Thursday, July 14, 2016

California Floats Multiple Measures for Grading Schools - Living in Dialogue

California Floats Multiple Measures for Grading Schools - Living in Dialogue:

California Floats Multiple Measures for Grading Schools

By Anthony Cody.
This week leaders in the California Department of Education released a new system for “grading schools”that proposes to assign schools a set of colored indicators based on a variety of measurements. This system is intended to replace the old system of performance indicators which gave schools a single numeric score, (the Academic Performance Index, or API) based only on test scores. While this new system brings us elements of that long sought goal of “multiple measures,” I fear that we have yet to escape the box of the “measure to manage” paradigm.
Over the past eight years the state of California has resisted some of the worst aspects of Federal reform. The state resisted federal pressure to tie teacher evaluations to student test scores, and Jerry Brown was a vocal critic of Arne Duncan’s Race to the Top, as indicated by his statement in 2009. In more recent years, Brown has restructured school funding, to direct resources to school districts based on student needs, as influenced by factors such as poverty and the proportion of language learners enrolled.
But the state – and our state teacher union, the California Teachers Association, have also embraced the Common Core (renamed “California Standards” last year.) With cooperation from the state university system, the California Teachers Association and funding from the Gates Foundation, teachers have been treated to days devoted to celebrating the Common Core. This year teachers will get yet another day-long Gates-funded Common Core festival, though once again they are the national standards that dare not speak their name.
California teachers and students have been told that a new and much improved accountability system is in the works, and now the draft has finally arrived. The mandate for this system is in regulations created by the federal Department of Education, which asks states to create a system to show “Measures of School Quality,” described this way:
Increased state flexibility to take a more holistic view of school performance based 
California Floats Multiple Measures for Grading Schools - Living in Dialogue:

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