardized tests will be only one of many components considered in the new state system of evaluation. The new system will also consider graduation and suspension rates; an indicator of college and career readiness; progress of English learners in becoming proficient in English; and still in the early stages of development/implementation, measures of school climate and parent involvement.
Three years ago, when the legislature passed a new formula for school funding, it mandated that the State Board pay attention to these and other priorities. Also, consistent with distributing more money to low-income students and English learners, it told the State Board that underperformance of student sub-groups should determine which school districts receive technical assistance and more intensive intervention. To this end, on Thursday, the Board also adopted the first performance expectations, such as high levels of student suspensions and low rates of graduation, that will trigger assistance for districts.