BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                         


                          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
           







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           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.









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                  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 








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               (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 








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                    (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.