California's schools will soon be on the hook for things like suspensions, attendance and graduation rates
lifornia's schools are going to have to answer for more than just test scores, by the year after next. The state may also judge them on suspension rates, graduation rates, attendance and the rate at which students who are still learning English are becoming proficient.
Those are the measures the California State Board of Education voted on Wednesday to include in its new school ratings system. The vote came after more than 100 members of the public spoke about what they think a good school looks like. They pressed the board to include non-academic factors, such as surveys on school climate — a measure of how safe a school feels — parental engagement and suspension rates.
Draquari McGhee, a Fresno high school student, told the board he could remember the moment he nearly gave up on school. It was earlier this year, when, he said, he was suspended for three days for being on his phone while walking to class. The vice principal told him he would be arrested for trespassing if he didn’t leave class, he said, and the experience left him feeling like he couldn't excel.
“My engagement deteriorated overall,” he said. “I felt like I was a bad student.” That’s why, he told the board, the state should use suspension rates as a key metric for schools.
A teacher known as “Mama B” supported McGhee and helped him get back on track. But the suspension almost derailed him, he said, as it could other students.
School discipline rates, and particularly the disproportionate numbers of students of color being punished at school, have faced recent scrutiny. Los Angeles Unified, for example, California's schools will soon be on the hook for things like suspensions, attendance and graduation rates - LA Times:
Big Education Ape: Accountability and Continuous Improvement Report - Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education) http://bit.ly/1T7FXw3
Big Education Ape: State board to choose school improvement metrics | EdSource http://bit.ly/1rDFckb