Posted January 27, 2017
As surreal as it was, the recent confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, the likely next secretary of education, raised a critical policy question even here in California – and I’m not talking about grizzly bear protection. While I think we can all agree that she did not have a sufficient answer to Sen. Al Franken’s question regarding the choice between using student proficiency or academic growth to gauge school progress, I would actually argue the senator’s question implied a false choice. This “choice” is an issue the CORE Districts debated at length in creating our shared school improvement and accountability system – and we concluded the answer was both. To measure achievement in the CORE Districts, we chose to take into account both the number of students meeting standards and how much academic growth students are making each year. We call this the “Power of Two.”
In the CORE Districts’ data system, educators have access to test score measurements that are clear and easy-to-understand, and are uniquely helpful by highlighting how schools are improving student learning. School reports – highlighting academic growth as well as academic performance and other school progress measures – are available online.