Friday, December 4, 2015

These California districts are measuring schools in a new way - LA Times

These California districts are measuring schools in a new way - LA Times:

These California districts are measuring schools in a new way

More than just test scores

arting in February, a group of California districts will begin evaluating their schools on more than just test scores.
On Friday, a group including some of the largest school systems in the state called CORE will unveil its new formula for measuring public schools at the California School Boards Assn. Conference in San Diego.
And for the first time, new metrics will count: In addition to academic performance, school scores will account for how safe children feel in school, suspension rates, skills not measured by traditional academic tests such as self-control and social awareness, and how quickly students who don't speak English are learning the language, among other factors. The idea is to evaluate schools in a more nuanced way that captures a broader picture of what happens in schools. The group is also releasing preliminary results on its first attempts at using those measures.
“We have known for a long time that academic performance is one of many factors that make a great school, but CORE districts are now serving as a model for how we can actually measure these factors and look more holistically at school outcomes,” Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ramon C. Cortines said in a statement. “Educators have created an index that captures more information that matters.” 
CORE will release its first round of school reports in early February. Previously, schools in California have been measured and evaluated in accordance with their test scores, a statewide metric known as the Academic Performance Index. But in February, a group of six school districts that are part of CORE will start grading its schools according to the new formula, called the School Quality Index, with each receiving a score out of 100.
“The idea is to shift accountability away from accountability designed to name, shame and blame schools,” said Noah Bookman, CORE’s chief accountability officer who previously served as L.A. Unified’s director of performance management. He described the new system as a “flashlight,” designed to equip schools with the information they need to improve. The index also holds schools to a tougher standard when it comes to making sure traditionally overlooked groups of students are accounted for.
CORE is unveiling its framework as the state of California figures out how to measure schools. California suspended API as schools transitioned to new tests aligned with the Common Core learning standards. 
These revisions occur against a background of a potential major change in federal law: These California districts are measuring schools in a new way - LA Times: