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Growth plus proficiency? Why states are turning to a hybrid strategy for judging schools (and why some experts say they shouldn’t)

Chalk Beat – Matt Barnum

“A compromise in a long-running debate over how to evaluate schools is gaining traction as states rewrite their accountability systems. But experts say it could come with familiar drawbacks — especially in fairly accounting for the challenges poor students face. Under No Child Left Behind, schools were judged by the share of students deemed proficient in math and reading. The new federal education law, ESSA, gives states new flexibility to consider students’ academic growth, too.”(more)

3 States Cite School Climate Surveys in Their ESSA Plans. Why Don’t Others Use Culture for Accountability?

The 74 Million – Kate Stringer

“Of the dozen state ESSA plans that have been submitted so far to the U.S. Department of Education, most have nothing but praise for school climate surveys as measurements of school quality. But when it comes to actually using surveys as accountability measures, most states back away. Only three states — Illinois, Nevada, and New Mexico — have school climate surveys as part of their “fifth indicator,” a new accountability tool in the Every Student Succeeds Act that lets states grade schools on measures other than reading and math scores. The others are turning to measures like chronic absenteeism, suspension rates, or college and career readiness instead.”(more)

California School Dashboard charts path to education improvements

The San Diego Union Tribune – Deborah Sullivan Brennan

“California launched a new education “dashboard” Wednesday, which charts the progress of California schools and districts in academics, discipline and other measures through a searchable website. The California School Dashboard, compiled by the state Department of Education, replaces the Academic Performance Index, which condensed each school’s performance into a single number. The new website reports a broader range of school performance standards, and tracks change over time.”(more)

State board chooses new way of measuring school progress on tests

Ed Source – John Fensterwald

“After hours of discussion, the State Board of Education on Wednesday settled two much debated issues that will enable state officials to move ahead this year with the state’s new school accountability system. One decision creates a different way to measure schools’ and student groups’ progress on standardized tests in math and English. The other, more contentious issue will determine which schools and districts will require intervention or technical help because their English learners did poorly on the math and English language arts tests.”(more)

Preliminary report on A-F system confirms educators’ worst fears

The Star-Telegram – Diane Smith

“A provisional report on the state’s new A-F school accountability system confirms the concerns of educators who contend that the ratings unfairly punish schools and students. The Texas Education Agency released the 400-plus page “what if” report on Friday, grading schools and school districts in four domains — student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps and postsecondary readiness. Many of Texas’ 8,600 schools received mixed grades. Some campuses received all A’s, while others got all F’s.”(more)

Report: States not making the grade on report cards

E-School News – Staff Writer

“States are failing to effectively communicate essential information to families, educators, and communities about how their schools are doing, a new report finds. The report, Show Me the Data: State Report Cards Must Answer Questions and Inform Action, released today by the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), finds that states are not meeting basic expectations for producing report cards that are easy to access and understand for all community members.”(more)