State board to choose school improvement metrics
The State Board of Education on Wednesday is planning to choose a handful of statewide metrics to measure student performance as part of its creation of a new school accountability system.
The board will approve the new system in September and begin using it in the fall of 2017. It will replace the Academic Performance Index, the single-number score, based solely on standardized test scores, that the board suspended two years ago. The board is also designing the new system to satisfy federal accountability requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
State board staff are recommending that the board initially choose five metrics to identify which schools and districts need assistance and which demand more intensive intervention. They are:
- Student test scores on Common Core tests in math and English language arts;
- Progress of English learners toward English language proficiency;
- High school graduation rates;
- An added weight for two markers of a student’s progress through school: test scores in Grade 3 reading and Grade 8 math;
- Student suspension rates at various grade levels.
Not included on the initial list are three measures that student and parent advocacy groups have pressed the board either to adopt now or commit to using in the future: rates of chronic student absenteeism, which is an indicator of school climate and a predictor of a student’s underperformance; as-yet-to-be developed tests on the new state science standards, and indicators or an index of college and career readiness. Board members have expressed interest in eventually incorporating these measures, and at its meeting this week, the state board is expected to adopt an annual timetable for researching and approving new metrics.
In a letter sent Friday to the state board, a collection of nonprofit organizations expressed disappointment that college and career indicators weren’t chosen.State board to choose school improvement metrics | EdSource: