As California prepares to adopt its new multiple-measure school accountability system, the CORE Districts can offer firsthand experience and data to inform the transition and ongoing policy work. The CORE Districts, representing Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Fresno, San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento unified districts, have a six-year history of collaboration and three years of experience under a federal waiver for school and district accountability. Sharing the lessons we are learning can help inform California and the nation.
More than 1,600 schools serving more than 1 million students and their families are situated in the CORE Districts, and they already are supported by the type of continuous improvement and accountability the state seeks. In fact, the CORE Districts’ accountability model uses measures that are more robust than the accountability system being developed by the state.
The CORE Districts’ system is similar to the state’s emerging accountability system in important ways, including its use of state-collected data on test scores, graduation rates, chronic absenteeism, suspension rates and information about English learners.
But for a more complete picture of school performance, the CORE Districts’ accountability index also takes into account growth in student performance over time, the extent to which 8th graders are ready to enter high school and measures of students’ social-emotional skills and of a school’s overall “climate.”Read more