BILL ANALYSIS Ó SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION Alan Lowenthal, Chair 2011-2012 Regular Session BILL NO: AB 180 AUTHOR: Carter AMENDED: March 25, 2011 FISCAL COMM: Yes HEARING DATE: June 8, 2011 URGENCY: No CONSULTANT:Lynn Lorber SUBJECT : Alternative accountability: individual pupil growth model. SUMMARY This bill requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) and State Board of Education to allow a dropout recovery high school to use an individual pupil growth model that is proposed by the school and certified by the SPI. BACKGROUND Current law requires the SPI, with the approval of the State Board of Education (SBE) to develop an alternative accountability system for schools under the jurisdiction of a county board of education or a county superintendent of schools, community day schools, non-public schools, and alternative schools serving high-risk pupils, including continuation high schools and opportunity schools. Schools in the alternative accountability system may receive an Academic Performance Index (API) score, but are not included in the API rankings. (Education Code § 52052) The Alternative School Accountability Model (ASAM) was developed in 2000. The ASAM is a voluntary accountability program where qualifying schools select three of 14 reporting indicators measuring student learning readiness, transition, and academic performance. Participating schools annually report on these three indicators. Schools select their reporting indicators from a list adopted by the SBE in 2001. According to the CDE, approximately 1,000 schools participate in ASAM. ANALYSIS AB 180 Page 2 This bill requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) and the State Board of Education (SBE) to allow a dropout recovery high school to use an individual pupil growth model that is proposed by the school and certified by the SPI. Specifically, this bill: 1) Requires the SPI and the SBE to allow a dropout recovery high school to use, as part of the alternative accountability system, an individual pupil growth model proposed by the school. 2) Requires the SPI to review the individual pupil growth model proposed by the dropout recovery high school and certify that model if it meets all of the following criteria: a) Measures learning based on valid and reliable nationally normed or criterion-referenced reading and mathematics tests. b) Measures skills and knowledge aligned with state standards. c) Measures the extent to which a pupil scored above an expected amount of growth based on the individual pupil's initial achievement score. d) Demonstrates the extent to which a school is able to accelerate learning on an annual basis. 3) Defines a "dropout recovery high school" as a school offering instruction in any of grades 9-12 in which 50% or more of its pupils are designated as dropouts pursuant to the exit and withdrawal codes developed by the California Department of Education (CDE); and the school provides instruction in partnership with any of the following: a) The federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). b) Federally affiliated Youthbuild programs. AB 180 Page 3 c) Federal job corps training or instruction provided pursuant to a memorandum of understanding with the federal provider. d) The California Conservation Corp (CCC) or local conservation corps certified by the CCC. STAFF COMMENTS 1) Purpose of the bill . According to the author, "Dropouts often are far below grade level standards and re-enter seeking to complete their diploma in a shorter period of time than necessary in the traditional high school. Most standardized tests do not measure individual student performance over time and therefore, an open entry and exit education does not align with once-a-year testing. In contrast, an individual growth model can demonstrate the learning gains of a student to assess the value of the school's instructional program." 2) Author's amendment . The author wishes to amend this bill to refer to the Alternative School Accountability Model (ASAM) instead of the Academic Performance Index (API) to reflect the fact that ASAM has not yet been eliminated or replaced. This ensures that ASAM schools receive an API score but not state or similar school rankings. (See Comment #4) 3) Growth model . The California Standards Tests (CSTs), which comprise the majority of Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program, measure pupil performance on the state academic standards for each grade level. Each grade has a unique set of standards and the CSTs for that grade are designed to measure pupil performance against those standards. The STAR assessments were not designed to align performance levels across each grade level; therefore, the state cannot accurately measure student gains or losses across years and schools cannot be held accountable for pupil performance over time. 4) Status of ASAM . On November 5, 2008, the State Board of Education (SBE) approved a conceptual framework for redesigning the existing ASAM system. The framework was being used by the California Department of Education AB 180 Page 4 (CDE) as the basis for the development and eventual implementation of a revised ASAM system, but funding was vetoed and therefore all work on the revised ASAM has ceased. Also reportedly due to budget reductions, the state no longer collects the accountability indicators used by ASAM schools. As a result, CDE is not implementing the ASAM program. 5) Fiscal impact . According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee analysis, this bill would impose General Fund administrative costs, likely less than $100,000, to the Department of Education to review and recommend approval to the SBE of an individual growth model. 6) Prior legislation . AB 2307 (Carter, 2010) was nearly identical to this bill and was held on the Senate Appropriations Committee's suspense file. AB 2013 (Arambula, 2010) would have required schools that enroll 100% of their pupils in independent study programs to be included in the state's alternative accountability system and made changes to require mandatory participation by all alternative schools. AB 2013 was held on the Assembly Appropriations Committee's suspense file. AB 1130 (Solorio, Ch. 273, 2009) states legislative intent regarding the examination of methods for making and reporting comparisons of school and district academic achievement over time based on a cohort growth measure. AB 429 (Brownley, 2009) would have required examination of methods for making and reporting valid comparisons of individual academic performance over time and for making potential improvements in the Academic Performance Index, so as to be able to measure and report both a student's and a school's academic growth over time. AB 429 was vetoed by the Governor, whose message read: I appreciate the author's intent to address the issue of measuring annual academic achievement growth in schools. However, this bill circumvents the authority of the State Board of Education AB 180 Page 5 (SBE), by not providing the SBE with the authority to approve or modify the recommendations of the Public Schools Accountability Act advisory committee. SUPPORT American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees California Charter Schools Association California Federation of Teachers California School Boards Association Inyo County Office of Education School for Integrated Academics and Technologies YouthBuild Charter School of California OPPOSITION None on file.