ACSA’s Role in New Accountability System

With the state closing in on the launch of the first phase of the new accountability and continuous improvement system, ACSA has taken a leadership role in pushing for cooperation with stakeholders, in addition to providing valuable resources to district and site leaders, parents, and members of the community. Superintendent Terri Rufert testified on behalf of administrators at the State Board of Education (Board) on March 8. ACSA’s Task Force on Accountability and Continuous Improvement is taking a holistic approach in reviewing the first phase of the accountability system. One of the goals is to inform the Board and CDE staff on policy areas and technical details that need to be re-examined during the second phase of the system and submitted a comprehensive letter to the Board. A complete list of the 22-member task force can be found on ACSA’s website at www.acsa.org/accountability.

Over the coming months, the Board will be considering possible changes to several state indicators during the second phase of the accountability system. These measures include strengthening the College and Career Indicator with additional career metrics, developing an individual student growth measure by fall 2018, explore whether to include long-term English learner data on the English Learner Progress Indicator, and the inclusion of data on Chronic Absenteeism by fall 2017.

The Board will also need to consider the metrics that could be incorporated for an accountability system that supports the unique circumstances of alternative schools, an effort that could take twelve to eighteen months before the measures are finalized. As part of this initial conversation, ACSA Board Director Elsbeth Prigmore participated in a panel to inform the Board of the unique circumstances students in alternative education settings face, and why a differentiated accountability system is necessary.

In order to meet the federal deadline of September 2017 to submit the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan, the Board will need to identify the five percent lowest-performing schools; determine the three tiers of technical assistance and support for schools and districts not making sufficient progress over the course of several years in one or more state indicators; and consider the distribution of Title I for school improvement activities and Title II funds for school leadership support. These actions and decisions will be presented in a draft form at the May 9th, 2017 Board meeting, at which point the ESSA State Plan will be made available for a 30 day public comment period.

If you or other administrators in your region would like to attend the Board meeting on May 9 to provide comments, or if you have specific suggestions of modifications the Board should consider making to the new accountability system or the Dashboard in 2017-18, please contact Martha Alvarez, ACSA Legislative Advocate, at malvarez@acsa.org.

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