Friday, December 29, 2017

Turn and face the strange (state accountability shift)

If you read the liveblog of this month's Board of Ed meeting or the MASC recap, you probably caught most of this, but I thought an easy to read post in one spot would be useful.
So what's changing?

It’s not all about testing.
Schools and districts will be evaluated on:
  • ELA, math, and science MCAS achievement values (based on scaled scores)
  • student growth in MCAS scores (as measured by the student growth percentile)
  • high school completion (as measured by the four year graduation rate, the extended engagement rate [see below], and the annual dropout rate)
  • English language proficiency (as measured by progress made by English learners towards proficiency)
  • Other measures to include:
    • chronic absenteeism in all schools;
    • percentage of students passing all ninth grade courses (for high schools)
    • percentage of students completing advanced course work (for high schools)

Note that extended engagement is a new measure, incorporating both the five year graduation rate PLUS the percentage of students still enrolled in school after that time. Districts thus will be credited with keeping students who have yet to graduate in school.
The balance of these is yet to be decided; that comes next month at the Board of Ed.

A focus on kids who need the most help
In addition to meeting targets for the school as a whole, schools will be responsible for the performance (in all indicators, not just testing) of the lowest performing 25% of students who have been enrolled for more than one year. Note that this doesn't penalize schools for kids transferring in or out or showing up midyear.

No more levels
Schools will no longer be placed in a vertical hierarchy of levels 1-5. The lowest 10%--not, as now, the lowest 20%--will be "normatively placed" as in need of intervention. Only approximately 15% of schools will be classified as in need of assistance or intervention:
  • those with percentiles under 10%, plus
  • those with persistently low graduation rates
  • those with low testing participation over two years

Questions? Let me know. If I don't know, I'll find out. 

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