Accountability & Assessment

Design, Implement, and Support an Accountability System

The CA CC provides the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education (SBE) assistance to design, implement, and support an accountability system that provides a basis and recognition for local control, continuous improvement, and increased learning and well-being for all students.

Impact Stories

Helping California Develop a Rigorous Measure of Student-Level Growth

Helping California Develop a Rigorous Measure of Student-Level GrowthFollowing the adaptation of Local Control Funding Formula, the California Comprehensive Center has assisted the California Department of Education in strengthening education accountability, reporting, and communications infrastructure so data can animate local and state discussions of school and district performance. Although student-level growth and its role in California’s system of accountability was a controversial issue in 2018, the Center’s stakeholder input process is changing the narrative by educating and promoting transparency. In addition, stakeholders have realized that the issue is more complex than anticipated. The Center has ensured that the topic has been explored within a rigorous and respectful structure with guidance from content experts and experienced facilitators. As a result, the CDE and State Board of Education are on track to having recommendations informed by thoughtful, engaged stakeholders who understand the policy and technical considerations of measuring and reporting student-level growth.
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Helping California Strengthen the Tools and Supports that Enable Improved Statewide and Local Discussions of School and District Performance

Helping California Strengthen the Tools and Supports that Enable Improved Statewide and Local Discussions of School and District PerformanceFollowing California’s adoption of the Local Control Funding Formula in 2013, state policymakers have sought California Comprehensive Center assistance in strengthening education accountability, reporting, and communications infrastructure so data can animate local and state discussions of school and district performance. The Center worked with state and district leaders to gain access to expertise to support accountability reporting. This led to increased capacity among district leaders and principals to understand their local settings to drive high performance and continuous improvement. View this Impact Story

Helping California Develop its Approach to Differentiated Assistance for Low Performing Schools

Helping California Develop its Approach to Differentiated Assistance for Low Performing SchoolsOver the three iterations of California’s State ESSA plan and corresponding guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, California has created a new accountability and support system. The California Comprehensive Center has provided support to California in the development, alignment, and coordination of the Statewide System of Support. Through the Center’s support, the state has operationalized statutory language by creating a collaborative, multi-level, cross-agency system that works to build the improvement capacity of counties, districts, and schools.
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Work Highlights

Blueprint for California’s Accountability System

The state is overhauling its accountability system to provide accessible and actionable data for use by educators, parents/guardians, community members, and policymakers and also to support reliable and meaningful ways for the state to differentiate the performance of districts and schools in need of support and technical assistance. The CA CC is serving as CDE’s change management partner by assisting with engagement of stakeholders to contribute to design, testing, and promotion; co-designing and executing a communication strategy; and processing input and critical feedback in a manner that generates trust and buy-in. The CA CC is also providing content and technical support designed to introduce new ideas and structures for CDE staff to pursue as they take on development of this system. For example, CA CC staff is partnering with CDE staff to develop and test examples, research and analyze practices in other states/countries, and acquire evidence of effective practice.

California School Dashboard

California School DashboardOne component of the state’s accountability provisions is the development of multiple measures that provide feedback about progress on various indicators to school and school districts. The California School Dashboard, a new online website, hosts this information and is a vital and very visible part of the new system. The CA CC is assisting the SBE and CDE in rolling out the Dashboard and deepening education stakeholder and public understanding and use of this tool. Staff support includes consultation, advice on the development and rollout of trainings and other engagement approaches on Dashboard elements, such as state and local indicators, student groups, and data analysis and applications to impact local practice.

English Learner Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC)

English Learner Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC)California is transitioning to a new English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment based on new, more rigorous ELP standards and using a different test window, performance standards, and structure for reporting results. The CA CC is providing CDE with ongoing support to anticipate and address issues as the state replaces the current exam. A range of technical assistance includes: participating in the Technical Assistance Group, analyzing state empirical data to set the ELPAC English-proficient performance standard and supporting the state to empirically determine ELP progress and attainment expectations using ELPAC. Additionally, staff provides the CDE and the State Board of Education staff with EL policy consultation, advice, and technical support regarding development and implementation of a state-determined accountability system that also satisfies ESSA requirements.

State Workgroup Collaborations

A state strategy in developing the new accountability system is establishing work groups that bring together educators, advocates and other stakeholders to discuss key issues and offer suggestions for change.

  • School Conditions and Climate Workgroup (CCWG): The SBE approved “…inclusion of a standard for the use of local climate surveys to support a broader assessment of performance on Priority 6 (School Climate)…”. The CDE convened an advisory School Conditions and Climate Work Group to assist with the identification of key considerations and make recommendations to support the SBE’s policy development in this area. The CA CC provided expert consultation, led workgroup planning and facilitation and co-produced final considerations for the CDE staff and SBE.
  • English Learner (EL) Progress Indicator Workgroup: The CA CC joined with the CDE to establish and facilitate a statewide English Learner (EL) Roadmap Workgroup to advise on and develop new, evidence-based state policy and supporting resources focused on EL education. Resources focus on assisting LEAs as they implement California’s college- and career-ready standards, curriculum, instructional programs, and assessments with ELs.
  • State Workgroup CollaborationsAdHoc Workgroup on Family Engagement: In the spring of 2017, the Deputy Superintendent convened a diverse group of LEA and site-based educators, representatives of nonprofit organizations, community-based and advocacy organizations. This workgroup was deferred to, as the “AdHoc Workgroup on Family Engagement”. The Family Engagement Toolkit was produced as a collaboration of this workgroup. The California Department of Education developed it to provide districts and schools with practical planning and evaluation tools that support efforts to engage all families, particularly those of underrepresented and underserved students.